Struggling for repartee with your kids? We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to Dad jokes they’re going to love! (Well, mostly.)
Some classic Dad jokes
To start things off – and before we get into some strategies – here’s a handful of the typical jokes that you can expect to hear from a Dad at some point during his parenting phase, whether he’s driving his kids around town, waiting for a movie to start at the cinema or reheating leftover food in the microwave:
– What do you call a bee who can’t make up his mind?
– A maybe.
– Doctor: “Sir, I’m afraid your DNA is backwards.”
– Me: “And?
– A slice of apple pie will cost you $2 in Jamaica, $3 in the Bahamas and $1.50 in Trinidad. These are the pie rates of the Caribbean.
– What do you call a hippie’s wife?
– Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
They’re all comedy gold, right? But this kind of elevated humorous banter doesn’t come easily. No; like all art forms, it takes lots of skill, training and application. If you’re struggling to get a laugh out of your little ones, these tips might help.
Top tips for telling jokes to kids
- Don’t worry if you’re not overly comfortable with the Q&A style of approach to joke telling – i.e., this kind of thing: “What’s the best part about living in Switzerland?” “I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.” Most Dad jokes don’t involve a question and a punchline. Quotes from movies are a great source of funnies. In fact, I would estimate that around 60 percent of my hilarious sayings come from just three movies from the 1980s: Airplane! (or Flying High as it was called in Australia), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fletch. That’s why if someone says, “Surely you can’t be serious?” I’m always ready with the reply: “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley!”
- TV shows are fair game, too – The Simpsons, in particular. It never gets old repeating Ralph Wiggum’s immortal line “Me fail English? That’s un-possible!” to the kids. (It can, however, get a little awkward when one of them does actually fail English.) Another good one for when the family is trying to drag you out of the house to the shops is Homer’s classic line: “What’s the point of going out? We’re just going to wind up back here anyway.”
- Your Dad jokes don’t all have to come from comedy films and shows. For example, whenever your child reaches into a kitchen cupboard to get a cup, you can replicate the “chalice scene” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and say, “You have chosen … wisely.”
- You’ll know you’ve cracked it as a Dad joke teller when you secretly hear Mum trying to repeat your jokes to the kids in the kitchen. (A word to the wives and mothers on this: it’s actually inappropriate to make a Dad joke if you’re not a dad. This is known as a faux pa.)
Some final advice
- If your kids complain about having to go to bed early at night, tell them they are guilty of resisting a rest.
- Don’t tell any jokes about chemistry – they won’t get a reaction.
- Whenever the clock says 2.30, don’t forget to mention that this is the time when you should be going to the dentist.
- When a child says, “Did you get a haircut?” be sure to reply, “No, I got all of them cut.”
Lastly, if you’re sensing some “push back” from your kids to your jokes, forge ahead regardless. It’s for the betterment of society. You can even turn their complaints into a whole new joke, like this:
Daughter: “I’m tired of your stupid jokes.”
Dad: “Hi, tired-of-your-stupid-jokes, I’m Dad!”
Daughter: “Dad, you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said, have you!?”
Dad: “That’s a strange way to start a conversation with me.”
My two girls aren’t teenagers quite yet, but I’m really looking forward to the time when they are. Things can only get funnier, right? I mean, I’ll still be telling the same gags (Dad jokes are like wine; they just get better over time), but they’ll have a more mature sense of humour and a bigger, more established group of friends who I can loudly try my jokes out on. They’re going to love it.
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This article first appeared in the Kids’ Guide 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!