Jokes that get better with age

Many years ago my father used to respond to some of my wilder claims or flights of fancy by asking “if you’re so smart how come you’re not rich?”  This amused him but I didn’t find it very funny – and not just because it deflated my pretentions. I appreciate it more and more with age as I come to savour its assertion of crassness and good sense – particularly from the mouth of my father who was a true believer in the law of diminishing returns when it came to money. He thought it was very important up to the point where it became progressively less so and ultimately became of vanishing significance at about the level of money he had – which is to say a professor’s salary.

I also thought of Groucho’s comment that he wouldn’t belong to a club that would have him as a member as just a formulaic quip. The older I get the truer and funnier it seems.

And below the fold is a Monty Python sketch I’ve seen lots of times and always thought was amusing, but not outstandingly so. But then I came upon it yesterday and just laughed and laughed. How much of life is simply the piling up of instances in which desperate seriousness is asserted alongside endless repetitions of utter absurdity?

Probably what keeps us from tearing each other apart limb by limb. But funny nonetheless.

Enjoy . . .

What jokes have you found getting funnier with age . . .

This entry was posted in Humour. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Jokes that get better with age

  1. paul walter says:

    Now for some thing completely different.
    Judean People’s Front versus the People’s Front of Judea.

  2. rog says:

    In his one and a half man show John Cleese recycles many of his old jokes and age does not diminish them.

  3. Don Arthur says:

    Are there jokes that get worse with age?

  4. conrad says:

    “Are there jokes that get worse with age?”

    I would guess the majority of jokes get worse with age, or at least repetition. I can’t help wondering why some don’t.

    Funnily enough, on this note, I recently watched a few episodes of the Young Ones, which I remember being funny when they first came out, and they were generally cringe-worthy to me now (although I still had a few laughs left). Alternatively, Yes Minister seems ageless.

  5. Nicholas Gruen says:

    Bad humour is formulaic and the formula wears off. I never much liked the Young Ones because it seemed to play on a particular stereotype as self-evidently funny. Which is about as funny as a toilet joke. Jokes that get funnier are those where the joke is some truth which acquires more meaning (and perhaps meaningS) as we experience life.

  6. Pedro says:

    I suspect that the Young Ones was funny for people of an age at an age. I sure liked it at the time. Stuff that is funny because it shocks you won’t last.

  7. john says:

    Stop knocking I can’t hear Min

  8. JB Cairns says:

    I thought their best sketch was the dead parrot sketch.

    The Aunty Jack Show in the mid 70s on the ABC, naturally, certainly approached Monty Python heights.
    They did some radio on double jay just after that and were just as funny.

  9. paul walter says:

    Yes, two points raised. The genesis of much we love with comedy esp Brit is the “Goon Show”, with its overt poking of the stark ridiculous, contradictory and paradoxical.
    The other thing is the short shelf life. You split your guts at some thing new for a season or two but after a while familiarity breeds contempt. Southpark is a good example of some thing fresh going stale. At this stage am starting to get bored with the Bunker Rants also.

  10. perplexed says:

    I’ve often found Clarke and Doyle at the end of the 7 pm ABC TV news very funny. Come to think of it, I don’t recall it being on last night. Was I mistaken or is this the latest instance of an ‘institution’ – a comedy interlude – getting quietly shafted?

  11. john says:

    Clark and Doyle were on

    The front fell of

  12. paul walter says:

    How could we forget Clarke and Doyle which reminds me of another really beaut thing from the eighties, The Gillies Report, where Clarke’s mendacious, straight faced bullshitter first appeared.
    John’s excerpt says it all.

  13. Mr. Eyesore says:

    Rush Limbaugh was mentioned in the comments on the Kony article…

    Q. What’s the difference between the Hindenburg and Rush Limbaugh?
    A. One’s a big Nazi gasbag and the other’s a dirigible.

  14. paul walter says:

    Mr.Eyesore, most excellent!

  15. I should also mention the joke at the end of Woody Allen which I always thought was a just bit stupid. It ends “we need the eggs”.

    Now I think it’s sublimely, tragically true.

    • john Walker says:

      Reminds me of a joke doing the rounds of the UK at the height of the mad cow epidemic:
      Two cows are having a chat in the English countryside:

      One cow says to the other: “Bert, aren’t you worried about this terrible new disease that everyone’s talking about?”

      “Not at all,” answers Bert.

      “Why not?”

      “Because I’m a squirrel.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.