Knock, knock… who’s there?


Last week was National Tell a Joke Day. We may have missed our chance to officially tell a joke and make someone giggle, laugh, chortle, or guffaw, but then we can do that any day of the week.

Considering the state of our nation right now, this just may be the best time ever to lighten up and tell a joke. Unrest and uncertainty are all around us, as hatred seems to be more evident than ever in a way we haven’t experienced in our nation in several decades. A simple, silly joke could help us lighten up, if only for a moment. Jokes can make the world–or your world–a happier place, if only for the time it takes to tell and hear a good joke.

I think that telling a joke I really appreciate makes me as happy as whoever is listening to it. And whether they truly appreciate it or not, often I can’t help prefacing a favorite with, “Oh, this is so good. You’re going to love it.” Of course, just because I like a certain joke doesn’t mean everyone appreciates it like I do.

A joke can be in the form of a story or a one-liner or question like a riddle. Knock-knock jokes have been around probably since humans could talk. Often knock-knock jokes are groaners, it seems to me, because they are a play on words, as in:


Who’s there?


Dwain who?

Dwain the bathtub, I’m dwowning.

What makes a knock-knock joke funniest is when a child tells it and can’t quite get it right or doesn’t understand why it’s supposed to be funny.

Then there is physical humor in the form of a prank or a practical joke. Too often that comes at someone’s expense, and I don’t care for that. Never have. So many of the cartoons when I was growing up involved the character getting run over or falling off a cliff or falling out of a tree on their head, or something equally as disturbing. Mostly I ended up feeling sorry feeling sorry for the character instead of laughing at him. So I didn’t think it was funny.

So much of what’s called humor in our culture now isn’t really funny, at least in my opinion. Too often what’s in a comedian’s routine is either off-color or suggestive, and that’s supposed to pass for humor. I miss comics like Carol Burnett and I Love Lucy and Tim Conway.

So go out and make someone laugh or smile today. You’ll brighten your world just a little, too.