Dad jokes are a subgenre of humor that’s notorious for being bad. The worst ones are so cheesy that you can’t help but roll your eyes or even groan. These jokes are the lowest-hanging fruits of comedy: They don’t require a setup or a segue, they just drop a bad pun and hope for the best. Having a sense of humor is important, but it’s equally important to know when a joke isn’t funny. That’s why it’s helpful to have a few good, cheesy dad jokes in your back pocket!
The reason why they’re so cheesy is that they’re intentionally uncool. The goal is to elicit a chorus of groans from family members and strangers alike. They’re the jokes your father or grandfather would tell you when you were young, and the same jokes that a lot of people still think are funny, despite being incredibly corny.
Interestingly, the phenomenon of bad dad jokes isn’t restricted to western culture. The Japanese have a word for them, oyaji gyagu, and the Danes call them morfar vittigheder. There’s a clear connection between dad jokes and masculinity, as they appear to be a kind of humour that men in these cultures enjoy and use to bond with their children.
They also serve a pedagogical function, as the jokes allow fathers to jokingly embarrass their children. This is in contrast to the more aggressive and teasing style of play and humour that mothers seem to prefer for their children.