Friday, February 22, 2013

My love for joke-telling, A "How-to" guide to "That's what she said"

I love "that's what she said" jokes. Sure, they're crass, immature, and admittedly over-used, but they're still potentially pretty funny. Especially if the phrase beforehand is long and complex.

The whole reason that this joke is funny, and remains funny, is because it's used sparingly is normally unexpected. Aristotle once said, "The secret to humor is surprise." The reason jokes are funny at all, is usually because the punchline is unexpected. The only way to make that joke even a little funnier is if there's no actual "she" to speak of (as is the case if used by straight women, gay men, or male virgins) because it's even more unexpected and ridiculous.

You know what doesn't make that joke funnier? Correcting someone and saying, "No, that's what HE said!" I don't care if the joke teller is female or gay, if that's what "she" said, leave it be. Now, if someone wants to start the joke off with "That's what he said", more power to them, I guess. The gender isn't really that important to the punchline, to be honest. The whole point of the joke is to suggest that the last sentence used was extremely obscene if taken out of context.

For instance, I was at work one day when someone trying to restock the sales floor said, "This isn't going to fit up front, so I'm going to shove it in the back." Even in context, it was kind of hard to ignore. Regardless though, what this person said was unintentionally hilarious. Had I said, "That's what she said!" it wouldn't have made the joke any funnier by someone else saying, "More like, 'That's what he said!'"

The gender of the person isn't the point of the joke. It just takes the person's mind off what was actually said and makes them focus on why you would feel the need to change the gender. It adds a step to the thought process. Instead of thinking, "Oh, what they said was perverted!" you're now suddenly thinking, "Oh, what that person just said was funny because it was perverted and, as Susan just pointed out,  the joke teller is a straight female so it's actually that's what he said. Nice catch there, Susan! That was a close one!"

See how an otherwise funny joke suddenly becomes a dead horse?

Don't change already funny jokes, even if you think it better fits the situation. It's probably not funnier. It's sort of like if you have a doorbell and want to tell a "knock-knock" joke. You wouldn't start off with "ding-dong!" would you? No. People would look at you like you're an idiot. Because you would be just that, an idiot.

And yes, I realize that Michael Scott, in the video link above, corrects himself and changes the gender a couple times. You know what though? He's Michael Friggin' Scott. He can do what he wants!

Anyway, do you have a favorite "that's what she said" moment? Does this annoy you too? Let me know in the comments below!

And also, instead of posting about something I love on Fridays and something I hate on Mondays, I'll just write about whatever I want on those days. It'd rather do something that's on my mind instead of forcing something out. (That's what she said?)

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