It all started with a simple question: “Do trees poop?”

A dancing dad in a blue polo shirt and blue jeans sauntered up to a doorbell camera with an extra large travel mug in his hand and a pep in his step. “Sup neighbors? Just got back from church. Heard a good one! Wanted to share it with ya,” he began. “Do trees poop? Do they poop? Well, of course they do! How would we get Number 2 pencils?” After which, our fatherly hero boogied back down the front step with a quick “later gator!” on his way out.

@thedaddork

This eye-rolling dad joke has amassed more than 27 million views on TikTok since it was first posted by The Dad Dork back in March, and almost a hundred copycat videos ripping off his legendary riff have been made since he first went viral. Though the “dad joke” is as old as the world’s first dad, youthful platforms like TikTok are going crazy over simplistic setups and groan-inducing punchlines like the ones the Dad Dork peddles to his hundreds of thousands of followers.

@thedaddork

The emergence of the term “dad joke” comes from a 1987 column in The Gettysburg Times, titled, “Don’t Ban the ‘Dad’ Jokes; Preserve and Revere Them.” In the plea, editor Jim Kalbaugh defended dad jokes after an unspecified comedian on an unnamed late-night show called for the banning of them. Kalbaugh told the story of a dad driving by a cemetery who turned to his kids in the backseat and chortled, “How many dead people are in there? All of them.” Kalbaugh called the wholesome punnage “one of the great traditions of fatherhood.”

The Dad Dork is keeping that tradition alive in the era of social media as he unleashes a new dad joke on TikTok every few days. Some of them require a high production value — a few of his paternal puns necessitate props and costumes to get the full effect (he’s a real Carrot Top in that way). There are also different categories of Dad Dork videos, depending on where they’re filmed — “Driveway Dad Jokes” are different from “Doorbell Dad Jokes,” which are entirely dissimilar to “Messing w/ Kenny,” a series involving some neighborly pranks on the Dad Dork’s friend from across the street.

@thedaddork

The running theme in all of the Dad Dork’s videos is a giddy devotion to fun and a refusal to take one’s self seriously. A few of the videos include appearances from the Dad Dork’s sons, but dad jokes aren’t about kids — they’re about dads. The Dad Dork is the star of his own show, and his love for laughter and groans is dangerously infectious.

In fact, we think the Dad Dork gave us a disease which makes us unable to stop telling airport jokes. The doctors say it’s terminal.

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