* I've never understood why explaining the joke is a Bad Thing. How, exactly, does explaining the joke make the joke not funny? Am I the only person in the history of Earth whose had a punchline explained to her, then a light bulb goes off in her head and she laughs because she ''now gets the joke''? My guess is this is just another case of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_men_make_a_tiger Three Men Make A Tiger]] (It refers to the idea that if an '''unfounded premise''' or urban legend is mentioned and repeated by many individuals, the premise will be '''erroneously''' accepted as the truth).
** I thought the article itself did a decent job explaining why explaining the joke is bad. Explaining the joke to someone who actually says "I don't get it" is one thing. Explaining a punchline because people didn't laugh at it has hard as you thought they should've is quite another. And by "quite another" I mean "Stop doing that, you tin-eared douche."
** Because a joke that needs to be explained is too much of an "in joke" for other people to understand and/or too complicated? Imagine if your favorite stand up comedian had to spend half his show explaining his jokes. Wouldn't be funny then would it? (I always thought this rule applied more to professional stand up than telling a joke to your mates at the pub.)
** Telling jokes is all in the delivery. Explaining them tends to fuck up the delivery pretty bad unless the joke is really good.
** Because other people might understood it is a joke. They might understood punchline. However [[DudeNotFunny thay may consider it not funny]] or they may understend it as joke and consider to play it along as form of play.
** Because most of the humour in a joke is often the surprise / trick ending. It's not really a surprise / trick ending if it's explained to you, it's just a story. "Getting" the joke contributes to the good feeling of the joke. Imagine how funny that joke would be if you figured it out yourself!
** I'm fond of Genius Bonus jokes; if a joke isn't funny, it might be because of the wrong audience, not because the joke isn't funny. But about explaining the joke -- it might not be as funny when you hear it being explained, but you will get it the next time you hear it. Kind of like "better to ask a question and look stupid than remain ignorant"
** There's also language barrier. This American Troper needed a joke about "abortion of chips" explained to her. (When I walk into a McDonalds, I ask for an order of fries.)
** Explaining the joke also implies that the listener isn't capable of joining the dots themselves to understand why it's funny and that they need it explained to them. They're stupid, in other words. Rightly or wrongly, people don't tend to appreciate the implication that they're stupid, particularly when the vastly difficult concept the other person is suggesting they're too dense to fully grasp is in fact a fairly simple and straightforward joke.
** "Am I the only person in the history of Earth whose had a punchline explained to her, then a light bulb goes off in her head and she laughs because she now gets the joke?" - no, but isn't it funnier when you get the punchline while hearing the joke itself?
** According to the philosophy of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(philosophy_of_education) constructivism]], knowledge has to be actively formed by the learner, not memorized like rote. So it makes sense that a joke being explained causes backlash. On top of that, explaining the joke is like spoiling the ending, in that you are depriving the other of experiencing the joke the way it should have been experienced.