Do you get this joke? Is it "gettable?"

This is my wife’s favorite joke:

Wife: Ask me if I’m an airplane!
Whoever : Are you an airplane?
Wife : No.

She says it’s a joke about jokes. I sort-of understand the idea of what she’s trying to do, but it’s not funny, no matter how hard I analyze it. Little help? Am I just not capable of higher-level thinking? I mean, I like fart jokes and all…

It went over my head.

It is a joke about jokes, sort of. It’s about how you respond to something that sounds like a joke, and the incongruity of getting a serious answer to what turned out to be a stupid question. It’s basically in the category of “gee you’re dumb” jokes. You should get it, it’s not far off from “pull my finger”.

It’s an anti-joke.

I get it, and it’s hilarious! I literally laughed out loud. I’m totally adding that to my repertoire.

And now, allow me to kill the joke by explaining it: Many jokes (if not most) produce humor by way of an unexpected twist. And often, this unexpected twist relies on the hearer accepting a ridiculous premise. For example:

Ridiculous premise:[SPOILER]On the top of a tall building in a large city, there was a bar. In this bar, a man was drinking heavily. He would ask the bartender for a tequila shot, then walk out to the balcony and jump off. Minutes later he would appear in the elevator and repeat the whole process.

This one guy watched this happen a number of times until curiosity got the better of him.

Finally he went up to the man and asked, “Hey, you keep drinking, then jumping off the balcony. And yet, minutes later, you’re back again. How do you do it?”

“Well,” said the other man, “the shot of tequila provides buoyancy such that when I get near the ground, I slow down and land gently. It’s lot of fun. You should try it.”

The guy, who was also quite drunk, thought to himself, “Hey, why not?”

So he goes out to the balcony, jumps off, and seconds later he has splatted straight onto the ground, stone dead.
[/SPOILER]Unexpected twist:The bartender looks over to the other guy and says, "Superman, you can be a complete asshole when you are drunk."So, rather than simply following the “ridiculous premise/unexpected twist” pattern, your wife’s joke uses that pattern as the entire premise:

Ridiculous premise:

This sets up the hearer to expect some “unexpected” twist, perhaps a play on words about “getting high”, or a comparison between bad airline food (or long lines or complicated security measures) and some unpleasant aspect of her life. In short, the hearer is expecting a typical joke.

But here comes the truly unexpected twist:

She gives a straight answer! That’s the joke! It sounds like a joke setup, but there’s no “jokey” answer.

Here are some similar jokes that you might find a little funnier:

Q: What’s brown and sticky?

A: A stick.

Q: What’s about a foot long, and slippery?

A: A slipper.And one of my favorites:

So there are these two race horses, a big horse and a little horse. They love to race, but the big horse always beats the little horse, and taunts him mercilessly.

Chagrined by his constant defeat, the little horse decides that he’s going to win no matter what, so he starts working out, lifting weights, and beating his personal best on the track. He and the big horse race again, and for the first quarter of the race, he’s beating the big horse, but then the big horse runs past him and stays ahead for the rest of the race. At the end, he calls out, “Nice try, loser!”

The little horse feels more determined than ever now, and he starts practicing even harder than before. They race again. For the first half of the race the little horse is winning but then the big horse runs by him and stays ahead for the rest of the race, just laughing his head off.

There is nothing the little horse won’t do to win now. He’s going to beat the big horse if it kills him. They race again. For three quarters of the race, the little horse is winning, but the big horse passes him by in the last quarter, shouting “Yo mama” jokes over his shoulder at the little horse.

So the big horse is walking back to the stable and this dog walks up to him and says “Big horse, how come you always let the little horse win for a while, but then pass him by?”

The big horse jumps back in surprise and says “Holy shit! A talking dog!” ETA: And how could I forget this classic limerick!:

There once was a young man from Crewe
Who went in a rowboat to row
A girl in a skiff
Put an oar in his eye
And now he has to wear glasses.

And cmyk, all the jokes in your link are killing me.

