"Artichoke who? Artichoke pizza!" and other robot punchlines
July 22, 2015 5:50 AM   Subscribe

Knock knock!
   Who's there?
Norns
   Norns who?
Nordstrom!

Delightfully, absurdly naive knock knock jokes written by a bot that knows how to use the Google autocomplete API but doesn't really know anything about jokes.

Bot built by MeFi's Own ignignokt.
posted by cortex (51 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
This one caught me off guard:

"Knock knock!
Who's there?
Donne
Donne who?
Donner party!"
posted by sutt at 6:02 AM on July 22, 2015 [19 favorites]


I have Facebook friends who have told the Sharia Law joke, I think.
posted by yhbc at 6:05 AM on July 22, 2015


I just started following this last night. ignignokt makes the best bots ever. My favorite is Appropriate Tributes.
posted by slogger at 6:07 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


These are ch/al/armingly similar to the knock-knock jokes that little kids make up.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:09 AM on July 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Continuing the derail into kid's made-up jokes, this was the first thing I heard from my beaming 5yo one morning:

Q: What did the hot dog bun say to the hot dog?
A: I'm abundant!
posted by Walleye at 6:11 AM on July 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


Oh man, good job, robot! You are the funniest robot.

These are strikingly similar to the knock knock jokes made up by three year olds, which are usually a mixture of word association and the belief that the knock knock format is the joke, and the rest of the joke works best as an incoherent mad lib.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:11 AM on July 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Rambo
Rambo who?
Rambo 5!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:21 AM on July 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


This is the perfect zen koan of knock knock jokes:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Cyberworld
Cyberworld who?
Cyber world!

posted by languagehat at 6:25 AM on July 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


These are ch/al/armingly similar to the knock-knock jokes that little kids make up.

What if the singularity happens and it's just a four year old. What if Roko's Basilisk actually just wants you to make sure we don't run out of string cheese and juice boxes.
posted by cortex at 6:30 AM on July 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


These are strikingly similar to the knock knock jokes made up by three year olds, which are usually a mixture of word association and the belief that the knock knock format is the joke, and the rest of the joke works best as an incoherent mad lib.

Yes! I have a 4-year old and this is so definitely true.

Protip: My favorite knock-knock joke to use against 4 year olds who are looping endlessly through their jokes:

Me: "Ok I know a really good one..."
Kid: "OKAY!"
Me: "Okay you start..."
Kid: "Knock Knock"
Me: stare with anticipation
posted by odinsdream at 6:30 AM on July 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


The robot has figured out how to use a knock knock joke to take a bold epistemological stance:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Agnostics
Agnostics who?
Agnostics are cowards!

posted by Strange Interlude at 6:31 AM on July 22, 2015 [17 favorites]


I like this one:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Bagpipes
Bagpipes who?
Bagpipes for sale!
posted by codacorolla at 6:42 AM on July 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Attempts
Attempts who?
Attempts on her life!

Oh god I knew the bots would turn against us one day
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:48 AM on July 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


These are strikingly similar to the knock knock jokes made up by three year olds, which are usually a mixture of word association and the belief that the knock knock format is the joke, and the rest of the joke works best as an incoherent mad lib.

I started seeing these in my timeline the other day, and I didn't realize they were actually from a bot. I just thought they were funny. What this says about me combined with these assessments is left as an exercise to the reader.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:56 AM on July 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Doctor
Doctor who?
Doctor who!


This is actually not bad.
posted by jquinby at 7:38 AM on July 22, 2015 [34 favorites]


I'm so glad other people enjoy these! I was primed for them by the four-year-olds' jokes segment on the Adam and Joe podcast, so I figured I could be alone here.

If you like these, there's a similar bot, @knock2bot, that is a good time. It uses bi-grams from Wordnik rather than autocomplete to do its joke writing.
posted by ignignokt at 7:53 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]




Doctor who?
Doctor who!

posted by griphus at 8:29 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you like these, there's a similar bot, @knock2bot, that is a good time. It uses bi-grams from Wordnik rather than autocomplete to do its joke writing.

I'm trying to think about other approaches here, because it seems like one of the key mechanics of a standard knock knock joke that none of these consistently hit upon is the parsing fakeout, leading the respondent/reader down the wrong path via a phonetic or morphological fakeout.

Like, "Artichoke who?" "Artichoke pizza!" is delightful more for its failure than anything. There's an element of surprise there—we can't really guess what the punchline will be—but there's no misdirection exactly.

So: what if the joke generation process started by identifying word substrings that are themselves legit words? Instead of "Artichoke", start with "Art" as a word that has at least one expansion into a different word, and then do the prompt with the seed word and the autocomplete the expanded word, like:

"Art." "Art who?" "Artichoke pizza!"

