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    #1

    what's so funny about these joke?

    I just watched Joe Wang's latest performance on Late Night Show with David Letterman. What's so funny about these:

    1. if you give a man a fish, he will be totally weeded out

    2. "Dominos" is a terrible name for a chain restaurant

    3. the most important thing Chinese invented is paper, because before that we only have rock and scissors


    Thanks a lot teachers!

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    #2

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    Quote Originally Posted by harriet_yang View Post
    I just watched Joe Wang's latest performance on the Late Night Show with David Letterman. What's so funny about these?:
    1. If you give a man a fish, he will be totally weirded out.
    2. "Dominos" is a terrible name for a chain restaurant.
    3. The most important thing the Chinese invented is paper, because before that we only had rock and scissors.

    Thanks a lot teachers!
    The first two are not funny in themselves. They each require some further context to make a joke.

    The third refers to the game of rock/paper/scissors. Here's a link that explains how it works.

    Rock-paper-scissors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    not a teacher

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    #3

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    Thanks for both your answers and corrections to my grammars!
    I am not sure if there is more context to the first two lines, but I am pretty sure that the 2nd is just a single line joke. I just don't get it.

    The 3rd one I got the "scissor-rock-paper" thing but don't think it is funny so I thought that I might have missed something.

    Thanks a lot!

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    Quote Originally Posted by harriet_yang View Post
    I just watched Joe Wang's latest performance on Late Night Show with David Letterman. What's so funny about these:

    1. if you give a man a fish, he will be totally weeded out

    2. "Dominos" is a terrible name for a chain restaurant

    3. the most important thing Chinese invented is paper, because before that we only have rock and scissors


    Thanks a lot teachers!
    #2 - In the game of dominoes, you take it in turns to put tiles down in a "chain" which gets longer and longer until someone wins. Unless there is some other joke I'm missing, I think this joke is simply based on the connection between the chain of tiles and the phrase "chain restaurant". I don't find it funny, personally.

    I don't understand #1 at all unless "fish" is some kind of drug slang.

  2. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    I find no humor in any of Joe Wang's comments! I think his 15 minutes of fame have come to an abrupt end!

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    #6

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    People also like to set up dominoes in long, complicated sequences and then knock them all down.

    That doesn't make the comment funny, but maybe he was trying for some relation between a long string or chain of dominoes and them getting knocked over.

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    #7

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    I think it's ridiculous to say something is funny or not funny based on one line in isolation. You can take the punch line from the funniest joke you've heard all year and without the right set up, it's not funny at all. Right now, my husband and I crack up every time Alec Baldwin says "Not on the runway" at the end of a credit card commercial but there's nothing inherently funny about that line. You have to know the background. I've never heard of this comedian and I didn't see his show, so he may be supremely un-funny or I may have been crying with laughter, but these individual lines will never tell us which.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    I have to say that I got the impression from the original post that these are all "one-liners" in which case they're not actually the punchline to anything. They are intended to be told/heard in isolation. A couple of the funniest comedians in the UK at the moment rely entirely on streams of one-liners which, to be fair, in a two-hour show, is no mean feat!

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    #9

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    They have no context (in the strict sense of 'surrounding words'). The context is a more general one - people are used to hearing and using the term 'domino effect'; if you think about this sort of domino as a disaster ('domino effect' was used a lot during the Cold War, so that the need for 'Hemispheric Security' could be used to justify intervention in non-Western countries - supporting a right-wing coup, for example, to prevent the 'domino effect' of spreading communism) then calling a chain of restaurants Domino might be thought to suggest that each one is going to collapse in turn. A lot of one-liners expect the audience to supply this sort of background knowledge. If you get it, you congratulate yourself (and feel you have 'one-up' on people who don't). Sometimes people laugh uproariously to suggest they've got it. I feel a lot of 'comedians' rely on this 'Emperor's New Clothes' effect.

    b

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    #10

    Re: what's so funny about these joke?

    No one's explained the fish one yet.
    The common phrase is: "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
    This is all very well, but how would you respond if a guy came up to you and gave you a fish?

    (Sorry, but I can see how this would be funny if told properly.)

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