Pretty meta. Kind of like, “I’ve got a great knock-knock joke. You start…” "Knock, knock. “Who’s there?”

I also laughed at that airplane joke. Heart of Dorkness gave an excellent breakdown - the first joke used to be one of my favourites, thanks for reminding me of it!

Crap, I don’t know how to do that spoiler box thingie or I’d share some jokes along the same vein.

I first came across the talking horse joke precisely 33 years ago, and still think it’s funny. I also laughed at the airplane joke.

Google “no soap, radio!” for a universe of such humor.

Humor is so subjective. Having said that, I get it, and I don’t think it’s funny.

That one I love, and have employed against several nieces.

I think this is me. I suppose I understand the concept, but it’s not my humor.

I love it!! I love anti-humor and metahumor.

Speaking of which, have you heard about the joke with no punchline?

Yes, those are all funnier, even straight-up humorous! The airplane one just must be a sucky joke.

I like the airplane joke, and I’ve heard it before. I like all the jokes in this thread!

My favorite is “What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?”

Where’s my tractor?

What’s blue and smells like paint?

blue paint

Type [ spoiler ] and [ / spoiler ] (minus the extra spaces) around what you’re trying to hide.

Heart of Dorkness, that is one ignorance-fighting post! Bravo!

I love this type of joke. I’ve been telling the stick one for years. I think telling these is a bit harder than many jokes, as the enthusiasm of the delivery and the timing of the punchline is so important.

See, to me, “no soap, radio!” jokes are a completely different thing. They’re not actually funny to anyone. They’re a prank. If you haven’t heard such a joke, the idea is that there’s some typical jokey setup which leads to a nonsensical “punchline”:

The thing is, the joke teller and everyone else in the group but you is aware that the punchline doesn’t make any sense. They laugh anyway, so that you will either admit that you don’t get it, or laugh to hide the fact that you don’t get it. Either way, they make fun of you. If you admit that you don’t get it, they tease you for not understanding, and if you laugh, they embarrass you by making you try to explain why it’s funny.

The airplane joke, and the other “anti-jokes” in this thread, are totally different. Their responses are not nonsensical; on the contrary, they’re completely serious and logical. That’s where the humor comes from: the listener is expecting a silly answer and gets a straight one. The listener may not find it funny, but there’s no confusion over what the punchline means. While “no soap, radio!” jokes are meant to make fun of and embarrass the listener for the enjoyment of others, “anti-jokes” are supposed to actually be funny and enjoyable for the listener (even if they don’t always work out that way).

no soap, radio jokes are kind of cousins of the shaggy dog stories. Funnier or only funny to the joke teller and not to the victim.

My sister’s friend has a good long one where she says she just heard the funniest joke ever, then as she tells it, she rambles, then keeps claiming to forget where she was, or giving away the punchline, over and over and over, for as long as the victim is willing to put up with it.

I laughed so had I got tears in my eyes. My husband asked “what’s so funny?”, so I told him the joke, then we both cracked up. I love dumb jokes. BTW the sticky and the slippery ones were my favs for a long time.

I think one other key to making them really funny is to tell them after a few traditional jokes have been told. This gets the listeners into “joke” mode: they’re looking for the unexpected twist, and so when you give the straight answer, it’s truly unexpected. If you just walk up to someone out of the blue and say, “Ask me if I’m an airplane,” they may not understand that you’re supposedly telling a joke, and so they’re not looking for the twist; they’re just trying to figure out what the hell you’re talking about. In that case, “No” is not actually an unexpected response, because they’re not expecting you to give a joke response. They have no idea what to expect. And their reaction will be more like, “Huh? So, why did you have me ask if you’re an airplane?” I think the stick joke works better on its own, because that kind of question is clearly a setup for a joke. Same goes for the horse joke. That one’s even better, because by the end, the listener is not just looking for the jokey punchline; they’re desperate to hear it and get the stupid joke over with. And so when they get a straight punchline, they enjoy it even more, because they thought they were hating this joke and now it’s unexpectedly funny.