Paul McDonald, senior lecturer, University of Wolverhampton, had been commissioned by Television Channel Dave, to research on jokes and to tabulate the oldest jokes in the history of humanity.
According to the research report, the top of the ten best old jokes is traced to the year 1900 BC and the Sumerian civilization, which existed in the erstwhile Persia, now southern Iraq.
“Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.”
A 1600 BC gag about a pharaoh, said to be King Snofru, comes second.
“How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish.”
The oldest British joke dates back to the 10th Century Anglo-Saxons.
“What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before? Answer: A key.”
Paul McDonald, the researcher says,”What they all share however, is a willingness to deal with taboos and a degree of rebellion. Modern puns, Essex girl jokes and toilet humour can all be traced back to the very earliest jokes identified in this research.”
The top ten oldest jokes can be viewed at the Dave TV channel’s official website.