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What's the Difference Between a Dad Joke and a Funny Joke?

Apr 05, 2018 11:00AM
People say "Dad jokes" like it's a bad thing. Personally, I don't see any difference between "Dad jokes" and "funny jokes." (Maybe that's because I'm a dad.)

The other day I was in the kitchen by myself while The Wife was in the next room with our two babies. I found myself a banana and said, "Hello." From the other room, I could hear The Wife tell the babies, "Oh look, even when he's by himself he still does the 'Dad jokes.'" Without seeing me, she knew what I had done. I had taken the banana, held it between my ear and mouth, and said "Hello," as if it were a telephone.

She was right, of course. Even though there was no one else in the room, I had briefly pretended that my banana was a telephone. It's a "Dad joke" that often gets my kids to laugh and/or smile. In fact, at this point, if I didn't do it they would wonder what was wrong with me. If Dad has a banana, he's going to pretend it's a phone. For them, that's just life.

If you were to Google "Dad jokes," or look it up on those newfangled hashtags (#dadjokes) (yes, I said "newfangled." I am a dad, after all) you'll find a bunch of jokes, many of which are punny, and almost all of which are funny. (My favorite: "I have a fear of speed bumps. I'm slowly getting over it.") People seem to think that labeling these jokes as "Dad" jokes makes them less funny. I don't agree.

I have several "Dad jokes" that I use regularly besides the banana-phone. If I'm driving down the road and see a bale of hay, I'll shout, "Hey!" or maybe, "Hey there!" We live in farm country, so that's a lot of "hay/Hey!" And you know what, it's funny every single time! (It doesn't matter if I'm a dad or not.) Sometimes I'll even do a bad Jerry Seinfeld impersonation and say, "I'm thinkin', hey!" (My kids have no idea who Jerry Seinfeld is.) (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

One of the most commonly cited "Dad jokes" is this one: Kid: "I'm hungry." Dad: "Hi, hungry. I'm Dad."

I have a variation of that one that I use frequently. The conversation will go something like this: Kid: "I'm thirsty." Me: "You're Thursday? How can you be Thursday when it's only Tuesday?"

It's a great joke that works perfectly six days a week.

So, I don't care what other people think: "Dad jokes" are hilarious! Not mid-larious. Not low-larious. But high-larious! (And you won't convince me otherwise.)

For more funny-ish stuff, check out slowjoe40.com.