Funny People's Funniest Stories
Our grab-bag of jokes, quips, gaffes and gags by laughmakers from around the world
I was about five or six years old,when I first went to watch a cricket match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata with my mom. India was playing West Indies in a one-day match.During a drinks break, my mom and I came out to go the washroom and get some food.It was really crowded with what must have been 1,00,000 people in the arena. And as it often happens,my mom and I somehow got separated in this sea of people on our way back. I was hopelessly lost. After about 10 minutes though, she was able to find me. Everything was okay.
Later she told me that she had gone to seek help from a policeman, who was standing on the field watching the game. “My son is lost!” she criedto this officer, panicky and distraught.
The cop didn’t even turn around.“Daaran, daaran,” he said, “Ekhon Lara batting korche! (Wait, wait! Lara is batting right now!)”—ANIRBAN DASGUPTA
A Household Whodunnit
While living with a flatmate in Mumbai for three years, I learnt that we men are in complete denial when there’s a rat in the house. We will go to any lengths to avoid doing anything about it for as long as possible. I once went into my kitchen and saw gnawed-on guava on the table. I thought,Wow, why would Manish take such a small bite and keep it back? What a waste!” The next day I came home and I saw that the bottom half of a brand new packet of bread had a small hole in it. I thought to myself, Why would Manish try to open this from the bottom? Still clueless, the next day I found a large tear in the garbage bag with trash strewn everywhere. I finally decided to confront him. “Hey what are you doing nibbling on guavas, tearing open bread packets and garbage bags?” He said, “That wasn’t me, man.” I asked, “Then who was it?” He replied, in all seriousness, “Isn’t it obvious? There’s a ghost in the house.” I said,“Yeah. That’s probably it.” And so we went on with our lives. All three of us.—NAVEEN RICHARD
When I was four, my dad got pulled over by the police, and I screamed,“I have to poop!” The cop then let my dad go. Later he took me to the bathroom and couldn’t stop laughing after I told him I didn’t have to poop—I just didn’t want him to get a ticket—@BUNANDLEGGINGS
I told my nephew a watermelon was going to grow in his stomach because he ate some of the seeds. He then looked me straight in the eyes and,I kid you not, said, “Nope, there’s no sunlight, so you’re wrong and college has failed you.” He’s seven.—@GRACIEGRAYC
Every time I get a migraine, my dad thinks I’m giving him the silent treatment. He’s not very good at apologies, so instead, he gets me ice cream. I have yet to correct him.—OPHIRA CALOF
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.—ELLEN DEGENERES
Once I was on my way to perform at a 600-seater show in Delhi and got stuck in a traffic jam just outside the venue. We were getting late and my driver got a little impatient. He accidentally hit the accelerator too hard and our SUV hit the back of the car in front of us. Two guys came storming out to check the damage. I got really nervous because there was a visible mark and I didn’t want to get scolded in front of everyone before my own show. After surveying the dent, the guys walked over to our SUV and knocked on my window.I rolled it down, cringing at what was to follow. But what I heard was, “Arre, it’s Samay! Hey, we gotta take a photo, man!” Relieved,I happily hopped out to pose with them. That’s when they said, “Oh no, no. Back up your car. We need a photo of your number plate.”—SAMAY RAINA
I was on a trip to L.A. for my first record deal, sitting in the back of a limo with the head of the studio. We were discussing my career prospects,and he said, “You’re 12 kilos away from superstardom in this country.”I later called my mother to commiserate, and she said, “Why didn’t you tell him you just don’t want to put any more weight on?”—JANN ARDEN
No matter what time of day your working hours are, that’s when your mom calls and asks, “Are you working right now?”—MATTY VU
