Anything can be funny

I have a friend, Jack Newman, who is addicted to humour, mostly one liners. When I call him up he can’t resist giving me quick responses.  He was telling jokes at my parents’ shivas.  Nothing seems to stop him.

 I asked him once how he could just keep on going like that.

 Him: “I took lessons from the Energizer bunny.” 

 Me: “Listen, you can’t just go around making jokes all the time.” 

 Him: “I’m gonna go all Jewish on you and answer, why not?”

 Me: “It’s unseemly.  You were telling jokes at my father’s shiva.”

 Him: “Yeah, but you laughed.”

 Me: “It was funny.”

 Him: “So was it more unseemly to tell the joke or more unseemly for you the bereaved son, to laugh?”

 Me: “I couldn’t help myself.  It was hilarious.”

 Him: “What did I say?”

 Me: “I don’t remember.”

 Him: “And you say I’m funny?”

 I never get the best of him in these discussions.

 The last time I told him that it was impossible to make acceptable jokes about some topics.

 Him: “Try me.”

 Me: “Disabilities, you can’t make a joke about people with disabilities.”

 Him:  “Did I tell you about my girlfriend who looked like Heidi Klum?”

 Me:  “No.”

 Him: “She was beautiful but she had a lazy eye, so we broke up.   I kept on thinking she was seeing someone else.”

 Me: Drug addiction.  That’s a serious problem.  How can you make light of it?

Him: My car stalled, so I took it to my dealer. He couldn’t find anything. Why I expected my drug dealer to fix my car I don’t know.

 Me: That’s not quite right.

 Him: I’m addicted to placebos. I would quit, but it wouldn’t make a difference.

 Me:  Donating Blood.  That’s so boring and it saves lives.  What could be more earnest and serious than that?

 Him: I went to the blood donor clinic. When the nurse asked me what type I was, I said” I’m an outgoing cat lover.”

 I was getting annoyed.  What about mental illness?  It’s not fair to make jokes about people with difficulties that they are the victim of!

 Him: Sometimes I’m afraid of bears, sometimes I’m not afraid of bears. I think I’m bi-polar.

Me: The Holocaust.   Let’s see you make a good taste joke about that!

 Him: A friend from Berlin said that you can’t get a good bagel in Germany.  I said, “Who’s fault is that?”

 So now I was completely exasperated.  I thought long and hard and said, “I have one that will even stump you.  It is impossible to tell a joke about Adolf Hitler. 

 He paused briefly and answered, “I saw a documentary on Hitler yesterday on P.B.S… They said that Hitler had bad breath. You know, the more I hear about him, the less I like him.”

 I laughed and scratched my head.  “I don’t know, but somehow it feels like you broke the rules. What principles did you use?”

 Him: There were rules?  Jokes always break the rules.  That’s what makes them funny.  As Groucho Marx said, “These are my principles, and if you don’t like them, I have others.”


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