Coming to think about your childhood, it’s inevitable to come across a memory that includes a family birthday or Christmas dinner with your cousins, a yummy cake, maybe a quick quarrel over which toys are whose, and most likely, a cheesy knock-knock joke your uncle used to make fun of you. If you’re lucky enough to have such a rich, detailed memory, you’d probably now remember it wasn’t actually funny at all, but it didn’t stop you from using it over and over again on your parents for weeks to come. Yes, it’s the simplicity and humorous nature of this pun that makes it such a great gag to use on kids.
Children, along with their naive nature have a special affinity towards enjoying knock-knock jokes. The element of surprise plays a key role. For them, the outcome of this joke is a puzzling mystery until they’ve been told the answer. It turns out to be very simple and funny, but they didn’t think of it which makes it even more amusing. Your parents have been brought up with these puns, you were a clueless little youngster who then fell for theirs, and now you’re the one using them on your children.
Well, although the popularity of funny knock-knock jokes was as high as ever during the 20-th century and they basically became the trademark of American humor, their origins actually go as back as the Shakespearean era of family intrigues and prohibited love affairs. His most famous masterpiece, the story of “Macbeth”, features a scenario when one of the characters, pretending to be the guard that welcomes sinners into Hell, uses a similar line to the one of “Knock – knock, who’s there?” that we know today. Of course, it is not following exactly the same format that we all know today, but it has been said in the same context.
Fast forwarding to the second and third decade of the last century, it was then that good knock-knock jokes became ever popular. Writers started mentioning and including them in their published work, of course in the beginning as knock-knock jokes for kids. Such is the example of “The Games of Children: Their Origin and History” written by Henry Bett in 1929, where he talks about them as part of a funny children’s game. The press, amazed by their mass popularity, started including them in the daily fun sections, even wrote articles including them. By the mid-century, knock-knock jokes became universally understood and shared. Europeans started making their own versions with every language featuring distinct additions. The French sang them through songs, while the Spanish preferred rhymes. They even circled around the globe all the way to Japan!
You can’t escape knock-knock jokes since they’re the most recognizable form of humor in the world. Whatever your age, you still can’t resist using a hilarious knock-knock joke every now and then, whether you’ll tell it to your kids or hear it at the coffee shop. No matter how annoying you find them, they have been around for a while and chances are they will continue to be. Trying to respect these stamps of comedy, we give you the following section, and we’ll let you be the judge of whether they’re the best knock-knock jokes you’ve ever read or not.