It's still not, like, good-joke funny, but it would reinforce that structural element of surprise and misdirection a little.

A really naive script could probably sort through a standard unix dict file for some fodder here just by comparing substrings. You'd end up with a lot of longer words that were literally just besuffixed versions of shorter words ("Art who?" "Artful!", etc), but might be possible to do a bit of filtering of the list to try and sort that out too.

A more elaborate approach could try and actually take approximate phonetic content into account and look not just for spelling matching but sound-alike matches, to pull off stuff in the "orange who?" "orange you glad I didn't say banana" realm, but I wouldn't even know where to start there.
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on July 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


My favorite Knock Knock joke:

Knock knock?
Who's there?
Micromanager - now you say 'micromanager who?'!

(Leaving absolutely no pause in the last sentence.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:37 AM on July 22, 2015 [19 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting cow!
Interr--
MOOOO

My wife loves and hates that joke so much that whenever I say "knock knock" she says "MOOOO" immediately and then over my next several attempts at levity/conversation.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:55 AM on July 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Biosensors
Biosensors who?
Biosensors and bioelectronics!


I admit that I laughed. I probably should have my sense of humor overhauled, but I work with a lot of engineers, and that's a pretty good excuse.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:58 AM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


infinitewindow: my favorite version of that joke is "interrupting starfish," where instead of saying "MOOO" you jump out with your arms and legs splayed as wide as possible and a massive grin on your face.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:00 AM on July 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


Also, I am pretty sure:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Chatterer
Chatterer who?
Chatterer cenobite!


was the actual concept pitch for a couple of the later Hellraiser movies....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:01 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


One could only wish those movies had even a portion of the wit of a robot trying to tell a joke.
posted by griphus at 9:03 AM on July 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


my favorite version of that joke is "interrupting starfish," where instead of saying "MOOO" you jump out with your arms and legs splayed as wide as possible and a massive grin on your face.

My son, at age 5, created this version:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting Willie Nelson!
Interr--
On the ROAD AGAIN
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:04 AM on July 22, 2015 [26 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Amnesia
Amnesia who?
Amnesia lyrics!


Oh, that could have ended very differently.

As the parent of a six year old with a... random sense of humour, these jokes are the bane of my existence, but for some reason the very clever ones still manage to work on me.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:07 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


What if the singularity happens and it's just a four year old. What if Roko's Basilisk actually just wants you to make sure we don't run out of string cheese and juice boxes.

I Have No Mouth and It's a Good Life
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:16 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to think about other approaches here, because it seems like one of the key mechanics of a standard knock knock joke that none of these consistently hit upon is the parsing fakeout, leading the respondent/reader down the wrong path via a phonetic or morphological fakeout.
My brother and I found a knock-knock joke book maybe 15-20 years ago full of head-scratchingly odd ones. The one I remember the most:

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Vanessa.
Vanessa who?
Van essential for fast delivery.

First of all, the punchline requires you to mispronounce the name in the set-up. Second of all, what kind of punchline is that? Is "van essential for fast delivery" something humans say? Regardless, I laughed harder at that joke than any other knock-knock joke.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:20 AM on July 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Next on Computers in Cars Getting Coffee...
posted by the sobsister at 9:26 AM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Van essential for fast delivery.

I love that that joke was actually printed in a joke book, presumably written by an adult who speaks English. It manages to completely miss the point of knock knock jokes and be completely hilarious at the same time.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:37 AM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


infinitewindow: my favorite version of that joke is "interrupting starfish," where instead of saying "MOOO" you jump out with your arms and legs splayed as wide as possible and a massive grin on your face.

Oh, I like to do interrupting starfish, but instead of saying "moo" I outstretch my hand like a starfish and sort of put it over their face in the middle of their reply.

The best one-two punch is then I do a knock-knock joke as "interrupting sloth", but as they reply I just move my outstretched hand towards them veeeeery sloooowly.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:38 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Yeats
Yeats who?
Yeats the second coming!


.... This is actually pretty good.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


My wife loves and hates that joke so much that whenever I say "knock knock" she says "MOOOO" immediately and then over my next several attempts at levity/conversation.

That is wonderful.
posted by JHarris at 9:49 AM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Answerphone
Answerphone who?
Answer phone!
posted by TreeRooster at 9:49 AM on July 22, 2015


I highly recommend browsing the Twitter list of all of ignignokt's Twitter bots. It's like channel surfing in the weirdest country ever.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:03 AM on July 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Initial experiments with the substring idea I was nattering on about above are...about what I expected, which is to say pretty terrible, but! But it's a start. Typical output:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Allose.
Allose who?
Allosematic!


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Adopt.
Adopt who?
Adoptability!


