The oldest recorded joke we’ve found so far was common enough that it was recorded twice on ancient Sumerian tablets, going back 4,000 years. It’s a real knee-slapper.
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a dog walks into a bar, but he doesn’t see anything. And so he asks: shall I open one?
Yeah, I don’t get it, either. I guess you had to be there. Or maybe jokes were invented before humor was. Some of the world’s greatest minds have been working on this one. Has it been correctly translated? What was the context in the Sumerian culture? Can the “walks into a bar” structure really be that old? The joke has been interpreted several different ways, because language and cultural context was way different 4,000 years ago, but it’s not something experts agree on. The joke possibly depends on assumptions that ancient Sumerians would have lived with, but we don’t. Then again, maybe it really wasn’t that funny back then, either. It was recorded in collections of proverbs and advice, although it really doesn’t work in that context, either. Read the various explanations for the dog joke at Historic Mysteries. -via Strange Company
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