The Art of the Anti-Joke

There’s nothing funny about a joke. A good joke, the kind that makes your spleen crack a little, that makes you cough out a lung, is a very serious thing. It is dangerous. Because at its core, it’s a little mystery of the universe, a veiled truth uncovered. Tell us that truth. Write about the funniest joke you know.

There’s something so amazing and hilarious about a good anti-joke.  Anti-jokes, I guess, were created as a response to the mainstream military-industrial joke-complex.  They start off with a set-up that is often rather bland, the BAM! hit you with a non-joke.  And it’s funny!  Somehow!

I think the most well-known example of an anti-joke is probably the first joke that comes to everyone’s mind:  Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.  There’s no real joke there and yet it’s funny because we’re expecting a pun or a long explanation.  I think laughter and humour is often a reaction to the unexpected.  This is what makes anti-jokes so funny for me.

For example:

The set-up: What do you call cheese that doesn’t belong to you?

The expected (and pretty punny/funny in and of itself) answer: Nacho cheese!

The anti-joke (and somehow funnier for me) answer: Stolen.

Some anti-jokes deliver the unexpected by describing the reality of the situation, whereas others intend merely to confuse.  What follows are some of my other favourites

What would George Washington do if he were alive today?

Probably scream and scratch at his coffin

A priest, a rabbi and an imam walk into a bar

What a nice example of a multicultural society.

What do an elephant and a grape have in common?

They are both purple.  Except for the elephant.  And sometimes the grape.

What do you call a Canadian who flies a plane?

A pilot.

Two penguins are sitting in a bathtub.  One says to the other:


What’s brown and sticky?

A stick.

What is orange and smells like blue paint?

Orange paint.

I hope you enjoyed those.  I sure did 😀

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