Life is tough! Jokes make life less tough—fun, even. Fine times. If your week has started out in a bad spot, here’s some material to lighten it up. If it’s started in a better one, why not keep that ball rolling? Here, then, are forty knock knock and otherwise goofy jokes, or—sometimes—silly micro narratives and even one absurd meme from 40 of Brooklyn’s funniest people. Scroll away and start to feel that nagging heaviness dissipate until—what’s that you’re doing? Smiling? Wonderful.
1. Allison Silverman This is a joke that depends on visuals, but it is my favorite so hopefully it will translate. A guy runs over a cat. He feels terrible. There’s a house nearby, so he walks up and knocks on the door. A woman answers. He says, “I’m really sorry, but I think I ran over your cat.” The woman says, “what did it look like?” The guy goes (here the joke-teller makes an awful squashed cat face). The woman says, “no, before you ran over it.” The guy goes (here the joke-teller puts up his hands like paws and opens his eyes and mouth wide in shock and terror at an oncoming car).
2. Franchesca Ramsey
Ok this is really dumb, but super cute: One day this guy finds a penguin aimlessly roaming around his neighborhood but isn’t sure what to do with it. So he asks a local cop for help. The cop says, “Oh just take him to the zoo.” The next day the cop sees the guy and the penguin strolling through the neighborhood hand in flipper. The guy’s got sunscreen on and a bunch of swim noodles under his arm and the penguin’s wearing floaties and a little pair of googles on his head. The cop stops the guy and says, “Hey I thought you were taking him to the zoo?” The man replies with, “Yeah! And we had so much fun that today we’re going to the waterpark!”
3. Rob Haze I say orangeyouglad jokes all the time. It’s a classic. Like this…
4. Lauren Maul
One of my theater students was upset she wasn’t the director that day so she told the class this joke: “KNOCK KNOCK” (Who’s there?) “BORING.” (Boring who?) “THIS IS BORING.”
5. Joel Kim Booster
A friend told me this joke a while ago, and it is breathtaking in its length and stupidity. For whatever reason it has stayed with me and makes me laugh. I’m going to tell a slightly abbreviated version of it here: There was once a rabbi who traveled to an island full of strange creatures known as The Trids. One night, after following them to a secret ceremony, he watched as all the Trids lined up to receive a kick from a giant foot (?) anyway—they seemed to really enjoy it, so the next morning he asked one of the Trids if he could take part in the ceremony himself and the Trid replied, “silly rabbi, kicks are for Trids!”
I don’t know if he wrote this joke himself or heard it from someone else, but I’m now realizing that a lot of the humor derives from the teller being incredibly pleased with themselves over the joke.
What do you call a penguin with no eyes? A no-eyed-penguin (you might have to repeat it to yourself out loud a couple times to get it).
I can tell you the stupidest joke I’ve ever heard, which was told to me by my friend Jen Statsky (50 Funniest People in Los Feliz, LA). It requires an impression, but here goes…
What’s Rosie Perez’s favorite dating website?
(AS ROSIE) “Ok STU-PID!”
9. Sue Smith
How did the ghost audition for the movie? He took a SCREAM test!
The big mid-90’s hit was: Knock Knock / Who’s there? / OJ / OJ who? / That’s good, you can be on the jury! In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to tell that joke. I was four years old and a woman died.
11. Sabrina Jalees
Anthony Jeselnik has a funny one liner type joke which is…You don’t know pain til you’ve seen your own baby drowned in a bathtub. And you definitely… don’t know anything… about how to wash a baby.
16. Jordan Temple What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP! -Dave Chapelle as Rick James
17. Gary Richardson It’s not exactly a joke, but it cracks me up every time I think about someone eating a piece of pizza cartoonishly fast and then pulling out a fish skeleton. I know it’s not a thing, and maybe most folks don’t know what I mean, but trust me, it’s good-n-goofy.
18. Sam Taggart Q: If you have 8 oranges in one hand and 7 oranges in the other, what do you have?
A: Big Hands.
