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FriAug 16

National Tell A Joke Day – August 16, 2024

A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?”

And there you have it: the classic joke. An innocent setup that leads to a punch line — which in turn, sparks big laughs and lifelong admiration from both friends and family. You hope. (Nobody said comedy was easy.) In our opinion, this day should be celebrated all year long. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good giggle?  On August 16, celebrate National Tell A Joke Day by doing just that — telling a joke. Hint: You might want to try it out on some good friends first, before making your comedy debut in a roomful of strangers. Practice will help. Remember, timing is everything.

Ok — one more: A lobster walks into a bar. The bartender says, “We don’t serve ‘food’ here.” Get it? Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. I’m here all week! Good night. Tip your waitresses. Drive safely!

When is National Tell A Joke Day 2024?

Jokes, gags, puns, pickup lines, memes, and more are celebrated on National Tell A Joke Day on August 16.

History of National Tell A Joke Day

Picture a life without laughter — it’s hard to imagine that there may have been a time when jokes weren’t invented. Jokes are believed to have been a part of history since 1900 B.C. Many suggest that the joke was created by the Greek hero Palamedes, who outsmarted Odysseus during the Trojan War. There is little evidence to support this claim, and the exact origin of jokes is unknown. The creation of National Tell A Joke Day is also lost in time so we guess the joke’s on us!

Tell A Joke Day is a great day to lighten up and laugh it up! Not only is laughter great for the soul, it is also beneficial for our health. When times get hard, and we need help turning that frown upside down, a good joke will save the day! Laughter is also contagious, and the world can always use more smiles and laughter.

The structure of a joke isn’t set in stone. Initially, jokes were more like funny stories or accounts, either written or verbal. The comical situation would usually end with a punchline. Slapstick comedy relies more on props and movement to deliver jokes that involve small stunts. They need to be short and not dragged out, otherwise, the joke will be lost halfway through. Standup comedians depend on their delivery to get a good laugh out of the audience. Books on jokes and gags used to be popular at one time, but these days the meme format is the most used in today’s internet culture.

National Tell A Joke Day timeline

Comedy Duo

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s comedy act becomes the peak of comedy in Hollywood.

Knock Knock!

Bob Dunn publishes the book “Knock Knock: Featuring Enoch Knox,” and is considered the inventor of the modern knock-knock joke.

December 17, 1989
America’s Favorite Family

The first episode of “The Simpsons” airs, fusing pop culture with jokes and leading to the popular Bart Simpson gags in the next few years.

Rage Memes

The meme format becomes popular after rage comic memes are posted on the website 4chan.


The traditions for National Tell A Joke Day are to tell as many jokes as possible. From witty one-liners to shows, jokes dominate the entertainment scene for the day. Famous comedians and their popular acts are aired on television, and trending online, live performance shows are sold out. People also share their favorite jokes and memes on the internet.

The idea behind the day is to keep the mood light and enjoy a good laugh. Just remember, jokes need to be setting-appropriate, and the golden rule is to not be offensive or insensitive.

National Tell A Joke Day FAQs

When is National Tell A Joke Day?

National Tell A Joke Day is celebrated on August 16.

Is there an International Joke Day?

International Joke Day is celebrated on July 1.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

We think the chicken crossed the road because the grass is greener on the other side. 

National Tell A Joke Day Activities

  1. Learn some jokes

    We're talking clever jokes. Nothing cheesy or too dirty. Practice your delivery. And remember, never laugh when you deliver the punch line. You're the comedian. Laughing's for all the other people in the room. Ideally.

  2. Attend a comedy show

    But remember, comedians may make you part of their act. It's not a play, after all. Keep an open mind and have fun! Oh, and don't heckle the performers. That rarely works out to your advantage.

  3. Watch how the pros do it

    Want to learn more about the art of being funny? Start with Jerry Seinfeld's Netflix series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" for some invaluable tips and advice. Then, check out specials from comedy stars like Ali Wong, Norm MacDonald, Gary Gulman, and Dave Chappelle

5 Facts That Are Unbelievably Funny

  1. Walmart has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard

    Harvard has a 4.5% admittance rate, whereas Walmart accepts only 2.6% of all applicants.

  2. Phobia of long words

    The fear of long words is called ‘hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.’

  3. “Collectible” art?

    An art collector once paid $10,000 for an invisible sculpture sculpted by actor James Franco.

  4. Cows have regional dialects

    Depending on the herd, its peer group, and area, cows moo with distinct accents.

  5. Oddly specific

    The blob of toothpaste that is squeezed onto a toothbrush is called a ‘nurdle.’

Why We Love National Tell A Joke Day

  1. Jokes can relax you

    Laughter's the best stress reliever around. If you’re one of those serious types, then this day's not for you. Feel free to research “I Don’t Like to Laugh Day” on another website. Ha. That's a joke!

  2. Laughs can lift your mood

    A great joke at the right time can work wonders. Jokes bring happiness to those in need by temporarily distracting them from their worries.

  3. Jokes can make you the life of the party

    Everyone loves the guy or gal who can lighten the mood during serious times. It's a great way to make new friends — assuming your jokes go over well.

National Tell A Joke Day dates

2024August 16Friday
2025August 16Saturday
2026August 16Sunday
2027August 16Monday
2028August 16Wednesday

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#NationalTellAJokeDay #TellAJokeDay #JokeOfTheDay #KingOfMemes #MemeQueen

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