Monday, July 28, 2008

Old jokes. Really old jokes.

2600 BC: "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish." According to researchers at the British Museum, this is the first written joke. Loses something in the translation.

4th or 5th Century BC: The Philolegos, a Greek anthology of more than 200 jokes, is recorded. The Greeks loved jokes about "scholastikos," or eggheads. "An egghead was on a sea voyage when a big storm blew up, causing his slaves to weep in terror. 'Don't cry,' he consoled them, 'I have freed you all in my will.'"...
(From a review of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This. A History and Philosophy of Jokes. )