We have heard so many references and stories telling the origin of knock-knock jokes. Perhaps, we should give our detective mind a rest since we would like to hear some other jokes better than we need to know the history. Although suggestions from books and online media are referring to Shakespeare’s MacBeth, none evidence have been brought forward to ensure people about the connection between the two. We agree that knock-knock jokes belong to English speaking countries, but no one can tell exactly where from the funny word games are originated. For most people from this generation, knock-knock jokes are always here to amuse.
The basic form of the jokes is very simple, actually. It merely consists of two questions and two answers after knock-knock is delivered, which are all very short; the followings are the most basic form, which are still widely used now:
- Who’s there?
- Any given name or word comes to mind
- Same name as mentioned before followed by an interrogative word who
- Still the same name mentioned earlier followed by a punishing/surprising/funny word
- Who’s there?
- Jesus who?
- Jesus Christ! Open the door.
Another good reference is that knock-knock jokes are originated from a Buddhist teaching; it says, “Knock-knock.” “Who’s there?” “It is yourself since we are all actually one.” However, there are plenty of other similar stories trying to establish the origin of these jokes; no one seems to be sure which one is the best to believe. In any case, it does not really matter or trouble people that you do not know the history; people want to hear the funny stuffs not the doubts and arguments. Although you have searched from the entire books in the library or typing many keywords on the search dialog box, every single article will only lead to possibilities.
The interesting point is that the jokes are still popular without any modification to the form until now. The resemblance in the word stresses, sentence structures, and the surprising comment are always similar from time to time. This kind of comedy is actually very easy, of course, for English native speaker. Any statement followed by simple answers that do not seem to require the speaker to labor many thoughts. Perhaps, you can try to use the same kind of jokes with your own mother tongue; it may still sound funny after all. Children may not like the jokes; knock-knock jokes are simple, but for children, they can be very hard to follow.
The good news is that collections of knock-knock jokes have been printed in books or even written on web pages; looking for ideas to cheer up the silence will not be very hard. Almost all English Speaking countries such as United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, France and South Africa are the places where knock-knock jokes once again gain more popularity after being slightly abandoned for a while. Knock-knock jokes are easy but unique, simple but surprising, punishing but exciting, and after everything, the jokes are funny.