Dedicated to Irwin James Reif (1915-2001), my dad.

     One of the qualities I admired my dad for when I was little was his ability to make people laugh. I grew up in the days of great TV comedians like Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Red Skelton, and Danny Thomas. Dad emulated them. He loved to tell jokes. In his pocket he always carried a card with something like a hundred punchlines on it, numbered in a list. Idolizing him, I made a card of my own.
     I still remember a lot of his jokes. I loved the ridiculous setups and the surprising, but inevitable, punchlines. If the punchline was good, a single joke could keep me laughing uncontrollably for five minutes. I'd finally wind down, but I'd start up again whenever the line came back to my mind. One joke could keep me laughing for days.
    The jokes dad used to tell are still going around. He didn't make them up, of course, any more than the people who tell them today did.
     I hear these jokes on the radio. I see them passed around on the Internet. I still laugh. They're so damned funny! They're funny because they distill all the absurdity of life itself, of every day a person spends on earth, into a single line.
    Here are some of the jokes my father told, and some others that have kept me laughing the way his jokes made me laugh. Welcome to my Hall of Famous Jokes!


Note: If you know a joke that you feel belongs here, please send it in! Our panel of Nobel Prize-winning judges will consider it. If they choose to include your joke on this web site, the joke will also be inscribed on an 18-carat gold panel in the actual Hall of Famous Jokes!

It Could Have Been Worse

The Violinist
The Man Who Knew Everyone
Up On the Roof
The Conversion
Easy For You
The Argument
The Human Condition
The Milt Famy Joke
The Panda
The Suit
It's Only a Game?
The Golf Fanatic
Olaf and Lena
The Comedian's Convention

Two Psychiatrists


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