Laughterpedia: The Best Jokes of 2013

Relive the laughs from A to Z.

laughterpedia conan o'brien
Courtesy of Matt Hoyle

A: American (In)Security

The U.S. government is monitoring the phone calls and e-mails of millions of Americans. What can you do about it? Andy Borowitz suggests inserting these phrases into your conversations:

  • I think the NSA is awesome.
  • I just reread Nineteen Eighty-Four—it actually has a lot of good ideas in it!
  • I’m pretty sure my neighbor is cheating on his taxes.

B: Bieber, Jestin’

While visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam in April, Justin Bieber wrote in the guest book, “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.” imagined what Beibs might have said about other famous peeps, like Madame Marie Curie: “Gotta give it up. Could not be doing what I’m doing if baby girl hadn’t discovered radios.” He could also have shown some lovin’ to Mother Teresa: “Much respect to Theresa and all the mothers out there. Without my mom, I wouldn’t be the down-to-earth person I am today.”

C: Citizen, Wannabe

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced that he supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Or as illegal immigrants put it, “Who do you think’s going to build that path?”
—Jimmy Fallon

D: Dreams, Dashed

In his new book, The Stench of Honolulu, Jack Handey lists some failed aspirations:

  • Once I wanted to build the world’s longest suspension bridge. But then I found out someone else had already done it.
  • For a while I wanted to become a naturalist, until I found out it wasn’t what I thought. They wear clothes.

E: Existential Krisis

The Twitter account @KimKierkegaard melds quotes from Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and his American counterpart, Kim Kardashian:

  • I never thought I would ever say this … I’m wearing flats today. I have lost my footing temporarily, but I hope I have not lost myself.
  • To win a crowd is not art; for that, only untruth, nonsense, and some knowledge of human passions are needed. Like me on Facebook to learn more!

F: Face(tious)book

On the popular social-networking site, sincerity is often a casualty.

• Post: Can’t wknds be longer?

Response: Yes, weekends.

• Post: One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do is to stop loving someone because they’ve stopped loving you.

Response: I think it’s harder to put toothpaste back into its container.


G: George, the Prince Formally Known As

New rule: Stop asking if the new royal baby is more like William or more like Kate. He’s more like Uncle Harry—naked and unable to stand.

—Bill Maher

Next: Funny Headlines and more »

kristen schaal
Courtesy of Matt Hoyle

H: Headlines, Fake


Confused FBI Agents Continue Search for Harlem Sheikh

Typo Leads to Creation of $179M Gorilla Warfare Program

From the Onion:

Socialites Without Borders Teach Rwandans How to Mingle

Scientists Trace Heat Wave to Massive Star at Center of Solar System

Headlines, Real

Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybob-bop-bop Jailed for Drugs

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Big Rig Carrying Fruit Crashes on 210 Freeway, Creates Jam

—Los Angeles Times

Somalia Gets a Tourist; Mogadishu Officials Are Baffled


I: Inverse Proportions

The BBC’s March obituary of Richard Griffiths led with the actor’s role in the Harry Potter films. Infuriated fans of his other movies created the hashtag #BBCobituaries to list ways deaths of other celebrities might have been reported:

  • Bicycle shop owners Orville and Wilbur Wright have passed away.
  • Bedtime for Bonzo costar, actor Ronald Reagan, dies.
  • Ex–U.S. Marine Corporal E. Presley dies.
  • Marilyn, ex-wife of Arthur Miller, dies.

J: Japes

Reddit asked readers to post the most intellectual joke they know. Get ready to nod knowingly.

  • A Roman walks into a bar and asks for a martinus. “You mean a martini?” the bartender asks. The Roman replies, “If I’d wanted a double, I would have asked for it!” Another Roman walks into the bar, holds up two fingers, and says, “Five beers, please.”
  • Did you hear about the jurisprudence fetishist? He got off on a technicality.

K: Kvetch

We’re hoping that Caribbean-based LIAT Airlines at least sent this former customer a free-drink voucher for his next flight … if there is one.

Dear LIAT,

May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers [to take] such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean. Most other airlines I have traveled on would simply wish to take me from points A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!

I also enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean already.

As for our arrival, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived in Tortola last night—and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you, LIAT. I now understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.

—Source: Arthur Hicks

L: Logic, Tortured

What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?

—ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson on why we should not concern ourselves with cutting carbon emissions

Next: Match the celebrities to their smells! »

ricky gervais
Courtesy of Matt Hoyle

M: Movie Awards

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler tag-teamed at the Golden Globe awards—and totally killed it:

Fey: The Hunger Games was [a huge hit]. And also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress.

