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DAAAAAAAD! On Father's Day, An Homage To The Terrible Jokes They Tell

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DAAAAAAAD! On Father's Day, An Homage To The Terrible Jokes They Tell

Games & Humor

DAAAAAAAD! On Father's Day, An Homage To The Terrible Jokes They Tell

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A warning for any sullen teens listening - our next piece is about dad jokes, that groan-y (ph), goofy humor favored by fathers everywhere.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

DOBOY: What type of food is good for your feet? Shoe-shi (ph). (Laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, shoe-shi - that's one of the countless dad jokes floating around this Father's Day. It's from a dad joke battle on YouTube that only gets sillier.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

DOBOY: Why didn't the melons get married? Because they cantaloupe (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Love that laugh (laughter). So brace yourself kiddos; NPR's Neda Ulaby has more.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: The ubiquity of dad jokes goes all the way to the top. Last Thanksgiving, President Obama made the ceremony of pardoning the turkey second to...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARACK OBAMA: Embarrassing my daughters with a corny-copia (ph) of dad jokes about turkeys.

ULABY: Our last president said he plans to tell dad jokes every Thanksgiving from now on.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

OBAMA: No way I'm cutting this habit cold turkey.

ULABY: Meanwhile, Nickelodeon in Australia broadcast a fake public service announcement about the dangers of dad jokes.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "DAD JOKE SURVIVORS")

ISAAC: Dad asked me - have you heard about the new movie, "Constipation"? I was all like, what? No. And he said, it never came out.

DAVE BARRY: Somebody has to do this. If I don't carry on that tradition, who will?

ULABY: Humorist Dave Barry says he learned how to make dad jokes from his dad, who loved a long, slow build to a payoff.

BARRY: He would say - OK, what are those things that are in the army that roll along and they're on treads? And he keeps giving you hints and hints. And finally, you would go, tanks? And he'd go, you're welcome. My dad lived for those moments.

ULABY: To figure out what makes those jokes specifically dad jokes, I asked a behavioral scientist. Peter McGraw studies humor. He says it's rooted in play.

PETER MCGRAW: Dad jokes are just a verbal form of play. It's just a different way to tickle and roughhouse with your kids.

ULABY: You could argue that dad jokes fall into that dumb-dad stereotype that can get a little annoying, the ineffectual, funny fathers you see on TV like on "The Simpsons" or "Modern Family." #StopItDad - Dad can't even tell a good joke. But McGraw says criticizing dad jokes misses the point.

MCGRAW: If you have dad jokes in your life, it means that you have a dad in your life. And it means that you have a dad who has a sense of humor and who is interacting with his children and having fun with them.

ULABY: The fun of dad jokes makes them a perfect tool for one Muslim-American activist who swats down Islamophobes on Twitter.

QASIM RASHID: People come to me constantly and say - is Sharia law taking over America? And I say, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure Shakira law is because hips don't lie.

ULABY: Qasim Rashid says his corny dad jokes lighten up a Twitter feed mostly about Muslim rights, civil rights and women's rights.

RASHID: We live in a society of toxic masculinity.

ULABY: So much aggression and violence committed by men, he says.

RASHID: And I think a lot of that has to do with men refusing to let their guard down. Men are refusing to laugh at themselves or show sympathy or empathy or emotion because they see that as weakness.

ULABY: Dad jokes give men a way to be sweet, silly and connect with people they love. For the last word on dad jokes, humorist Dave Barry.

BARRY: We're all Americans. And when you go into the bathroom, you're an American. And when you come out of the bathroom, you're an American. But what are you when you're in the bathroom? European.

ULABY: Happy Father's Day. Neda Ulaby, NPR News.

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