Since childhood, my beloved nephew Anthony, has been infamous for being the worst joke teller on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a naturally funny guy- - hilarious, in fact, in unguarded and unplanned moments.  But he can’t tell a joke to save his soul!

I came across an article that I thought might help. A sort of short, Cliff notes, version of ‘Telling a Joke 101’. I thought perhaps it may help Anthony and others similarly afflicted. So Bubbi, this is for you!


8 Rules for Telling a Joke


  • Know your joke before you open your mouth. Even when you’re adlibbing,  you must have a clear idea of where you’re going
  • Know your audience. All jokes are not appropriate for all gatherings. (Like naughty donkey jokes at the Christmas dinner table, Bubba!)
  • Do not ask permission to tell a joke. Surprise is crucial. (In your case Bubba, forget this rule. Always ask!  Especially if it’s one of your nano technology jokes that only Einstein or Stephen Hawking would get).
  • Don’t say how funny your joke is beforehand. (Then we’re even more disappointed.)
  • Provide ample set-up to the joke with all pertinent information included
  • There must be a punch line or strong conclusion (Something you never had when you were little and you’d wonder why you were the only one laughing!)
  • Avoid detours. Jokes work best in a straight line, as a rule.
  • Commit to the joke. Once you start, follow through to the end. (Unless it’s half-an-hour later and we’ve all left the room, then feel free to stop and join us wherever we might be!)