The Unbearable Banality of Knock-Knock Jokes

Keep in mind: Three children, 9, 5, and not quite 2.  My elder daughter posts a knock-knock joke to Facebook:

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Owl who?
Yep, that’s what they say…

Yes, it is terrible.  She is passing on her own suffering, as her manager said it to her.  I, in turn, passed it along to my younger children.  What I received was three knock-knock jokes in return.  My 5 year old’s:

Knock knock
Who’s there?
Chicken who?
Aren’t you glad I didn’t say book?

I think she is drawing her inspiration from Dali.

My son responds:

Knock knock.
Who’s there.
Yes, bok.
Bok who?
That’s what chickens say!

Now there’s a certain continuity to this one.  It has context.  It still makes no sense.

And then my almost two year old:

Bok bok.  Bok bok.  Bok.

I’ve been sick the last few days so have some updates:

The backyard neighbor has given his tree a Jedi funeral atop a pyre made of old carpet.

Our tree has found a temporary home.  Do you think it blends?

Published by James Rovira

Dr. James Rovira is higher education professional with twenty years experience in the field in teaching, administration, and advising roles. He is also an interdisciplinary scholar and writer whose works include fiction, poetry, and scholarship exploring the intersections of literature and philosophy, literature and psychology, literary theory, and music and literature.. His books include Women in Rock, Women in Romanticism (Routledge, 2023); David Bowie and Romanticism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022); Writing for College and Beyond (a first-year composition textbook (Lulu 2019)); Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History (Lexington Books 2019); Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018); Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); and Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2010). See his website at for details.

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