Heard Any Good Jokes Lately? — Mike Rapkoch

 

Neither have I.

This is a strange phenomenon. I come from a big family, and it used to be that, whenever we got together en masse, the boys would find some place away from the ladies and take turns telling jokes. Not all the jokes were dirty. But each depended on a key protection for individuals and cultures: irony. That’s really what humor is: a recognition of human folly and a wall of protection against despair. In this dour time, humor is a need, a way of shielding ourselves from the disasters that surround us. Without a plethora of good jokes, we are doomed.

Humor is a kind of theological virtue. Years ago, after the fitness guru and jogging enthusiast Jim Fix keeled over at 53 following an early run, R. Emmett Tyrrell wrote that “among the manifest attributes of God, we must never forget a sense of humor.” I think we’re in a state of sin.

I spent some time today surfing the web in a desperate search for a good joke. I had little success, finding mostly just a rehash of jokes I’d heard years ago. I did run across a host of sites with dirty jokes. The problem was that they weren’t funny, just gross. A pornography of humor.

I also found a few sites with ethnic jokes, and I was a bit terrified that I’d end up with tracking cookies that would set me up for hacking and subject me to attack from the joke police. The fear that there might be traces of my search got me thinking that I should turn up my security settings and wipe out every cookie stored on my hard drive.

This may be an overreaction, but nowadays even the mildest perceived slight can lead to censure. In this hate-filled age, humor has been vanquished, especially humor that serves the purgative imperative of diminishing resentment. The British philosopher Roger Scruton, whose own work is replete with irony, complains “A society that does not laugh is one without an important safety valve, and a society in which people interpret crude humor not as the first step toward friendly relations but as a mortal offense, is one in which ordinary life has become fraught with danger.”

I might go one better. A society that has lost its sense of humor is dying under the weight of its censoriousness.

Ethnic jokes serve as an example of that death. African-Americans, for instance, now have the tools to propel themselves into the mainstream of the middle class, yet the nation is flooded with accusations of racism, with the race-baiters deployed like an army to mow down the phantom racists. There’s money in that, as well as the compensation of self-righteousness. Black comedians often treat their audiences to a stream of ethnic jokes, but should a white comedian tread that same road he will surely see his career ruined — at least until he grovels with sufficient gusto to be granted a bit of clemency from the humorless police.

And try telling a joke about the ironies between the sexes. You might get away with it in the privacy of your own home, but do it in any of the precincts of the sour left and expect to be skewered, your career crashing into a brick wall. This is particularly harmful because it makes it impossible for men and women to diffuse the tensions that have existed between them since the Fall of Man (and Woman … wouldn’t want to step on any toes). As Scruton notes, “the literature of feminism is devoid of humor—and advisedly so, for if it ever were to employ this resource it would die laughing at itself.”

The loss of humor, however, is not just a disease of the left either. Many conservative Christians have lost the ability to laugh at themselves. Years ago, I was walking with a friend down the sidewalk and noticed a crowd up ahead. As it turned out, it was a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses in line to get into a gathering. I quipped to my companion that we’d best avoid eye contact so we wouldn’t be converted. A voice came out of the crowd accusing me of racism. I moved on quickly, fearing for my life, or at least my reputation.

And the Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t the only ones. When Bill Maher uses humor to attack Christians, Catholic or Protestant, it’s the Night of the Long Knives. I’ve never found Maher funny (he’s too angry to tell a good joke), but he’s just appeasing his audience so who cares? But Twitter erupts, and Christians, like the leftist thought police, want his scalp. 

Things are worse for Muslims. I’m not here concerned with non-Muslims who risk a Fatwa if they tell the slightest joke about Islam. I’m talking about everyday Muslims, most of whom I’d bet tell jokes about their religion all the time. But they do so at great peril. Islam, especially amongst the Mullahs, has no sense of humor. Tell a joke about Allah and you might lose a hand.

It seems to me that, in this age of resentment and humorlessness, a great many tensions could be resolved if someone told a good joke. But for far too many people nothing is a laughing matter. Ex nihilo nihilo fit.

I was talking this over with the wife yesterday and she asked what my solution was. I got a bit irritated. There is no formal solution. Government can’t reverse the trend with a decree. The only way through this is for people to lighten up by really looking for the irony in their lives. It’s everywhere, but we don’t have eyes to see it. It’s as if we’ve gouged them out and thrown them away.

