There are currently approximately 165,000 Google searches per month for the search term, “funniest joke“. Now I would guess that 99% of people don’t actually expect to find a definitive funniest ever joke , but more likely they are just looking for a collection of jokes to make them smile or to pass on to other people. But this did remind me of the genius Monty Python sketch usually referred to as “the world’s funniest joke” sketch.
World’s Funniest Joke
The script tells the story of Ernest Scribbler, a joke writer, who while sitting at his desk writing jokes one day, thinks up the world’s funniest joke and within seconds of writing it down, dies laughing whilst reading it. His mother soon does the same. The sketch then goes on to show how the joke was translated into German “a word at a time for safety reasons” and then used as a weapon during the 2nd World War by the British soldiers reading out the funniest joke in German on the battlefields.
In 2002, a university lecturer named Richard Wiseman attempted to uncover or discover the “world’s funniest joke” in an experiment called LaughLab where people could rate and submit jokes. The winning joke was found to be from a 1951 Goon Show sketch from Spike Milligan and is as follows:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”
2nd place went to the following, which i must say has never done anything for me, and I’ve always thought was a very tame effort!
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: “Watson, look up at the sky, and tell me what you see.” Watson replied: “I see millions and millions of stars.” Holmes said: “And what do you deduce from that?” Watson replied: “Well, if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth out there. And if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life.” And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”
The top joke in the UK was:
A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!” The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”
There is definitely a trend at the moment for one-liners, mainly due to the success and style of people such as Jimmy Carr, Tim Vine and Stewart Francis, as seen by the Top 5 Edinburgh jokes from last years festival:
1) “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.” –Stewart Francis
2) “Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly.” – Tim Vine
3) “I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.” – Will Marsh
4) “You know you’re working class when your TV is bigger than your book case.” – Rob Beckett
5) “I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet … I don’t know Y.” –Chris Turner
Beware Of The Funniest Joke
Of course, there could never be a definitive funniest joke as it is so subjective, but those searching for it on Google, should beware, just in case the infamous Ernest Scribbler joke is ever revealed and would prove fatal to anyone subjected to it!