Humour from various publications

[Editor: A collection of assorted jokes and humorous items from various newspapers. These are not necessarily Australian in origin, as establishing the provenance of jokes and humorous pieces can be problematic; nevertheless, they were published in Australia, for Australian audiences, and are offered here on that basis.]

I am happy, Tom, to hear the report that you have succeeded to a large landed property, said an old college chum. And I, replied Tom, am sorry to say it is groundless.

* * * * * *

Why does a confectioner resemble one of the West India islands? — Because he’s a jam-maker (Jamaica).

* * * * * *

A tourist stopping at a French hotel, saw the phrase — Fried water chicken, on the bill of fare. Desiring to know what this meant, he sent for a water chicken. He tried it, and finding it excellent, recommended it to the rest of the party, ladies and all. All liked the dish wonderfully, and so became frog-eaters without knowing it.

* * * * * *

Jack, said a man to a lad just entering his teens, your father is drowned. Dash it, he’s got my knife in his pocket! said the young hopeful.

The Courier (Brisbane, Qld.), 2 April 1864, p. 4

A young man advertises for a place as salesman, and says he has had a great deal of experience, having been discharged from seven different shops within a year.

* * * * * *

A negro, about dying, was told by his minister that he must forgive a certain darkey against whom he seemed to entertain very bitter feelings. Yes, sah, he replied; if I dies, I forgive dat nigger; but if I gits well, dat nigger must take care.

The Brisbane Courier (Brisbane, Qld.), 11 April 1864, p. 3

Her Poem.

She glided into the office and quietly approached the editor’s desk.

“I have written a poem—” she began.

“Well,” exclaimed the editor with a look and tone intended to annihilate, but she wouldn’t annihilate worth a cent, and resumed.

“I have written a poem on ‘My Father’s Barn,’ and —”

“Oh!” interrupted the editor with extraordinary suavity, “you don’t know how relieved I feel. A poem written on your father’s barn, eh? I was afraid it was written on paper and that you wanted me to publish it. If I should ever happen to drive past your father’s barn, I’ll stop and read the poem. Good afternoon, miss.”

The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.), 30 January 1889, p. 3

Extra Hazardous.

Applicant for insurance — No, sir; I neither drink, chew or swear; I don’t go the theater or attend balls and have no evil associates. I am at home always by ten o’clock; am a Sunday school teacher and my morals are above reproach. I never had a day’s sickness in my life.

Agent — That is extra, extra hazardous risk, young man, and we can’t take it.


‘No. The good die young, you know.’

The North Queensland Register (Charters Towers, Qld.), 5 July 1893, p. 32

Farmers’ “Don’ts.”

Don’t try to please your wife.

Don’t appreciate one thing she does.

Don’t ever plan your work so to be able to take her to any entertainment.

Don’t help to care for the children; that is what you got her for.

Don’t fail to invite company to dinner on Sunday without letting her know, so that she can have a day for rest.

Don’t get the bucket of water from the pump when asked; any one can pump who half tries.

Don’t fail to ask your wife if she wants you to do all the housework when she asks you to put some wood on the fire.

Don’t neglect asking what she has done with all the egg and butter money, for it will more than supply the table, help pay the hired man, get the children’s books and clothes, &c.

Don’t wonder that your food has a peculiar flavour, for it is seasoned with blasted hopes, sighs of disappointment, &c.

Don’t be surprised to read that the majority of insane women are farmers’ wives.

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.), 7 July 1894, p. 20

Heard this one?

Professor A. J. Ewart, in a Melbourne Rotary address, eulogising the stockmen of Australia, remarked on the absence of extravagant trappings in their equipment, and related a story typical of their downright frankness.

He had been digging in the broiling sun one day in North-Western Australia, when some stockmen rode up alongside his camp. “Are you Professor Ewart?” one of them asked.

The professor thought he must have been recognised by his high brow or the science exuding from him. Replying in the affirmative, he asked the bushman, “But how did you know me?”

The stockman leaned forward in his saddle confidentially, and said: “No one but a —— fool would be working like that on a hot day when there are niggers about!”

A burst of laughter followed this story from real life, and when it had died down Professor Ewart, added, “He then promptly asked me to have a drink. Obviously no offence was intended.”

