The "I" Word

Is now "Imus." The controversy about the senile radio host brings to mind a distinction I long ago made between funny jokes that happen to also be offensive and "jokes" that are merely offensive. I can tolerate the first category quite often. Anyone telling jokes from the second category should be shunned. An example of type 2 (for X fill in some ethnic group):
A: What do you call it when a busload of X's goes over a cliff?
B: I don't know.
A: A start.

There is simply nothing funny about this. I'm not saying this in the sense of "We should restrain our laughter because this is offensive." No, the above isn't a joke at all: It's an excuse to share your hatred of X's under the disguise of telling a joke.

And so was Imus calling the Rutger's basketball team "nappy-headed hoes." Where's the joke? What's the punchline? No, this is "funny" in the same way the previous joke is.


  1. This post just isn't complete without an example of the first.

  2. Example of first:
    A: What is Irish foreplay?
    B: I don't know.
    A: Drink a six-pack and yell, "Bend over, Bridget."

  3. A: What do you call a black guy who drives a bus?
    B: What?
    A: A bus driver, you racist.

  4. Ha, great jokes!

  5. The sample joke works fine iff you replace X with "lawyers."


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