A writer for Place it on Lucky Dan has written a joke apparently so funny that the FBI will not allow it to be told, various wire reports confirm. The joke is being withheld from public view until authorities better understand the nature behind its crafting and determine the wide ranging extent of its power to entertain.
“I can’t wait to steal it and put it in my act,” said Carlos Mencia. “If it’s as funny as they say it is, I know I didn’t write it.”
FBI officials believe the joke to be perfect. The setup is said to be bold, crisp, bright and immediately lures you in. The build-up is laced with exaggeration, wit and charm — followed by a breathless punchline with a surprise twist that is both topical and timeless, a study of contrasts. Reportedly, it’s hilarious.
“It’s a jewel,” said an FBI spokesman. “A real zinger. You’re not expecting it, total redirection. Thinking one way and then bam, over here. It’s a gut-wrencher, a bona fide gut-wrencher.”
The writer, whose name has not been released, was held for questioning and later placed into custody pending the outcome of the investigation. National Security Agency officials ordered the hold, a spokesperson saying the move was “based on the long-term fear that the joke be told and no other jokes seem funny anymore. Also the short-term fear that the writer might be on a streak or possibly working on a bit.”
One high-ranking Pentagon source believes that once people have heard the joke a few times, they’ll be able to process it and it won’t seem as funny anymore. “It’ll still be funny,” he said. “This one’s a doozy, a humdinger. In the testing we’ve done, we’ve found it impenetrable to strange dialects, drawing the joke out too long or flat-out botching the punchline. A knee-slapper like this where you can spoil the delivery or not allow pauses at the right time — it’s nearly impossible to tell incorrectly, anyone can do it. We need to find out why.”
The joke was written by hand on a single sheet of yellow 5″ x 7″ lined note paper. It is currently cased in ballistically-tested ultraviolet-filtered glass, hermetically sealed inside a helium-filled display case which itself is housed in an air-locked, temperature- and humidity-controlled safe room at an undisclosed location, believed to be CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Protective gloves, goggles and headwear are required within 40 feet of the joke. As of this morning, flash photography and smoking are strictly prohibited in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Under condition of anonymity, one high-ranking senator has suggested breaking it into several smaller jokes or adding a speech impediment to make it more difficult to tell. “From what I’ve heard of it, this could yield four, maybe five solid jokes you could tell at the office or a Christmas party, each funnier than the last,” he said. “I’ve heard it once and am still having it explained to me but from what I gather, it’s quite a yarn. It’s such a howl, they say, that people will pay the 11% tax we placed on it.”
Congressional historians believe the only other time a joke has been withheld from public view was the infamous “Pull My Finger v. Reiner” case, tossed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1955. Carl Reiner, while working on Your Show of Shows, is said to have created a more multi-faceted work with a much bigger payoff. “It was a sweet joke, it just came to me,” he said. “Sharp lead-in and a natural rhythm that just made for great timing. By time the lawyers got to it, all you had left was a fart joke.”
The Pull my Finger writing credit was eventually awarded to Sid Caesar’s entire staff, partly because it was more believable that a group — not just one person — constructed such a perfect chestnut. It’s believed a similar fate may await this yet unnamed powerhouse.
A spokesperson for a well-known congresswoman admits his boss thought “the joke was only so-so,” but she expressed a desire to see more benefit from the windfall the joke will likely produce — “cut a wider cloth and not simply rain profit for one.” The congresswoman restated her beliefs that the joke be retooled in committee and the writing credit shared between several people, some who may be actual joke writers.
So how funny is it?
“Laughter is the best medicine and this joke is stronger than chemo,” said a Facebook fan of Place it on Lucky Dan (click here to join), who admits hearing it and has since been placed in witness protection. “Can it actually cure cancer? I don’t know. When I heard it, I laughed so hard I reaggravated my sciatica. But in process of laughing so hard, it self-repaired. Who knows? It’s way better than the original Pull My Finger, it’s that good.”
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