Have you ever read one of those Laffy Taffy jokes that was so bad it was good, or perhaps find them all to be terrible yet still read them whenever encountered?
Within the vast realm of options for candy consumption, my particular tastes run the gamut of chewy, fruity candy: Starbursts, Skittles, Swedish Fish, the like. Recently, I purchased and devoured a bag of Laffy Taffy.
This particular confection, for those who do not know, consists of bite-size pieces of chewy candy in different fruit flavors. This alone is not unique, but what sets the treat apart is that every single wrapper has a joke on it (the famous “Laffy Taffy jokes”), apparently submitted by some misguided person, as each has a byline sporting the submitter’s name and city. What sets the candy apart even further is the horrendous quality of the jokes; in some cases, their utter failure in comic expression proves to be the more significant source of laughs.
Keeping the wrappers from the bag I went through enabled me to examine, critique, and compile the following list, in a format that provides the (Q)uestion, (A)nswer, and hopefully humorous (C)ommentary, with the ten appearing in no particular order for the worst Laffy Taffy joke of all time.
Q: Teacher: Johnny, what is the definition of infinity?
A: Johnny: Tonight’s homework assignment.
C: While I sympathize with projects that seem to span over eternity, the connection between “infinity” and “assignment” here is not elegant enough to make this a smooth-running joke. While I can appreciate a strong dose of subtlety in my humor, the mental steps required to connect this “joke” to its punchline are simply too much.
Q: What were Tarzan’s last words?
A: Who greased the vine?
C: An example of a joke best told out loud, this is perhaps a personal choice among worst jokes: The first time I heard it was on a “silly songs” cassette tape, where the narrator used colorful inflection in the punchline, as though he was Tarzan himself falling into the jungle abyss below, the Doppler effect lending the signature fadeaway effect to his voice. Just reading it on the wrapper, you lose the drama from Tarzan’s final words, and it likens to something more conversational, as though something asked over a cup of coffee. “I must inquire, who greased this vine?”
Q: What flies and helps people?
A: A helidoctor.
C: … What? Alright, it is half-clever, maybe, but a tad formulaic for my tastes. What next: A vet plane that helps animals? A lairplane for evildoers? A lovercraft for lonely souls? What other vehicular conveyances can we ruin for the sake of a cheap pun? What is an American soldier and dives underwater? A subMarine.
Q: What has hands but cannot clap?
A: A clock.
C: This is not a joke. This is a riddle. Joke, riddle. Riddle, joke.
Q: What is Labor Day?
A: That’s when mommies have their babies.
C: No, no it is not. Even if this were clever, child labor is hardly a humorous subject. Granted, we should often make light of painful topics, but this “joke” is more intent on a stretch at wordplay then making our pains more pleasant.
Q: When was meat so high?
A: When the cow jumped over the moon.
C: Wait, what? “When was meat so high?” What the crap is that supposed to mean? The disconnect between the (Q)uestion and any vague semblance to coherency is insurmountable; ultimately, contrived. I have an alternate version: When was meat so high? When it smoked enough crack to think this joke was funny.
Q: Where do fish sleep?
A: In a water bed.
C: Yawn. The classic fish-joke punch line “In school” would have been funnier on many levels.
Q: What do you call a chicken crossing the road?
A: Poultry in moton.
C: Haha, I actually kinda like this one.
Q: How do small children travel?
A: In mini vans.
C: Far too literal to be funny. Yes, I understand why it is supposed to be clever (miniature vehicles for miniature people), but, let’s face it: The majority of mini vans out there, in real life, really on the road, are carrying small children. That’s reality, not humor.
Q: What happened to the wind?
A: It blew away.
C: Rather than craft an epic dissertation as to why this joke is not funny, I think I’ll just leave it there, like the stenching, fly-ridden, decaying piece of meat at a long-forgotten picnic.
And that, my friends and readers, is an overview of the worst Laffy Taffy jokes of all time.