Thursday, July 28, 2005

Boo Who?

Even though Thomas hasn't caught on to the concept, he and I traded knock-knock jokes last night as I prepared supper. Of course I told the "boo" joke. Several nonsensical jokes later, he pulled this one on me:

Thomas: Knock knock!
Me: Who's there?
Thomas: Squirrel.
Me: Squirrel who?
Thomas: Don't cry!


Anonymous said...

Now that Thomas has mastered the "Knock-Knock Joke" you may want to consider introducting him to the ". . . and it was Eli Wallach Joke"!

Joseph Thvedt said...

Good idea, but I can't for the life of me remember any of them. Wasn't there was one about some kind of contact-lens-wearing-shellfish?

Joseph Thvedt said...

No, not a shellfish. I think it was a lightning whelk, and it was wearing tinted contact lenses. But I still can't remember the joke.

Anonymous said...

I think that the "joke" went like this. (I have the feeling that one reason that you can't remeber it is becuase it is really hard to figure out why it might be funny!).

Joke #1:

I used to have a job out in San Francisco working the Fisherman's Wharf area. I had a dog who wore sunglasses and I would charge tourists five bucks to have their picture taken with him. I was doing pretty well until this guy showed up who had a lightning whelk that wore tinted contacts . . . and it was Eli Wallach!!!

According to Allen Lowe, the creator of the Eli Wallach joke, the humor is derived from the ambiguity generated by the punch line ". . . and it was Eli Wallach." The listener is meant to be confused as to whether Eli Wallach refers to the man, the whelk, or the lenses. Although the above joke is one of the prototype Eli Wallach jokes, some joke critics have suggested that given the choice of man, whelk, or lens, most listeners would not find themselves experiencing much ambiguity. Of course, it may be the joke critics who do not appreciate the great acting talents of Mr. Wallach, who may be able to portary any of those characters with equal skill.

In any case, the essence of the joke is to finish with some sense of ambiguity as to the role of Eli Wallach in the narrative. And I guess that the humor is then tied to the idea that whenever you can't remember the name of the actor who played a random character in some B movie from the 1970s, more often than not the answer turns out to be . . . Eli Wallach!

Jambo said...

OK, The Aristocrats it ain't, but I now at least understand a recent comment on my own blog a little better. Is there any chance of seeing the The Aristocrats in SD before it comes out on video? If you have a strong stomach and a twisted sense of humor I highly recomend it to anyone who likes the nuts and bolts of what makes something funny. (Not that there's anything about it that you need to see on the big screen of course.) And do read a review or two befoer going just so you know what you're getting yourself into.

Joseph Thvedt said...

Yes, was Eli Wallach the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly? The conventional wisdom says he was the Ugly, but have you taken a good look at Lee Van Cleef?

Joseph Thvedt said...

Is there any chance of seeing the The Aristocrats in SD before it comes out on video?

Not likely. Three kinds of movies don't play here:

Spike Lee movies

Woody Allen movies

Unrated movies

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