National Tell A Joke Day

Punchlines and Guffaws: The Joyful Essence of National Tell A Joke Day

August 16th is National Tell A Joke Day, an annual celebration dedicated to spreading laughter and joy through the telling of jokes. On this day, people across the country share their favorite jokes and funny stories to make others laugh.

WhenAugust 16th
PurposeTo tell jokes and spread laughter
Founded byUnknown
First celebratedUnknown
CelebrationsTelling jokes, laughing, comedy shows

History of National Tell A Joke Day

The origins of National Tell A Joke Day are unclear. The holiday seemingly emerged in the 1990s or early 2000s as a lighthearted occasion to enjoy humor.

While the founder is unknown, the day promotes laughter and comedy. Telling jokes has long been a way for people to bond, entertain, and lift spirits. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which are “feel-good” hormones that relieve stress.

Historically, jokes and humor have held an important role in society. Even ancient Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato discussed humor and theories of laughter. Jokes, comedies, satires, and amusing storytelling have endured through the ages as popular forms of entertainment.

National Tell A Joke Day embraces this universal human appreciation for mirth and merriment. It provides a yearly reminder to take time to smile, chuckle, and guffaw.

How to Celebrate National Tell A Joke Day

There are many fun ways to take part in National Tell A Joke Day:

Share Jokes with Friends and Family

Gather loved ones together and take turns telling lighthearted jokes and funny anecdotes. Kids can tell simple riddles or knock-knock jokes. Adults can share amusing life stories and savvy one-liners.

Post Jokes on Social Media

Spread laughs across your social networks on August 16th. Post joke images on Instagram and Facebook. Tweet out your best short jokes using the hashtag #NationalTellAJokeDay.

Throw a Comedy Party

Host a comedy-themed party for National Tell A Joke Day. Include fun snacks like punchlines and noses (carrots and celery sticks). Play comedy movies or TV episodes. Do an open mic for anyone to tell jokes or do standup.

Attend Comedy Shows

Check your local comedy club or improv theater listings for National Tell A Joke Day shows. Many venues host special comedy events on or around August 16th.

Tell Jokes at Work

Start office meetings with a funny joke or brainstorm silly captions for Dilbert cartoons. Make co-workers groan with cheesy humor over the printer.

Read Joke Books

Curl up with a book of jokes and one-liners. Some good options are “Dad Jokes: Terribly Good Dad Jokes,” “1,000 Dad Jokes: Punny Jokes for Dirty Minds,” and the classic “Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids.”

Dress Up

Wear a humorous t-shirt, crazy glasses, or a clown nose while you tell jokes. Go all out with a full clown or jester costume.

Timeline of Major Events in Comedy History

  • 23 BC – Ancient Roman theatrical festival “Ludi Florales” featured comedic performances.
  • 5th Century – Comedic “mimes” and jesters become popular in Europe during the Middle Ages.
  • 15th Century – Traveling troupes perform comedic theatre during the Renaissance.
  • 1660s – Restoration Comedies emerge in England, satirizing society.
  • 19th Century – Vaudeville shows featuring slapstick and burlesque comedy thrive.
  • Early 20th Century – Charlie Chaplin helps define silent film physical comedy.
  • 1950s – Standup comedy rises in American nightclubs.
  • 1970s – Improvisational comedy theater troupes like Second City gain popularity.
  • 1980s – Groundbreaking standup comedians Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams wow audiences.
  • 1990s – Hit TV sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends make comedy a flagship genre.
  • 2000s – Web video and memes on sites like YouTube and Reddit propel internet humor.
  • 2010s – Live comedy podcast recordings and comedy-club streaming grow via services like Netflix and Pandora.

Quotes About Comedy

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” – Charlie Chaplin


“If you can make a woman laugh, you can make her do anything.” – Marilyn Monroe


“Comedy is defiance. It’s a snort of contempt in the face of fear and anxiety. And it’s the laughter that allows hope to creep back on the inhale.” – Will Durst


“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.” – Bill Cosby


“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.” – Bob Newhart


“Comedy is the last refuge of the nonconformist mind.” – Edward Albee


“Laughter is by definition healthy.” – Doris Lessing


“Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” – Karl Barth

Hashtags for National Tell a Joke Day

  • #NationalTellAJokeDay
  • #TellAJokeDay
  • #JokeDay
  • #FunnyHoliday
  • #LaughterDay
  • #ComedyDay
  • #FunnyJokes
  • #BadJokes

Celebrating Through Comedy

In addition to telling jokes, there are many other ways to celebrate the comedic spirit of National Tell A Joke Day:

Do Impressions

Channel your inner comedian with impersonations of celebrities, cartoon characters, or family members. Let the laughs flow with your silliest accents and mannerisms.

Wear a Fake Nose and Glasses

Sport goofy novelty glasses with bushy eyebrows, mustaches, and big plastic noses. Quick disguises add a humorous touch to joke telling.

Pull Pranks and Practical Jokes

Harmless pranks and practical jokes bring lots of laughter on August 16th. Set up whoopee cushions or fake spiders. Play bop bag surprise scares and have fun with friends.

Tell “Dad Jokes”

Dad jokes are cheesy, corny, and endearing. Try out silly puns and lame wisecracks all day long.

Do Standup Comedy Routines

Channel amateur comedians with homemade standup acts. Write joke monologues and perform them for family or friends.

Laugh It Up with Comedy Movies

Make it movie night with hilarious comedy classics like Airplane, Young Frankenstein, The Big Lebowski, Bridesmaids, or Coming to America.


National Tell a Joke Day offers a time to set seriousness aside and embrace laughter. Share funny anecdotes and quips to form connections and brighten spirits on August 16th. However you choose to celebrate, let this day remind you of the uplifting, joyful power of humor and comedy.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is National Tell A Joke Day?

National Tell A Joke Day is celebrated every year on August 16th.

Who founded National Tell A Joke Day?

The origins of the day are unclear, but it seemingly emerged in the 1990s or 2000s to promote humor and comedy.

How did National Tell A Joke Day start?

The holiday originated as a lighthearted day to enjoy laughter by telling jokes and funny stories. It quickly caught on as an annual celebration of humor.

What are some activities for the holiday?

Popular activities include telling jokes with friends, posting jokes on social media, hosting comedy parties, attending comedy shows, reading joke books, and dressing up in silly costumes.

What are some good jokes to tell?

Classic joke formulas like knock-knocks, puns, one-liners, and riddles work well. Jokes that are kid-friendly, corny, or relate to pop culture trends are always crowd-pleasers.

Should kids participate in National Tell A Joke Day?

Absolutely! Kids love to tell simple riddles and knock-knock jokes. It’s a fun way for families to celebrate together.

What are the benefits of laughter?

Laughter releases endorphins that relieve stress. It also strengthens social bonds, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and promotes overall wellness.

Is there a hashtag for National Tell A Joke Day?

Popular hashtags are #NationalTellAJokeDay and #TellAJokeDay. Post your jokes on social media!

Are there any comedy events for the holiday?

Many comedy clubs and improv theaters host special comedy shows and open mics on or around August 16th. Check your local listings.

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