And I owe my dad an apology for all the grief we kids used to give him over the jokes he used to tell us. Sorry pops. Love ya.
The phrasing is awkward, but the oldest recorded joke is (drumroll please):
"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap" (something which I remember seeing one of my dear friends do to her husband --followed by her shoveling handfuls of stinky fart-air towards his face, much to the amusement of everyone in the room but her husband). There are a few others -- nothing about baked beans and surprise parties, traveling salesmen and wanton farmers' daughters, Moses, Elijah, and Mohammed at a golf course, or rabbis, priests and imams finding dead camels, though. Indeed, it seems most of the world's oldest jokes are dirty -- my favorite is the oldest Anglo-saxon joke: "What hangs at a man's waist, and likes to poke the hole it's poked many times before?"
Dirty jokes are a proud oral and even written tradition (hee hee. Oral). Even Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English Literature, took the time to put in a filthy scatological yarn in his Canterbury Tales (yay The Miller!)
and frankly, even though the language was as dense and bewildering as a jungle, I STILL laughed out loud at ""Tehee!" quod she, and clapte the wyndow to,"
(here, retold with lego: the Miller's Tale)
For more on funny jokes (no guarantee that they're sophomoric, though). . . according to the laughlab project, THIS is the world's funniest joke. (click on the link to read the runners-up, too.)
Two hunters were standing in the forest. One of the hunters suddenly collapses. The other takes out his cell phone and dials 911. The operator answers, "Hello, what is your emergency?" The hunter replies, "I was hunting with my friend and I think he's dead! What should I do?" The operator then tells him, "Make sure that he is dead." The man says, "Just a second." There is silence on the phone and suddenly a loud gunshot is heard. The man then asks the operator, "Okay, now what?"
and my over-under on the number of my readers who tell that joke sometime in the next 24 hours: 20%.
(more jokes here)
And the least funny:
"The most frequently submitted joke, at 300 times, was: "What's brown and sticky? A stick."
Researchers said no one ever found it funny. "
Final joke observation:
I used to like reading the jokes in each month's "Reader's Digest" and then either call out, or laugh in my sleeve at, all the people that month who used those jokes on their unwitting, non-digest-reading friends. Everybody knows you have to go into the BACK ISSUES to find material that people can hear without remembering the punchline.