Any history on the topic of jokes happened by chance and not by design. Jokes are not part of the refined culture but are, rather, considered a form of entertainment for all classes. "As such, any printed version (of the joke) were considered to be ephemera, i.e. temporary documents created for a specific purpose and intended to be thrown away." That being said, various kinds of jokes have been identified in ancient pre-classical texts. In fact, the earliest identified joke was found to be an ancient Sumerian proverb from 1900 B.C. and contained "toilet humor." Its record were dated to the Old Babylonian period and the joke itself may go back as far as 2300 B.C. The next oldest joke found discovered on the Westcar Papyrus and believed to be about Sneferu, was from Ancient Egypt circa 1600 BC. Rounding out the top three oldest jokes is one about three ox drivers from Adab. It dates back to 1200 B.C. Perhaps you've heard it?
The earliest joke book is Philogelos which is Greek for Laughter-Lover. It is a collection of 265 jokes that date to the fourth or fifth century A.D. fast-forward to the 15th century when the printing revolution spread across Europe. This was coupled with the literacy of all classes. What's interesting is that the early printers of the day were turning out "jest books and Bibles" to appeal to both the upper and lower classes of the day. One Italian joke book, Facetiage first published in 1470, was so popular that twenty editions of the book were published in the 15th century alone! Did you know that there is even a joke book ascribed to the great bard William Shakespeare? The contents appear to both inform and borrow from his plays. "All of these early jestbooks corroborate both the rise in the literacy of the European populations and the general quest for leisure activities during the Renaissance in Europe." The practice by printers to use jokes and cartoon as page fillers were widely used in the 19th century. The New Yorker magazine, first published in 1925 had the stated goal of being "a sophisticated humour magazine" and is still known for their cartoons even today. Okay, so now that we have the history of joke books out of the way, let's get to some of my favorite frog funnies!
Q. What's a frog's favorite movie?
A. Star Warts.
Q. What des a frog order at mcDonald's?
A. French flies and a Croaka-cola.
Q. Why do frogs love mystery novels?
A. They're really into croak and dagger....
Q. How are cats and frogs different?
A. Cats have nine lives and a frog croaks every night!
Q. Where do you get frog's eggs?
A. At the spawn shop!
Q. What happened when the frog's car broke down?
A. He called and had it TOAD.
Q. What kind of music do sophisticated frogs listen to?
A. Hopera. and finally...
Q. What do you get when you cross a frog with a snake?
A. A jump rope.
That does it for me today. I hope you've enjoyed my little history lesson on written jokes and of course, hadm a laugh or two with my frog joke. I invite you back here tomorrow, but until then, I wish you a day filled with laughter and