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Tony Grist

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Very Old Jokes [Feb. 6th, 2010|09:48 am]
Tony Grist
They were discussing old jokes on QI last night- and by old I mean very old- anything up to 4,000 years old. Jimmy Carr, who has just written a book about jokes and has been trawling the archives, offered us what he considers the oldest joke that still works. It's Greek, it's over 2,000 years old- and it goes like this:

Barber to customer: How would sir like his hair cut?

Customer to barber: In silence.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2010-02-06 10:33 am (UTC)
Hee, hee! I've heard that joke before, but had no idea it was as old as that! :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-02-06 10:51 am (UTC)
You could include it in a modern comedy routine and it would fit seamlessly.
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2010-02-06 07:28 pm (UTC)
Good one. IIRC the original "Your mother wears army boots" is about as old, as is a version of the old "horticulture" joke.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-02-06 09:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think I know the horticulture joke.

The oldest extant joke is apparently a Sumerian ribtickler about young wives farting in their husbands' laps. No, I don't get it either.
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2010-02-06 10:16 pm (UTC)
The Russians think that a woman farting is the sign of her having been, shall we say, well serviced. I suspect the Sumerian joke is based on a similar trope.

The horticulture joke is a riff off of the saying about leading a horse to water: you can lead a whore to culture but you cannot make her think. The Greeks evidently had a joke about the difference between a hetaira and a common prostitute which relied on a similar punch line, minus the pun of course.
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