A man walks into a bar..... No wait.. let me start again...

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If you're like me, you may have experienced a similar dilemma when prompted by friends or family to tell your best joke at that last party or family get together...


I tend to remember the essence of the joke, you all know that one about the bar right? and remember the good feelings it gave me, which usually is what lead to its encoding in the first place.

What i struggle with and have began to realize may be a hole in with our advanced encoding process is my loss for the small details like precise wording and the delivery style of the joke which made it so funny. Most great jokes rely on a punchline, which seems to inherently lose its "punch" when the lines are not remembered word for word.

If our sensory memory is able to hold a couple lines of a comedian's joke for only a couple seconds, the entire joke or at least its important phases will be passed on to our short term memory. The success of our short term memory to pass on information to the long term memory for the jokes ultimate storage, is reliant on making meaningful connections with the information, some of which will be remembered. With most other oral tales, this process would work perfectly, however with jokes, the integrity of the story is often times ruined by our own over simplification of it in our minds.

So next time you hear a great joke, hold back from normal processing and make a conscious effort to focus on the wording! It may even help you charm a good looking classmate before being passed onto grandma during the holiday season...

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Indeed Anika. Comedy is an art and like all forms of art, to be good at it requires practice.

The best comedians probably rehearse their jokes many times and try them on friends and family in different variations until the settle on a way of telling that feels right and goes smoothly.

I'll bet with a little work you could polish that awesome joke to really get the attention of that good looking classmate.

Here's one for you...

Man asked: God, why did you make women so beautiful?
God replied: So that you might fall in love.
Man asked: OK. But why are they so stupid sometimes?
God replied: So that they might be able to fall in love with you...

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This page contains a single entry by joh09180 published on October 23, 2011 10:39 PM.

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