Quick! Make up a joke!

My friends and I used to play a game where we'd interrupt a conversation or kill dead air by yelling "Quick! Make up a joke!" while pointing at someone. They would immediately have to say a joke without hesitation. The only guideline was that the joke had to be truly novel, not some preexsitent hilarity dwelling deep in the wastelands of her/his mind (or lack thereof). It was really a brilliant game that stretched our improv and comedic abilities. To make a long story short, most of the jokes sucked.


pH said...

Did you ever read the short story "Jokester" by Isaac Asimov? The basic premise is, one of the world's top scientists is trying to find out the origin of humor. He studies thousands of jokes and realizes that nobody knows who made them up. All the good jokes come from other people who got them from yet other people in a chain stretching farther back than anyone can remember. No one could admit to making a joke up themselves, or if they did, as I'm sure you discovered from your little game, the joke sucked. The only jokes people can come up with on their own are puns, which aren't funny. So where did the jokes come from? I don't want to give away the ending, so you're just going to have to ponder that yourself.

Franco-Walpolian said...

Yeh make a joke, just like that guy with the trees. But you won't be joking when AFMike orchestrates a hostile corporate takeover of yuor tree company. You just wait and see!