Jokes you can no longer do (not the Rat Pack thread)

Back before noted alternative medicine enthusiast Steve Jobs died, I was toying with the idea of writing a brief little humorous piece called “Dialogue in Hell Between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates”, with the punchline being that it would be Steve Jobs wondering where the Hell Bill was. The humor was intended to come from the fact Jobs was a real asshole in life, and the fact I’d write a companion piece titled “The Undocumented Protocols” that was clearly a blatant rip-off.

Of course, these days that joke would be “Ha ha, your cultural touchstone is dead and mine isn’t” and I just don’t hate Apple fans that much. Hating hipsters is so mainstream.

So, which of your jokes have been eclipsed by time? (As per the title, I’d rather this wasn’t turned into an “I am offended by Those People being offended” kind of affair.)

Impersonations of Jimmy Savile

My dad used to tell the How Long is a Chinaman joke. (How Long turns out to be his name). As a kid I thought it was hilarious. Now- wow, racist as hell.

But is it still just as funny? Doesn’t humor have legs of its own to stand on, without needing to satisfy political correctness for validation? What, after all, are the essential elements of humor?

Case in point to the above post. One of the most enduring classics of American humor was Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine. Decades layer, the Dodgers had a player named Hu, who, of course, got to first base. But Hu turned out to be of Asian origin, so if the play by player announcer said “Hu’s on first” with anything other than sober matter-of-factness, the line suddenly became insensitive and a violation of political correctness. Does that make the old Abbot and Costello routine no longer funny, just because Who in fact turned out to be Hu, who is a member of a protected class?

Didja hear about the guy who’s half black and half Japanese? Every December 7th he attacks Pearl Bailey!