I tell ya, muggers are jerks, but you still gotta hand it to them. (Laugh track!)
And thus begins another International Joke Day on July 1. Really, really, we’re glad you’re here. Where would any of us be without jokes and laughter to brighten our spirits? It can help any situation. This July 1, we invite you to take some time out of your day to recognize the important job humor plays in keeping stress at bay, building relationships, and bringing levity to a world that badly needs it. And be sure not to confuse the purpose of International Joke Day with April Fools’ Day — the two couldn’t be further apart. July 1 is all about getting a grin out of your best friend, sharing a laugh on social media, and appreciating the stand up comics who have left us in stitches for decades.
Speaking of stitches, that reminds me:
I asked the doctor the other day if I’d be able to play the piano once I got my stitches removed. “Yes,” he told me, “I imagine that won’t be a problem.” “Great,” I said. “I’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument.”
International Joke Day timeline
The oldest identified joke is an ancient Sumerian proverb featuring toilet humor.
The Westcar Papyrus contains an example of one of the earliest jokes.
An anthology of jokes “Facetiae” by Poggio Bracciolini is published.
Shakespeare introduces the knock-knock joke in his play “Macbeth.”
The monthly New York magazine “The Knickerbocker” is the first to publish the classic joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.”
International Joke Day Activities
Support live comedy
One of the best ways to celebrate International Joke Day is to head out to a comedy club in your area, support the club and its comedians, and get a hearty dose of laughter while you’re at it. Perhaps it’s a local, small club with up-and-coming comedians, or an established business that attracts top talent. Either way, your support means we’ll have a steady stream of one liners rolling out for years to come.
Learn a joke
Telling a good joke is a lot harder than memorizing a few words. It takes timing, reading your audience, delivery, articulation, and experience. So, why not take this holiday as an opportunity to learn - and practice - a joke? Consider the context in which you might use it, practice the delivery, and test it out with your friends. If it floats, you’ve got a joke in your back pocket you can pull out at any awkward dinner party.
Take a break from the news
In today’s 24-hour news cycle, it’s sometimes overwhelming to try to keep up. For one day on July 1, perhaps try avoiding the news, and instead, read humor pieces in any of the country’s leading newspapers. Or, you can of course find the internet’s best comedy on sites like Reddit, Buzzfeed, The Onion, or any of your preferred sources. Who knows what could be accomplished if we all shared a good sidesplitting laugh, even if just for a day.
Why We Love International Joke Day
They're good for our bodies
We’ve all heard laughter is the best medicine, but did you know there’s scientific evidence to back that up? Studies have shown laughing has far reaching positive effects for the mind and body. It gives the immune system a boost by decreasing stress hormones, it improves heart health by increasing blood flow, and can even burn calories.
They bring us all together
Every country has its own unique set of humor, and July 1 is the perfect time to share that piece of culture. No matter what differences we have, we still all love having a great belly laugh in good company. International Joke Day reminds us that humor is human, and that binds us together.
They're totally human
Humans have been telling jokes for nearly as long as we’ve had civilization. While some scholars believe it was the ancient Greeks who told the first jokes, others say they can trace it back to the Sumerians nearly 4,000 years ago. And the most common joke material throughout the ages? Let’s just say they told bawdy jokes, in every sense of the word.
International Joke Day dates