Informant: I have a favorite joke!
Collector: Okay! Let’s hear it!
Informant: There are two muffins in an oven, and one muffin says to the other muffin, “Dang! It’s hot in here!” And the other muffin says, “Oh my God! A talking muffin!”
Collector’s Notes: This is an interesting joke that I’ve heard in a couple of different forms. Some have the second muffin saying “Ahhh! A talking muffin!” Urban Dictionary refers to this joke as one of the most told and most under-appreciated joke of all time (TwistedMessiah). People’s reactions to the joke are pretty universally positive. In fact, The New York Times did an article about the joke, and people were interviewed about the muffin joke. One woman said that “Any time something that normally doesn’t talk talks, I laugh. Or when they do anything human. Anthropomorphize anything and you’re 3/4 of the way there for me (Tierney). I think that this is the case with a lot of people’s taste in humor. We like to give human qualities to things that don’t live. It’s also funny because the response is unexpected. It breaks the fourth wall of the joke, so to speak. We usually assume that the joke takes place in a world where everything that happens is normal or makes sense. If a cow says something to another cow, it’s not the fact that the cow is talking that makes us laugh, it’s the content. However, this joke points out the logical flaw in that kind of mentality. A muffin shouldn’t be saying anything because muffins don’t talk. A muffin talking is something un-ordinary and surprising. An added funny point to this joke is that the muffin ANSWERS the talking muffin by being surprised by a talking muffin when he is, in fact, talking and a muffin. This sort of irony is also funny to people.
The joke also has remarkable multiplicity and variation, as it is known pretty much globally, but has small changes. Some are more adult, with phrases like “Holy Shit! A talking muffin!” Other people have transformed it into an anti-joke. This is a joke where there is no punch line, and the absence of the punch line is what’s actually funny. For example, I saw a version of this joke that said, “There are two muffins in an oven. Neither says anything. Muffins are not sentient beings, and therefore unable to speak” (ANTIJOKE). Another example cited was “Two muffins are in an oven. One says to the other, ‘It sure is hot in here.’ The other muffin says, ‘Yeah. About 350, 375” (ANTIJOKE). I think it’s interesting that this joke has evolved with the kinds of jokes that are popular. As anti-jokes gained more use, this joke was transformed into one that could fit that demand. People must really like muffins.
REFERENCES: Tierney, John. “The Muffin Joke? Stop, You’re Killing Me.” TierneyLab The Muffin Joke Stop Youre Killing Me Comments. The New York Times, 14 Mar. 2007. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.
“- There Are Two Muffins Sitting in an Oven. One Muffin Says to the Other, “It.” ANTIJOKE. Horsehead Huffer, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.
TwistedMessiah. “The+Muffin+Joke.” Urban Dictionary. Urban Dictionary, 22 Sept. 2010. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.
A published version of this joke can be found in: Anti Joke: Collection of Anti Humor. Horsehead Huffer. Amazon. Horsehead Huffer, 2011.