Wood eye joke

Date: April 24, 2022 

Source and Relationship: Father

Type: Joke

Folklore/Text: Wood Eye Joke: “My dad first told me this joke as a kid, but I definitely tell it better. A boy was involved in a terrible accident that caused him to lose his eye, and since he couldn’t afford a glass replacement, the doctor offered him a wooden eye instead. The school dance was coming up, and after many failed attempts at trying to get a date because of his new look, he decided to go alone to try to cheer himself up. While sitting in the corner during a slow song, he notices another girl sitting alone as well. He gets up and approaches her, saying, “Would you like to dance with me?” The girl is overcome with excitement, replying, “Would I? Would I?” The boy is offended and angry by her insult, retorting back, “Stink breath! Stink breath!” This joke is definitely a crowd favorite. You can switch up the insult at the end, but you would always die laughing every time I told it to you.”

Explanation/Context: After doing lots of research, this joke has actually been told hundreds of times with a multitude of variations dating back to the early 1900s, when it was first published in the joke section of the New York Times. I always find it so interesting when jokes are passed down from generation to generation, like a game of comedic telephone, where the punchline slightly changes with each person you tell it to. When you Google search, “Wooden Eye Joke,” approximately 20,000 results come up. Due to the length of the buildup before the punch line, there is room for variation and changes in circumstances, but the butt of the joke remains the same. This is similar to music as well, where many adaptations of a song may be released over the years, but the chorus, chord progressions, and lyrics tend to remind the same.