The Best Jokes, from A to Z

Updated: Jul. 20, 2021

Here are some of the best jokes for every letter in the alphabet. Get ready to laugh!

What’s the funniest joke? That’s a tough question, with so many to choose from. For example, there are the thinking ­person’s jokes that take a second, such as “A Roman legionnaire walks into a bar, holds up two fingers, and says, ‘Five beers, please.’ ” There are the non-thinking person’s jokes, like the ones dads tell: “You’re American when you go into the bathroom, and you’re American when you come out, but what are you while you’re in there? European.” We’ve surfed the Internet, scoured joke books, and sat through hours of Uncle Ned’s sharing of his choicest yuks to bring you the best gags (at least the ones we can run in Reader’s Digest). See if you agree.

A: Animals

A man is standing on the curb preparing to cross the street. As soon as he steps down onto the pavement, a car comes screeching toward him. The pedestrian picks up speed, but so does the car. The man turns around and hurries back to the sidewalk, but the car changes lanes and heads directly for him. The petrified pedestrian freezes in the middle of the intersection. The car closes in on him and at the last possible second screeches to a halt. The driver’s-side window rolls down, revealing a squirrel behind the wheel. “See,” sneers the squirrel, “it’s not so easy, is it?”

Loving the animal humor? Don’t miss these deer puns that truly make the heart grow fawn’der.

B: Bar (man walks into a)

superman at a barDale May for Reader's DigestA man walks into a rooftop bar and takes a seat. “What are you drinking?” he asks the guy next to him.
“Magic beer,” the guy replies.
“Oh yeah? What’s so magical about it?”
“Watch.” The guy swigs some beer, walks over and dives off the roof, flies around the building, and then returns to his seat with a triumphant smile.
“Amazing!” the first man says. “Lemme try some of that!”
He grabs the beer, quaffs it down, leaps off the roof—and plummets 15 stories to the sidewalk.
The bartender shakes his head. “You know, you’re real nasty when you’re drunk, Superman.”

Did you know that if you like dark jokes like this one, it could be a sign of genius?


A ventriloquist is performing with his dummy on his lap. He’s telling a dumb-blonde joke when a young platinum-­haired beauty jumps to her feet. “What gives you the right to stereotype blondes that way?” she demands. “What does hair color have to do with my worth as a human being?”
Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to stammer an apology.
“You keep out of this!” she yells. “I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee!”

C: Chickens, crossing the road

Why did the chicken cross the road?
CIA: “Give us five minutes with the chicken and we’ll find out.”


A new prisoner is in his cell when a voice from across the cellblock cries out, “Twenty-two!” Suddenly, all the prisoners crack up. Another voice calls out, “Forty-one!” sending the prisoners into greater peals of laughter.
“What’s going on?” the newbie asks his cellmate.
“We’ve been in prison so long, we’ve memorized each other’s jokes. So rather than retell the same jokes, we’ve assigned them numbers.”
The new prisoner decides to give it a shot and shouts out for all to hear, “Eighteen!”
There’s no response, not even a snicker. “What happened?” he asks.
His cellmate shrugs. “You didn’t tell it well.”

Crisis, midlife

A couple is sitting in the living room sipping wine. Out of the blue, the wife says, “I love you.”
“Is that you or the wine talking?” asks the husband.
“It’s me,” says the wife. “Talking to the wine.”

If that one hit close to home, you’ll love these love and marriage cartoons that are hilariously accurate.

D: Doctors

a doctor in a restaurantDale May for Reader's DigestWhen a rich businessman began to choke on a fish bone at a restaurant, a doctor seated nearby sprang up and performed the Heimlich maneuver, saving the man’s life.
“Thank you, thank you!” said the businessman. “Please, I insist on paying you. Just name the fee.”
“OK,” said the doctor. “How about half of what you’d have offered when the bone was still stuck in your throat?”

E: Eternal life

I intend to live forever. So far, so good. —Steven Wright, comedian

“Everything’s big in Texas!”

