Knock knock jokes have a special structure to them that is rather precise.
And it requires the participation of two people.
It is a call and answer type joke that has five steps to it.
The storyline behind the knock knock joke is that someone is knocking at your imaginary door.
You want to know who it is so you ask, “Who’s there?”
You get an answer but it’s not complete enough for you so you ask a clarifying question. Your clarifying question is answered using a play on words.
When the play on words catches you by surprise your brain tells you that you just heard something funny.
Its format goes like this:
- Knock knock
(this is an invitation by the jokester for you to participate)
- Who’s there? (if you are willing, this is your response)
- _______________ (the jokester then says a word or phrase that sets you up for the punch line)
- _______________ who? (you, the participant, repeat the jokester’s word or phrase and follow it with “who?”)
- _______________ (the jokester surprises you with a witty, clever misuse of the original word or phrase which gives the word or phrase a new meaning)
All this is followed by chuckles and/or groans and moans and everyone has a good time.
Here’s an example:
Ida let myself in, but the door is locked.