Sarcastic Jokes that Harm, Versus Witty Jokes that Heal

Laced with sarcasm, a gag can blow up in your face. Rimmed with wit, it might defuse a tense moment. Here are some common scenarios. You’re welcome.

By Andy Simmons
BabyGraham Roumieu for Reader’s Digest

Scenario 3: At a party, someone pulls out his kid’s pictures

Sarcastic joke that harms: Toss a family-unfriendly riposte from Betsy Salkind: “I’ve always wanted to give birth. To kittens. I figure it would hurt less, and when you’re done, you’d have kittens!”

Witty joke that heals: Poke fun at yourself for being broodless, and say you’re just not parental material, as Lizz Winstead did on the comedy Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: “I have a recurring dream that I’m gonna have a kid and leave it on top of the car.”

Blonde jokesGraham Roumieu for Reader’s Digest

Scenario 4: A friend leaves the salon a newly minted blonde

Sarcastic joke that harms: Quip to the flaxen-haired beauty: “Did you hear about the pregnant blonde? She got a maternity test to make sure it was hers.”

Witty joke that heals: Instead, level the playing field: “Why are blonde jokes short? So brunettes can remember them.”

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