Dark Humor Jokes From Unexpected Sources
Dark humor has also been called “gallows humor,” and today, we’d like to share some particularly dark bits that came from unexpected executioners.
“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appetit!”
President Ronald Reagan
On August 11, 1984, Reagan decided to joke around before going live with his weekly radio address. He got on the mic and said, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”
That little bit of improv was jarring coming from the man with his finger on the button during the height of the Cold War, and Russian officials were definitely not amused when it became public. Just imagine, though, how much worse it would’ve been if it had been broadcast live.
Dennis the Menace
Thanks to a paste-up error at The Dayton Daily News in 1983, the captions for Dennis the Menace and The Far Side cartoons got mixed up, leading to this dark family moment:
From a Firefighter
An unnamed firefighter in Massachusetts found himself in trouble for dismissing a woman's call for help with getting her cat out of a tree, telling her that cats have nine lives, and that he'd never seen a cat skeleton in a tree before. Yikes!
This commercial for Internet Explorer 8 takes a quick turn for the dark — and that’s even before Dean Cain shows up:
A Judge During A Murder Trial
A perfectly timed quip from a judge during the penalty phase of a murder trial was later cited by the defendant’s lawyers as evidence of bias in an attempt to get a new trial.
Attorney (questioning a psychologist): Well, anyone is physically capable of carrying out a violent act, and if I were now to harm or shoot someone — Mr. Strople here. If I shot him right now…
Judge: Permission granted.
Attorney: …that might be justified.
Judge: Mr. Strople is a public defender, for the record.
This Brain Surgeon
Last year, a man in the U.K. underwent a three-hour operation to remove a brain tumor, during which he would have to remain awake and responsive. He thought he’d use the time to make fun of the surgeon for being a fan of the Arsenal Football Club. That’s when the doctor offered up this slice of perspective: “You’re a brave man saying that when I’ve got my hand inside your head”
Even for a franchise that’s all about skewering classic fairy tales, the three-part background gag involving the three bears from the story of Goldilocks is something. We first see a shot of the three bears in cages at the start of the movie. Later, we see Papa Bear and Baby Bear in the background looking sad. Then, in a shot from inside Lord Farquaad’s castle, we see a bear skin rug with a pink bow on its head. What the hell did Mama Bear do to deserve that?!?
Hard to say what’s worse here: That the poor guy really thought someone was hanging from the roof as part of this dark holiday decoration, or the newscasters who seem legitimately giddy about his panicked reaction.
At the start of the round, the question was “Name something drastic a man might do to get out of marrying his girlfriend?” It was dark enough that a contestant responded with “He’s gonna act like he died.” But it got even darker when “Fake his death” turned out to be number three answer on the list.
Saint Lawrence was martyred in 258 A.D. during Roman Emperor Valerian’s persecution of Christians. As the legend goes, the prefect of Rome had decided to execute Lawrence by having him placed atop a gridiron over a bed of coals. In the middle of this agonizing torture, Lawrence gleefully shouted his last words “I’m well done on this side. Turn me over!”
Which is why Lawrence was later declared the patron saint of chefs, barbecues and comedians.