Dad jokes find comedy in corniness

To tease their kids, many dads have developed a popular style of humor consisting of puns known as dad jokes. Their kids are also adopting this type of humor for themselves.


Photo by Lily Hassett

Striking a pose…Wearing a dad joke t-shirt, dad Andy Hassett proclaims,“New England because Old England was wicked stupid.”

By coming up with jokes that are so bad they are almost good, many people find dad jokes a creative way to express their humor.
Dogs can’t operate MRI machines, but catscan (Ba-dum tss).
Dad jokes are used by many, but there are differing opinions on what makes a joke a dad joke.
According to sophomore Janmartel Fonrouge-Benet, in order for it to be a dad joke, it simply must come from a dad.
“The essence of a dad joke is that it’s so bad that it makes you go ‘ugh, why didn’t I think of that,’” Fonrouge-Benet said. “Dads just have a certain way of telling the joke to achieve that effect.”
Dad jokes can come in many forms. Some are long, drawn-out stories and others are short puns.
“It’s the best when you don’t see the joke coming because then the element of surprise makes it more funny,” sophomore Lily Hasset said.
According to Hassett, her dad tells her a lot of dad jokes which has caused her to enjoy them as well.
“I started telling dad jokes as soon as my kids were old enough to understand them,” Hassett’s father, Andy, said.
Andy feels that dad jokes are for anyone and everyone to enjoy.
Fonrouge-Benet, on the other hand, feels otherwise.
Fonrouge Benet said that not everyone can tell dad jokes.
“Dads are the only people who tell them well. It’s almost like as soon as you have kids, a switch flips in your brain where you feel the need to annoy them as much as possible with your jokes.”
Hassett feels similarly. “There has to be some sort of turning point where my dad got his humor,” Hasset said.
According to Andy, he adapted to telling dad jokes over time.
“I get a lot of them from listening to dad joke podcasts and talking to other dads,” Andy said.
Different people have different humor. Some find dad jokes amusing, and others can not stand them.
“My dad wasn’t really raised with dad jokes,” Fonrouge-Benet said.
“My grandfather didn’t have that sense of humor. I think my dad got his humor from being around his friends.”
According to Hassett, dad jokes don’t always have to be in the classic setup and punchline form.
“Honestly, sometimes they’ll just come out of nowhere,” she said, “like a little play on words. It’s those that really make me laugh.”
Andy believes a dad joke either has to be “a play on words, or something absolutely pointless.”
“One of my favorites is: What’s red and bad for your teeth? A brick,” he said. “It’s so abstract and unexpected that you wonder why it’s even a joke in the first place,” Andy said.
Other jokes come in the form of a story, where the joke lies at the ending.
“I asked my dad for help on my homework. I said ‘Hey, Dad, can you help me name five animals that live in Antarctica?’ My dad responded, ‘Sure, three seals and two penguins,’” Fonrouge-Benet said.