Tag Archives: long joke

A Frog, A Bankteller, and A Loan — Long Joke

Context :

W is my 17 year-old brother. He was born and raised in Utah, like me. Since I was the oldest, W always tried to find ways to one-up me. He still does so. This is a long joke my grandfather told him the other day so he shared it with me.

Text :

“A frog wants to get a loan so he can buy a house. One day, he goes into the bank and approaches the bank teller. She has a name tag that says: Patricia Whack. The frog asks Ms. Whack for a loan, but she refuses him. The frog assures Ms. Whack that he knows the owner of the bank because his father is Mick Jagger, so he will allow the loan. He gives the bank teller a button as collateral. Patricia goes into the bank owner’s office and explains how a frog claiming to be Mick Jagger’s son is asking for a loan. The bank manager asks if he left anything for collateral, and Patricia holds up the button, but she doesn’t know what it is. The bank manager laughs and says, ‘It’s a a knick-knack, Patti Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a rolling stone.'”

Analysis :

Long jokes take long set-ups, and most of the time, they don’t pay off. For this long joke, it takes a whole extra level of knowledge to understand it. My grandfather enjoys telling long jokes because he gets pleasure out of hitting the punchline right on the nose, so it’s no surprise he told this one to my brother. The end of the joke parodies the “This Old Man” song as well as popular culture. If you weren’t familiar with the song or its lyrics, chances are, you wouldn’t understand the joke. Only a small audience will find the joke amusing. Since I grew up hearing that song, I recognized the ending immediately and it made me laugh. If I showed this to a friend who grew up in a different country where the song wasn’t played and Mick Jagger wasn’t a figure in popular culture, the joke would not have been funny to them. It goes to show how jokes work with certain cultures versus others by bringing in aspects that are unique to that said culture.

“A Plane has 500 Bricks. 1 Falls Out. How Many Are Left?” — Long Joke

Context :

W is my 17 year-old brother. He was born and raised in Utah, like me. Since I was the oldest, W always tried to find ways to one-up me. He still does so, and when I called him the other day, he told me he wanted to share a new joke he heard from a friend (so of course I asked if I could transcribe our call).

Text :

W : “Okay, so there’s a plane and it’s carrying 500 bricks. 1 of the bricks falls out of the plane. How many bricks are left?”

Me : “499?”

W : “Correct.”

Me : “That wasn’t a joke.”

W : “Just listen. Okay. You have a fridge and you need to put an elephant inside. What three steps do you take to put it in the fridge?”

Me : “Um. Open the fridge. Put the elephant inside. Shut the door?”

W : “Correct again. Now what four steps do you take to put a giraffe in the fridge?”

Me : “Open the fridge. Put the body of the giraffe in, then his neck. Shut the fridge door?”

W : “You forgot to take out the elephant.”

Me : “Oh my God.”

W : “So now, the lion king is having a birthday party and all the animals in the jungle are invited. Who didn’t show up?”

Me : “I don’t know.”

W : “The giraffe. Because it was in the fridge.”

Me : “Wow.”

W : “Sally is adventuring through the jungle. She comes across a crocodile infested lake. She gets across without getting eaten by crocodiles. How did she do it?”

Me : “She walked around the lake.”

W : “No. She just walked right through the lake because the crocodiles were all at the lion king’s party.”

Me : “I am so confused.”

W : “Last question. Once Sally gets across the lake, something falls from the sky and hits her on the head, and she dies. What hit her on the head?”


W : “A brick.”

Me : “From the plane……?”

W : “Yes!”

Analysis :

This is a great example of a narrative joke, in my opinion. The way that its told is intended to throw the listener off so they don’t see what’s coming next while simultaneously using specific jokes to make the listener assume they know the answers. The long joke is circular, ending right where it began with the brick falling out of the plane. Jokes are used to make the listener laugh. Some jokes, however, are used to make people think and then laugh at the fact that the joke went right over their head. With the long joke my brother told me, he worded it in a way that would make me feel confused the entire time while also feeling like I outsmarted him, just for him to completely make me feel stupid at the end. He once again succeeded at one-uping me.

