Talk:One-line joke

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Take my wife[edit]

The Henry Youngman joke ("Take my wife. Please.") does not contain wit and is, therefore, not a one-liner. If he was the king of one-liners, maybe there's a better example.--Chrisbotic 21:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

To explain a joke means it isn't right for the audience. See, take this perticular person... Please, 'cause I don't want him anymore.
As you can clearly tell, the "take" is first used as meaning "for example", then used as meaning "obtain possesion of". Got it? 18:06, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

No. This is not true. It is a one-liner, but it is in two sentences. Which is irrelevant, but pertinent at the same time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Laid end to end[edit]

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised."

I don't really understand that quote.. help me out?

The joke impugns the virtue of the girls at Yale. It relies on an understanding of the slang meaning of the word "laid" (to have sexual relations). RolandStJude 04:05, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

This is a sexist joke. It implies that women attend Yale College on a regular basis, which is not true. They are all men in drag. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 1 May 2015 (UTC)


Would it be approved if the site would be added as an external references to this wikipage? 14:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC) 14:01, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Need sources for definition and scope[edit]

I've twice removed attempts to broaden the scope of this article to include action/adventure quips like "Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker" and "I'm a little tied up right now", not only because they don't meet the classic idea of a one-liner joke (which includes the set-up and resolution in a single line), but also because the broadening seems to be more of an excuse to add a bunch of popular movie quotes rather than to discuss and delimit the subject.

Clearly, what we need here are some reliable sources for the factual information about the concept of "one-liner joke". These should provide one or more definitions, some history, and notable uses. Only within that context would it be appropriate to cite specific examples. Currently, we seem to have it backward — minimal factual info and the danger of making this a never-ending list. I'm too bogged down in the real world to do proper research for these sources, but I can help vet and format the citations if anyone else wants to take a crack at it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:36, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

This is not sourced info, but let me try to point out the difference between a quip and a "one-liner". Notice the two one-liners mentioned above — Youngman's famous "Take my wife… please" and Parker's nearly-as-famous "If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised". In each case, there is a "set-up", which expresses a common idea, then a "twist" that takes the statement in a different direction than expected. (I'm sure there are proper terms for these two parts, but I don't recall them off-hand.) Youngman turns an apparent introduction to a chat about his wife into a plea to get rid of her, amazingly with only four words — perhaps the most succinct one-liner ever. Parker sounds like she's going to make a common analogy to express a large quantity, then shifts it into an insult, as RolandStJude says.
Not every one-liner has a clearly divided set-up and twist. Marx's description of politics ("the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies") takes a nominally serious list of characteristics and inserts insults into each of them. But it's still a form of twisting an ordinary idea into a joke in a single sentence.
Contrast these with "I'm a little tied up right now" and "Let off some steam". These quips are not self-contained, as a joke must be. They require a situational set-up that is not part of the quote.
I imagine the confusion comes from the fact that many one-liners and quips both include forms of punning, in which key words or phrases are meant to be interpreted in more than one way for humorous effect. But one-liners aren't just sentences with a pun; they're self-contained jokes with a specific twist in perspective. At least that's how I see it. I hope this helps. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:03, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
By the same token, why is Bruce Campbell listed among the examples in this article? He is an action-movie star, and not a comedian or author. Yes, he frequently plays characters who deliver one-liners, but there's just a fundamental difference between spontaneously quipping the kind of things that Dorothy Parker did, vs. delivering a scripted line. A subtle difference, maybe, but the two things are not the same. GuySperanza (talk) 02:44, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Shmuel Breban?[edit]

Am I the only one who hasn't heard of a Shmuel breban? (talk) 00:01, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes. Now go away. Evanh2008, Super Genius Who am I? You can talk to me... 07:38, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Alcohol isn’t the answer to everything but atleast it makes you forget the question. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 28 September 2011 (UTC) ---

Are they really jokes? Not very funny, any of them; just old used things. (talk) 11:26, 11 July 2015 (UTC)