Residents Celebrate International Joke Day 2024.

At The Lawn, the Alton-based residential care home run by charity, Friends of the Elderly, residents have had a fun-filled and laughter-packed time enjoying International Joke Day, thanks to resident Alan Newman and his cheeky sense of humour.

Alan, who has been a resident at The Lawn since August 2023, loves telling jokes and entertaining the care team and his care home friends. “I love telling jokes and limericks,” said Alan. “I like to make people laugh as I hate to see anyone unhappy. When I see that I’ve made someone laugh, it makes me feel happy too.”

International Joke Day is believed to have been created by a group of comedians in the 1950s to encourage people to share jokes, laugh together and appreciate the uplifting and positive gift of humour. 

“Alan always has a funny story or joke to tell and loves to make anyone – and everyone – smile,” said Emma Cranstone, the Activities Coordinator at The Lawn. “With this in mind, we thought that International Joke Day would be the perfect time for him to take centre stage and share some of his favourite – and funniest – jokes and limericks with us all.”

Alan had everyone in stitches. “I pulled out some oldies, but goodies,” continued Alan. “I started with a rather cheeky one, but I knew my care home friends would find it hilarious. It goes …There’s an old couple in church sitting in the front row, and everyone starts looking at them. The lady says to her Husband “Oh, I’ve just let one out, but it’s okay as it was a nice quiet one.” Her Husband replied, “You need two new hearing aids.” That definitely hit the right note, everyone was laughing and giggling.”

Alan didn’t stop there as a selection of ‘Knock Knock’ jokes were next on his entertainment programme. “Everyone loves a good old ‘Knock Knock’ joke,” added Alan.

“A few I told were – Knock Knock. Who’s there? Nobel. Nobel who? There’s Nobel – that’s why I knocked. Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Luke. Luke who? Luke through the peephole and find out.

“I think my International Joke Day slapstick went down a storm, but whilst the laughing was constant – which was nice – it was nowhere near the World Record. Evidently, an Australian lady holds the record for the longest recorded laugh – she kept going for three hours and 40 minutes!”

“There are many positive effects of laughter on mental and emotional well-being, especially for older people,” continued Emma. “Laughter releases endorphins – the Happiness Hormones – it reduces stress, improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and improves a person’s quality of sleep – and with Alan’s endless joke repartee, everyone definitely had their daily dose of Happiness Hormones. Laughter, as they say, really is the best medicine.

“My two favourite jokes Alan told had me – literally – laughing so much, my sides hurt. Who couldn’t laugh at ‘What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing, it just waved’ – or ‘Why did the Teddy Bear say no to dessert? Because he was stuffed.’”

“My jokes and limericks get laughs most of the time, but on International Joke Day, my jests, cheeky rhymes – and sometimes risqué jokes, had everyone laughing. It was wonderful to get my care home friends smiling and in fits of giggles – it was perfect. I’ll have to think up some new jokes for next year now. In the great words of Charlie Chaplin – ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted’ and I don’t want to waste a day,” concluded Alan.