One of my brothers came home a couple of years ago and announced that he had become a stand-up comedian. We weren't shocked.
Well, I think the funny gene has seeped it's way into my firstborn. He's discovered The Joke. It's one of my favorite mini milestones so far, I think. He's developing his spoken and receptive language skills while learning about conversational give-and-take, and of course, honing that sense of humor. He's always enjoyed a good gag and is an easy giggler. When he heard his first joke, however, and you could *see* the wheels turning as he tried to create one himself, THAT was priceless.
It all started when his daddy told him the classic, "Why'd the chicken cross the road..." That was met with hand-over-the-mouth laughs and was repeated to me as: "MOM! Why'd the chicken...um...why'd the chicken go on the road?" "I don't know, why, baby?" "To get on the other SIDE!" [hahahahahaha].
Then I blew his mind with this gem: Why'd the chicken cross the playground? "Hmmmm? I don't know why, mommy." To get to other SLIDE! He immediately had that twinkly-eyed look: He got it, and was amazed at the pun. And was probably also stunned that his lowly ol' mommy knew something so clever.
It was then that you could almost see the words coming together in his brain. He was playing with language and thinking of how to use his own words in a clever way. He wanted to come back with a comedic match. Here's what he came up with:
E: Why'd the chicken cross the road?
E: To.....um....to drive....to drive on the big steamroller! [hahahahahahahaha!]
So....he's still working on his delivery. But who doesn't like a joke that ends with the old standby steamroller gag?
Over the past few days, and several times a day, Evan will stop what he's doing and say, "Let's tell jokes!" So he'll tell me about the chicken and the road (or steamroller) and I'll have to come up with a new one, although he'll play along even when it's a repeat: "A hot...! I mean...Um, I don't know mommy? What do you call a puppy in the middle of the summer?" Do you know how hard it is to come up with jokes under pressure? Is this how Johnny Carson felt?
As good as the laughs are when the jokes are funny, my favorite are the laughs when the jokes are over his head. He knows that, when the joke is over, he's supposed to laugh. So he does--hand over the mouth, huge belly laughs.
My dad, the Original Jokester in this funny family lineage, shared some of his tried and trues with Evan over the phone the other day.
Pop: What's the difference between a chicken and a henway?
Evan: I don't know, Pop, what?
Pop: [whisper cue: "Say: What's a henway?"]
Evan: Oh! What's a henway?
Pop: Oh, about four or five pounds!!
Evan: [silent contemplation]
Evan: Oh! [fake comprehension] hahahahahahaha!!
And the other family "favorite:"
Me: Did you hear we're supposed to get some snew later today?
Me: ["Say, What's snew?"]
Evan: Oh! What's snew?
Me: Nothing! What's snew with you?!
Evan: [staring at the crazy mommy] But when are we going to get some? Can I have some?
You know what comedic truth doesn't need to be taught? Potty humor kills every time.