The Rise of Puns

By Alex Kim, Staff Writer

Puns are one of the most basic forms of humor. It has a very standard structure and rarely occurs during casual conversations and interactions. If a joke cannot be used in a normal interaction, it is often incredibly awkward when it is told and comes out of nowhere. And for a long time, puns were seen as the ultimate dumb joke. But in recent years, puns have become far more popular and … actually funny.


Puns have always been looked down upon not only because of their simplicity, but also because of their natural association with dad humor. Anyone can understand a pun, so many people’s first experience with comedy is in the form of puns. For that reason, most individuals think that liking puns is equivalent to having the humor of a child. This belief gives a lot of people an inherent dislike for puns and other types of dad jokes. 


However, puns have lost most of the negative connotations that they once carried. Their rise in popularity is almost entirely owed to the rise of ironic humor. Ironic humor has always been popular, but it has never been remotely as popular as it is today. Now, it is sarcastic humor that drives newfound enjoyability of puns. Puns are obviously not meant to be sarcastic. However, irony and sarcasm allow older people to laugh at how simple and dumb puns are. Some people argue that laughing at how dumb a joke is does not make it funny, but you are still laughing at the joke.


Now, dad jokes and puns are still far from a sophisticated form of humor. They are still thought of as very basic jokes. However, sarcasm actually gives those jokes some variety. As a child, puns are genuinely funny and provide a lot of entertainment. And, as people age, they find the stupidity of puns funny. Although this form of humor has evolved to become funny for all ages, any variation that it has gained over the past few years is entirely incidental.


Regardless if a person thinks puns are funny or not, they are still an essential form of humor that introduces most people to comedy when they are very young and provides a very different form of fun for older people. Even though there are a multitude of different types of jokes that are funnier than puns, there is no other type that can match the strange duality of puns and how they make people laugh.