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Alchemistic.
Alchemistic who?
Alchemistical!


It seems like filtering out very long setup words and doing some amount of just-also-a-common-suffix cases could help some.
posted by cortex at 10:05 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey. Knock knock...
posted by otherchaz at 10:11 AM on July 22, 2015


> infinitewindow: my favorite version of that joke is "interrupting starfish," where instead of saying "MOOO" you jump out with your arms and legs splayed as wide as possible and a massive grin on your face.

I learned "starfish" as just shooting out your arm and and attaching your hand to the other person's face, probably because I was in a group that was possibly *too* okay with touching.

Coming up with other "Interrupting X" knock-knock jokes became a real thing in that friend group, including both noises ("interrupting tugboat") and bodily contact ("interrupting runaway train").

If I were doing this today, there'd probably be an Eddie Izzard "interrupting giraffe" joke in the mix.
posted by cardioid at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is pretty much exactly like talking to my four-year-old who has figured out how knock-knock jokes FUNCTION, but not how knock-knock jokes WORK. (Typical example: "Knock knock - who's there? - big red truck! - big red truck who? - big red truck goes HONK HONK!") I cannot decide if it's hilarious or if I want to stab my monitor.

Warning for parents of small children: Do not teach them the interrupting starfish knock knock joke. Even if they do not understand exactly why it's funny, it's still funny because of the face-grabbing, and you will never be able to sit quietly again without someone grabbing your face while shrieking "INTERRUPTING STARFISH!" and collapsing in howls of laughter.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:27 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Me: "Ok I know a really good one..."
Kid: "OKAY!"
Me: "Okay you start..."
Kid: "Knock Knock"
Me: stare with anticipation


I actually don't know if you meant this in the sense of:

Me: I'm anticipating the fun of saying "Who's there?" and watching them struggle with not knowing how to proceed

or

Me: I just stare at them in silence until they burst into tears

and I think both are pretty good.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:37 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Knock knock!

Hello! Sign in to your account. Try Knock knock Prime. Basket [0]. Wish List.

Doctor!

There was an error with your User Name/Joke combination. Please try again.

DOCTOR!!!

Forgotten Your Joke? Get Joke help.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:43 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Rambo who?
Rambo 5!


Oh man pretend we're not here
posted by Hoopo at 10:56 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Amigo
Amigo who?
Amigos!

This was my favorite. I pictured Philippe from Achewood telling it.
posted by town of cats at 11:23 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


The first time I heard 'interrupting cow' 7 or 8 years ago I was rendered useless by random uncontrollable fits of chuckling for an entire afternoon.

My son, at age 5, created this version:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting Willie Nelson!
Interr--
On the ROAD AGAIN


I suppose there's no way I could like, I don't know -- buy a small percentage of your son's future income? Other than by paying my taxes, I mean?
posted by jamjam at 11:34 AM on July 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Lest any three year olds feel maligned by my loving assessment of their knock-knocking, it is only fair to share one of my favorite knock knock jokes, which was written by my younger brother at that age:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Clock!
Clock who?
Clock Kent!

(Not only is this some killer wordplay for a small child, it is also a pretty accurate characterization when it comes to CK's feelings about the importance of etiquette and being a good guest.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:55 PM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


On the rare occasion all seven of us sit down around the table to eat dinner, initial decompression conversation can consist of rounds of joke telling. The knock knock that has endured the longest was written by the fifth born in his four year old mind:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
A Rock.
A rock who?
A Rock Obama

(punch line delivered in an "oh yeah, you all thought I couldn't" tone every. single. time.)
posted by Emor at 7:02 PM on July 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to think about other approaches here, because it seems like one of the key mechanics of a standard knock knock joke that none of these consistently hit upon is the parsing fakeout, leading the respondent/reader down the wrong path via a phonetic or morphological fakeout.

Oh, yeah, misdirecting is the key to surprise. It's why people love stuff like Damn You, Autocomplete!

It seems like filtering out very long setup words and doing some amount of just-also-a-common-suffix cases could help some.

I think that matching first-n syllables (sort of like rhyming in reverse) instead of strict substring searching might help with the misdirection. Then, you could get stuff like:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Cherry.
Cherry who?
Chariots!

Where the spelling of "cherry" makes the "chariots" punchline a little harder to see.
posted by ignignokt at 8:25 PM on July 22, 2015


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Adultery
Adultery who?
Adultery in the bible!
posted by roll truck roll at 4:46 PM on July 23, 2015


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Interrupting existentialist cow
Interr--
CAMUUUS!
posted by sevenofspades at 5:56 PM on July 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Knock knock!
Who's there?
Colonoscopies
Colonoscopies who?
Colonoscopies save lives!
posted by Literaryhero at 10:37 PM on July 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


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