Dad jokes and tacky ties – Father’s Day rites

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Good ol’ dad. He really works hard at what he does. Everyday he toils hard to provide for the family. No, I’m not talking about his paycheque, I’m talking about his daily dose of #dadjokes. With Father’s Day coming up, you’ll want to get ready for the onslaught.

This year, go beyond greeting cards and gift baskets, and give him the gift he'll really love: prepare to groan, smirk, frown, snicker and burst out laughing. It’s his day, let him be the bad-ass of bad dad jokes. (For those asking "when is Father's Day 2021?" it's Sunday, June 20. You're welcome.) 

While driving through a flat stretch of Saskatchewan last week, my husband said, “I can see so far, I can see the back of my head.”

The back seat groans, and that only encourages him. He adds, “They say this drive is longer in the winter… but it’s the same.”

While he smirks at his own jokes waiting for the laughter, the audience rolls their eyes and the earbuds go in. I’m stuck as the only audience for the dad jokes that actually do make the drive longer. (Haha, bad mom joke.)


#Dadjoke pro James Breakwell shares his daughters' insights for laughs on Twitter - read more below.

Father’s Day and Mother’s Day comparison

Father’s Day has been around almost as long as Mother’s Day but only got proclaimed as the third Sunday in June in 1966. Somehow dad gets shorted on his day. Mothers get on average 150 million cards while dads only open 95 million. Interestingly Mother’s Day is the day that sees the most long-distance calls. Poor dad. He pays for the most collect calls on Father’s Day. 

Enter the dad joke

In honour of dad on Father’s Day, we look at the origin and the purpose of dad jokes, or in the case of families like ours, bad dad jokes.

When does a joke become a dad joke? When it becomes… apparent. 

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If you can believe it, the phrase “dad joke” was only added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in September 2019 but the art of telling dad jokes goes back for generations, probably to the beginning of time. 

Caveman dad: Ugh ooh ooh ga baugh.

Caveman son: Groan.

(Credit to my daughter Bonnie for that one. “"I tell a lot of bad dad jokes, but I'm not a dad. I guess that makes me a faux pa,” she says.)

A dad joke is considered to be short, a one-liner or a pun. Or it can be a question followed by a corny punch line. It’s something that everyone assumes can be followed by the ba-dum-tss rimshot of a drummer. Usually to be a dad joke it’s inoffensive or is purposely not funny to get the groan from the kids.

Dad: Did you know 10 plus 10, and 11 plus 11 add up to the same thing?

Child: No.

Dad: What’s 10 plus 10?

Child: 20.

Dad: What’s 11 plus 11?

Child: 22. Twenty … too … get it? Enter drum rimshot here.

Bad dad jokes are known to happen in every language. Even other species have dad jokes:

What did the Buffalo dad say to his son going off to school? Bi-son. 

A sizzler from @GroanBot, another #Dadjoke purveyor at work.

Funny dads make a living from telling bad jokes

Some dads who really keep the jokes spinning make a living out of it. Check out James Breakwell who goes by the twitter handle @Xplodingunicorn. He has published books full of his best work and has over a million followers who watch his four girls turn into daily dad jokes. 

Over on Twitter @GroanBot specializes in really bad dad jokes that don’t look for participation from others, they are just one liners like this one: I made a playlist for hiking. It has music from Peanuts, The Cranberries and Eminem. I call it Trail Mix. Or groaners like this one: I ordered a chicken and egg from Amazon. I’ll let you know.

And we all know that dad jokes rely on timing as @matthewericdoes points out on TikTok here:

Have a laugh on Father’s Day

My family is following in their dad’s footsteps. Heck they even gave him Bad Dad Joke socks! They work at creating their own bad dad jokes to tell him and retell the best of the lot over and over. Now when they sit around the backyard fireplace one will say. “Number 12” and they both laugh, then the other will say, Number 82 and the laughter picks up again. Okay, that’s an inside joke. But they do love their dad's constant punny contribution to their day. 

The one thing you can count on is that dad jokes evolve and like tacky ties on Father's Day, they never go out of style. So, while you stand around the BBQ on Father’s Day and he waves the hamburger flipper for emphasis while retelling his “Number 16,” laugh like you’ve never heard it before. 

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