I once went to do a corporate show in Chandigarh. The client was really nice. When inviting me, they had said things like, “We are big fans of yours. We really love your work,” and so on. Someone from the HR team came to pick me up from the airport. He told me that he had had to fight a lot with his organization to plan this stand-up show.I was curious. “Why did you need to fight?” I asked him. He said, “Around seven years ago, we organized a show and the comedian cracked a few really weird sex jokes. So, the company made it a policy to not host comedy shows again. I had to push hard to convince the CEO this time.” I found this interesting.By the time I got to my room I was curious about who those comedians must have been. I started checking with my fellow comics, but none of them had a clue. When the show started, I looked out at the crowd and saw the CEO in the audience. With a chill, I realized that I recognized him … because he had been in my audience before. I was the one who performed for this company seven years ago with another comic from Delhi. I had just started doing comedy around then, was wet behind the ears, and had no idea what to keep in mind for corporate settings.After the show, the CEO came to see me. I could see in his eyes that he remembered me well. He knew, I knew, but neither of us said a thing.—ABIJIT GANGULY
Once while hosting a show in Mumbai, I was doing a bit, and around midway through my set,there was just dead silence in the audience throughout that three minute segment. This had never happened before. These were sure-shot jokes with a 98 percent hit rate. What am I doing wrong? I kept thinking. But I kept going, powering through somehow, when somebody from the front row shouted, “You already did this part at the start of the show!” I couldn’t believe it! I did the same bit in the same show, trying to sound all natural. I did manage to turn it around, though. “How embarrassing for you guys!” I said,“I was just testing y’all.”—SONALI THAKKER
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.—GEORGE BURNS
I was in Class 10 or 11 when my friend started driving a scooter. We were in Chandigarh, and I was riding pillion with him one day. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and had jumped a red light. Unfortunately, there were cops right ahead of us.
Now my friend didn't have a licence either but he was super confident when the policeman stopped him. As soon as the lawman came up, he asked, “Do you know Rakesh Tiwari?” The cop asked him, “How do you know Rakesh Tiwari?” My friend said, “Bas, I know him well, sir. Familywali baat hai (It’s a family thing).”
After some grumbling the policeman said, “Okay I’m only letting you go because you know Tiwari saab.But take care in future.”
Once we’d left, I asked my friend,“How do you know Rakesh Tiwari?”
“I don’t,” he said, “Tiwari was the cop who stopped me the last time I jumped a red light. I’d read his name-badge!”—AMIT TANDON
This story takes place in 1991. My brother Kevin, five years older than me, had never before enjoyed the luxury of sitting in a car up until this point. My father saved up enough to buy a second-hand 1985 Maruti Suzuki 800. Unlike parents of this generation, we didn’t have baby seats and weren’t paid any extra attention.My mother sat up front, my dad drove and my brother and I were left to our own devices in the back seat.
There wasn’t anything to entertain a one-year-old in the backseat. The windows were too high, there were no cup holders, infotainment system,not even a sock to play with. Inevitably, my eyes wandered towards the door handle and its lock. I soon found that switching it on and off and pulling the handle was mighty fun, and perfectly sized for my tiny fingers.
Before you knew it, the car door had swung open. The other three people in the car had no idea that the one-year-old baby in the family had just overcome Japanese engineering with ease.
At some point, my father turned around to check on us, and found,to his horror, his infant son cheerfully hanging from the oscillating door of the car as we sped down the highway at 80 kph. He yelled out, causing my brother and mother to finally turn around and notice the swinging monkey baby.
When such events occur, I suppose time slows down for a parent.
What do you do? You can’t ask the six-year-old sibling to pull me in. What if he falls out? But then again, how long could I hold on?
My father braked out of sheer reflex and we hurtled down to a halt.Thanks to Newton’s first law of motion, the car door swung shut, carrying me back into the car and safely into the backseat.
Ever since that day, I was never allowed to sit in a car by myself. My mother’s lap became my new default car seat for the foreseeable future.
While I am allowed in cars on my own now, at age 31, I should clarify that I religiously keep the door locked and exercise Herculean self-control to prevent myself from fidgeting with it.