Yet maybe there is still a way to fight off the humorless, though it will take great courage from all of us, especially high-profile folks. We could start by telling the offended to buzz off if they can’t take a joke. When a comedian, journalist, or politician joins in that refrain, the earnest censors may be forced to shut the hell up. That would be amusing to watch.

By the way, heard any good dirty, ethnic, sexist jokes lately?

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There are 165 comments.

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  1. Amy Schley Moderator

    Mike Rapkoch: And try telling a joke about the ironies between the sexes. You might get away with it in the privacy of your own home, but do that in the faculty lounge or a political convention of the sour left and expect to be skewered, your career crashing into a dead end.

     On the contrary, you can tell the most sexist jokes you like, so long as men are the punchline.

    e.g. Why are men like snowstorms? Because you don’t know when they’ll come, how long they’ll last, or how many inches you’ll get.

    Though one of my favorites is a religious joke: There are three kinds of bras: Catholic bras that support the masses, Salvation Army bras that lift the fallen, and Baptist bras that make mountains out of molehills.

    • #1
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:00 PM PDT
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  2. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Mike Rapkoch:

    By the way, heard any good dirty, ethnic, sexist jokes lately?

    Dirty? Yes. “Sexist”? Quite possibly. Ethnic? Maybe, maybe not… I can’t remember the last time my husband and I mentioned my grim half-Teutonic upbringing, but it probably comes up from time to time.

    Mr Rattler and I love to make each other laugh. Unfortunately, the funniest stuff we’ve ever said to each other is way too inappropriate for mixed company, even under the cover of anonymity on the internets.

    • #2
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:07 PM PDT
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  3. Pilli Inactive

    Ronald Reagan was great at telling a joke or making a quip, John Kennedy too.

    I was working on a steel construction project. We had to remove a 50 ton crusher from its perch 20 feet up in a steel frame. Some beams had to come out to allow access for the crane to lift it out. I was nervous that the whole thing might come crashing down. I told my guys to stand back while I cut out the last piece. As the piece fell to the ground, the whole structure started shaking violently. I dropped the torch and ran like a wild man. My guys were in hysterics. It seemed that we had just had an earthquake! All I could do was look up and say, “Good joke Lord. Good joke.”

    • #3
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:11 PM PDT
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  4. Yudansha Member

    Have you heard the one about the woman who was married three times and never had sex?

    Her 1st husband was paralyzed and couldn’t;
    the 2nd husband was gay and wouldn’t;
    the 3rd was a politician who just stood at the foot of the bed telling her how good it was going to be.

    • #4
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:21 PM PDT
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  5. Pilli Inactive

    Part of humor is that it could happen:

    A senior citizen comes out of the grocery store where I lived in S. Florida. As she approaches her car, she sees four men in it getting ready to drive away. She drops her groceries and pulls a 9mm pistol from her purse yelling, “Outta the car! I have a gun and I know how to use it!”

    The guys scramble and run away. She picks up her stuff and gets in the car. That’s when she realizes–It’s not her car! Her’s is two cars down the aisle. She goes down to the police department to report her mistake. The Sargent taking her statement breaks up laughing. At the other end of the counter are four guys with a wild story about a crazed old lady that car jacked them.

    • #5
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:22 PM PDT
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  6. Pilli Inactive

    Three old ladies were sitting side by side on patio chairs at their Orlando retirement home reminiscing. The first lady recalled from years past shopping at the local Piggly Wiggly and demonstrated with her hands, the length and thickness of a cucumber she could buy for a penny.

    The second old lady nodded, adding that onions used to be much bigger and cheaper also, and demonstrated the size of two big onions she could buy for a penny a piece.

    The third old lady remarked, ‘I can’t hear a word you’re saying, but I remember the guy you’re talking about.

    • #6
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:24 PM PDT
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  7. Pilli Inactive

    A man was telling his neighbor in Sun City Center, ‘I just bought a new hearing aid. It only cost me four hundred dollars, but it’s state of the art. It’s perfect.’

    ‘Really,’ answered the neighbor. ‘What kind is it?’

    ‘Twelve thirty’

    • #7
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:25 PM PDT
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  8. Pilli Inactive

    A little old man shuffled slowly into the ‘Orange Dipper’, an ice cream parlor in W. Palm Beach, and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool.