The Joke: Boston Crow Story

Informant: have you heard of Boston Crows?” ‘No?’ Okay so, in Boston New York, there has been a recent discovery of these special crows that are smarter than your average crow. They have these white speckles, making them very distinct. They’ve been recorded learning how to talk, do routines, and a lot of other things. People started considering them the local pets, almost, but people then started to find a lot of the same crows dead. The outcry got researchers to look into this, led by avian expert Dr. Roseburg. Rosenburg theorized there were many possible factors: different life spans, specific diseases, or predators. So the team observed the crows, trying to find the cause. They found a very interesting behavioral pattern. These crows mated for life early on and would spend a lot if not all their time with those partners while foraging. The most frequently visited places for these crows were the sides of not very busy roads, where people threw out trash of their windows while driving by. This is when scientists discovered something, a majority of these birds were dying due to being hit by vehicles. But these crows were not stupid, they had a very good system of communicating with one another. One bird would sift through the trash while the other sat on a nearby sign post or something and be look out. When a vehicle came along the look out would alert the one down in the gutter so it could fly out in time. But some birds still got hit, for you see, while it’s very easy for a crow to say ‘cahr’… it is very difficult for them to say ‘truck’.

Background: My informant states that they learned this joke from Reddit but they don’t remember the original name of the person who posted it. They first told the joke close to how it was originally written but quickly developed a game out of it where they’d try to spin the story for as long as they could. Their record was 30 minutes

Context: I asked my informant about the joke specifically because they took pride in making the story longer every time they told it. Over Discord I told them to make the story as long as they wanted, they sent me this version a day later.

Thoughts: This is a wonderful example of a shaggy dog story, and allows a lot of creativity on the half of the teller. As long as the punch line isn’t altered you can make it as local or as distant as you want. It was also a great joke to hear someone tell if you already know the punchline, for then you can simply watch the reactions of others who haven’t heard the joke before. I believe I found the original post my informant was referring to on reddit, please see:
docpepson. ‘The Crow Mystery‘. r/Jokes. Jan 25, 2008. www.reddit.com/r/Jokes/comments/1l888r/the_crow_mystery/. Accessed March 22, 2020.

Professor of Logic Joke

The following is a narrative joke told to me by a friend, informally called ‘The Professor of Logic.’ On asking me if I had heard it, which I hadn’t, he insisted on telling it.


He proceeded to tell it as such:


“This guy Chuck goes over to his neighbor, who’s just moved in. He tells him the usual,

“Hi, just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood, what’s your name?”

 The guy’s like “Hi, I’m Jerry.”


Eventually they get to what they do. Chuck goes “I’m a plumber.”

The other guy says he’s a professor of logic at a university.


Chuck asks him,

“What do you teach?”

“I’m a professor of logic.”

“What do you mean by that?”


And the professor says,

“Let me give you an example. Do you have a doghouse?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Well, then I’d assume you have a dog.”



“Well, you know, when dogs have dog houses, and they live in them, that means you have a few kids, and it’s theirs and they take care of it.”

“I do have kids. Two of ‘em actually.”


“Alright, you got kids. That usually means you’re married. To a woman, in most cases.”

“Yeah, I’m married to a woman.

“Well, then you’re a heterosexual male.”

“I am, that’s right.”


“Now you see. Just by asking you if you have a doghouse, I was able to determine you’re a heterosexual male.”

Chuck just goes, “Wow! That’s unbelievable.” And he leaves, impressed.


The next day, our guy Chuck, the main one, not the professor, he’s hustling to get to the bus stop.

So, he gets there. Sees this guy next to him, he asks him if the bus has already come.


“No, it hasn’t.”

Chuck says oh, guess we’ll just have to wait a few minutes, then.

And, uh, the other guy lights up a cigarette and jokingly says “As soon as I light this cigarette, I bet the bus is gonna show up.”

Sure enough, he lights it, and the bus comes around the corner.


Chuck, amazed again, asks him if he’s a professor of logic. The guy with the cigarette doesn’t know what that means, he asks Chuck to explain.


Chuck doesn’t quite know how, and he says,

“Here, let me give you an example.”

“Sure, what”

“You have a doghouse?”


“Oh, you must be one of them gays!”


