Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1928

Funny Bones, 1928

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 27, 2010

If it’s Saturday morning, it’s another page of jokes from the old Church magazines, this time from 1928:

A Question of Tears

“The wedding was a failure?”

“Yeah. The groom’s mother cried louder than the bride’s.”

The Short Side

“Say, waiter, I ordered strawberry shortcake, and you brought me a plate of strawberries. Where’s the cake?”

“Well, sir, that’s what we are short of.”

A Near Accident

“Hazel almost drowned last night.”

“How come?”

“The pillow slipped, the bed spread, and she fell into the spring.”

Well, It’s Hard to Find One

“I heard a new one the other day. I wonder if I told it to you.”

“Is it funny?”


“Then you haven’t.”

So Big

First Extra: “That leading man sure has the swelled head.”

Second Extra: “Swelled head? Listen, he’d have to pin back his ears to get through the Grand Canyon.”

The Proper Order

Waiter (to patron who has been kept waiting for some time): “What is it you wish, sir?”

Patron (sarcastically): “Well, what I originally came in for was breakfast, but if dinner’s ready now, I’ll take supper.”

Carrying On

Contributor: “I hope you are carrying out those ideas I wrote you about.”

Editor: “Did you meet the office boy with the waste paper basket?”

Contributor: “Yes.”

Editor: “Well – he was carrying out your ideas.”

The Difference

“When I hit a man he remembers it.”

“You haven’t said much at all. When I hit a man, he doesn’t.”

Thanksgiving Cheer

The June bride walked briskly into the market and said, “I want a half pound of mince meat and please cut it off a nice tender young mince.”

Valuable Precedent

“Listen,” remarked the exasperated driver over his shoulder, “Lindbergh got to Paris without any advice from the back seat.”

Not the New Ford

The man who bought a second-hand flivver took it back. “What’s the matter with it?” asked the seller.

“Well, you see,” said the disgusted owner, “every blamed part of it makes a noise except the horn.”

Picked the Wrong Sport

Convict (reading newspaper): “Dere’s justice fer yer! A football player breaks two men’s jaws and another man’s leg and is de lion of de hour, while I gets ten years for only stunnin’ an old guy wid a blackjack.”

A Greater Contributor

1st Passenger on Atlantic steamer – “You know, I am a literary person; I have contributed to the Atlantic Monthly.”

2nd ditto – “You have nothing on me. On this trip I have contributed to the Atlantic daily.”

Quick Work

Lady: “Is this fresh milk?”

Milkman: “Arf an hour ago, madam, it was grass.”

The Wrong Number

Visitor: “How does the land lie out this way?”

Native: “It ain’t the land that lies; it’s the real estate agents.”

Plenty, Plenty!

Friend: “That wasn’t a big account of your daughter’s wedding in the papers this morning.”

Parent (sadly): “No – the big account was sent to me.”

Two Extremes

Customer: “I’ve brought that last pair of trousers to be reseated. You know, I sit a lot.”

Tailor: “Yes, and I hope you’ve brought the bill to be receipted, too. You know I’ve stood a lot.”


“What’s Helen doing?”

“Making a shrimp salad.”

“I didn’t know we had any shrimps in the house.”

“We haven’t, but there is one coming to call on her this evening.”

We Also Know What It Is

Dick (looking up from his newspaper): “I say, John, what is the Order of the Bath?”

John: “Well, as I have experienced it, it’s first the water’s too hot; then it’s too cold; then you’re short of a towel; then you step on the soap, and, finally, the telephone rings.”

Getting Acquainted

“Mr. Snodgrass is altogether too liberal.”

“How so?”

“The last time he was at my house I told him to make himself thoroughly at home, and in less than five minutes he had quarreled with my wife, kicked the cat out of doors, discharged the cook, spanked the baby and told me I was a fool.”


Junior partner (to pretty stenographer): “Are you doing anything Sunday evening, Miss Dale?”

Stenographer (hopefully): “No, not a thing.”

“Then try to be at the office earlier on Monday morning, will you?”

A Difference

“There are two sides to every question,” proclaimed the sage.

“Yes,” said the fool, “and there are two sides to a sheet of fly paper, but it makes a big difference to the fly which side he chooses.”

Of One Mind

Bachelor (dreamily): “Sometimes I yearn for the peace and comfort of married life.”

Married friend (wistfully): “I always do.”

Knew His Radio

Teacher: “You’ll have to stay in after school and work on your geography lesson. You didn’t locate a single one of the cities.”

Willie: “I can’t locate them, but I know how to tune in on the whole lot.”



  1. Ardis,

    Thanks for the Saturday morning chuckles, but in “Wrong Sport”, I wonder how many folks today know what a black jack is (was)?

    Comment by CurtA — February 27, 2010 @ 7:37 am

  2. It is a flavor of gum!

    Comment by Eric Boysen — February 27, 2010 @ 8:18 am

  3. “Lady: “Is this fresh milk?”
    Milkman: “Arf an hour ago, madam, it was grass.”


    Comment by David Young — February 27, 2010 @ 9:24 am

  4. A good share of the fun is figuring out how the language has changed. (Of course, another HUGE share of the fun is laughing guiltily at jokes that wouldn’t appear in the Ensign today even if they had a joke page — like the exchange between the bachelor and his married friend here!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 27, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  5. I like the corny humor in these posts because 1) I like corny humor and 2) I like seeing the “distance” between then and now, as Ardis points out.

    Anyway, why doesn’t the Ensign have a joke page? I might even subscribe just to see it!

    Comment by Mina — February 27, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

  6. They tried a joke page in the early ’70s, but it just wasn’t funny. At all. Everything was prim and proper and suitable for the Sunday pulpit. They wanted the jokes to be “true,” and you can only laugh so many times at trite descriptions of children misunderstanding Mormon vocabulary, or contrived stories about very pregnant music directors named Hope blushing as they lead the lines “there is hope smiling brightly before us and we know that deliverance is nigh.”

    Bring back corny! Bring back funny!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 27, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  7. Ah, yes. The Mirthright feature continued intermittently in the Ensign up through the mid-80s. Readers submitted entries in the “my kid said a cuter thing than your kid” contest. I recall at one point, the editors pointed out that they received few entries that didn’t involve children, and could readers please submit jokes involving adults? Finally, they threw in the towel, and published a list of the most frequently submitted entries, with an appeal to please stop sending them. The list consisted of hackneyed, unlikely, and decidedly unfunny quips allegedly made by children. The most frequently submitted entry was “Is this fast Sunday or slow Sunday?”.

    I guess Mirthright may have had a few gems in there somewhere, but its final demise was a welcome event.

    Comment by Left Field — February 28, 2010 @ 6:48 am

  8. This was a bumper crop! Thanks for the smiles! =)

    (The daily contributions to the Atlantic was my favorite!)

    Comment by FHL — March 1, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

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