After a few hundred attempts, my six-year-old son told a funny joke for the first time last night.
Here’s the joke:
Q: How do you catch a squirrel?
A: You act like a nut!
Our child has been trying for years to come up with a joke that will make us laugh. “Is that funny?” he’ll ask us after telling a silly, nonsensical knock-knock joke he just made up on the spot. We patiently explain to him that a good joke takes a little time and creativity. Perhaps he should start by memorizing a simple joke and tell that to his friends instead, we’ll gently suggest. We’ll also point out that if you have to ask your audience if a joke is funny, then it probably isn’t.
I know that the squirrel joke is not an original, but every young stand-up has to start somewhere, and our young son delivered the punchline with flawless timing. He is also very good at acting like a nut, so the humor fits his slap-stick comedic style.
The ability to make other people laugh is a formidable social skill and one our son already believes to be important. I hope his sense of humor continues to evolve. The world can be a pretty tough place if you don’t learn how to joke about it, and help others laugh along with you.