For a joke to be successful, the first two bits of the routine either need to be very fast or entertaining by themselves. One famous example, I think we all know, is the "Death by Bunga Bunga" joke where people have fruit shoved up them until they die. Not pretty, but entertaining.
The problem with the rule of three jokes is that most people take so long with their performance, they telegraph where they're heading and you guess the punchline long before they get to the end of the joke.
So the cashier at the grocery store said, Hey, have you ever heard the joke about the potatoes?
I've heard a lot of jokes about potatoes, but in this instance I knew that as soon as the cashier finished checking me out he was going to have to go bag for the other cashier because there was no one else in line. I listened.
Here's the joke. "A potato family, mother, father and three daughters is watching TV and a story comes on about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie getting married."
I already knew I was in for a long one. The three daughters signaled it was a rule of three joke. He had a lot of time to kill so I knew that the improvisation during the first two daughters was going to be long and complex. Plus, he had already started inserting modern detail into a really old joke.
"Pappa Tater turns to his daughters after the story and says, they certainly are a fine looking couple. I wonder who you three will end up marrying. Do you have any ideas about what kind of tater it might be?"
He changed his voice for the father to be very gruff and deep.
"The first Tater daughter turned to him and said, Oh father, (high pitched girly voice here) I know that I will end up marrying a Russet tater! The father said, Oh, that's wonderful. Your grandfather was a Russet tater. Russet is a fine type of tater..."
He went on more, but you don't care.
"He asks the second Tater daughter what kind of tater she would marry. She says, Oh father, I want to marry an Idaho tater. The father says, An Idaho tater! How proud I will be. How grand an Idaho tater is..."
And on and on... Now, I await the twist.
"He asks the third Tater daughter, but she says, Ah! I want to marry Mike Wallace or Dan Rather. The whole family gasps, shocked. Mother Tater faints. Finally the father says, You can't marry them, we're an important family and they're just common taters."
I laughed, but he could tell I wasn't laughing from the gut. He uttered the magic spell that makes all bad jokes disappear. "You must have heard it before."
I hadn't, but the joke served its purpose and by the time he finished there was someone waiting to get checked out and he didn't have to bag.
I saw this statue at the thrift shop. A topless pregnant woman made of plastic with a fake wood grain finish. The base says, Because of You. Read that how you will. It sounds like an accusation to me, but I suppose it's meant as a celebration.
Watched a movie yesterday called, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?
We knew nothing about it, but the description on the screen said:
A young, disco-obsessed English youth becomes a punk rocker to romance a young lady while his father develops telekinetic powers.
I thought it was good. And that is an accurate description of the plot