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Literature / Jokes Cracked By Lord Aberdeen

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The master of mirth.
Jokes Cracked By Lord Aberdeen is a slim volume published in 1929 containing exactly what it says on the cover. Over the years, the book gained a cult following due to its often baffling humour and general air of being So Unfunny, It's Funny.

Tropes in this book:

  • Comically Missing the Point: Many of the stories, for example "Unsettled":
    "I've seen better days, sir" said a tramp to an Aberdonian, who replied, "So have I - but I havna time to discuss the weather the noo."
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Zigzagged. In person and with a sympathetic audience, his Lordship probably could tell a joke. But written down, they become So Unfunny, It's Funny.
  • Creator Provincialism: The punchlines of several stories are variations on "Aberdeen's a great place!"
  • Damned by Faint Praise: John Finnemore's introduction to the 2009 reprint includes this example, also used as the back cover blurb:
    My favourite of the jokes made me laugh out loud when I first read it. I mean, not much, we're not talking paroxysms of mirth here, but definitely audibly.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: "The Tandem Story", in which the author is required not only to describe hand gestures, but also their meaning (because they had fallen out of use even by the time he was writing). Even he must have realised the joke required far too much explanation to work.
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: One particularly jarring aversion is "His Time Was Up", which begins with an explanation of how Scottish churches used to pass around a ladle for their collection. This has no bearing at all on the joke which follows.
  • Spoiler Title: Many of the jokes have titles which give away the punchline.