Why Dad Jokes Are So Important

Dad jokes walk a razor-thin line between wit and dumb humor. They can be fearlessly corny or acerbicly clever, but they almost always feature a pun. These puns are cheesy but groan-worthy, teasing the brain with their cerebrally obscure punchlines like, “What do you call a fake noodle?” or, “Why didn’t the skeleton laugh when it saw its reflection?”

A dad joke can be almost as risqué as a fart joke, yet it’s wholesome and appropriate for dads to tell around their kids. This is because a pun violates only a linguistic norm rather than a social or moral one, as sexually suggestive jokes can do. Dad jokes can also be a great way to get children laughing because they are often simple and one-liner puns that kids can quickly memorize and repeat.

Despite their cringe-worthy punchlines, dad jokes have a special place in our hearts, connecting us with family across generations. This fascinating phenomenon reveals a lot about the way we understand humour, but it also shows how important it is to develop a sense of family and shared humour with our kids.

Moreover, dad jokes are a natural extension of the rough-and-tumble play that fathers have been instinctively drawn to engage their children in since the dawn of our species, without fully understanding the important function that it serves. So, the next time your father or child tells a cringe-worthy pun, don’t let their eye-rolling jokes put you off—they may be doing you a favour!