St. Peter conducts a group of people on a tour through heaven and shows them where the different churches are located. As they pass one room, St. Peter says, “Shhh! Quiet! Those are the Mormons; they think they’re the only ones here.”
I’ve noticed two kinds of jokes about Mormons, one, like the above that pokes fun at some aspect of our theology or culture (e.g. the one true church) and those jokes we tell ourselves that makes fun things we do, or overdo at church.
As an example of a joke we tell about ourselves
A young girl was sent away to BYU by her parents, and at the end of her first semester she came back home telling her parents that she had to drop out of school because she was pregnant. Her parents were astonished, to say the least, that their daughter with such a fine Mormon upbringing could have this happen to her. They immediately asked her if the boy didn’t intend to do the right thing and I marry her. To which the girl replied, “Oh Mother, I couldn’t marry him! He smokes.”
This joke examines our obsession with the Word of Wisdom. Another joke that looks at our lack of following the WofW if we don’t think we’ll be caught: “why do you always take two Mormons fishing with you? Because if you only take one, he’ll drink all your beer”
What are some of the jokes that you’ve heard that fit into these two divisions? Are there other Mormon jokes that don’t fit cleanly in these categories?
I’ll finish with my favorite Mormon joke:
On a flight from Shannon to New York Irish Father Maguire finds himself seated next to a Mormon Bishop who introduces himself as Bishop Smith, who was returning home to New York after a lovely vacation in Ireland. Shortly after Irish father Maguire pulls out a flask, and pours some whiskey into his coffee. He then turns to Bishop and asks,
“Bishop. Is it true that you people never drink Alcohol?”
“Never,” replies the Bishop.
“Surely, at some time in your life you must have tasted alcohol. Come on, now, huh?”
“Well, Irish father, I guess since we’re both in the same racket I can tell you. Yes, I did stray once and drank some whiskey.”
“Ah, I thought so,” says Irish father Maguire, a broad smile of satisfaction on his rotund face.
“Now, Irish father,” said the Bishop, “it’s my turn. You guys are supposed to be celibate, right?”
“Oh, dear God, yes. Absolutely.”
“Ah, come on, man. I leveled with you. Was there ever a time you strayed?”
Sheepishly, Irish father Maguire says, “Well, truth to tell, there was a time, yes. Once. Long time ago.”
“I see,” says the Bishop. Then after a moment he says “Beats the hell out of whiskey, don’t you think?
[for a more in dept review of Mormon humor, see this Sunstone article The Seriousness of Mormon Humor ]