Jokes- Elephant Jokes

Question: Why does an elephant paint his toenails all different colors?

Answer: So he can hide in the jelly bean jar!

Leslie learned this joke during her elementary and middle-school years in Staten Island, New York and Wayne, New Jersey. When she was growing up, the schools distributed a magazine called Scholastic Book Club and in it would be books to purchase for kids and young adults. She ordered the 101 Elephant Joke Book and it was her second favorite book as a child. This shows that the joke book had huge meaning to her, and she really enjoyed the jokes and thought they were clever. The above joke came from this book. Of course, it is funny because an elephant would never be able to fit in a jelly bean jar, and nobody would have an elephant as a pet either.

Although she is Polish heritage, she said that buying the book had nothing to do with her ethnicity or nationality; she just thought the jokes were clever and funny. Leslie would read the Elephant Joke Books for enjoyment and then use the jokes on family and friends. She said that during this time, in the late 60s/early 70s, everybody knew what an Elephant Joke was. She said that Elephant Jokes were a category of jokes. For example, there are ethnic jokes, religious jokes, and elephant jokes. If you told people the above joke, they would recognize it as an Elephant Joke. They might not know the joke, but they would recognize it as an Elephant Joke.

This is an interesting point, as today, very little people know what an Elephant Joke is. Leslie said that in both places where she grew up, in Staten Island and Wayne, they knew what an Elephant Joke was. However, my dad, who grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey, had never heard of an Elephant Joke before he met my mom. This could suggest some gender variation for Elephant Jokes. It is possible that Elephant Jokes were more popular with the girls than the guys, and since children (elementary and middle school age) tend to hang out with other children of the same gender.

A very analytical take on this joke could be that the elephant is trying to conform to society. He stands out and wants to be like everyone else, in this case the jelly beans, so he paints his toe-nails different colors in the hopes of fitting in. Unfortunately, this will not work. The message could be that it is okay to be different and that it is okay not to conform to society and the norms. This message could be aimed at children, as it is not a harsh message, but it is funny and maybe the childrenÂ’s subconscious will pick up the meaning of the joke.