The Popcorn Stand: Don’t knock a good knock, knock joke |

The Popcorn Stand: Don’t knock a good knock, knock joke

I love a good knock, knock joke. Actually I love a stupid knock, knock joke. My favorite knock, knock joke I tell all the time comes from an episode of MASH as told by Hawkeye Pierce to Trapper John.

“Knock, knock,” Hawkeye says. “Who’s there?” Trapper John replies. Hawkeye: George Washington. Trapper John: George Washington who? Hawkeye: You mean you don’t know me?

I’ve been reading about the origins of the knock, knock joke and William Shakespeare is generally credited with the first knock, knock joke in 1606 from “Macbeth” in which someone knocks at Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s door and Macbeth asks “who’s there.”

Apparently, though, knock, knock jokes really didn’t take off until the 1930s. In 1936, “Variety” reported the “Knock, Knock craze” was sweeping America. Then on Nov. 14, radio personality Wee Georgie Wood apparently sent England all a giddy with knock, knock jokes.

But a good, stupid, creative knock, knock joke like the one Hawkeye told is hard to find. I think the reason why we like a really well told knock, knock joke is because it’s so dreadful, it’s so stupid, we can’t help but laugh. And a person who knows how to tell a stupid knock, knock joke — like Hawkeye — just makes it all that much better.

So good, stupid, funny, creative knock, knock jokes will never go out of style.

Hey, if a good knock, knock joke is good enough for the Bard, it’s good enough for me.

— Charles Whisnand