It has long been a staple of children’s joke books, sending the under-tens into paroxysms of laughter.
But now youngsters have officially voted the gag “Why was the sand wet? Because the sea weed!” as the funniest joke of all time.
The poll of 2,000 British children aged 7 to 12 years old reveals that classic jokes have stood the test of time, with timeless gags such as “What do you call a blind dinosaur? Doyouthinkhesaurus” and “Doctor, Doctor! Help, I feel like a pair of curtains! – Pull yourself together then!” also featuring in the top ten.
Meanwhile, the poll by Dundee-based magazine The Beano found that whilst fathers are notorious for their cringeworthy “dad jokes”, almost half of British children chose their dad as the funniest person in their family, while it was claimed that mums are generally found to tell the worst jokes.
Two-thirds of kids polled said they usually hear the best jokes in the classroom and playground, while nine in ten British children insist that kids are far funnier than adults.
Stand-up comedian Jay Lafferty, who organises the Comedy Kids events with the Edinburgh Youth Theatre at Edinburgh’s The Stand comedy venue, said: “Kids absolutely love word play and also anything to do with toilets or bottoms – they think it’s hilarious.
“The joke that has come top here combines those two things – the pun on the ‘sea weed’ and also the toilet humour. I think being able to say things which would normally be a no-no, which people would normally stop them from saying, really appeals to them.
“Having said that, I do stand-up with adults too and having heard a lot of grown-up comedians, I think especially for boys, the love of puerile toilet humour never really goes away.”
She added: “Children are great to work with as they have no filter about what is funny. They also like any joke that has a really strong mental image that goes with it, almost like a cartoon that they can pull up in their heads.”
Other jokes which made it into the top ten included “What’s the fastest vegetable? A runner bean!” and pre-school classic “What’s brown and sticky? A stick!”.
Meanwhile, “What do you call a blind deer? No eye deer!” and “Why should you be careful when it’s raining cats and dogs? You might step in a poodle!” also ranked highly.
The poll was commissioned to celebrate the launch of Beano’s new national joke competition to find the funniest school class in Britain.
Mike Stirling, editorial director at The Beano, said: “Beano is encouraging pupils up and down the country to put forward their very best jokes, gags and funnies to be in with a chance of being crowned Britain’s funniest class.
“Beano has always known how naturally funny kids are, so this national competition is the perfect way to shine a spotlight on the comedians of tomorrow.”
The top three classes, voted for by the Beano’s gag-maker experts and kids themselves online at Beano.com will each win a bundle of Beano annuals, comic subscriptions and a special VIP Beano visit and joke workshop; where one will ultimately be crowned Britain’s funniest class.
Beano’s national school joke competition is open for entries from 1 April and closes on 1 May.