USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘dad jokes’
Folk speech
Humor

Newton’s Law “Dad” Joke

KO: Ok uh, do you know what Newton’s Law is?

VG: Yes.

KO: Do you know what cole’s law is?

VG: No.

KO: You don’t know what thinly sliced cabbage is?

 

Background:

Location of riddle: N/A

Location of Performance – Classroom, Los Angeles, CA, late morning

 

Context: This performance was done in a group of 3-4 people after a class in response to a question about potential high school traditions, festivals, jokes, or riddles. KO was the first among the students to offer this joke as performance. KO and I are classmates.

 

Analysis: After my initial recording, KO classified the joke as a “dad joke,” which prompted many others. Therefore, it is apparent that this is a popular genre because everyone was commenting on the tradition of dad jokes and even had a collection of these themselves. I wish I would have questioned KO about how she discovered this joke and the genre of dad jokes as a whole because I am curious to see if these are actually jokes that are sourced from fathers or father figures. My assumption is that this genre rose out of children utilizing these jokes to critique their parental figures and practice rebellion in a relatively harmless way. 

 

Folk speech
Humor

Horse Walks Into A Bar “Dad” Joke

A: A horse walks into a bar and the bartender, and the bartender says: why the long face?

(group laughs and groans)

 

Background:

Location of joke: N/A

Location of Performance – Classroom, Los Angeles, CA, late morning

 

Context: This performance was done in a group of 3-4 people after a class in response to a question about potential high school traditions, festivals, jokes, or riddles. A was the last to perform his folklore and was particularly inspired after another student performed what was termed as a “dad joke.”

 

Analysis: Prior to A’s performance, another “dad” joke, as the group defined it, was presented. I had my own understanding of Dad jokes prior as just being truly ridiculous in the fact that the punchline was so on the nose…hence the groan. Therefore, my understanding of the effect of “dad” jokes was confirmed through these auditory cues and conversation. It is also interesting to note that dad jokes have no association with father’s at all; possibly this implies that you do not have to be a father in order to be embarrassing – a bad joke will do.

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