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 funny anti-jokes. Are they funny? That's for you to decide. Vote up the examples that made you laugh the most (or the least?) After you are finished, head on over and vote on the best fat jokes.
1. What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?Photo: Andy Langager / FlickrThe Holocaust.Is this funny?
2. What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?Photo: 219Eastern / FlickrWhere's my tractor?Is this funny?
3. What did one Japanese man say to the other?Photo: Official Navy Page / FlickrI don't know. I can't speak Japanese.Is this funny?
4. Why didn't Johnny ride his bike to school?Photo: Matei Domnita / FlickrBoth of his legs were amputated. He can't ride a bike ever again.Is this funny?