The Advocate (Devonport and Burnie, Tas.), 9 July 1928, p. 2
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

Nothing Serious

A little fellow who had just felt the hard side of the slipper turned to his mother for consolation.

“Ma,” he asked “did grandpa thrash father when he was a little boy?”

“Yes,” answered his mother impressively.

“And did his father thrash him when he was little?”


“And did his father thrash him?”



“Well, who started the thing, anyway?”

* * * * * *

Mrs. Sharpe: “Have you filed those divorce, papers for me? If so, I want you to stop them.”

Lawyer: “Have you made it up with your husband?”

Mrs. Sharpe: “Good gracious, no! But he’s just been run over and killed by a motor car, and I want to sue the owner for damages.”

* * * * * *

“Hello, is that you doctor?”

“Yes,” said the doctor.

“My mother-in-law is at deaths door, so come up at once and help me to pull her through.”

* * * * * *

“Uncle Joe,” said a colored lady to the deacon of her church, “ah thinks yore Mandy am de mostest ugly gal I ever seed.”

“Look hyar, hussy, dat’s nuffin’ to gab ’bout; beauty’s only skin deep.”

“Wal, den, Uncle Joe, for goodness sake, ef ah was you ah’d skin ’er!”

* * * * * *

“You talk a great deal in your sleep, John,” said Mrs. Pecke.

“It’s the only chance I get,” murmured John meekly.

* * * * * *

Papa: “What’s your excuse for coming home at three o’clock in the morning?”

Daughter: “The party ran out of drinks, daddy.”

* * * * * *

The parson was giving his daughter a dressing-down for using powder and rouge, before her boy friend called.

“Your mother got a man without using any make-ups,” he reminded her.

“Surely,” replied she, “but look what she got!”

* * * * * *

“Hey, there!” roared the traffic cop to the speeder, “where you goin’?”

“I’m hurrying into Sydney to see my lawyer,” said the motorist.

“Well,” said the cop, as he filled in his ticket, “here’s some more news for him.”

* * * * * *

Distracted Wife (at bedside of her sick husband): “Is there no hope, doctor?”

Doctor: “I don’t know, madam. Tell me first what you are hoping for?”

* * * * * *

“I hear your daughter is practising daily on the harp. How is she getting on?”

“Well, her mother isn’t quite so keen on going to heaven as she was.”

* * * * * *

Innocent Young Thing: “I’d like to buy a petticoat, please.”

Floor Walker: “Sorry, miss, but we’ve discontinued our antique department.”

* * * * * *

Goofus was overflowing with enthusiasm. Success had at last crowned his poetic efforts. He rushed in to give the glad tidings to his landlady.

“Hooray!” he yelled. “I’ve sold my poem, ‘Ode to a Fair Lady.’”

“Have you?” sarcastically returned his landlady. “Well, you’d better write one now called ‘Owed to a Landlady.’”

The Braidwood Review and District Advocate (Braidwood, NSW), 14 January 1930, p. 8

Joan: “Say, dad, why was man made first?”

Dad: “Oh, so woman could claim she was an improvement on him, I suppose.”

The Braidwood Review and District Advocate (Braidwood, NSW), 14 January 1930, p. 8

May: “Is your husband tight?”

June: “Tight! Say, every time he takes a penny out of his pocket the King blinks at the light.”

The Braidwood Review and District Advocate (Braidwood, NSW), 14 January 1930, p. 8

Mistress: Why is it, Catherine, that whenever I come into the room I never find you working?
Catherine: So long as you wears them rubber ’eels, mum, you never will.

“What do they mean by the ‘witching hour’?”
“Don’t you know? That’s the hour when the wife greets you with ‘Which story is it this time?’”

The Frankston & Somerville Standard (Frankston, Vic.), 1 November 1930, p. 5

The teacher was storming his thick-headed pupils, and said, “Stand up the stupidest boy in the class!”
There was stillness for a while, then one bright boy jumped up.
“Are you satisfied you are the stupidest boy?” asked the teacher.
“It’s not that, sir,” said the boy, “I ’adn’t the ’eart to see you standin’ there by yerself!”

The Daily News (Perth, WA), 21 July 1934, [p. 22; supplement section]

[Editor: Items included herein which were published in the same column have been separated from each other with the insertion of a row of six stars (* * * * * *).]

Speak Your Mind