Side note: I share this story only to amuse you and not scare you.Raising two boys is scary enough.—KENNY SEBASTIAN
Earlier today my dad called me to tell me that he sent me a text. “Hi, Kanan. I’ve sent you a photo. Please look at the photo and call me back.” Which is fine, but the photo he sent me is of my mother holding an iPad, on which is the actual photo that they wanted to send.—KANAN GILL
A Wedding Co-nundrum
Having to buy prophylactics for my brother was certainly one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me. About to get married, it suddenly occurred to my brother he might need protection. At the last minute, my cousin and I were dispatched to a shop, under a strict oath of secrecy.
Even though there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to buying a prophylactic, there were some practicalities I had to contend with that day.Born and raised in a very traditional Indian family, I had never gone and bought one before. My cousin, however, was very confident, but once we reached the shop, he saw some college girls standing there, and developed spontaneous mutism.
Mustering our collective willpower, we just about mumbled out the first syllable but just couldn’t follow through till the end. And so we bought cotton balls, Combiflamand an assortment of items that started with ‘co–’ but it took a quite a while before we could utter the word ‘condom’. Eventually we managed but things took a panicky turn when the shopkeeper asked, “Size?” Mystricken expression had him quickly clarify, “… of the box?”
Our little adventure led me to miss my brother’s sehra bandi. My mum yelled at me but how could I tell her why I was so late? My brother, I saw,was making threatening eyes from behind her.—NEETI PALTA
Explaining to your mom over the phone how to fix a computer problem when you can’t see her screen is quite possibly the most excruciating form of torture there is. If I were a spy and you wanted information from me, all you'd need is a phone call from my mom. I’d break like a twig.—RONNIE CHIENG
Amazon thinks my recent humidifier purchase was merely the inaugural move in a new-found hobby of humidifier collecting.—JUSTIN SHANES
Buddies to Bank on
Wandering Lloyd, a friend of mine, has started charging money to talk to him. You need to pay him for everything, no matter how big or small.For example, on my 35th birthday, I was with my family in Canada. Instead of getting a birthday greeting from him, I had to buy my own wish. When he started living with me, he would charge visiting friends a fee to use the ‘five-star’ bathroom amenities (`10, for wee-wees and `20, for poopies),a fee to order in food (`20, per order). There was a large penalty(`1,00,000) if you use the word ‘scam’ in the house—because he ran an economic booby trap of friendship.He barricaded an entire area which we had to pay to enter. Certain objects in the apartment we had to be mindful not to touch because there was a ‘touching charge’. On top of this, he recently started ‘Lloyd Friendship Services’ where he charges his friends (read: ‘client’)to spend quality time with him. So, I am afraid of talking to him. I walk on eggshells in my own house. Everyone goes along with it because they think it’s a joke, and because he says he’ll use the money to give back to society and he finds unconventional ways to do that (or so he claims). I’m afraid Readers Digest readers might be charged a ‘now you know’ fee. Save us—ABISH MATHEW
I once went up to Rekha Bhardwaj and said, “I’m a big fan of your work. I especially love ‘Iktara’.” She said, “That’s so sweet. I’ll let Kavita Seth know. She actually sang the song.”—SHREEJA CHATURVEDI
My parents can have conservative views, while my sister and I veer left. Since we all have strong opinions, we invariably end up having altercations at home. Family dinners are often a struggle. There are a lot of things that we don't speak about, but one time my sister and I were talking about fascism at the table and my mom said, “Both of you always keep going on about this fascism–feminism.” My sister looked at her and said, “Mamma, fascism is not the same thing as feminism. There’s no ‘Hitler, the great feminist!’” My dad suddenly retorts, “Hitler wasn’t a feminist! He was a vegetarian.” I’ve no idea how we reach these points we sometimes do.—AGRIMA JOSHUA
One of Google’s prototype self-driving cars got into an accident when it was rear-ended by a normal car. Although, when the guy got out to argue after the accident, the Google car just threatened to release his search history.—JIMMY FALLON