I’m willing to bet that regardless of our ages that there’s some common ground among us all as to what jokes we learned first and what made us laugh early on.
There have surely been fads and innovations as the decades have rolled along, but it’s my hypothesis that jokes and humor get recycled enough that what made me laugh as a pre-schooler would make a kid of pre-school age today laugh just as hard.
But this thread is for the pirpose of exploring my hypothesis, if you will.
Think back to the jokes you heard first and describe as best you can what they were about.
– Little moron
– Various bodily functions
As a side issue, how old were you when you heard your first Little Johnny joke?
Grapes and pickles and ducks
I’d consider that fairly precocious. How old must you have been?
Ever since I had the notion for the thread I’ve been trying to plumb my own early jokes. I know there were all manner of Little Moron jokes, but I’m also nearly positive there were earlier ones. Something makes me think they may have been silly puns (are there other kinds?) along the lines of:
Why was George Washington so clean?
Because he was washing a ton. hehehehehe (run tell Mama!)
I can’t swear this is pre-school, but it was early on. It was a cross between a ghost story and a joke in that it started out as if it were a ghost story.
The gist of it was that this casket with the ghost in it was somehow threatening people by flying toward them, maybe with some supernatural powers the ghost had. In any case, the hero (whoever it was – preacher, boy scout, pervert, doesn’t matter) placed a cough drop on the casket and thus managed to Stop The Coffin. (peals of laughter; wet pants; the whole bit)
I seem to recall similar things about butterflies.
I drew comic strips when I was little–like barely able to hold a pencil little. I only remember the punchline of one, a three-panel strip. In the first one, it’s two people, and one is saying “blah blah blah blah blah.” The second one is a close-up on the quiet friend saying, “You’re talking your head off!” The third one (you’ll never see this one coming, I’m sure) zooms back out to both friends, and the chatty one is standing there, head on the ground and looking indignantly up at his friend, saying, “I am not!” The other strips were probably equally brilliant.
I remember my first joke, more or less. It was a long complicated story about the members of a family being eaten by a lion named Herman. Then they were all back again. The punchline?
The second was one about someone calling, saying “I am the Viper, I will come on 7 days” and counting down to one minute. The punchline “I am the Viper, do you want your Vindows Vashed?”
I always had a weird sense of humor. I like the absurd. I was into wordplay from an early age. In Grade 6, it was a fad to write on everything, “N.F.A.” or “No Fleas Allowed.” Just because I thought it was funny, on all my stuff, I wrote “No Fleas Aloud. Just Quiet Ones.”
I remember reading joke books, and all the humorous anecdotes at the ends of Reader’s Digest articles, and later the joke page in the centerfold of Playboy. I remember the typewritten, mimeographed slips of paper my parents collected at work, of the most wretched, offensive, racist jokes. That’s how jokes got passed around before the internet. I liked the writing on the cartoons “Bullwinkle” and all the Hanna-Barbera ones. They weren’t just aimed at kids, and I “got” a lot of the humor early on.
I told some stories that I’d memorized, but I was more often making puns.
I had a drawer at work that contained my “Miscellaneous File” which was crammed full of those Xeroxed-to-death (almost black) pages with jokes and cartoons that got passed around pre-email. I had a circuit at work of maybe 20 people where it was tell one (or more) hear one (or more) and by the time I made it around the circuit I had the joke(s) down pat. It was way more fun than reading pages of jokes on the internet. So much depends on the video involved in telling a joke. Sad to lose those “good old days.”
Hmmm … there were thousands of innocent but stupid jokes when I was a little kid. If you want really funny, we have to move up to “adult” themes.
The first off-color joke an adult ever told me was about two drunks in a bar. First drunk says, “It’sh shpelled b-a-r-r-o-o-m-m-m!” Second drunk says, “Naw, it ain’t, it’sh shpelled b-a-a-r-r-r-o-o-a-mm-m-m!” They argued like this for several minutes, then a nearby patron who had been listening walked over. “Gentlemen,” he said, “I teach English, and I think if you look it up you’ll see it’s two words – b-a-r, r-o-o-m.” The drunks looked at him for a moment, then one said to the other, “Don’t lisshen to’im, he ain’t never heard an elephant fart!” My mom teld me that joke when I was ten; put me on the floor. I still chuckle at it.
My first joke had to do with the fact that my little sister called Sugar Pops “Sickie Pops.” What, I asked, does she eat when she’s not feeling well? I don’t remember telling the joke, but I have been told that I hesitated in the middle, looking for an alternate way to say, “is sick,” to avoid killing the joke with redundency.
My mother tells me that my favorite joke when I was two was a Groucho Marx thing. Nobody knows where I picked it up, but I was waaaay fond of telling it.
“I wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t have the patience.” (patients)
Two. I was obviously nuts…I’m pretty sure I haven’t grown out of it.
Who did the elephant call when he broke his toe? The Toe Truck
What did the dinosaur sit on? His tricera-bottom
These still slay my kindergartners today.
Just a curious musing, I wonder if there has ever been a study to look at a correlation of the types of jokes kids generally get a kick out of (using homophones and words with multiple meanings seems to be prevalent in this thread) and their development of language, both spoken and written.