Archive for the ‘Jokes’ Category

Husbands and wives

September 22, 2017

Three veins of spousal humor, starting in the early 19th century and ending in an edgily close-to-life comic stereotype realized in cartoons, tv shows, and movies.

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Revisiting 7: NL:W

September 17, 2017

Yesterday, a posting on the story of a joke (Not Lady: Wife, NL:W for short) whose canonical form is

A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
B: That was no lady; that was my wife.

The vector for the spread of the joke seems to have been the vaudeville team Weber & Fields, who allegedly used it in their stage routines over a century ago. But I found no first-hand reports, so I appealed to the hounds of ADS-L for attestations. This netted a clear occurrence from 1859, but embedded in a long and complex back story (though again with the stage German accent of W&F). And an earlier British antecedent.

Then Larry Horn chimed in with some astute observations on the semantics and pragmatics of NL:W.

All will be reproduced here.

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The NL:W punchline

September 16, 2017

The lead-in tag to my recent posting on marmots:

That’s no beaver, that’s my marmot!

A take-off on a punchline to a vaudeville joke from long ago, a line that’s been played with many thousands of times in the last century. The No Lady: Wife (NL:W) formula, in two common instantiations in a two-man exchange:

1 A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
B: She was no lady. She was my wife.

2 A: Who was that lady I saw you with last night?
B: That was no lady; that was my wife.

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Reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories

August 13, 2017

Two days ago, I set a competition for readers:

Compose a follow-up to the following lead-in to a joke:

Tom, Taylor, and Jonathan Swift walk into a bar…

Three matters, having to do with reduced coordination, joke forms, and sociocultural categories.

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Construct-a-joke

August 11, 2017

It’s been another distressing news week. Folded in there was a story about Taylor Swift on the witness stand. So a diversion, an amusing competition:

Compose a follow-up to the following lead-in to a joke:

Tom, Taylor, and Jonathan Swift walk into a bar…

Post entries as comments on this posting on my blog (http://arnoldzwicky.org).

 

Amoeba humor

July 17, 2017

A classic Gary Larson cartoon, which came up on Pinterest this morning:

(#1)

Pun time at the protist corral, playing on Anglicized Spanish adios, amigos ‘goodbye, friends’ (perhaps better in AmE: ‘so long, buddies’).

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An old resultative joke

June 8, 2017

From Wilson Gray on ADS-L on the 6th, in a discussion of a joke that turns on a structural ambiguity, a totally different joke of this sort:

A drunk is staggering along the sidewalk muttering to himself, “It can’t be done! I couldn’t do it!” A passer-by comments, “Damn, man, you all fucked up!, It must have been something terrible! What couldn’t you do?!” The drunk answers, “Drink Canada dry!”

The joke doesn’t quite work in print like this, unless you use all-caps, the way artist Richard Prince did in this “joke painting”:

(#1)

Untitled (Drink Canada Dry), acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 1998

The joke of course also works fine in speech. (Early occurrences in print have only either Canada Dry or Canada dry, with text that points the reader towards the other.)

Two things: the joke and its history

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Quick, Bruce, the blat!

April 4, 2017

(Not for kids or the sexually modest, unless they/you have a high tolerance for weirdness and obscene allusion. No naughty bits will be on view, no acts of penetration will be detailed in print, it will all be in your mind’s eye. But that might be quite enough.)

Today’s morning name: the verb blat, which led me through a thicket of associations (largely phonological) having to do with beer, bars, baseball bats (real ones, of ash wood, and metaphorical ones, of manmeat), the Platte River in Nebraska, and then (by thematic association) to chiropterans, Die Fledermaus, Bruce Wayne and his boy wonder, vampires, and a lot of mansex — oh, those damn superheroes and bloodsuckers, it comes with the capes, they’re always sliding into Fagotopia, the fuckin’ flits. Along the way there will be two episodes of deranged free verse, none of it in the least bit wholesome, and some disastrous spraying by the Demon Dr. of Whoville.

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Friday cartoon 1: the husky pup meme

March 10, 2017

First encountered on Pinterest this morning, what is apparently a new rage in texties: jokes told by a cute husky pup (rather than, say, a llama, a penguin, an eel, or Ryan Gosling), for example this one:

(#1)

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and the art horse you rode in on

December 23, 2016

… cursed Zippy, Swiftly. Yesterday’s Zippy strip:

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The text commits three art-themed Tom Swifties in succession: the horse drawings are, in turn, clunky, awkward, and cubistic.

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