Some years ago, Dr. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire enlisted the British Association for the Advancement of Science to determine the world’s best joke. Named project Laughlab, they invited the public to submit their favourite jokes and using the best emotional science available they created a “Laughometer” by which 300,000 people from around the world rated the best of the best.
Although I’m not big on jokes myself, I have to admit ‘Dick The Brit From Hertfordshire’ produced some real howlers. Like…a man and a friend are playing golf at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows down in prayer. His friend says: “Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.” The man then replies: “Yeah, well we were married 35 years.” The best humour always involves a dagger at the end.
The highest rated joke in Canada involved a pretty good swipe at the neighbours. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 million to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. (Wait for it.) The Russians used a pencil. As I said, the best humour always involves a dagger or a sharp pencil at the end.
The top joke in Belgium explains why there are very few, okay no Belgian writers working on Hollywood comedies. “Why do ducks have webbed feet? To stamp out fires. Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out burning ducks.”
Not bad was Northern Ireland’s… A doctor says to his patient, ‘I have bad news and worse news’.
‘Oh dear, what’s the bad news?’ asks the patient.
The doctor replies, ‘You only have 24 hours to live’.
‘That’s terrible’, said the patient. ‘How can the news possibly be worse?’
The doctor replies, ‘I’ve been trying to contact you since yesterday’.
Quite funny was the best joke from Wales: A turtle was walking down an alley in New York when he was mugged by a gang of snails. A police detective came to investigate and asked the turtle if he could explain what happened. The turtle looked at the detective with a confused look on his face and replied “I don’t know, it all happened so fast.”
And England came up with a killer: Two weasels are sitting on a bar stool. One starts to insult the other one. He screams, “I slept with your mother!” The bar gets quiet as everyone listens to see what the other weasel will do. The first weasel again yells, “I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOTHER!” The other weasel says, “Go home dad you’re drunk.”
And the world’s best joke as rated by the Laughlab? A couple of American hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “I think my friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”
There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line and says: “OK, now what?
“You might as well laugh, nobody’s gettin’ out of this one alive.” Red Skelton
Leave comments and your best joke at my site (And no, not the name of your local politicians.) For a copy of The Legend of Zippy Chippy, go towww.williamthomas.ca