Anti-jokes (classified under the heading "Anti-Humor") are forms of ironic or indirect humor that are intentionally designed to not fulfill traditional expectations for "comedy." Instead, anti-jokes are often funny to the listener because of their purposeful ambiguity, lack of sense or because they upset and distort conventions of joke-telling.
Often, anti-jokes function by presenting an audience with a traditional humorous set-up for a joke, only to have the punchline differ in format, purpose or intention. For example, everyone is familiar with the format of a "Knock Knock Joke." The joke-teller begins "knock, knock," the person hearing the joke replies "who's there," and then the joke-teller proceeds to set up a pun or humorous turnaround. However, in an anti-joke version, the "knock knock" scenario is commonly played straight, subverting the attempt at humor.
- Knock Knock - Who's there? - Tom. Can you let me in?
In this example, the joke-teller is supposed to proceed into telling a joke, but instead presents a traditional comment someone might make if they were knocking on a door. The more common the set-up for a joke ("Three men walk into a bar..."), the more likely it is to be used ironically as a set-up for an anti-joke. ("Ouch.") In this way, anti-jokes can be seen as deconstructions of the practice of joke-telling, pointing out the way jokes work rather than using the traditional format to get laughs.
What are the funniest anti jokes? What follows are classic examples of anti-jokes. Are they funny? That's for you to decide. Vote up the examples that made you laugh the most (or the least?)