    After catching his breath he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked kindly, ‘Crushed nuts?’

    ‘No,’ he replied, ‘hemorrhoids.’

    • #8
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:27 PM PDT
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  9. Pilli Inactive

    Morris, an 82 year-old man in Miami, went to the doctor at the local Medical Clinic to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

    A couple of days later the doctor spoke to Morris and said, ‘You’re really doing great, aren’t you?’

    ‘Just doing what you said, Doc: ‘Get a hot mamma’ and ‘be cheerful”, Morris replied.

    To which the doctor said, ‘I didn’t say that, Morris. I said, ‘You’ve got a heart murmur, be careful!’

    • #9
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:28 PM PDT
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  10. Pilli Inactive

    I got a million of ’em.

    • #10
    • April 15, 2014, at 3:29 PM PDT
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  11. Misthiocracy secretly Member

    Pilli: Part of humor is that it could happen:

    That joke could never happen in today’s day and age, because the Sergeant clearly would have thrown her in jail … without laughing.

    • #11
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:45 PM PDT
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  12. PHCheese Member

    The eighty year old Irish golfer goes to a new doctor (his old one died)
    The doctor says he is in better shape than must men in their forties and asked what his secret is.
    Patty replied that he golfed every day and had one glass of beer with each meal.
    The doctor says there must be more to it than that and asked how old his father was when he died.
    Patty says who says he is dead, he golfed with me today. Then we went swimming at the nude beach. He is 99.
    The doctor is beside himself. He says ,I guess your going to tell me your grand father is alive and golfed with you today.
    Of course not, says Patty. He is on his honeymoon. He is 118
    Now the doctor is going nuts. He says ,why would a 118 year old man want to get married?
    Patty gives the doctor a wink and says. Who says he wanted to.

    • #12
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:46 PM PDT
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  13. Misthiocracy secretly Member

    The most recent real joke (as opposed to a bit) that I’ve heard is from two years ago:

    • #13
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:48 PM PDT
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  14. Arahant Member

    I have millions, too, but they’re all old.

    The doctor is examining one of his patients and as he’s flipping through the chart says, “You seem to be in good shape. How old are you? Fifty?”

    “Eighty.”

    “Really? That’s great. How old was your father when he died?”

    “Who said he’s dead?”

    “Oh, well, how old is he?”

    “He just turned a hundred.”

    “Well, you have some really great genes. How old was your grandfather when he died?”

    “Who said he’s dead?”

    “Oh, well, how old is he?”

    “He just turned a hundred-twenty-five, and he’s getting married next month to a twenty-year-old girl.”

    “Wow,” replied the doctor, “Why would a man of that age want to marry someone so young?”

    “Who said he wanted to get married?”

    • #14
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:51 PM PDT
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  15. Arahant Member

    PHCheese: The eighty year old Irish golfer goes to a new doctor (his old one died)

     Aaaauuugh! You beat me to it while I was typing it up.

    • #15
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:53 PM PDT
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  16. Misthiocracy secretly Member

    This guy and his family walk into a talent agent’s office …

    • #16
    • April 15, 2014, at 4:56 PM PDT
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  17. Jason Rudert Member

    Misthiocracy:

    This guy and his family walk into a talent agent’s office …

     We’ve got a two hundred word limit here, Misth. But while you’re here…

    • #17
    • April 15, 2014, at 5:35 PM PDT
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  18. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Jason Rudert:

    Misthiocracy:

    This guy and his family walk into a talent agent’s office …

    We’ve got a two hundred word limit here, Misth. But while you’re here…

     The punchline was, “Quite right. Spank me again.”…

    • #18
    • April 15, 2014, at 5:37 PM PDT
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  19. Jason Rudert Member

    The reanimated corpse of Milton Berle is wandering around downtown Salt lake City one day and he shambles into the Mormon Tabernacle building. He has a package tucked under his arm, wrapped in butcher paper, which is oozing a little bit of blood. 
    He makes his way down to the front, and seats himself at the famous giant organ, and begins to play the keys. They don’t have the air turned on, though, so no sounds come out.
    It isn’t long though, before somebody complains about a zombie at the organ, and sure enough along come two fresh-faced Mormon security guards and two fresh-faced Mormon German Shepherds. 
    “Um, sir, you’re going to have to come with us.”
    Berle turns, slowly, and addresses them with the baleful stare of an undead comedian. He unwraps the package, slaps Lindsay Lohan’s liver down on the bench next to himself, and in the dry voice of the grave, says, “Sorry fellahs. Three of a kind beats two pair.”