Poehler: Ang Lee’s been nominated for Best Director for Life of Pi, which is what I’m going to call the six weeks after I take this dress off.

N: Nouvelle Cuisine

On a trip to the African nation of Mali, French President François Hollande was given a camel in appreciation of France’s help in battling insurgents. Hollande left the camel in Mali, so officials there asked local farmers to “take care of the president’s camel.” It seems that the farmers heard “Eat the president’s camel,” because that is what they did.


O: Odiferous

Magazines often try to describe how celebrities smell. Can you link the star to the aroma?

1) Anne Hathaway

2) Kevin Bacon

3) Taylor Swift

4) Gwyneth Paltrow

5) Steven Spielberg

a) “Mothballs”

b) “A baby”

c) “A mix of baby powder and Listerine”

d) “Nachos and maple syrup”

e) “Expensive wood”

ANSWERS: 1-d; 2-c; 3-e; 4-a; 5-b


P: Party Politics

[On March 26, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor turned 83 years old, and] in a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court wished her a happy birthday.

—David Letterman

Q: Quacking Up

Reality TV shows like Duck Dynasty become cable gold with lines like …

  • “Let me put this in Spanish for you … no.”
  • “Where I’m from, you don’t mess with another man’s woman … or his hat.”
  • “I’m like Aretha Franklin. Don’t get any R-E-S-P-E-C-T ’round this joint.”

R: Reaction, Shutdown

Has anyone just tried turning the government off then back on again?


America is on shutdown @twitter; it’s time to start spelling “favourite” correctly.


S: Song, Updated

“50 Ways to Unsubscribe from Your Lover” (apologies to Paul Simon)

Unfollow her blog, dog

Change your profile pic, Rick

No need to retweet, Pete

Just listen to me!

Get off Instagram, Sam

Send her mail to the spam ca-a-a-n

Don’t like what you see, Lee

Unless it’s a selfie!

—Brandon Specktor

Next: New plots from @SeinfeldToday »

john oliver
Courtesy of Matt Hoyle

T: Tropical Pun(ch)

Wind down with a drink from Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, by Tim Federle.

  • The Last of the Mojitos
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita
  • Bridget Jones’s Daiquiri
  • The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose

U: Understatement

Virginia’s Arlington County police often post warning signs on the sides of highways. Here’s one they spent $13,000 on: “Don’t Hit the Car in Front of You.”

V: Vacancy, Vatican

After Pope Benedict resigned in February, the gliberati took to Twitter.

Life is popeless.
—Mia Farrow

I think it’s nothing more than someone realizing that white is not their color.

You all read it wrong. The Pope is RE-SIGNING. $10M, 5 year extension.
—Will Brinson

W: Witerature

Entrants of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest went out of their way to craft intentionally bad first lines for nonexistent novels. Our favorite:

Betty had eyes that said come here, lips that said kiss me, arms and torso that said hold me all night long, but the rest of her body said, Fillet me, cover me in cornmeal, and fry me in peanut oil; romance wasn’t easy for a mermaid.

—Jordan Kaderli

X: X-Periments

The Ig Nobel Prize, awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research, recognizes weird science. Here are two winners.

  • Psychology prize: For confirming, by experiment, that people who are drunk think they are attractive.
  • Probability prize: For making two discoveries: first, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and second, that once a cow stands up, you can’t predict how soon that cow will lie down again.

Y: Yada Yada Yada

Seinfeld ended in 1998, but that hasn’t stopped the Twitter feed @SeinfeldToday from wondering how it might look if it were airing now:

  • Kramer befriends Kate Upton, convinces her to get a breast reduction. JERRY: “Are you crazy?” KRAMER: “What?! They were hurting her back!” ; George discovers he unknowingly helped A-Rod get his steroids.
  • Elaine is late to a movie because her new boyfriend (James Wolk) will only get in hybrid cabs; Kramer gives TED Talk full of nonsense words, gets a standing ovation; George’s Netflix thinks he’s gay.
  • Elaine accidentally does a British accent in a job interview after marathoning Downton Abbey. She gets the job and has to keep faking it; George is caught in his underwear on Google Street View; Jerry’s gf (Claire Coffee) dumps him for mispronouncing quinoa.

Z: Zingers

A football fanatic’s obituary from July: “A lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, Scott E. Entsminger respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pallbearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”

—Source: Columbus Dispatch

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.