19.Aparna Nancherla I am terrible with picking favorites, but here is one I just found on the Internet. Get ready.
So stupid but I remember loving that when I was a kid.
I was chillin with my nieces, River and Lily, last night, and Lily said:
“your hair is gone”
That’s alt absurdist comedy at its finest.
22. Eve Peyser
I’m not big on goofy jokes, but I love memes more than anything, so I’ll leave you with one of my favorite tweets by the brilliant Jonny Sun: “SO embarased…thought sombody cute was staring at me so i stared back. but then i realized we were both just the negative space around a vase.”
24. Hadiyah Robinson
I hate knock-knock jokes. Really not a fan of goofy jokes. The one that stands out is something about three tomatoes and the small one was lagging behind and the big one squashed it and said Catch Up. Exactly. TERRIBLE.
25. Anna Drezen
A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead are running from the cops, and hide out in a barn. The brunette hides in a horse stall, the redhead hides near the cows, and the blonde hides in a pile of potatoes. When the cops pass the horse stalls, the brunette says “Neigh, neigh.” They keep looking. When they look near the cows, the redhead says “Moo, moo.” They keep looking. When they get to the potatoes, the blonde says “Potato, potato.”
Then Dwight slaps his face and yells “WE WILL ASK THE QUESTIONS!”
27. Gordon Baker-Bone Why was 6 afraid of 7? Cause 6 witnessed 7 commit a terrible murder and cover it up!
A @bridger_w tweet: “Surprise your partner in bed by dying in your sleep.”
29.Erin Gloria Ryan
My dad’s a big fan of Mel Brooks (like everybody) and specifically The Producers, and, even more specifically, the song “Springtime For Hitler.” In that vein, these are two of his favorites, always delivered in a saccharine falsetto:
How did Hitler tie his shoesies?
In little Nazis.
Where did Hitler keep his armies?
In his sleevies.
Unfortunately, I think I have go with that limerick, “The Man From Nantucket.” Not the actual content of it, but just the fact that it exists and is a thing that people know about. It’s so disgusting. Why do we all know about that? Who came up with it, and how did it spread? Did some sick fuck just have a really good limerick agent, and if so, can I hire him? It fascinates me. I guess the funniest part is just the idea of someone with a giant wiener being born and bred on Nantucket.
31. Adam Goldman
It’s incredibly long and the punchline is “Fuck you, clown.” Like I said: no comedy career.
Saying “beer can” in an American accent is the same as saying “bacon” with a Jamaican accent.
It’s that one about the boogies: how do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it.
Have you heard the one about the guy who’s granted three wishes, then sings “Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer weiner”? Because I wrote that.
A little boy and a little girl sit together shyly. He asks her name. She says guess. He asks, “Give me a clue.” She says, “It sticks to walls?” He, proudly guesses, “Shit!” She moves off in disgust, “It’s Ivy.” It’s anti-joke but I love it.
Niece covers her whole face with her hands, drops to the floor and yells
Niece: WHERE’S MY EYES????
37.John Howell Harris
I can’t think of a goofy joke off the top of my head, but I can tell you the stupidest thing that’s ever made me really laugh. One time, I was meeting a friend at a party, and when I saw him there, I walked up to him, stuck out my hand and said, “Hey, how ya doin’—Mike Sandwich.” And then we both laughed to the point of crying. I don’t know why I did that or why we both found it so funny, but there you go. I’m pretty dumb, is the takeaway.
“I just flew in from Vegas and boy are my arms tired,” a joke I was first introduced to via my comedy mentor Garfield.
Greg Giraldo used to do a bit about the Puerto Rican Day Parade where he’d describe a woman so big she wasn’t wearing one thong, she had “like three thongs knotted together.” Not a joke, but I love that image. She’s so powerful.
Here is something my writing partner Ahamefule Oluo wrote that I still think is hilarious: “What do you call Neil deGrasse Tyson pouring champagne all over his naked chest? AN ASTRO-FIZZY-TITS.”
To read more about these forty (plus ten more!) of Brooklyn’s 50 funniest people, click here.