USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘no soap radio’
Humor

No Soap, Radio

The Joke:

“There were two elephants in a bathtub. One elephant said to the other, ‘Pass the soap.’ And the other elephant said, ‘No soap, radio!’”

The informant, a sophomore in high school and my sister, told me this joke. She says that she got it from watching a video on YouTube of user SuperMac18 when she was in seventh grade, in 2010. She says that she and a friend of hers went around telling this joke to their entire grade. The joke is that it doesn’t make any sense. The teller of the joke is supposed to tell it, then laugh and act like the person they tell it to is missing something. Some people pretend that they get it and laugh, as many of the informant’s young classmates did. When the informant told this to my mom and I, both of us were very confused while the informant chuckled to herself as if amused that we didn’t understand; she finally caved and told us the punch line—that there was none. Therefore, it is not merely a joke, but a practical joke. The telling of the joke is in essence a prank on the audience, until they are also brought in on the joke. Since my sister got this from a young YouTuber (at the time SuperMac18 was 15-year-old boy) and was in middle school, I believe that the purpose of telling this joke comes from an immature joy in others’ confusion. Young middle-schoolers tend to enjoy feeling superior to others, using some type of knowledge in order to do so.

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