Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-28-2018, 08:11 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Middle ear
Posts: 6,093
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?

I was flipping through a Bathroom Reader, and it said bar jokes have only been around since the 1950's. Is this true? What was the archetypal joke opening before then? Was there an archetypal joke opening?
  #2  
Old 02-28-2018, 09:26 PM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,849
Like newspaper articles, jokes seem to have gotten a lot shorter and snappier as the years go by. It seems like back in the day joke listeners were willing to tolerate a greater amount of scene-setting and buildup, which now can be contained in the short phrase "walk into a bar" or "were walking down the street".

The London Joke Book or 1835 is an interesting read. Of course a lot of the jokes are a) not funny or b) too obscure for us these days but there's a few good old standards in there (there's a "right to bare arms" joke for instance)

The most interesting thing is the number of jokes or anecdotes which come with names and personal details attached, which makes me think that a large component of joke telling was "telling about a funny thing that actually happened". Whereas we more think about joke telling as making up crazy stories, most of which couldn't actually happen in real life.

Last edited by Aspidistra; 02-28-2018 at 09:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-28-2018, 09:32 PM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,849
Here's a good example from that book - which is actually still sufficiently amusing, but way longwinded by our standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the London Joke Book
"Too Civil By Half"

A learned Irish Judge, among other peculiarities, had a habit of begging pardon on every occasion. Once his favourite expression was employed in rather a singular manner. At the close of the assize, as he was about to leave the bench, the officer of the Court reminded him that he had not passed sentence of death on one of the criminals, as he had intended. "Dear me!" said his Lordship, "I really beg his pardon - bring him in."
  #4  
Old 02-28-2018, 10:11 PM
kunilou's Avatar
kunilou kunilou is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 23,939
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?

They had to finish their studies to become a priest and a rabbi.
  #5  
Old 02-28-2018, 10:35 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?

They had to finish their studies to become a priest and a rabbi.
I think we have an answer.
  #6  
Old 02-28-2018, 10:40 PM
mixdenny mixdenny is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Cleveland suburbs
Posts: 1,461
Two warriors walked into a mead festival; one a Knights Templar and the other an Israelite...

Dennis
  #7  
Old 02-28-2018, 11:07 PM
j666 j666 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Away for a while
Posts: 7,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?

They had to finish their studies to become a priest and a rabbi.
You win the thread.
  #8  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:20 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 4,326
A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar. The barkeep looks up and says, "What is this, some kind of joke?"
  #9  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:55 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 6,928
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?
Got distracted by talking to the foreman.

Then *BAM* right into the bar. Good thing they had their hard hats on.
  #10  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:12 AM
BubbaDog's Avatar
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: KC MO or there abouts
Posts: 5,590
JMHO but the "walk into a bar" setup creates a quick scenario.


You have a reason for strangers to meet - ie bartender and customer(s)
You have a place for them to meet - The bar
You have a plausible interaction - order a drink
You have a straight man - Bartender
You have the comic relief - customer(s)

"Walk into a bar" gives you all of this.
If you were to say "walk into a building" or walk into a store it has too much vagueness in it.
  #11  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:23 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,926
Jokes get shorter as the audience gets more sophisticated.

Case in point, this old joke: #35!
  #12  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:33 AM
JohnGalt's Avatar
JohnGalt JohnGalt is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Med city USA
Posts: 2,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Jokes get shorter as the audience gets more sophisticated.

Case in point, this old joke: #35!
I didn't laugh. I think you told it wrong.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  #13  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:40 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 4,031
Jesus, a rabbi and a Roman walked out towards the crowd . . . wait, that's not funny.
  #14  
Old 03-01-2018, 09:52 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 39,321
A Cro-Magnon stops by a stream to get a drink. He sees a Neanderthal with a duck on his head approaching the stream. He says to the Neanderthal "Do you know you have a duck on your head?" The Neanderthal bashes his head in with a rock.
  #15  
Old 03-01-2018, 10:04 AM
enalzi enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,155
Supposedly this is the first "walks into a bar" joke. Interesting in that it has a pretty long setup and actually requires a bar as the setting:

Quote:
A man walks into a bar and says he wants a very, very dry Martini at a ratio of 25 to 1. The bartender is a little startled but mixes it precisely. As he pours it into just the right glass, he asks the customer, "Would you like a twist of lemon in that?" The customer pounds the bar and shouts, "Listen buddy! When I want a goddamned lemonade, I'll ask for it.
  #16  
Old 03-01-2018, 10:20 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,926
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
I didn't laugh. I think you told it wrong.
  #17  
Old 03-01-2018, 01:29 PM
harmonicamoon harmonicamoon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Yucatan, Mexico
Posts: 2,831
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
So what did two guys do before walking into a bar?

They had to finish their studies to become a priest and a rabbi.
Sorry. I don't get it.
  #18  
Old 03-01-2018, 02:15 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tacoma, WA; USA
Posts: 1,445
"pull my finger"? ISTR that a most early comedy was rather scatological.
__________________
Dion Starfire, grammar atheist.
  #19  
Old 03-01-2018, 02:42 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 37,552
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions
Jokes get shorter as the audience gets more sophisticated.

Case in point, this old joke: #35!
I didn't laugh. I think you told it wrong.
I did laugh - I never heard that one before.

Regards,
Shodan
  #20  
Old 03-01-2018, 04:21 PM
burpo the wonder mutt's Avatar
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 22,209
In my neck of the woods Two Guys was a department store.
  #21  
Old 03-01-2018, 04:53 PM
Riemann's Avatar
Riemann Riemann is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
Posts: 5,603
I don't know what happened in past jokes before people walked into bars. But as we exhaust these jokes, I see a glorious future of new jokes about limbo dancers.

Last edited by Riemann; 03-01-2018 at 04:53 PM.
  #22  
Old 03-02-2018, 08:55 AM
swampspruce's Avatar
swampspruce swampspruce is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cold Lake, Alberta
Posts: 4,024
Two guys walk below a bar...
__________________
You must make an enemy of envy today. Today. -J.Saltz
  #23  
Old 03-02-2018, 09:44 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 37,255
And of course there have been bars since the ancient days.
__________________
I am not a real Doctor
  #24  
Old 03-02-2018, 11:20 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,688
Og stumbles out of a bar.

Og smashed.
  #25  
Old 03-02-2018, 12:21 PM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,135
Since the ratio of jokes to factual answers in this thread is about 10:1, it's probably best to move this to MPSIMS.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
  #26  
Old 03-02-2018, 02:36 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 13,395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I don't know what happened in past jokes before people walked into bars. But as we exhaust these jokes, I see a glorious future of new jokes about limbo dancers.
Just yesterday I read in a cooking column [cite on request] about a cook having as much chance in getting the recipe to work as he would against a three-legged dwarf in a limbo contest.

FTR
  #27  
Old 03-02-2018, 08:07 PM
Backwater Under_Duck Backwater Under_Duck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
"pull my finger"? ISTR that a most early comedy was rather scatological.
Definitely early. Pull my finger.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:56 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017