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How do you know when a pun is mature? When it is full groan.

If that one made you cringe, you may want to skip the rest of this story. Seriously, leave now. Because you're about to be served plenty more of the same.

For Father's Day, we asked readers to submit their best dad jokes, the corny one-liners and cheesy wordplay that dads, especially, seem to think are high-larious.

We're not quite sure why men feel compelled to start telling "dad" jokes, but having kids does seem to be involved. While there are plenty of examples of dad jokes in popular culture — check YouTube and Twitter for real-life examples — there's little scientific research into what causes the phenomenon.

However, Robert Pierce, a professor at the University Counseling Center at the University of Rochester in New York and a psychologist in private practice, told the Wall Street Journal that the tendency to gravitate toward puns is often how fathers bond with their children.

"One way to be approachable and fun is to tell goofy puns or one-liners," Pierce told reporter Heidi Mitchell. Even if the joke elicits an eye roll, "that's all part of the game, the family inside joke," he said.

Dads may also use such jokes to foster a sense of humor and playfulness in their children, traits that can help them cope with everyday trauma growing up.

"Dad jokes tend to be calming, not angry, and are simple enough that anyone, even a little kid, can get them," Pierce said.

So the takeaway, we hesitate to admit, is that dad jokes — and all the groaning, wincing and eye rolling they induce — are good for us.

So check out the best (worst?) Times Free Press readers had to offer. Some were submitted by dads (because they're proud of them, we suspect) and some by family members subjected to them (so that others can share in their misery). One participant was chosen at random for a prize package of Tennessee Aquarium and Chattanooga Lookouts tickets.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

My dad told me this one a couple of days ago:

A guy walks into a library, and says to the librarian "I'd like a hamburger, please."

The librarian looks at him and replies, "Sir, this is a library."

The man whispers, "Oh, sorry. I'd like a hamburger, please."

***

What do you call a sleeping cow?

A bulldozer.

***

What do you call the brother of the president?

BROTUS.

***

Why is a giraffe's neck so long?

Because its head is so far from its body.

***

Where does a tiny potato sleep?

Tater cot.

***

What do you call the president when he can't get his act together?

Sloppy Joe.

***

Peas cannot broadcast over the radio, but they can do a pod cast.

***

Don't trust atoms. They make up everything

***

I always take an extra pair of socks golfing, in case I get a hole in one.

***

Why couldn't the frog find his car?

It got toad.

***

What do you do with a dog with no legs?

Take him out for a drag.

***

A little boy was crying, and his dad walked up and said, "Son what's the matter?

The little boy said, "Dad, my dog just died."

The dad said," Oh, that's all right, son. He's gone to heaven."

The little boy looked up and said, "What would God want with a dead dog?"

***

My wife (preparing for Thanksgiving): I need to thaw the bird.

Me: Yes, otherwise we'll do Thanksgiving cold turkey!

***

Free dead batteries — No charge.

***

A mushroom walks into a bar.

The bartender says," Get out. We don't serve your kind here."

The mushroom says, "Why? I'm a fun-gi."

***

There was a scientist on the Gulf Coast who was experimenting with how to make porpoises live longer. He discovered that feeding them baby seagulls extended their lives and possibly made them live forever. Of course, animal-rights groups protested his experiments, and he was forced to hide his efforts.

One night, after raiding seagull nests for seagull chicks, he was driving along U.S. 90 in the fog when he encountered a lion lying in the roadway. Unable to avoid the lion, he ran over it and crashed. The police arrived, inspected the scene and arrested the scientist for driving immature gulls over a staid lion for immortal porpoises.

***

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?

In case he got a hole in one.

***

What did the monkey say to the elephant wearing sunglasses?

Nothing. He didn't recognize him.

***

One day my dad looked at me and told me I was going to be really sorry when he was gone.

I said, "What do you mean? Why?"

He said, "Because that means you're next."

***

Did you hear the one about the broken pencil?

Eh, there's no point.

***

How do you get a tissue to dance?

Put a little boogie into it.

***

Do you know why donkeys don't go to college?

Nobody likes a smart ass.

(This really was my dad's joke.)

***

What's the perfect Father's Day gift?

A book about anti-gravity – it's impossible to put down!

***

What did the buffalo say to his son as he went away to college?

Bison.

***

What do you call a lost nun?

Roamin' Catholic.

***

I have great dad jokes for just about every state:

What did Tennessee? The same thing as Arkansas!

Which state has the most streets? Rhode Island!

Another one of my best ones is:

Why is Peter Pan always flying? Because he Neverlands!

***

When I die I want to go like my grandpa, in my sleep. Not like the other three people in the car with him.

***

My father told me about the oral exam he had to take to drive a truck back in the early 1940s:

"You're heading down a steep grade into the center of town when you discover your brakes have failed. What do you do?"

"I pull the emergency brake."

"That doesn't work. You have too much load."

"I downshift to cut my speed."

"That won't work. You're going too fast.

"I reach over and wake up Ed, my driving partner."

"Why would you do that?"

"Well, Ed's never seen a really big accident!"

***

Now that I've lived through an actual plague, I totally understand why Italian Renaissance paintings are full of naked fat people lying on couches.

***

Knock-knock.

Who's there?

Ice cream soda.

Ice cream soda who?

I scream so da people can hear me.

***

What is the difference between a black-eyed pea and a chickpea?

One can sing you a song, and the other can hummus you one.

***

I mixed alphabet soup with a laxative. I call it "letter rip."

***

You're American when you walk into a bathroom and when you come out, but what are you when you are in the bathroom?

European.

***

When does a Dad joke become a Dad joke?

When it becomes apparent.

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