Passed down from generation to generation – father to son – the dad joke is a part of our DNA as dads. If you enjoy giving your family that uneasy feeling from a dad joke then you’re like most other dads. Some of us are better at it than others. Just more natural in delivering our poorly thought out material. While others work hard to hone their craft.
The dad joke, at its core, is meant to be awful and corny but in some sort of weird way, they may be funny (at least to the dad). It’s almost like watching a movie that’s so bad that at some point it becomes good. Think Road House or Point Break. A good teller of the dad joke can have almost an endearing quality. Similar to your crazy uncle who roams the neighborhood in his bathrobe.
Q: Why wasn’t the geometry teacher at school?
A: Because she sprained her angle!
I tell my fair share of dad jokes just to make myself laugh. Often I can’t complete the joke as I start laughing trying to get out the punchline. My kids are on to me at this point and I’ve become somewhat predictable. When they hear certain words come up in speaking they know the joke that will follow.
The laugh and eye roll are all I need to know that I’ve done my job. Sometimes they even try to stop me or pause talking to wait for the joke. Again, this makes me laugh.
One of my favorite things to do is add fake last names after my daughters’ friends’ first name. For example, if my daughter is talking about her friend Ella I might say “Is her last name Vator”? Or maybe “Phant” or “Mentary”. I go on for minutes like this until I’ve exhausted what I feel are all possible names. Though this isn’t particularly a dad joke it’s where it all begins in my home.
What makes a good Dad Joke?
In my humble opinion, the goal of the dad joke is to infuriate the people listening as much as possible. To inflict complete and utter embarrassment of their audience. To clobber them over the head with stupidity until they give in and laugh (or leave).
Some dads have a prepared repertoire of jokes they use constantly, their go-to material. Others prefer to “riff” on a particular situation that is occurring and go off-script. I’d like to think this is where my strength lies.
I’m an off-script type of guy when it comes to dad jokes however I will repeat my favorites from time to time. As someone who repeats movie lines regularly, this doesn’t faze anyone in my home. As an FYI, Step-Brothers and Wedding Crashers movie lines work in just about any situation.
The Objectives of a Dad Joke
If you are attempting to deliver the perfect dad joke certain objectives must be achieved for it to be a success.
- Annoy and embarrass your child.
- Embarrass everyone in earshot of the joke except for you. Dads are never embarrassed by their own jokes.
- You must hear some sort of sigh or groan from the target audience.
- The joke must elicit an eye roll, or cause others to walk away.
- In my house, I occasionally get a heartfelt “I hate you”. It’s those times that I know I’ve successfully delivered.
Types of Dad Jokes
In my opinion, there are three basic types of dad jokes that can be used in any given situation.
The Situational Dad Joke
If you’re quick on your feet and good at improv then the situational dad joke is perfect for you. The situational dad joke can happen at any time in just about any setting.
For example when dining out…
Waiter: How do you like your steak cooked?
DAD: Typically on the grill comes out best.
For example at home…
CHILD: Can you put my shoes on?
DAD: I don’t think they’ll fit me but I’ll try.
Many situational dad joke opportunities will be presented to you by your children. Lobbed to you like a softball pitcher. Either something they’ve just said, or somewhere they’re going with the conversation. Either way, you need to be quick on your feet to find these gems.
The Pun Dad Joke
The great thing about using puns is that there are no rules. They don’t need to make complete sense or any sense at all really to be classified as dad jokes.
Here are some examples:
- What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta
- There’s a new type of broom out. It’s sweeping the nation
- Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it’s tearable
- What do you call a belt with a watch on it? A “waist” of time
Physical Comedy Dad Joke
My wife is a huge fan of physical comedy. If she watches someone playing drunk or falling for any reason she loses it. To enhance the basic dad joke throw in some physical comedy to drive the point home. Who hasn’t seen the old favorites of “got your nose” or “the floating finger trick“?
I have a terrible memory when it comes to jokes. I hear a funny joke but can never repeat it. I may have three to four regular “full-length” jokes that I remember over all my years of living. Typically the ones I remember are r-rated at best. These are not the type of jokes I can pull out in front of the kids at any given moment.
If you need to add some dad jokes to your arsenal start with some of these classics. These classic dad jokes are the joke versions of “Gone With The Wind” or “Sgt. Peppers”.
- Did you know the first French fries weren’t actually cooked in France? They were cooked in Greece.
- How do you make holy water? You boil the hell out of it.
- If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
- What has two butts and kills people? An assassin
- What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday? AYE MATEY
- What is the dentist’s favorite time? Tooth Hurty
- Why couldn’t the bike stand up by itself? It was two tired.
- What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idea!
- Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
- A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, “Sorry we don’t serve food here.”
- Why did the crab never share? Because he’s shellfish.
Before I forget…
To inflict the most damage and embarrassment from your dad joke make certain you’re in public or near as many of your children’s friends as possible. Some of the best times are when all the kids are over for a party in the backyard, or maybe a Friday night while they’re all swimming in the pool.
Sorry moms and children out there, the dad joke is here to stay. We work hard most of the time and the dad joke might be all we’ve got for humor so let us do our thing. Try as hard as you can to break our spirit we aren’t giving in. Not now and not ever!
What are some of your favorite dad jokes? Let me know in the comments below.