A joke is a short story or series of words spoken or communicated, ideally with the intent of being laughed at or found humorous by the listener or reader. A practical joke differs in that the humor is not verbal, but mainly physical (e.g. throwing a custard pie in the direction of somebody's face). Some jokes are not funny. Jokes are performed either in a staged situation, such as a comedy in front of an audience, or informally for the entertainment of participants and onlookers. The desired response is generally laughter, although loud groans are also a common response to some forms of jokes, such as puns and shaggy dog stories.
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This quote was added November 29, 2007.