The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

Illustration by Giacomo Gambineri.

Who would’ve thought that the first joke ever recorded would be a fart joke? Maybe I should rephrase for our audience. Guys, 1900 B.C.’s jokes were right up our (gassy) alley!! 

After flatulence shaped the first joke of modern comedy, comedians imitated accents on a phone call, Charlie Chaplin did a Dinner Roll Dance, Gracie Allen straight up wanted you to know about her love of lamb chops, Duck Soup (which has nothing to do with foie gras in bouillon, sorry to disappoint) hit up the world, Henry Youngman wanted us to please take his wife on the Ed Sullivan show, Jean Carroll was the first female comedian to be compared to men,Your Show of Shows became the SNL before SNL.

In the late fifties, Redd Foxx asked his audience the difference between pickpockets and peeping Toms, then Bugs Bunny inquired "What’s Opera, Doc?", Steve Allen became a Human Tea Bag, Mel Brooks wrote Springtime for Hitler, Rodney Dangerfield couldn’t get no respect', SNL associated words in a sketch about race which became the most important of all time, then Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, Steve Martin (obvs), Richard Pryor, Steven Wright, Whoopi, Chappelle, Stewart and finally the Schumster (or Amy Schumer). But don’t take my word for it, check out the funniest timeline of all timelines below.

Go to actual story now written by Jesse David Fox on Vulture.