The bank keeps calling me to give me compliments. They say I have an “outstanding balance.”

Rolls eyes. Even though dad jokes are a little cliche and more punny than funny, they’re something of an art form, like when you’re gathered around the dinner table and your dad says, “What does a witch’s car sound like?” and you and your siblings refrain, “broom! broom!” But as it turns out, dad jokes might be good for you.

Take humor seriously, Y. professor tells students<BR> Laughter has many benefits for physical and mental health

No, really. New research from Aarhus University researcher Marc Hye-Knudsen found that dad jokes actually may help children develop stamina to endure embarrassment and develop into adults who are comfortable with being themselves. Hye-Knudsen said that dad jokes can be a teaching tool “perfectly suited to our modern era.”

The function of a dad joke is simple. These types of jokes are funny, predictable and generally embarrassing. Even though your dad may have been cool in the ’90s, he now tells jokes that turn your cheeks red, like, “What kind of shoes does a lazy person wear? Loafers.”

By hearing these embarrassing jokes, kids can grow a higher tolerance of embarrassment and turn out better for it. Kids also hear the same joke — again and again — which also helps them develop endurance. But even though there’s a deeper impact that these dad jokes have, that’s not the reason most dads are telling them.

Dads tend to use more humor and teasing in their play with kids than moms do. Hye-Knudsen said that there are some cultural factors as to why that may be the case (it’s not because mothers aren’t funny). He said the real audience of dad jokes are the dads themselves because they see their kids cringe when they tell these jokes.

Sorry (but not really sorry) to give your dad more license to tell jokes like, “If Whole Foods sells sliced apples, is it false advertising?” But as it turns out, it might be good for us all to hear more dad jokes.

What is Utah’s favorite dad joke?

Blake Roberts on wrote about the results of a survey that reveals Utah’s favorite dad joke or phrase is a pun — “What’s the plan, Stan?” The results of the survey put Utah at 3.5 on a scale of 0 to 5 on the frequency of dad jokes in the state.

The survey asked 1,500 fathers across the U.S. about dad jokes.

The best dad jokes

The phrase “best dad jokes” might be something of an oxymoron because a good dad joke is one that’s overdone, cliche and makes you cringe. Still, there are plenty of good dad jokes that you can tell around your table.

Here are some options:

  • I used to hate facial hair, but then it grew on me.
  • I love telling Dad jokes, he even laughs sometimes.
  • I have a joke about cheddar, but it’s too cheesy.
  • It takes guts to be an organ donor.
  • What lays on the sea shore and has anxiety? A nervous wreck.
  • Why did the Oreo go to the dentist? It lost its filling.
  • What did one wall say to the other? I’ll meet you at the corner.
  • What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.
  • Why did the scarecrow get an award? Because he was out standing in his field.
What good dads give to their kids, according to science

Why fathers are needed

This research on the value of dad jokes comes at a time when fatherhood has been in flux.

The number of children living with single mothers peaked in 2012 and has since come down, according to Statista, but it is still significantly higher than it was in 1970. In 2022, around 15.78 million children lived with a single mother compared to 7.45 million in 1970.

Fathers have a positive impact on the whole family. Not only do they help children in various ways, they also can help increase the well-being of mothers, according to the Institute for Family Studies. They also help emotional and mental well-being, and tend to increase the socioeconomic status of a family.

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A study from the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that a father’s involvement in the family leads to better physical health of children. Children’s psychological and physical outcomes are greatly improved when fathers are an active presence in children’s lives.

Good fathers can be life-changing, Lois Collins reported for the Deseret News: “Kids who grow up with a good dad are more apt to stay in school and less likely to go to jail, compared to kids with absent fathers or lesser male role models. When they grow up, those kids are more likely to have high-quality jobs and healthy relationships, too. And that’s not all.”

In another Deseret News piece, Michael J. Mooney wrote that “when kids have close relationships with their fathers, they tend to have higher-paying jobs and healthier relationships as adults.”

So while dad jokes might be corny, their impact tracks with something that some in the U.S. have been saying for a while now — fathers are needed.

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