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Just Joking Around

March 26, 2010

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Are you kind of a clown, or do you just love a good giggle? Either way, we’re taking a closer look at jokes – the history of joking, the world’s funniest joke and a full dissection of the jokes, rhymes and riddles that keep us laughing.

Plus, give us your best joke in the Comments section at the bottom of this story!

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The World’s First Joke

Ever wondered who told the first joke ever? Well, joking is mentioned in the bible, but one of the first joke books was written by a Greek guy called Hierocles way back in 500 CE. It was called The Philogelos, which means Laughter-Lover. Here’s one of his best:

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“How shall I cut your hair?” said a talkative barber to his customer. “In silence!” was the reply.

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OK, so maybe the Ancient Greeks had a different sense of humor than we do nowadays. Moving on, jest books were really popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, when times were tough and a good chuckle helped lighten the mood in the midst of all those gruesome battles and executions …

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The World’s Funniest Joke

In 2002, an experiment was conducted on the Internet that invited people from all over the world to submit their favorite jokes. More than 40,000 jokes were sent in, and then people voted for the funniest one. Two million votes later, this was the winner:

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Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says, “Calm down. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, “OK, now what?”

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Who Put The Punch In Punchline?

The end of a joke is called the punchline. It’s a phrase that’s been around since the 1920s, before TV had been invented and people loved watching vaudeville shows that were full of pranks and wisecracks. The jokes in these shows were often performed by two people – a funny man and a straight man. The funny man always played the pranks on the straight man, who kept a straight, serious face, no matter what was happening. At the end of each gag, the funnyman would pretend to punch the straight man, and that’s where the term punchline came from.

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It’s All About The Timing

it’s important to pick the exact right moment to tell a joke. If people feel happy, they’ll likely LOL. If they feel sad, a joke could cheer them up. But if they’re mad, it may be best to wait until they’ve cooled down. If you think a joke’s funny, chances are other people your age will think so, too. But people who are younger or a lot older than you may not get it. Pick your moment and pick your audience and a good joke can’t go wrong!

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Have Your Say

Share YOUR BEST JOKE in the Comments section below!

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