Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dad Jokes = Funny Jokes

People say "Dad jokes" like it's a bad thing. Personally, I don't see any difference between "Dad jokes" and "funny jokes." (But, that might be because I am a dad.)

The other day I was in the kitchen by myself, getting something to eat, while The Wife was in the next room with our two babies. I found myself a banana and started singing a little song called "Hello." From the other room I could hear The Wife tell the babies, "Oh look, even when he's by himself he still does the 'Dad jokes.'" Without seeing me, she knew what I had done. I had taken the banana, held it between my ear and mouth, and said "Hello," as if it were a telephone.

She was right, of course. Even though there was no one else in the room, I had briefly pretended that my banana was a telephone. It's a "Dad joke" that often gets my kids to laugh and/or smile. In fact, at this point if I didn't do it they would wonder what was wrong with me. If Dad has a banana, he's going to pretend it is a phone. For them, that's just life.

And for me, it's just funny, whether I'm a Dad or not. In fact, I've seen well-respected professional comedian Amy Poehler do the exact same banana-phone joke on Saturday Night Live, so it must be funny! Right? Why classify it as a "Dad joke" when it's just a funny joke?


If you were to Google "Dad jokes," or look it up on those newfangled hashtags (#dadjokes) (yes, I said "newfangled." I am a dad, after all) you'll find a bunch of jokes, many of which are punny, and almost all of which are funny. (My favorite: "I have a fear of speed bumps. I'm slowly getting over it.") People seem to think that labeling these jokes as "Dad" jokes makes them less funny. I don't get it.

I have several "Dad jokes" that I use regularly besides the banana-phone. If I'm driving down the road and see a bale of hay, whether it be in a field, on a load being hauled, or in a haystack, I'll shout, "Hey!" or maybe, "Hey there!" We live in farm country, so that's a lot of hay/Hey! And you know what, it's funny every single time! (It doesn't matter if I'm a dad or not.) Sometimes I'll even do a bad Jerry Seinfeld impersonation and say, "I'm thinkin', hey!" (My kids have no idea who Jerry Seinfeld is.) (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

"Hey there!" (Or maybe "Hay there!")

Whenever I see a toy or article of clothing featuring the character Winnie the Pooh, I'll say something like, "Ewww, there's poo on the floor," or "Ewww, there's poo on your shirt." Is this a "Dad joke?" Sure. But once, several years ago, it led to my oldest daughter making the funniest Winnie the Pooh joke ever told by a two year-old. (I was so proud!)

"Look out! There's Pooh on the couch!"

One of the most commonly cited "Dad jokes" is this one:
Kid: "I'm hungry."
Dad: "Hi, hungry. I'm Dad."

I have a variation of that one that I use frequently. The conversation will go something like this:
Kid: "I'm thirsty."
Me: "You're Thursday? How can you be Thursday when it's only Tuesday?"

It's a great joke that works perfectly six days a week. (It doesn't work so well if they say "I'm thirsty" on a Thursday.)

Oh, and there are a lot more "Dad jokes" where those came from. I push the end of my nose with my finger every time the microwave beeps, and my toddler thinks it is hysterical. Whenever I'm on an elevator with my kids I pretend that the elevator is going to crash, and they laugh every time.

So, I don't care what other people think: "Dad jokes" are hilarious! Not mid-larious. Not low-larious. But high-larious! (And you'll never convince me otherwise.)

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