Sometimes, comedians might use dark humor to highlight an important issue that may be considered taboo. There are numerous jokes that can bring a smile to people’s face or make them back away in horror.
While some consider such humorous statements problematic or a coping mechanism, others might find them outrageous and highly inappropriate as well.
With such jokes, it can be slightly tricky to figure out where to draw the line. However, there are some joke formats such as those with Helen Keller, which may cause almost everyone to gasp in horror. You may find yourself cringing very hard at some of these popular Helen Keller jokes.
“Did you know that Helen Keller had a dollhouse in her backyard? Neither did she.”
This is one joke that might have you shaking your head with anger. As it is widely known, Helen Keller was an advocate of disability rights who was visually and hearing impaired. The famous author could not see or hear since she was a baby. This joke makes light of that situation and is certainly quite dark as well.
It could make anyone in the room uncomfortable and while a few people may smile at the punchline, there really is nothing funny about it. Making jokes about someone’s disability and childhood could be taking things a bit too far and earn you some judgmental looks.
“Helen Keller walked into a bar, and a chair. And a table. And a wall.”
Who doesn’t appreciate a good “bar joke”? Most of them are quite funny and can crack people up in no time. However, this one may just have people gasping in shock and backing away. If you think about it, almost all Helen Keller jokes are focused on her loss of sight and hearing. They do have incredibly dark humor that can make anyone in the audience cringe.
The joke might get a few laughs from one or two friends, but you should avoid telling it in a public gathering or family dinner. It could come off as highly insensitive and end up offending a lot of acquaintances and colleagues.
“Why does Helen Keller play the piano with one hand? She uses the other one to sing.”
The dark humor in this joke comes from Keller’s use of fingerspelling, which is a method she learned to communicate with others. While the author and lecturer did not use the ASL (American Sign Language) as she was visually impaired, she did master the techniques of Tadoma and hand gestures.
This joke basically takes that into account and makes light of the fact that Keller needed at least one of her hands to talk to people. It was also impossible for her to play any musical instruments as she only enjoyed music by following the vibrations of the notes. You may get a lot of angry stares from friends or even family members by sharing the joke.
Before you mention it casually, make sure that the audience is open-minded and understanding. This way, you would not have to explain or justify your sense of humor to a crowd.
“What was the name of Helen Keller’s favorite book? Around the block in 80 days!”
Get this one? Just go back to your childhood and recall the popular book and movie, Around the World in 80 Days. You may have read it in school or watched the adaptation that featured Jackie Chan as one of the leads. This joke plays on the name of the book and associates it with Keller’s visual impairment.
Since she was unable to see and required some support to walk around, the humor comes from how it would take her a long time to go “around the block.” It is one of those dark jokes that could lead to a few uncomfortable smiles but would mostly draw a shocked reaction.
You might be able to get away with cracking this in front of your close friends or siblings who may be less likely to pass judgments!
“What is Helen Keller’s favorite color? Black.”
If you think about it, this joke is actually quite dark (no pun intended) and could have you cringing instantly. It makes light of the fact that Helen Keller was unable to experience any colors for herself or visual sights. Given that she was deafblind and obviously couldn’t identify different colors, the joke makes a play on “black” being the only one she knew.
It might actually make people uncomfortable or get them to smile awkwardly. In case you want to talk about some inappropriate humor or jokes that should be retired in this day and age, you can surely bring this up.
“Why is it okay to tell Helen Keller jokes? Because she can’t hear them anyway!”
This joke is slightly easier to accept and you might be able to get away with it on some occasions. Its humor comes from a twisted explanation for telling jokes about Helen Keller, which is that she cannot “hear them.” Since the trailbrazing author couldn’t make out any sounds or understand speech, she wouldn’t be able to know about the jokes.
You may share it among a few close friends or in a private audience where people are familiar with your sense of humor. Otherwise, it could result in angry gasps or horrified looks that might put you in a difficult position.
In the end, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a bit of dark humor, however, it can become offensive very quickly. Helen Keller jokes did become quite popular some time ago but there is rarely anything humorous about them. In one way or the other, they do make fun of her disabilities and could have people judging you as well. Before you begin cracking them in front of friends and family, do add in a disclaimer or warning!