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In defense of 'dad jokes'
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Dad jokes are popular on the Internet and on TV, but what makes a man start telling corny jokes almost the moment he becomes a dad? - photo by Marsha Maxwell
Its a safe bet that some version of this exchange has taken place in millions of English-speaking households:

Dad, Im hungry.

Hello, Hungry, Im Dad.

No, Dad, Im serious.

Really? I thought you were Hungry.

Youre kidding me.

No, Im Dad.

Dad jokes those punny, silly, clean-but-groan-worthy comments that make everyone in the family roll their eyes have their own kind of appeal. Dad jokes are popular on the Internet and TV, but what makes a man start telling corny jokes almost the moment he becomes a dad?

Dr. Jon Sutton, editor of the British journal The Psychologist and author of the blog Dad Pride, wrote, I tell my kids jokes as often as possible, and the worse they are the better. Is it just me, or when you tell your children a joke do you actively want them to think it's rubbish?

Though he is a psychologist, Sutton was at a loss to explain why he likes a groan even more than a laugh in response to dad jokes. He thinks it might have something to do with letting his children know hes human, and that rather than being invincible hes a bit rubbish, like his jokes.

Dadjokes is a popular topic on Reddit, where contributors have offered these recent eye-rollers:

(Waiter) "Will we be needing a gluten-free menu this evening?" (Dad) "Why would I care if the menu is gluten free? It's not like I'm going to eat it.

(Waiter) "Are you finished?" (Dad) "No, we're Swedish."

Why do bananas get all the ladies? Because they have appeal.

Reddit user skeptickal (pseudonym) explained that he uses dad jokes to connect with his children while protecting their innocence.

It just seems natural that I'd want to try to make my kids laugh. The thing is a lot of my normal material is off limits. Profanity is out. I don't want to make sexual innuendo, he wrote. I need to be careful about jokes that are biting or sarcastic I don't want them to see me being mean to others.

So where does that leave me? It leaves me with puns. It leaves me with silly jokes. As a dad you want your kids to be surrounded with the warm, happy, innocuous kind of stuff.

I think at some level they know that each time they groan or say Oh, Dad! to my admittedly pathetic dad jokes, they're really saying 'I love you, too.'"

The post was viewed almost 250,000 times and received hundreds of appreciative comments. Commenters reminisced about their fathers corny jokes, and some remarked that they wished their dads were still around to tell them.

Buzzfeed shared a list of 27 cringeworthy dad jokes, including these gems:

(Dad, at 12:01 New Years Day) Wheres your mother? I havent seen her ALL YEAR!

In the supermarket, my dad will stop, stare at a watermelon with a look of respect, put his hand on my shoulder and say, What-a-melon.

Dad calls his childs cellphone late at night and says, Hey, I just wanted to let you know your phone is ringing. He hangs up.

"Admittedly pathetic" dad jokes inspire a collective facepalm, but they might also be the warm, happy, innocuous kind of stuff that brings fathers and children together.