Joke Day is July 1

Susan EspirituOn the Flipside

July 1 is International Joke Day. Yes, that is true and I have one to share, but first why do we have an International Joke Day and when did jokes actually get recorded?

July 1 was created in 1994 as International Joke Day by author and comedian Wayne Reinagel as a way to promote his own joke books.

However, the oldest identified joke is an ancient Sumerian proverb featuring toilet humor dating back to 1900 B.C.

Another of the earliest jokes was found on the Westcar Papyrus dating to 1600 B.C.

Shakespeare is credited with introducing the “Knock-Knock” joke in 1603 in his play Macbeth. Shake off your dusty high school memory to when Macbeth has just murdered Duncan, the king. In the next scene, the porter, whose job it is to keep the castle gates, mumbles to himself, “Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of Hell Gate, he should have old turning the key.” As the knocking gets louder and more persistent, the porter says, “Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, in the name of Belzebub?”

And then there is the classic, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke. Maybe to see another chicken! This one was first published in the 1847 monthly New York magazine, The Knickerbocker.

Here’s mine for you!

An elderly woman and a friend were sitting on the porch having a cup of tea and talking. The elderly woman said she was having a bit of trouble with her jigsaw puzzle so she asked her friend to help her, saying, “I see the rooster on the box but I just can’t get all the pieces to go together. Can you come in and just help me get started.” So, the two friends went inside and the friend said, “I see. Why don’t we just have another cup of tea and put the cornflakes back in the box.”

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