This joke is interesting in its mix of initially intriguing intelligence (regarding the professor of logic’s deductive reasoning) that is later subverted by the stupidity of a person who has completely misinterpreted the meaning of what he’s learned, made only clear with the last line. Given its relative lengthiness in needing to be told over the course of one or two full minutes, the building leading into the final punchline is provided a greater level of anticipation given the relative lack of humorous bits leading up to it. This serves to create a complex, but highly example of a classic punchline-based joke where the sum of the humor is comprised of an ending that only works as a result of the lines that come before it.

The Monk Joke

Transcribed Text:

“So there was a little boy who lived with his mom. The mom loved the little kid, they got along pretty well and uh…for the kid’s fifth birthday, she got him a brand new shiny red tricycle. He loved it, it was the best gift he had ever gotten. And um..she told him, ‘now you can ride that tricycle in the yard, and in the driveway, but don’t go out on the sidewalk with that, I want you staying in the house!’ (he gestures his hand at an imaginary child, mimicking the mother’s actions). And the kid goes ‘ok..’ and he spends the day riding it around all around the yard, and all around the yard, but he just really wants to go out onto the sidewalk. And he does. He goes out into the sidewalk and gets run over by a Great Dane and breaks his leg. And..so, they take him to the hospital and he gets a cast on the leg and he’s like ‘aww..’ and the mother says ‘I told you, don’t go out on the sidewalk.’ And as they come back from the hospital, they pass by a monastery. uh..like for monks. And they, they’re walking past the monastery, or hobbling in his case, and they uh, the monk outside says ‘please, stay with us tonight, and you will be completely healed.’ And they feel something is right about this, and they do stay. And the monk says, you can stay, you’ll be healed, but you can’t ask me about the noise you will hear in the middle of the night. ‘ok…’ and so they stay, and hear a strange noise in the middle of the noise. But when they wake up, he is completely healed. So they’re like ‘ok, fine by me! Completely healed!’ Years go by, he’s forgotten this by now and he turns ten. And his mom gets him a brand new shiny red bicycle. It’s awesome, best bike, like a shwinn cruiser, delightful bike. She says ‘you can ride it all around the house, all around the yard,all around the driveway and up and down the sidewalk as much as you want, but just don’t cross the street and don’t go into the street.’ And he’s like ‘ok’ and he spends the day riding all around the block and all up and down his driveway, but he just wants to go out into the street. So he goes out into the street and gets hit by a door of a smart car as it opens and breaks his leg. And so, they take him to the hospital and the mom goes ‘come on, I told you! Don’t do that!’ and he’s like ‘I knooow.’ And as they’re coming back from the hospital, they pass by the monastery again and the monk says the same thing. ‘If you stay here tonight, you will be completely healed, just do not ask about the noise.’ And they do, and he’s completely healed. But that noise, they just have to know. It’s a noise, a noise unlike anything you’ve ever heard..It’s-it’s indescribable what this noise is. But again, they pay it no mind,  because he was completely healed. Now, years and years and years go by from that, and it’s, it’s the kids twentieth birthday. He’s away from home now, but his mom gets him a brand new shiny red corvet. Now this is a big deal, this is a very big deal. She says ‘ you know what, you can go wherever you want with this. But just please, don’t race it.’ And, and he spends the whole next week now, he has a little bit more ability to hold back. He spends the whole next week driving around, he takes it out on the streets, he takes it out on the freeway, but he gets a chance to race it. A guy revs his engine next to him at a red light and he races it, and he gets in a crash. And somehow miraculously, just breaks his leg. He goes to the hospital, this time by himself. On his way back, he remembers the monk from that time, ten years ago, and he shows up and the monk is there, ten years older! He says ‘ you can stay here, you just can’t ask about the noise.’ And he does, he stays there, he’s completely healed, but he just has to know about the noise. And he goes up to the monk and he’s like ‘what is that noise?’ And the monk says ‘I’m sorry, I cannot tell you. That is a secret reserved only for monks, and you are not a monk, so you cannot know.’ And the kid is like ‘rghhhhh, I really need to know.’ He goes like a month, but it’s eating him up inside. He needs to know what this noise is. He’s been healed by it, three times, by this power, in-in this monastery. He just needs to know. So, he goes off to Tibet and goes through a year and a half of training and becomes a monk. Certified, with the robes, and everything. Now, he comes back to that monastery in his hometown and he says ‘sir I am now a monk, you have got to show me what that noise is.’ And the monk gestures, towards a green door. And the boy, now a man, approaches the door, it’s locked. So he goes back to the monk and says ‘the door is locked’ and the monk hands him a green key. So he goes up, takes the green key to the green door, unlocks it up, and there’s a tall green staircase heading up further into the monastery. So he opens the green door, goes up the green stairs, and at the top, there’s a black door. And it’s locked (said in a soft, wondering voice). So he goes down the green stairs, through the green door and to the monk and says the ‘black door, it’s locked!’ and the monk hands him a black key. So he goes through the green door, up the green stairs to the black door, unlocks it, opens it up, there’s a loooong black hallway, extremely long with LITTLE point of orange light at the end. He walks down the black hallway, he thinks he’s walking five minutes probably. Gets to the end and sees an orange door with a slight glow. And it’s locked. So he turns around, he goes all the way down the black hallway, through the black door, down the green stairs, through the green door and to the monk and says ‘the orange door, it’s-it’s locked.’ And he hands him an orange key, glowing with that same ethereal light (every time the man runs back to get a key, informant does gestures of running and opening doors and going down stairs). And he turns back around, he goes through the green door, up the green stairs, through the black door, DOWN the black hallway and opens (says the word very softly) the orange door and the room behind it is vast and glowing with orange lava POWER. And he walks to the other side, and there’s a trap door in the floor. And this trap door, it’s…the most beautiful sapphire blue. It’s crystalline and delightful…and it’s locked. So he goes back across the orange cavern, through the orange door, down the black hallway, through the black door, down the green stairs, through the green door to the monk and says ‘PLEASE. So many hallways! Give me the key to the sapphire trap door.’ And he hands him the key, and this key feels special. It is also made of sapphire. So he goes through the green door, up the green stairs, through the black door, down the black hallway, through the orange door, across the orange cavern (increases speed of recital as each door is crossed) and unlocks the sapphire trap door. Creeeeeeaks (makes a creaking noise) open, there’s a ladder leading down. And he crawls down the ladder and in this room, there’s this sort of atrium, with light filtering in from the windows. It feels VERY magical. And in the center of that room is a huuuuge trunk, about this big (gestures arms about 5-6 feet apart). It is wooden and old and it looks like it is carved by the ancient monks. The monks that even the current monks don’t remember. And he goes down and he inspects it, and uh, there’s no lock. So, he takes it, eeeeeeergh (creaking noise), opens it, and inside that trunk, is a crate. It’s about the size of the coffee table (about 4 feet in length, 3 feet in height) and that- that crate, he pries open the lid and inside that crate is a briefcase. Now this is like a modern briefcase, he’s a little weirded out at this point, but he can tell. From this briefcase, emanating the sound which he heard so many years ago. And he opens the briefcase and within the briefcase is a cigar box. And the noise is getting louder now and he opens the cigar box and within the cigar box is a match box, and the noise is as loud as it could possibly be. And he opens the match box and do you know what he found?


I can’t tell you, you’re not a monk.”

The informant is a student at the University of Southern California. He says he first heard this joke when he was in elementary school from a friend. Once he heard the joke, he loved it so much that he started telling it himself with added emphasis and actions. He says that his friend told him that the informant performed it better than he could, and passed on the performance to the informant. The informant is therefore now the active bearer of this joke and performance. It is a joke that is frustratingly long, almost a narrative. It causes the audience to constantly keep listening, waiting for the punch line to appear so the joke can end and they can laugh. However, the joke drags out for a very long time, causing the audience to become more frustrated the longer that they cannot know the end of the joke. Therefore, as the joke does not resolve in any real way in the end, it is intended to leave the audience frustrated. The informant says that he performs the story with additional stages during the life (such as a bicycle and a car in high school, before the part where he turns 20) and with additional doors and keys depending on how long and frustrating he wants to make the joke. He says however, that he always has to have 3 stages of life minimum and 4 doors minimum when he tells it, or else the story cannot be told properly. He also says that every time he tells it, there are some fixed phrases that he uses and repeats throughout the story. This makes use of the oral formulaic theory, where he has beats and fixed phrases in his narrative to help him retell the story well and accurately.