From the 10 oldest jokes (source: http://uktv.co.uk/network/item/aid/604709).
3. Three ox drivers from Adab were thirsty: one owned the ox, the other owned the cow and the other owned the wagon's load. The owner of the ox refused to get water because he feared his ox would be eaten-by a lion; the owner of the cow refused because he thought his cow might wander off into the desert; the owner of the wagon refused because he feared his load would be stolen. So they all went. In their absence, the ox made love to the cow which gave birth to a calf which ate the wagon's load. Problem: Who owns the calf? (First written on papyrus in 1200 BC).
4. A woman who was blind in one eye has been married to a man for 20 years. When he found another woman he said toher: 'I shall divorce you because you are said to be blind in one eye.' And she answered: 'Have you just discovered that after 20 years of marriage?' (First penned in a papyrus letter containing Egyptian hieroglyphics in 1100 BC).
8. Augustus was touring his Empire and noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself. Intrigued, he asked: 'Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?' 'No, your Highness,' he replied, 'but my father was.' (Features in Saturnalia, by Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius around 63 BC).
9. Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said: 'I've had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died.' (Dated to the Philogelos - widely described as the world's oldest 'jokebook' in the 4th and 5th century AD)
10. Asked by the court barber how he wanted his hair cut, the king replied: 'In silence.' (Collected in Philogelos, 4th-5th century AD)
I think number 10 is the best. 9 is funny. 3 is too much like a math problem.
But the funniest thing is that writing and recording stuff in carved rock, papyrus and in clay tablets is exceedingly hard, and requires a fair bit of skill, patience, and professionalism. And yet a meaningless joke can still be written down!
I'm starting to feel a real bond with historic mankind!
I was watching a marathon over the weekend and I saw one runner dressed as a chicken, and another runner dressed as a egg. And I though to myself 'this could get interesting'.