Dad jokes: Tips to come up with side-splitters that only dad will appreciate

U.S. President Barack Obama, a dad to two, knows how to have a good laugh. Here he shares one with comedian Jay Leno on 'The Tonight Show' on Oct. 25, 2011. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

In honour of Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up some dad jokes for your reading pleasure. So get ready to groan (and maybe even chuckle).

U.K.-based Ian Allen has written three books on them since 2012, including the one released this March: Extremely Embarrassing Dad Jokes: Because Dads Don’t Know When to Stop.

But he still has a hard time picking his favourite.

“Jokes are a bit like songs, your favourite might depend on your mood,” he said.

Sometimes he’s in the mood for a daft joke:

Dad: You’ve got your shoes on the wrong feet.

Son: But these are the only feet I’ve got.

Sometimes he wants word-play:

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Why did the Buddhist refuse a painkilling injection when he had a tooth out?

He wanted to transcend dental medication.

Anything that makes dad the butt of a joke, though, works for him.

Here are the top dad jokes from a few of Canada’s funniest people.

“My dadliest joke,” said Ontario’s David Green, “would have to be:

“Did you hear what happened to the head of the Fruit Farmers Association after he showed up drunk at the Plum Festival? He was impeached for being impeared!”

Fellow Ontarian Jeff McEnery offered his dad’s corny go-to:

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“What’s the difference between deer nuts and beer nuts? Beer nuts are a dollar-fifty and deer nuts are under a buck.”

Daniel Chai, an improv comedian with Vancouver TheatreSports League, offered this pick:

“Why do NASCAR drivers have a hard time on Tinder?”

“They only know how to swipe left.”

Montreal comedian David Pryde had this “dad bit” for those following “the misguided notion of giving power tools or home improvement equipment” this Father’s Day:

“That’s a chore you’re reminding me of on my special day. Any kid that gets me tools for Father’s Day can expect a Christmas of school supplies.”

Ali Hassan, a regular at Toronto’s Comedy Bar, couldn’t choose one. So he sent three:

  1. “I have four kids. And I really love three of them.”
  2. “My daughter is a horrible joke teller and I hate myself for always falling for her jokes. ‘Her: Knock Knock. Me: Sigh. Who’s There. Her: Love. Me: Oh. I’m sorry kiddo. Okay, love who?  Her: Nobody loves you!’ So hurtful. And also, not the structure of a knock-knock joke, I might add.”
  3. “My one-year-old just screams all the time, incessantly. We’ve tried everything to calm him down – gripe water, Tylenol for adults (pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that). I even gave him a piece of a weed cookie once. Nothing. The kid made me waste part of my weed cookie.”

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Edmonton-based stand-up comic Paul Sveen had this one to share:

“Ever get into an argument with your dad? It was probably because of one of the three big juvenile reasons: dad caught you smoking, you missed a class, you found dad’s spare keys to his station wagon, took his 20-foot-long Plymouth Satellite for a joy ride with nine of your best friends, hit a tree, totalled the front end, then quietly parked his car back in the garage because dads don’t notice that kind of stuff.”

The key to writing a good dad joke (or really any joke)

If you’re looking to serve up your own classic dad joke this Father’s Day, Sveen (who also teaches stand-up comedy classes) has this mini joke-writing tutorial.

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1) Write about what you know and care about. When you care about what you’re saying, so will your audience. Also, when you talk about what you know you’re relaxed, comfortable and what you feel is what the audience feels. Allow your energy to be fun!

2) Write about the stories of your life. (Try this: take your favourite personal story and insert jokes that relate to your tale. Use your stories as a vehicle for your joke writing!) Our stories are our treasure. Look at five memorable moments from your life. There’s a pattern and theme (you’re a caregiver, dysfunction fixer, etc.) in your stories. That theme is where your gold comes from, it’s unique.

3) Ask and answer questions about your joke: a great punchline comes from a good question.

4) Put an idea in the middle of a circle and ask and answer the questions from different perspectives on the circle – from you, from your spouse, your dog, a house plant, and give other people and things in your jokes their own voice.

5) Look for the emotion in the joke. The more emotion the bigger the laugh.

For dad jokes, specifically, Sveen says to:

  • Take any dad story, write the story out and wherever there’s a point in the story, that’s where you would put a punch line.
  • When you write a dad joke ask: What is the point you’re trying to make, what do you want others to know?
  • A joke has a beginning a middle and an end but there’s one word — the punch word — that creates the laugh!

Example: “A salesman runs out of gas. He walks to a farmer’s house and asks if he can spend the night. The farmer says ‘yeah,’ but he has to stay in the barn with the cows. The salesman says: ‘I think I’m in the wrong joke.’ Joke is the punch word.”

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SOUND OFF: We want to see your favourite dad joke! Share it with us through the form or comments section below.

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