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A History of Humor Test

The History of Humor
          ...and it's no joke!

By Jerry Grant

Satire Nite Live

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Contrary to what hysterical historical theorists will tell you... humor did not begin when Adam said to Eve, "What do you mean, I'm not the first?"

It began in 1200 BC in Cave 22. Bork was entertaining his friends. He asked the question, Why did the dinosaur cross the street? Nobody could answer. Bork said, "To crush caves 32 through 38." Everybody roared with laughter. That's how it all began!

It was also the beginning of night clubs. You saw a woman in those days... you clubbed her on the head. There were night clubs... morning clubs... afternoon clubs. It was terrible. The club was also their Visa card in those days. It got you anything you wanted.

Archaeologists in Assyria uncovered a tomb containing a collection of artifacts and old ancient jokes that comics we know are still using today!

The Aborigines were the very first farmers so naturally thats where we got the very first farmers daughter jokes. If a farmer said, Have you heard this one about my daughter...youll die laughing. He meant it! If you were smart...you didnt laugh!

I'm sure youre beginning to notice how my research has paid off.

Well, moving right along, like the comics say, we come to the Mayans who gave us slapstick humor. They liked to build lots of stairs. They built stairs everywhere. If you had to go to the toilet in a hurry...you had to climb 100 stairs. By the time you got to stair 42 you were exhausted. You would fall... slide and bump all the way down to the bottom. The villagers would scream with laughter and that was the birth of slapstick. Today we have TVs Funniest Home Videos with little old ladies and babies falling down and were still laughing our heads off!

The Egyptians invented one liners, The Pharaoh would send for his court jester. Alright, give me a good laugh, and the court jester would say, I gave at the office already! And that would save his life for a few days. I'd like to remind you we have our court jesters today also. Just look at Cochran Shapiro Dershowitz and Bailey!

The Romans were the first to introduce the comedy clubs. They built a mammoth amphitheater... called it Laffs-R-Us and cashed in bigtime. They hired three young risqué comics... Claudius, Contagious and Obnoxious, who packed them in. They were a huge hit. Then came the popular Roman baths where everyone walked around naked... and that was good for lots of laughs!

For those of you who thought Don Rickles was the first Insult Comic... hold it! Youre apparently short on memory or short on comprehension. The Persians were the first. You would look to buy a carpet from a Persian and you would offer him 30 Drachmas... you would hear a scream and an insult... you would run like hell and hide under a camel... and that was funny!

The Babylonians, famous for building the Tower of Babel where everyone babbled so much... they couldnt stop laughing. They laughed so hard, they peed in their pants, which became known as Comic Relief.

The Hebrews started the Friar's Club. All the Jewish comedians joined the club to entertain themselves. Then one day someone said, Lets entertain the public it could be rewarding... and thats how we got Milton Berle! They also gave us Moses who made it easy for everyone. He walked around with cue cards!

Next came the early Eskimos. But to them, 30 degrees below wasnt funny. We got a few mom and popsicle jokes out of them... but that's it!

The Incas gave us a real superstar. Remember Jimmy Durante's Inca Dinca Doo? Now you know where that came from.

The Andes gave us little Orphan Ande - Ande Devine - Amos and Ande. They were very funny! The Ethiopians as you know are incredibly fast runners Tell them a bad joke and you better start running... faster than Amtrak!

The Vikings were tough. If you could get a Viking to crack a smile instead of trying to crack your head, you were really very glib and destined for doing car commercials!

The Mongolians had Genghis Khan... shrewd, ruthless, savage, who spread terror and destruction everywhere, sort of like Andrew Dice Clay!

The Greeks gave the world Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. The Californians, not to be out done, gave us The Three Stooges!

The American Indian used to greet you with How!... and some wise guy would say: me know how me want to know why? That would either lead to a huge laugh or a new doo!

Human sacrifice played a major role in the Aztec culture. We make the same sacrifices every night we watch The Situation Comedies!

But my favorite period was The Renaissance period. Men wore knickers then and people started to snicker at them because it was very funny. It was not long before civilization was overrun with Knicker Snickers. It was terrible! That's about the time laughing hyenas joined in not to mention Mona Lisa couldn't stop snickering.

The Middle Ages gave us lots of things. Bags under the eyes stomach paunches, gray hair, flat feet and the gout!

Well, moving right along...

It's the New Millenium and humor has reached its almighty apex. Only this morning our computer spit out the words,

     "NOTHING'S FUNNIER THAN TODAY'S POLITICIANS."

Need we say more?


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Jerry Grant

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