The Commuter Challenge

1 July 2012

The July 2012 Challenge

by CC @ 22:01

Compose and submit three original jokes and/or riddles. Each of the three jokes must be in any well-known format, such as:

  • How many         does it take to change a light bulb?
  • What do you get when you cross a         with a        ?
  • Why did the         cross the road?
  • A        , a        , and a         walk into a bar …
  • Yo momma so        
  • Knock knock. Who’s there?        
  • What’s black and white and red all over?

Et cetera. You may use your own judgement regarding what you understand to be a common type of joke.

All three jokes/riddles must be utterly original inventions by you, and they must each be completely new this month.

The Results

Ryan Finholm

Q. How many iPhone Apps does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Four. To find out why it takes four iPhone Apps to change a light bulb, download the Deluxe version of this joke from the iTunes App Store for just $1.99.

Q. Why did Lady Gaga cross the road?

A. To get away from the chicken, who was trying to poke her face.

An Apostrophe and an Exclamation Mark walk into a bar. The Apostrophe orders a beer, and the bartender asks the Exclamation Mark what she’d like. The Exclamation Mark yells, “My stomach hurts and I’m cranky!” and runs to the bathroom. The bartender asks the Apostrophe, “Did she yell at me because she’s an Exclamation Mark?”

“Yeah,” says the Apostrophe, “and also because she’s on her period.”

Brian Raiter

Q. What’s black and white and red all over?

A. Goth candy canes.

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“… You’re so predictable.”

A priest, a pastor, and a theologian walk into a bar. They are chatting with each other about various religious topics. At one point they attempt to draw a fourth patron into their conversation, only to learn that he is an astronomer, and that he doesn’t believe in a god.

Surprised, the priest says, “So you’re an atheist? But why?”

The astronomer says, “I guess because I never heard a good reason to believe in a god.”

“Really? But it’s irrational to not believe in God. Science claims that it can explain everything, but no scientist has ever explained where the universe came from. Only religion can do that.”

The pastor adds, “And you might think that a science education automatically makes you smarter about everything, but that isn’t true. Just because someone doesn’t have a college degree, that doesn’t mean that they have nothing worthwhile to teach you about the world.”

The theologian says, “If what you believe in is science and numbers, then consider this. If you accept God, and he turns out to not exist, then what have you lost? Nothing. But if you deny God and he does exist, you will burn in Hell for all eternity. Clearly, believing in God is the wiser choice.”

The astronomer nods. “Okay. We’ve got a straw-man argument, a hollow-man argument, and an argument from cowardice. Now all I need are some ruby slippers and we can go find the Wizard.”

Video demonstration of an extended version of the knock-knock joke

Video demonstration of bonus knock-knock joke

Catherine Olsson

“What do you get when you cross bulimia and autocannibalism?”

“I don’t know, what do you get?”

“I don’t know either. Last time someone asked me I threw up my hands and gave up.”

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”


“Woodscrew who?”

“Would screw George Clooney if I had the chance!”

There once was a young lass from Sweden

Whose garden was finer than Eden

But this charming young madam

Spent no time with her Adam

Nor ever stopped mowin’ and weedin’!


  1. I am ashamed that I submitted a sexist joke, and I’m sorry. I had other ideas but they were all duds, and the exclamation mark joke made my ‘focus group’ laugh, so there it is. But it is insensitive and I apologize.

    by RyanF — 31 July 2012 @ 21:01

  2. I came up with the knock-knock joke about halfway through the month. The bar joke I put together in the last 2-3 days of the month. The riddle was composed at the last minute in a haze of nervous desperation.

    I found myself roped into doing some puppetry last Sunday, and so took the opportunity to record my knock-knock joke with the proper pacing & tone. The fourth “bonus” joke I actually think is funnier than my official three, but I didn’t feel I could include it as part of my main submission, since it only works if a) the listener is already familiar with the interrupting-cow joke, and b) you can present yourself as a tiger.

    I think these may be the only standalone jokes that I have actually composed ex nihilo in my entire life. Making up jokes is not easy!

    by Brian — 31 July 2012 @ 22:56

  3. While talking with my friend Will about this challenge, I conjectured that any pun could be turned into a joke, and since my friends and I use puns in daily conversation fairly regularly, I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to make a joke out of one. The (rather disgusting) first one was born this way – Will mentioned that the “threw up his hands”, and I quipped “That sounds unpleasant. Why were you eating your hands in the first place?” With some help from Will, I was able to get it into a standard joke format.

    The second one came to me fully formed while adding reinforcements to a wooden boathouse with – you guessed it – woodscrews. Substitute your favorite celebrity.

    And since I’m currently on vacation in Sweden, I thought I’d try to invent a limerick to suit.

    At one point this month I found myself writing code to try to come up with a v/w swap joke, along the lines of “I am the viper, I have come to vipe your vindows” or [At the Olympics a man went up to competitor who was carrying a very long pole. “Excuse me, are you a pole vaulter?” (thick accent) “No, I am a Swede, but how did you know my name was Walter?”]. Nothing great came of that, but I did find it entertaining that one could take such a methodical approach to such a lighthearted pursuit.

    by Catherine — 2 August 2012 @ 02:01