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Bubba Does Standup

John W. Pinkerton


I was sitting in my easy chair looking out the window at a world I'm not really familiar with when my thoughts turned inward and settled on this question: “Who was the first guy to tell a joke?”

First of all, I say “guy” because women are not likely to invent something that frivolous.

Let's imagine the first jokester.  We'll call him Bubba, okay?

Bubba was a good old boy who got along well with all the other cavemen.  He was a good hunter and father and husband, but he wasn't happy.  “What,” he wondered, “is missing?”

One day Bubba slipped on a greasy spot in the cave and damned near killed himself.  As he came to, he noticed that some of his fellows were laughing.  Laughs were very uncommon in Bubba's day.  Bubba asked himself, “Why are they laughing?” and “What does it mean?”

Bubba was a very thoughtful primitive man.

Bubba liked the feeling the laughs gave him, so he pretended to slip and fall again before the tribe.  Each time he fell, the tribesmen laughed…until they didn't.  They just rolled their eyes and shook their heads---not the reaction he received when he first slipped and fell.  I guess he wore that joke out.

Bubba didn't give up on the idea of making folks laugh, but he did retire his slip-and-fall Shtick.

Bubba's invention of the joke was quite accidental---like most great inventions.  One day he accidentally made a farting sound with his mouth.  The other cavemen looked at him curiously.  A curious look was a start.  Then he purposely made a farting sound with his mouth.  The other cavemen looked a little bemused.  Aha.  Bubba was soon playing farting noises like John Phillip Susa as the others fell out with laughter until they begged Bubba to stop.

Then it struck Bubba: “Perhaps the key to comedy was verbal.  Could it be?”

One day a fellow caveman who had been gone for days showed up dragging a dead elephant.  At first the tribe was very excited, but after a quick inspection, they realized that the elephant had been dead so long and had been dragged over rocks so forcefully that there was nothing left of the elephant worth bragging about.  The tribe was disappointed into silence.

The silence was broken by Bubba who quietly uttered, “You might say it's…irrelephant.”

History was made that day---improvisational humor had arrived.  For years Bubba was asked to repeat his joke, and he went on to invent other jokes: “Why can't you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom?

---Because the pee _is silent.”

One night, a caveman comes running into his cave and says, “Whew! There was a tiger chasing me all the way across the savannah!”  His wife asks, “Why?  The caveman replied “I didn't stop to ask!”

“Why is school easier for cave people?---because there is so little history to study!”

Most of Bubba's jokes were pretty simple; I mean, after all, his audience were cavemen, but he did try out more elaborate jokes:

“Brad the caveman was wandering around when he was attacked by a sabertooth tiger.  During the tussle they both fell into an animal pit dug by Bubba and his buddies. Hearing the noise of the struggle, Bubba's guys arrived on the scene.  At that moment Brad got the upper hand on the largest member of the cat family and lifting the big pussy up flung it out of the pit.

“The Headman of Brad's tribe arrived and asked what had happened to which one of his tribe pointed at the hole and said 'Pit!' and then pointing at Brad said 'He can throw puss,' and points at the tiger lying stunned by the side of the hole.

“The Headman concluded that Brad was the first Pithecanthropus.”

Now these jokes may not appeal to sophisticated fellows such as yourself, but they were killers in Bubba's time.

Now...back to my other question of the day: “Who was the first guy who thought it was a good idea to drink from a cow’s udder?”