Why Was the Student’s Report Card Wet?

I met this informant at a social aimed at helping and welcoming prospective transfer students. The atmosphere was very informal, and I simply brought up this folklore project when it was relevant.


What jokes do you have for me?


“It’s really silly… Why was the student’s report card wet?… Because his grades were below C-level.”


The informant laughed after they told the joke, both at the joke and my reaction: a flatline of facial expression and a stony-faced stare over their shoulder. They told me that they tell it to nearly everyone they meet, and that they react to it the same way every time. Apparently, this is a nigh universal response to a joke you might not really want to laugh at. It is also interesting how sometimes, a person laughs at a joke because it is bad. This is not necessarily done so maliciously, because all parties involved often share the same ideas of the joke, even the performer. This leads me to wonder if there ever was a time when people thought these classic jokes were funny. However, I also do think that jokes like this still accomplish a part of what jokes are meant to do: break the ice, lower tension.


The informant also mentioned that they read it on the back of a Laffy Taffy candy.