Did you hear the one about….?
Some people tell a joke and
everybody laughs. Other jokes go flat or even make people mad. How do you
decide which jokes are OK and which might offend someone?
Know your audience. A joke may be
funny to some people but not to others. The kind of joke a guy tells his
guy friends might not go over well in a group that includes both guys and
Be careful about jokes that make
fun of religions, people’s race or their country. Sometimes one of these
jokes can be OK if you make it about your own group and you are with other
members of that group. The same joke, told by someone of another group
might be offensive. For example, a Polish person might tell a Polish joke
to other Poles, but if a German person told the same joke, the Polish
person might get offended.
Don’t tell jokes that make fun of
another person’s physical or mental characteristics. Even smart people
may not like being called “the brain.”
Be careful about where, when and
how much you tell sexual jokes. Just saying a crude word really isn’t a
witty, original joke. You didn’t make up the word, did you? And never,
never tell sex jokes about someone you’ve been dating.
OK so what is funny? What makes
really clever humor? The best jokes are often those that put ideas
together in original or unexpected ways. Jokes making fun of yourself can
calm down a tense situation. Clever puns are great in moderation. If you
are a gifted punster and you deliver dozens of rapid- fire puns, people
stop laughing and start to groan and roll their eyes. Some people make up
funny rhymes to help themselves remember history dates or astronomy
assignments. Some people are talented at delivering an ironic joke
deadpan. (with a straight face) It can be fun to watch how long it takes
various people to figure out that you just made a joke.
For more articles for Kids and
Teens see our Kids’ Page
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