Monday, July 09, 2007

The Ages of Humor


Lucia has discovered the knock-knock joke. While she has the basic form down, the majority of her punchlines end in, "Zup! Zup! Zup!" Many times we laugh out loud. Her glee is contagious. As the arrival of the joke-book is imminent, I've started thinking about the different ages and stages of humor. This is what I came up with:

Ages 0-12 months:
Peek a- boo.

Ages 12-24 months:
Catch me if you can.

Age 3:
Everyone poops!

Age 4:
Knock-knock
Who’s there?
Ice-cream.
Ice-cream who?
Splat!
(The most amusing part of this original joke is watching how much the 4 year old finds the exchange hilarious).

Age 5:
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
Banana...

Age 6:
Shake my hand (buzzer in hand sounds off).

Age 7:
How do you get 5 elephants to fit into a WV Beetle?
Two in the front, three in the back.

Age 8:
Why did the skeleton refuse to cross the road?
He didn’t have the guts.

Age 9:
Once upon a time there was a cornflake named Cecil.
[Teller recounts the long, arduous history of Cecil the cornflake. When the listener finally asks, “When is this going to end?” the teller replies, “It doesn’t end. It’s a serial.”]

Age 10:
What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?
Hot cross bunnies.

Age 11:
If frozen water is iced-water, then what is frozen ink?

Age 12:
Once upon a time there was a man who worked in a pickle factory. One day, he made an appointment with a psychiatrist. He said, “Doctor, doctor, there’s something wrong with me. I have this terrible urge…"

Age 13-19:
Jokes are much, much more off-color than the pickle-slicer scenario.

Age 20:
What do you call a good-looking guy/girl in church?
An out-of-town visitor.

Age 21 and onward:
A Protestant man moved into a Catholic neighborhood. Every Friday, the Protestant man would cook steak on the grill, and the scent would drive the Catholic men crazy with longing for red meat. Finally, the Catholic men got together and said, “We’ve got to do something to stop this. We’ve got to convert the Protestant to Catholicism.” They cornered the Protestant guy. After much convincing, Protestant finally agreed to convert.

That Sunday, the priest baptized the Protestant man and said, “You were born Protestant, you were raised Protestant, and now I baptize you -- Catholic!”

The Catholic men were so relieved. No more would they be tormented by the scent of steak on Fridays. Imagine their surprise when, the following Friday, their formerly Protestant neighbor was cooking steak on the grill yet again! Incredulous, the men peered over the fence. There was the former Protestant sprinkling water on the steak, and saying, “You were born a cow, you were raised a cow, and now I baptize you— fish!”

7 comments:

Lady K said...

LOL! You are dead-ON with that timeline...

Phil said...

I've never heard that Protestant/Catholic joke before, it's cute.

I know the dirty jokes start as early as 12, but I submit that "Weird Al" Yankovic is also a substantial part of the 12-13 humor stage.

Nonny said...

I'm thinking the jokes get dirty more around 11 than later. I could be wrong. God, I hope I'm wrong, my son is only two years away from 11.

The knock-knock joke is pretty hilarious when they find it so hilarious. But kids sure know how to bury something into the ground.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Nonny: I remember hearing dirty jokes as early as 9 years old, but then I was going to school with some real hard-boiled kids!

Phil: You are absolutely right.

Lady K: Of course, I had to omit quite a few entries.;)

Jules said...

O my, thank you. Best post of the year thus far at any blog ever, I think.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Thank you, Jules.

When I was in the single-digits, I wanted to be a comedian for my life-profession. Later, I thought that maybe I would be an actress simply so that I could pretend and "play" all day long. I wish I could tiptoe back in time and tell my younger self, "Psssssst. Storytelling. Do that. And while you're at it, DO pick up the guitar and insist upon getting lessons."

I love listening to children tell jokes. I have to keep myself from laughing as they crack up over the word "poop."

Lone Star Ma said...

YOU...you told our mutual childhood friend that Cecil joke!!!! I love it, though. This is a great post! I think I remember dirty jokes starting much, much earlier for me, although I haven't caught the Girl Scouts at it so maybe it's cyclical.

The LSB seems to have skipped poop humor. She finds poop interesting and likes to talk about but not for laughs. She does love knock-knock jokes, though except for her main one, they all end with something-knocking-on-the-door! Doesn't quite get it yet...