Klavan On The Culture

My Favorite Joke

The good folks at City Journal have posted this essay on my favorite joke — and why almost no one else seems to think it’s funny!


When I first heard this joke about ten years ago, I laughed off and on—mostly on—for close to a week. I thought then and think now that it’s the funniest joke I’ve ever heard. I immediately began telling it to everyone I knew; over the last decade, I’ve told it countless times. And I’ve discovered two fascinating things about it. First, almost no one else thinks it’s funny. Most people don’t even crack a smile. Second, those few people who do think it’s funny think, like myself, that it’s the funniest joke ever—and a preponderance of them are, like myself, writers of fiction.


I’ve wondered about this phenomenon a lot. Why do story writers, almost exclusively, find this joke hilarious?

For the joke — and the rest of this short essay — click here.  And check out the rest of this terrific journal while you’re at it!