A blind man visits Texas. When he gets to his hotel room, he feels the bed. “Wow, this bed is big!”
“Everything’s big in Texas,” says the bellhop.
The man heads downstairs to the bar, settles onto a huge barstool, and orders a beer. A mug is placed between his hands. “Wow, these drinks are big!”
“Everything’s big in Texas,” says the bartender.
After downing a few, the blind man asks where the bathroom is. “Second door to the right,” says the bartender.
The blind man heads for the bathroom but accidentally opens the door that leads to the swimming pool and falls in. Popping his head up from under the water, he flails his arms and shouts, “Don’t flush! Don’t flush!”

F: Food

It would be embarrassing trying to explain what an appetizer is to someone from a starving country. “Yeah, the ­appetizer—that’s the food we eat before we have our food. No, no, you’re thinking of dessert—that’s food we have after we have our food.” —Jim Gaffigan, comedian


According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means, to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. —Jerry Seinfeld, comedian

You can’t help but laugh at these anti-jokes.

G: Gallows humor

First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me. —Steve Martin, comedian

H: Heaven

In surgery for a heart attack, a middle-aged woman has a vision of God by her bedside. “Will I die?” she asks.
God says, “No. You have 30 more years to live.”
With 30 years to look forward to, she decides to make the best of it. So, since she’s already in the hospital, she gets breast implants, liposuction, a tummy tuck, hair transplants, and collagen injections in her lips. She looks great!
The day she’s discharged, she exits the hospital with a swagger, crosses the street, and is struck immediately by an ambulance and killed.
Up in heaven, she sees God. “You said I had 30 more years to live,” she complains.
“That’s true,” says God.
“So what happened?”
God shrugs. “I didn’t recognize you.”

K: Knock, Knock

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A little old lady.
A little old lady who?
I had no idea you could yodel.

Anyone can remember these witty bar jokes.

L: Lawyers

A lawyer sent a note to a client. “Dear Jim: Thought I saw you on the street the other day, crossed over to say hello, but it wasn’t you, so I went back. One tenth of an hour: $25.”

Light bulbs

man holding a lit lightbulb as the center of the universeDale May for Reader's DigestHow many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb?
One. He holds the bulb while the world revolves around him.
How many paranoids does it take to change a light bulb?
Who wants to know?

M: Marriage

A man is arrested for stealing a can of peaches and is brought before the judge.
The judge asks, “How many peaches were in the can?”
The man replies, “Six, Your Honor.”
“In that case, you will go to jail for six days, one for each peach.”
Hearing that, his wife stands and says, “Your Honor, he also stole a can of peas.”


A drill sergeant chewed out one of his cadets. Then he smiled coyly and said, “I guess when I die you’ll dance on my grave.”
The cadet shook his head. “Not me, Sarge. I promised myself that when I got out of the Army, I’d never stand in another line.”


A woman is on trial for beating up her unfaithful rock star husband with his guitar collection. The judge asks her, “First offender?”
“No,” she says. “First a Gibson, then a Fender.”

Calling all word nerds! You’ll appreciate these grammar jokes.

N: New Yorkers

Born and bred in Manhattan, Larry and Jane left the city to buy a cattle ranch in Wyoming. Months later, a friend flew out for a visit. “So, what did you name the ranch?” he asked.
“At first, we couldn’t agree on anything,” said the new cowboy. “We finally settled on the Double R Lazy L Triple Horseshoe Bar-7 Lucky Diamond Ranch.”
“Wow!” His friend was impressed. But looking around, he saw no cattle. “So where are all the cows?”
“None of them survived the branding.”

Nutty professors

A mathematician wanders home at 3 a.m., and his irate wife yells, “You’re late! You said you’d be home by 11:45!”
“Actually,” the mathematician replies, “I said I’d be home by a quarter of 12.”

These are the most hilarious jokes of all time.

O: Old age

An elderly couple go to Burger King, where they carefully split a burger and fries. A trucker takes pity on them and offers to buy the wife her own meal.
“It’s all right,” says the husband. “We share everything.”
A few minutes later, the trucker notices that the wife hasn’t taken a bite. “I really wouldn’t mind buying her her own meal,” he insists.
“She’ll eat,” the husband assures him. “We share everything.”
Unconvinced, the trucker asks the wife, “Why won’t you eat?”
The wife snaps, “Because I’m waiting for the teeth!”

