June 18th, 2007
  • Q: What’s brown and sticky?
  • A: A stick.

While I think this is the Best Joke of all Time, and my fiancee
contends that is not even a joke (“because it is not funny”*), it
continues to strike me on a visceral/cognitive level. There’s the
schoolboy-glee of the imagined-yet-frustrated response, coupled
with the ontological insistence that an object has (must have?) itself
as a property.

And perhaps it is more of a suggestion. Could a stick not be sticky?
Could a chair lack chairness? My fiancee would readily agree that —
if this is a funny — it lacks funniness.

*does a joke need to be funny, any more than a piece of art be beautiful? Is funny an essential property of joke?


  1. comment by spastic freakshow on Tuesday, Jun 26th, 2007 5:07 am

    she’s right. that is not funny at all and yes a joke should be funny. how should i know? what am i, a comedian?

    however, your stick “joke” can still be art!

  2. comment by the Other michael on Friday, Jun 29th, 2007 7:50 pm

    funny or funny ha-ha?

  3. comment by Chloe on Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2007 12:02 pm

    Does a joke need to be funny?
    I think that depends. One of those “eye of the beholder” kind of things. What’s funny to one might not be to another. So any joke anyone can think of would probably be funny to somebody somewhere. There’s probably no such thing as a joke that’s not funny to anyone.

    Jeez, I can’t help thinking of that Monty Python sketch about the deadly joke. Man I loved that episode when I was a kid. I’ll have to watch that again.

    At any rate, I think the most important thing is that if you joke, and someone doesn’t find it amusing, you respect that. It’s not cool to force unwanted humour onto people, because it ceases to be jest, and becomes harassment. Sadly, I’ve come across some boorish people who’ve had the gall to behave in such an irritating manner at times.

  4. comment by Chloe on Tuesday, Jul 3rd, 2007 12:08 pm

    Oh, and I wasn’t talking about posting on a blog. You can post whatever you want on your blog and nobody’s obliged to read it, so that’s not forcing.
    I was talking about things like making unwanted sexual innuendo to your female co-workers, or cracks about your wife that she finds insulting. That sort of thing.

  5. comment by the Other michael on Wednesday, Aug 8th, 2007 10:52 am

    tragedy is funny

  6. comment by Sanjay on Wednesday, Apr 16th, 2008 4:32 am

    she’s right that is not funny at all and yes a joke should be funny.

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