All-Star

All-Star

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Joke

There's a joke circulating right now:


Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day. As they walked, they came across a sign:
Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world. I am entering! said Snow White.
After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, Well, howd ya do?
First Place!, said Snow White.
They continue walking and they see another sign: Contest for the strongest man in the world.
Im entering, says Superman.
After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, How did you make out?
First Place , answers Superman. Did you ever doubt?
They continue walking when they see another sign: Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?
Pinocchio enters. After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.
What happened? they asked.
Who the hell is Nancy Pelosi? asked Pinocchio


Here's a variation:

Pinocchio, Snow White, and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day. As they walked, they come across a sign: "Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world.""I am entering!" said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how'd ya do?""First Place!" said Snow White.They continue walking and they see a sign: "Contest for the strongest man in the world.""I'm entering," says Superman. After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?""First Place," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"They continue walking when they see a sign: "Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?" Pinocchio enters.After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes."What happened?" they asked.Pinocchio asks, "Who the heck is Nancy Pelosi?"

Here's another variation. No, I have no idea what V Twin Legend is.

Snow White, Superman, Pinocchio, and V_Twin_LegendPinocchio, Snow White, Superman, and V_Twin_Legend are out for a stroll in town one day.As they walk, they come across a sign:"Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world.""I am entering!" said Snow White.After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, "Well, how'd you do?"" First Place !" said Snow White.They continue walking and they see a sign:"Contest for the strongest man in the world.""I'm entering," says Superman.After half an hour, he returns and they ask him, "How did you make out?"" First Place ," answers Superman. "Did you ever doubt?"They continue walking when they see a sign:"Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?""I'm entering," says Pinocchio.After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes."What happened?" they asked."Who the hell is Nancy Pelosi?" asked Pinocchio. They continue walking when they see a sign:"Contest! Who is the greatest moron in the world?""I'm entering," says V_Twin_Legend.After half an hour he returns with anger in his face."What happened?" they asked."Who the hell is ShadowR?" asked V_Twin_Legend.


This is not a brand new joke, since I've been able to find variations from last year:

Pinocchio, Snow White and Superman are walking in the street when they come across a sign 'Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world.' 'I am entering,' said Snow White. After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, 'Well, how was it?' First Place ', said Snow White. They continue walking and they see a sign: 'Contest for the strongest man in the world.' 'I'm entering,' says Superman and after half an hour he returns and they ask him, 'How was it?' First Place,' answers Superman. They continue walking when they see a sign: 'Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?' Pinocchio enters. After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes. 'What happened?' they asked, 'Who is this guy Obama?' asked Pinocchio.

Note the variation at the end. This was October 18, not too long before the election. Right now, the Pelosi variant is the most prominent one, though there are still Obama variants to be found in recent postings. And they're still there in archives.

Then there's a variant with the punchline: "Who the hell is Thaksin?" asked Pinocchio. I'm going to assume that Thaksin here is Thaksin Shinawatra, former prime minister of Thailand, but that not certain.

I think it's really interesting to look at the context for this joke. Contexts, rather. People put this up on blogs, forums, newsgroups, etc. And they provide no context. Despite the fact that the person who came up with this joke could theoretically be identified, no one makes any effort to give credit. Folklore, one of the categories of expression into which this joke falls, is often anonymouse because of the nature of oral tradition. Nobody expects anyone to remember who told a joke to them, but here a link would be very easy. Yet nobody does it. They just copy and post, for the most part. I think it's also important to point out that they're not taking credit for it. A few will reveal that it came to them in e-mail or something like that, but for the most part the posts are nothing more than the joke itself.
Everybody knows that we don't make up the jokes we tell. I remember saying something funny once in response to somebody putting a plastic bag over his head. He asked me where I heard it, and when I said I'd made it up on the spot, he didn't believe me.

Other items of interest in the joke: Superman is a cocky strongman, nothing more.

Why Snow White?

A comic book figure, a character from a children's novel, and a fairy tale princess. There are a lot more versions of this joke out there. Sometimes the variation comes only in a word or two. Sometimes, it's in the punctuation. When people tell a joke out loud, it becomes their own by means of memory, inflection, and taste. When they copy a joke on-line, the variables are different. But variation still happens, despite the potential for verbatim copying. This is fascinating.

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