http://www.upi.com. President Reagan liked a good joke, particularly on himself.
“I love to laugh!” sang Uncle Arthur, drifting to the ceiling in Mary Poppins. I remember laughing just because he did.
What was considered funny in the past and what we think is funny now can be two different things.
The first recorded jokes we know about are from Palamedes, a Greek who outwitted Odysseus just before the Trojan War. While it seems there were a group of sixty who met in the Temple of Heracles to trade wisecracks, there probably weren’t any women present, due to the subject matter. Or maybe they just didn’t care.
“Jestbooks,” such as one produced by a man named Philogelos, contained this conversation.
Talkative barber: How shall I cut your hair?
Customer: In silence.
A lady asked how she liked a gentleman’s singing (who had bad breath).
“The words are good, but the air is intolerable,” said she.
In Victorian times, jokes were known as facetiae.
“Waiter, I’ve found a button in my salad.”
“That’s all right, Madam. It’s part of the dressing.”
Why should the number 288 never be mentioned in good company?
It is two gross.
In 1896, a Chicago publisher included this one:
Enfant: (patting his uncle’s bald head) “Say Uncle Jack, is that where you get spanked when you’re naughty?”
And a mother, trying to instill a virtue in her child: “There is more pleasure in giving than receiving.”
“That’s also true about castor oil,” the child said.
I’ve found more than a few jokes I hadn’t heard, so I’ll share these.
A man walks into the doctor’s office with two red ears. “What happened?” asks the nurse. “I was ironing a shirt when the phone rang,” he answers. “Oh dear! But what happened to your other ear?” she exclaimed. “He called back!” moaned the patient.
How was the Roman Empire cut in half? With a pair of Caesers.
That person is so classless he could be a Marxist Utopia.
A Roman walks into a bar, puts up two fingers and says, “I’ll have five beers, please!”
He was so dumb when he drove to Disneyland he saw a sign “Disney Left,” and went home.
Of course, hearing a joke is often half the humor. I leave with this gem, from Rodney Dangerfield to Johnny Carson:
“When I was born I was so ugly, the doctor slapped my mother!”
Adam was the only one who could not say, “I’ve heard that one before.”