    • #19
    • April 15, 2014, at 5:40 PM PDT
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  20. Jason Rudert Member

    Too long? (heh heh.)

    Okay:
    A young octopus says to his buddy the red snapper, “I’m thinking about joining the war against terrorism. Should I enlist in the Navy?”
    The snapper replies, “Mmmmneh. I think yer more army.”

    • #20
    • April 15, 2014, at 5:47 PM PDT
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  21. Misthiocracy secretly Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Jason Rudert:

    Misthiocracy:

    This guy and his family walk into a talent agent’s office …

    We’ve got a two hundred word limit here, Misth. But while you’re here…

    The punchline was, “Quite right. Spank me again.”…

     Actually, the punchline is, “The Aristocrats!”

    • #21
    • April 15, 2014, at 5:47 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Mike Rapkoch Member
    Mike Rapkoch Post author

    Here’s one of my favorites, thout it’s very old and kind of long:

    A couple of housewives meet each other in the grocery store. The first one looks quite distressed, so the other one asks what’s wrong.
    “Nothing, really,” she says.
    Housewife # 1 says “is someone sick?”
    No that’s not it.”
    Did someone die?”
    No, thank goodness.”
    “Well then what’s going on?”
    “Well, replies the unhappy mom, “I got a call today from the school psychologist. He said my son has an Oedipal Complex.”
    The other woman replies “Oedipal, schoedipal, so long as he’s a good boy and loves his mommy.”

    • #22
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:07 PM PDT
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  23. Yudansha Member

    Misthiocracy:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Jason Rudert:

    Misthiocracy:

    This guy and his family walk into a talent agent’s office …

    We’ve got a two hundred word limit here, Misth. But while you’re here…

    The punchline was, “Quite right. Spank me again.”…

    Actually, the punchline is, “The Aristocrats!”

     I must be an idiot… I don’t get it.

    • #23
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:11 PM PDT
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  24. PHCheese Member

    Arahant:

    PHCheese: The eighty year old Irish golfer goes to a new doctor (his old one died)

    Aaaauuugh! You beat me to it while I was typing it up.

     Arahant, I can’t believe my guy and your guy went to the same doctor. Maybe it was DOC JAY

    • #24
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Jason Rudert Member

    Yudansha: I must be an idiot… I don’t get it. #23

    It’s from an old joke, I think they first told it on either the Pinta, the Nina, or the Santa Maria. There’s a whole movie called The Aristocrats that’s just stand-up comics telling their version of this very filthy joke. It starts out as Misthiocracy started it, and ends with the punchline as he put it as well. I don’t know why Midge is putting that spanking thing in there, but she’s a crazy broad, what are you going to do?
    Anyways, if you want my version, PM me.

    • #25
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:22 PM PDT
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  26. Arahant Member

    The Aristocrats” is truly a classic.

    • #26
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Jason Rudert:

    Yudansha: I must be an idiot… I don’t get it. #23

    There’s a whole movie called The Aristocrats that’s just stand-up comics telling their version of this very filthy joke. It starts out as Misthiocracy started it, and ends with the punchline as he put it as well. I don’t know why Midge is putting that spanking thing in there, but she’s a crazy broad, what are you going to do?

    I was just trying to confuse you, Rude Flirt.

    Besides, I do think my punchline is a good one for a filthy joke.

    • #27
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:26 PM PDT
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  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Jason Rudert:

    …Anyways, if you want my version, PM me.

    Does it involve a giraffe? Otherwise, I’m not interested.

    • #28
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:26 PM PDT
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  29. Arahant Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Does it involve a giraffe? Otherwise, I’m not interested.

     Six giraffes and a pygmy marmoset monkey, actually.

    • #29
    • April 15, 2014, at 6:37 PM PDT
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  30. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Arahant:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Does it involve a giraffe? Otherwise, I’m not interested.

    Six giraffes and a pygmy marmoset monkey, actually.

     Six giraffes???

    Now Rudert absolutely must tell me. Else he’ll end up with his pants in the freezer.

    • #30
    • April 15, 2014, at 7:33 PM PDT
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