Why Dad Jokes?

Every morning on River Country in High Level, I present “Doug’s Daily Dad Joke.” Why? Because they are funny and I have no shame.

With the ability to mass share on the internet, Dad jokes have become increasingly popular. They are shared between friends, family and co-workers. There are websites devoted to them. But what makes a good dad joke, if there is such a thing, and why do we enjoy them.

Dad jokes are both beloved and maligned. They reflect the intimacies of family life and yet open to public display A certain tone is necessary to make a joke a Dad joke. Dad jokes rely on a certain simplicity. The quintessential Dad joke is known by one and all:

Son: I’m hungry
Dad: Hello Hungry. I’m Dad

While Dad jokes are mocked or mockingly appreciated, they are basically harmless and just barely clever, being described as “indescribably cheesy and/or dumb,” “corny jokes you hate with every fiber of your being but also can’t help but laugh at,” with a tendency to “generate groans instead of guffaws” and “pitying glances, not affectionate smiles.” In fact, the greatest accolade a Dad joke can receive is a pained groan.

And maybe their harmlessness is why we love them. In a world that is becoming increasingly fractured they are a refuge from the storm, a momentary respite. At least that is the reason I continue to inflict them on the listeners. And watch out. I’m not just a Dad, I’m a granddad, double the danger.

And I’ll leave you with this:

They all laughed when I told them that one day I would discover the secret of invisibility.
If only they could see me now.