Jokes that don't work on a message board

My adult son likes to tell what we call the “whale joke.”

A whale walks into a bar and says to the bartender. . .

The rest of the joke is whale sounds. Lots of whale sounds. Whale sounds that go on for minutes at a time - so long that the joke starts off as a little cute, then becomes funny, then goes on too long, then turns the corner and becomes absolutely hilarious. There’s no particular punchline. It ends when everyone is laughing too hard to breathe.

Probably the most famous joke of this type is The Aristocrats, a joke which can be written either simply or incredibly complicated, but which totally depends on the telling to make it funny.

What’s your favorite joke that won’t work unless you tell it in person?

One of my favorite jokes is crass, tasteless, and absolutely fantastic, but its brevity and the abruptness of the punchline kill it in written form. But, here it is anyway:

It’s Saturday night in a Canadian town. A couple of doods are together at a pub, several Molsons into their evening, when conversation stalls. After a silence, one of them abruptly says to the other “Let’s play 20 Questions.”

His friend agrees. The first says, “OK, I’ll go first, eh?” He ponders for a moment, and then, from the ether, a phrase comes to his mind, as a thought unbidden: “Moose cock.” Obviously there’s no going back- you can’t NOT use something like that once you’ve thought of it, y’know? He says “OK, start guessing.”

His friend says “OK, let’s see… is it something you’d like to eat?”

Guy doesn’t miss a beat. Doesn’t bat an eye. Just calmly and straightforwardly says “Yes.”

Friend says “Is it moose cock?”

My husband tells a long, convoluted story about a race horse but it has to be told. Delivery and tone of voice are a huge part of it.

One of my favorite jokes depends almost entirely on acting it out to be effective.

This guy is feeling good, and goes to the tailor to buy a new suit. He puts it on, not noticing it doesn’t fit. He goes striding proudly down the street in his new suit.

He meets one of his friends, who says, “Hey, that’s a nice suit. But the shoulders are too wide.” The guy says, “So they are,” and goes back to the tailor to complain. The tailor says, “No, that’s no problem. You just need to scrunch your shoulders together and it will fit fine!” So the guy does so, and goes striding down the street again with his shoulders hunched.

To make a long story short, he meet other friends who tells him the sleeves are too short, and the pants are too long. Each time he goes back to the tailor, who tells him to pull on the sleeves and walk with his knees held together. [As you tell the joke, you gradually add the different contortions you have to go through to make the suit fit.]

Finally the guy is shambling down the street with his body all twisted in knots.

Two old ladies see him from across the street. One says to the other “Oh, look at that poor crippled man!” The other replies, “Oh dear! But don’t his suit fit him nice!”

The joke really depends on how ridiculous you can make yourself look while imitating the guy’s walk.

The pink ping pong ball.

This is like a G-rated Aristocrats. It all depends on how you tell it and can keep your audience interested until the punch line. Which is really a huge letdown.

The joke teller begins with “One time, a man had a son…” and talks about all the great things the kid did in childhood. The dad tells the son he’s proud of him, and he’ll get him anything he wants. The son replies “I want a pink ping pong ball.” The dad says “A pink ping pong ball? Why do you want a pink ping pong ball?” The son says “I can’t tell you.” The dad replies “Well son, I can’t get it for you.”

Next phase is the son excelling in junior high, becoming captain of the JV squad, getting 100’s on all his exams, etc. Same set of lines as above. The son wants a pink ping pong ball.

Next, high school. Son excels at everything, still wants a ping pong ball. Then college, then gets a job at MIT, makes tons of money, makes a life-saving scientific discovery, wins the Noble Prize, but still wants a pink ping pong ball.

Then, son gets in a horrible accident, gets hooked up to IVs, lays at death’s door. Father visits him, promises to get him anything he wants, son still wants a ping pong ball. Dad asks him why. Son says “OK dad, I’ll tell you…”

then he died.

Anything that requires timing - for example the Interrupting Cow Knock Knock joke

Q: What winks and fucks like a tiger?
A: [wink]

*What do you get when the Pink Panther steps on some ants?

Dead ants, dead ants, dead ants, dead ants, dead ants …*

Doesn’t work well in print.


*Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage?

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump.*

Probably easier to get, but it it loses everything when written.

Also jokes based on homophones, such as the one I mentioned here. For instance, I could not ask you if you liked putting fish dicks in your mouth, and thus could never inform you that–like Conye West–you are a gay fish.

That’s an old Morey Amsterdam routine. I like to try to pull it off too.

Pull my finger…

Shaggy dog stories in general aren’t going to work.

In our family this was known as dad’s “blue suit joke”, and a large part of the humor came from (a) the guy also having a lisp in dad’s version, and (b) dad usually being drunk off his ass when he told it.

I know a few jokes. Mostly off-color, dirty types. Alas, I am not good at telling them in real life. So, no they are not suitable for the board either.

Jokes that don’t work on a message board

Most of mine.

Granted, most of my jokes don’t work IRL either.

Well, with my typing skills and internet connection, I certainly ain’t gonna waste the time to post it here! :wink:

My favorite out of the blue, no context joke is Mel Brooks joke about the secret to comedy. I’m not going to even try to type it out, And for some reason I can’t find a video right now.

How do you get two whales in a Volkswagen?

Take M4.

It’s a homophone thing. Tell the joke with the hint of a British accent, and maybe it works better. Or not.

I was going to chime in with this. Didn’t he do it on the Dick Van Dyke show?

The way I heard it, it was Buddy Hackett with Johnny Carson.