P: Phones

a woman answering an iron as a phoneDale May for Reader's DigestA woman walks into a doctor’s office with both of her ears burned. “What happened?” asks the doctor.
“While I was ironing my blouse, the phone rang, and I picked up the iron instead of the phone,” she says.
“That explains one ear, but what about the other?”
“The jerk called again!”


At the turn of the 19th century, a senator gave a speech to a Scandinavian settlement in Minnesota. First, he promised lower taxes, and the audience enthusiastically shouted, “Tinka! Tinka!” Encouraged by the response, he then promised better public facilities.
“Tinka! Tinka!”
On a roll, he promised to increase their lands by 50 percent.
“Tinka! Tinka!”
Walking away, he told the settlement leader, “I guess they loved me.”
The leader shrugged before saying, “Hey, watch out. You almost stepped in that big pile of tinka.”

Check out these candid cartoons about politics and money.


I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.

R: Religion

Louie was shipwrecked and lived alone on a desert island for years until he was finally rescued. Before leaving the island, he gave the rescue party a tour. “I built myself a house. That’s it there. Here’s the barn, and over here is the church I worshipped in,” he said.
“What’s that building over there?” one of the rescuers asked.
Louie sneered. “That’s the church I used to belong to.”

S: Science

A scientist walks into a pharmacy and says, “Give me some prepared tablets of acetylsalicylic acid.”
“Do you mean aspirin?” asks the pharmacist.
The scientist slaps his forehead. “That’s it! I can never remember the name.”


A sex therapist has a theory that couples who make love once a day are the happiest. So he tests it at a seminar by asking those assembled, “How many people here make love once a day?” Half the people raise their hands, each of them grinning widely. “Once a week?” A third of the audience members raise their hands, their grins a bit less vibrant. “Once a month?” A few hands tepidly go up. Then he asks, “OK, how about once a year?”
A man in the back leaps up and down, jubilantly waving his hands. The therapist is shocked—this disproves his theory. “If you make love only once a year, why are you so happy?”
The man yells, “Because today’s the day!”

T: Therapy

A psychologist congratulated his patient on making good progress, but the patient wasn’t buying it. “You call this progress?” he snapped. “Six months ago, I was Napoléon. Now I’m nobody!”

Toilet Humor

Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them? —George Carlin, comedian

Everyone will laugh at these corny jokes.


Two martians are watching Earth from the safety of their spaceship. “This is interesting,” says the first. “The biped species on this planet has developed satellite-based nuclear weapons.”
“Are they an emerging intelligence?” asks the second alien.
“I don’t think so. They have them all pointed at themselves.”

V: Vegetarians

Did you hear about the vegan devil worshipper? He sold his soul to seitan.

W: Work

Three guys are fishing when an angel appears. The first guy says, “I’ve suffered from back pain for years. Can you help me?” The angel touches the man’s back, and he feels instant relief.
The second guy points to his thick glasses and begs for a cure for his poor eyesight. When the angel tosses the lenses into the lake, the man gains 20/20 vision.
As the angel turns to the third fellow, he instantly recoils and screams, “Don’t touch me! I’m on disability!”

If you liked that one, you’ll love these funny work cartoons to get you through the week.

X: X-ercise

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it. —Joan Rivers, comedian

Y: Yo Mama!

Yo mama is so old, when she was young, rainbows were black and white.

Z: Zoos

a monkey in a mime outfilt holding bunches of bananasDale May for Reader's DigestWhen the zoo’s gorilla dies, the zookeeper hires a mime to dress up as the gorilla and get into the cage until he finds a replacement ape.
The mime quickly discovers what a great gig he has. He can sleep, play, and make fun of people all day, and he’s drawing bigger crowds than he ever has.
Eventually, the crowd tires of him and starts paying more attention to the lion in the next cage.
Miffed, the mime climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition, and dangles from the top of the lion’s cage, teasing the big cat. The crowd loves it, but the lion is furious. That is, until the mime slips and falls into his pen.
The lion licks his chops and slowly walks toward him. Just as the lion is about to pounce, the terrified mime screams, “Help me!”
With that, the lion leaps on top of the mime, brings his snarling maw inches from his face, and says, “Shut up! You want to get us both fired?”

Now, memorize these short jokes to make your friends laugh the next time you see them.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest