This reminds me of a joke/riddle my father used to tell:
Q: What's the difference between a duck?
A: Each of its legs is both the same.
And a joke I learned in college in the 1960s:
Two polar bears are sitting in a bathtub. The first one says, "Pass the soap." The second one says, "No soap, radio!"
(From Wikipedia): "No soap radio" is a traditional punch line for a prank joke. The body of the joke is not related to the punch line itself, but is made out to be humorous by participants in the prank. The first known reference to this form of anti-humor was in the late 1940s.The origin of the punchline remains mysterious, but it was circulating in the suburbs of NYC as early as 1956–57.
The punch line is known for its use as a basic sociological and psychological experiment, specifically relating to mob mentality and the pressure to conform.
The setup involves at least two conspirators and "victim." One of the two conspirators, the "joke teller," will catch the attention of the target and announce his intention of telling a joke.
The punchline of the joke is known to the co-conspirators beforehand, traditionally the phrase, "No soap, radio." After the joke teller delivers the punchline, the co-conspirators immediately laugh uproariously, treating the story and the nonsensical punchline as though it were, in fact, a proper joke. In reality however, there is intentionally no humor in the content and punchline.
The prank is intended to elicit one of two responses:
- False understanding -- when the victim acts as if the joke is humorous, when in fact the victim does not understand the joke at all.
- Negative understanding -- when the victim expresses confusion about what the joke means and feels left out (e.g., "I don't get it.") The conspirators are now prepared to mock the victim for the victim's inability to get it. Because of pressure to conform, the victim may switch to false understanding (pretending comprehension of the incomprehensible) after receiving facetious derision from the conspirators. Normally after some time of negative understanding, the prank is revealed to the victim.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s "No Soap Radio" was used by college students as a nickname for public radio, including college stations. Such radio had no commercials and was thus not like "Soap Operas" which did carry commercials.