Age: 20 years old
Residence: Cambridge, MA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 20, 2019
Primary Language: English
Context: The informant told me this joke at a party where they were trying to tell some of their best jokes.
“Why did the old man fall into a well? Because he couldn’t see that well.”
Background: The informant is a 20 year old college student at Harvard. He really enjoys telling jokes and found this piece on Reddit. They enjoy finding jokes on Reddit to use in everyday life or tell to friends. They like this joke because it is short and witty, and consider it one of their best jokes.
This piece is is a joke that touches on themes of old age and double entendre. The humor is created by unexpected switch in the punch line of the meaning of “well” from the water hole definition to the usage as a synonymous to good. The other humorous quality is poking fun at the nature of old age and how older people have weaker eyesight. This joke reflects how American culture has a pattern of joking about the elderly and this is part of American ideology that champions youth. There is also a trend in jokes where people find falling funny and this plays into that