I hoped this blog would serve in part as a scrapbook/receptacle for nonsense articles I end up doing, or in this case being interviewed about…
I was asked a while back to give a comment about some Christmas cracker jokes, from a comedian’s perspective. I did so, and never saw the article published (although it may have been). So here, for the first (or second) time, is a Rough Guide To Over-Explaining And Therefore Ruining Christmas Cracker Jokes. Because it’s February.
How did the human cannonball lose his job? He got fired.
A fine joke. Double-meaning on ‘fired’. Classic punnery. Puns become groaners often when the double-meaning word is the last of the sentence though, as in this case, so expect after the word ‘fired’ for all assembled company to groan/cry/throw things at you.
Why did the skeleton go to the New Year’s Eve party? He had no body to go with.
It should probably be ‘Why did he NOT go to the party’, or ‘Why did he go alone’. Because if he had nobody to go with, he would either not go, or go alone, or… I’m reading too much into this. Also, why New Year’s Eve? Could be any party? Brevity of joke is often better and cleaner and simpler, so fine as this joke is, it might need a trim for maximum effect. This is probably the Christmas cracker company’s way of making it sound Christmassy.
What did the beaver say to the tree? Nice gnawing you.
Another way to get a groan not a laugh from a one-liner is for your play-on-words to involve a slightly different sounding word. eg. Here. Nice ‘gnawing’ you? Nice ‘knowing’ you? Cos they sound a bit alike? I find over-explaining the joke really helps a Christmas dinner fly by.
What does the word minimum mean? A very small mother.
I like this. Redefining words can be fun. I say ‘fun’, it’s not exactly Disneyland (which is also what a Scot asks about a helicopter circling the air above him).
What’s round and bad tempered? A vicious circle.
What’s also round and bad tempered? My Christmas dinner table after telling this joke. It’s a little on the nose this one. ‘Vicious’ – double-meaning, except it isn’t, because in both cases it means ‘vicious’. ‘Circle’ – again, not really a double-meaning, because again it means ‘circle’ in both instances. But at the same time, ahahaha. If your instinct is to laugh, you’re not wrong. If you analyse the joke and realise it doesn’t really work, you’ve probably missed the point of it anyway.