Have you heard the one about the new trend in standup comedy? Cleanliness. Good money is being made by unsmutty comics like those represented by Cleancomedians.com. These people perform at corporate events, guaranteeing inoffensive material under the slogan "It Doesn't Have to Be Filthy to Be Funny."
What a load of %!$#. To me, humor requires edge, and raunchiness in the service of edge is no crime. So, aware that Cleancomedians.com is hungry for publicity, I challenged some of its best standup comics to a fight. I would write the setups to jokes, and they'd try to complete them, squeaky clean.
Yes, I fought dirty.
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A customer goes into a certain kind of establishment catering to men. He walks into a room, and inside are a brunette, a redhead, a blonde and a sheep. So . . .
the man says, "This may be the worst bowling team I've ever played on! But at least I can dry my hands on the sheep." (Adam Christing, La Mirada, Calif.)
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So this fella is standing in a men's room, doing what men do when standing in men's rooms, when he notices something completely astonishing about the guy next to him. He's a little embarrassed, but he just has to say something . . .
"I couldn't help but notice," he says, "that you have two right feet."
"Yeah," says the guy. "What of it?"
"Well, as you can see, I have two left feet. Would you like to buy a pair of shoes together?" (Leland Klassen, Vancouver)
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Complete this limerick:
There was a young man from Biarritz
Who sold bras and cosmetics kits.
"I prefer the brassieres,"
He confessed to his peers,
. . . 'Cause makeup can give a girl zits. (Robert G. Lee, West Hills, Calif.; Adam Christing)
. . . Even though I can't find one that fits. (Jan McInnis, Los Angeles)
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What is the difference between the Titanic and Monica Lewinsky?
The Titanic could only hold about 105 buffet items. (Jan McInnis)
One sank to deep levels and brought down hundreds of lives. The other became a hit movie. (Adam Christing)
With a couple of winches and some cranes, we might be able to lift the Titanic. (Jan McInnis)
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A Jewish guy and an Iranian Muslim woman fall in love and decide to marry. The guy goes to his rabbi and says: "I have a problem. Through her veil I can see that Fatima has a lovely face. But I've never seen her without her chador. I don't mean to sound shallow, but tonight is my wedding night, and what if I am terribly disappointed?" The rabbi smiles, hands the guy a banana and says,
"In that case, you might find this more a-peeling." (Adam Christing)
"Because you love her soul, you will think her beautiful, regardless."
"Good," the guy says. "But what's the banana for?"
"Eat. Eat. You'll need the potassium." (Leland Klassen)
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Paris Hilton and the entire offensive line of the Denver Broncos are killed in a freak waterbed accident. When they all arrive at the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter sternly surveys the group. "Ms. Hilton," he asks, "what do you have to say for yourself?" She replies,
"If one chick can take out their whole offensive line, their season's in the Dumpster." (Robert G. Lee)
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A pilot announces over the intercom: "I'm afraid I have bad news. All our engines have failed, and we will crash in approximately four minutes." A male passenger turns to the beautiful stranger beside him and says, "Would you grant a man his dying wish?" "Of course," she answers breathlessly. "Good," the man says,
"Are you gonna eat those peanuts?" (Kathy Westfield, Los Angeles)
"Please read to me from your Harlequin romance novel."
"Okay," she says, "But why?"
"Because it'll make four minutes seem like forever."
Gene Weingarten's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chat with him online Tuesdays at noon at www.washingtonpost.com.