Background: The informant is a 22 year old college student. They have a silly personality and love to tell jokes, and this is one that they have been telling their entire life.
Informant: Let me tell you a joke. What comes at the end of a rainbow? What you ask? A “W”. Ahahahaha.
Me: Where did you hear this joke first? Who told you it?
Informant: It is from, um, the internet. I looked up: “great jokes” and I found this one and nobody laughed at this joke so it’s been my life mission to make someone chuckle.
Me: Who do you usually tell this joke to?
Informant: I tell this joke to all audiences because it’s very friendly. You can tell it to 5-year-olds, you can tell it to 85-year-olds. So I tell it to my grandpa, I tell it to my best friend, my grandma who has passed, unfortunately. So, I tell everyone these jokes because no one laughs and it puts a smile on their face because it makes them feel awkward.
Reflection: Beyond hearing the joke itself, I think this interaction with the informant shows how jokes are used by people to determine who is in their ingroup. The informant said that when they tell this joke they are trying to make others laugh, and that most don’t find it funny. However, if someone does find this joke funny then the informant feels they can be close to that person.