A dad joke is a short joke, typically a pun, presented as a one-liner or a question and answer, but not a narrative. Generally inoffensive, dad jokes are stereotypically told by fathers among family, either with sincere humorous intent, or to intentionally provoke a negative reaction to its overly-simplistic humor.
Many dad jokes may be considered anti-jokes, deriving humor from an intentionally unfunny punchline. An example dad jokes goes as follows: A child will say to the father, "I'm hungry," to which the father will reply, "Hi, Hungry, I'm Dad."
While the exact origin of the term dad joke is unknown, a writer for the Gettysburg Times wrote an impassioned defense of the genre in June of 1987 under the headline "Don't ban the 'Dad' jokes; preserve and revere them". The earliest known use of the term online was on B3ta Forums in December 2003. On a thread titled "Dad Jokes", users shared "lame jokes" made by their fathers. The term "dad jokes" received mentions in Australian quiz show Spicks and Specks in 2009, and in the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother in 2008. However, the term spread into general use only after 2014 with increasing numbers of web searches on Google.
In September 2019, Merriam-Webster added dad joke to the dictionary.
- "Father's Day: In praise of dad jokes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-03-02.
- Luu, Chi (12 June 2019). "The Dubious Art of the Dad Joke". JSTOR. ITHAKA. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
Dad jokes are a kind of anti-joke, different from other ways of joking in their performance, even formulaic jokes. Like self-deprecatingly joking about a personal flaw before your bullies do, dad jokes seem to court failure, presenting themselves as deliberately bad, deliberately uncool, deliberately anti-humor.
- "Don't ban the "Dad" jokes; preserve and revere them". Gettysburg Times. June 20, 1987. p. 5. Retrieved 2019-02-09 – via NewspaperArchive.
- "b3ta.com qotw". www.b3ta.com. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
- zombieshoes76 (2009-08-30), Spicks & Specks- Dad Jokes, retrieved 2016-03-02
- Fryman, Pamela (2008-11-10), Not a Father's Day, retrieved 2016-03-02
- "Google Trends". Google Trends. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
- "We Added New Words to the Dictionary for September 2019". Merriam-Webster. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 19 September 2019.