Would you like a muffin with your surrealist humor?

Sean at Cosmic Variance on The Great Muffin Joke Debate:

Our current task, as Serious Bloggers, is to pass judgment upon whether the Muffin Joke is funny. Here is the joke itself:

So there are these two muffins baking in an oven. One of them yells, "Wow, it’s hot in here!"

And the other muffin replies: "Holy cow! A talking muffin!"
John Tierney (New York Times) thinks the Muffin Joke is not funny. Brad DeLong (Berkeley) disagrees, claiming that the Muffin Joke is, in fact, funny, although he offers no argument to support his conclusion. Jack Balkin (Yale) also finds the Muffin Joke funny…

I come down on the pro-Muffin-Joke side of the debate. To me, it's quite funny. Is this some sort of Ivory-Tower Academics vs. Hard-Nosed Journalists thing?
Dunno, being neither, but I think the joke is funny, too. In fact, it reminds me of my favorite joke:

It's morning in the heart of Africa, and the sun is just beginning to beat down on the cracked earth around a precious watering hole populated by birds, reptiles, and all manner of four-legged creature. On one side, Lions slink down to the water's edge to lap at its surface with broad, pink tongues, while on the other, hesitant zebras bend their long necks to touch their lips to the water, keeping an eye on the maned predators across from them. Wildebeest gather at the far tip of the oasis' curving edge, their hooves leaving deep imprints in the mud, encircling their young in a futile attempt to protect them from the crocodiles that haunt the murky water. Long-legged cranes dip their beaks in search of tiny fish whose scales glimmer in the sunlight that penetrates the water's surface, moving about in between the flocks of smaller birds who peck at water striders scooting on the tension at the pond's top. It is still and silent, aside from the chattering of the birds, until a crocodile makes a move, rising out of the water in one lightning fast move, crashing onto the shore and fastening its jaws on the throat of a young wildebeest. The herd darts and dashes; the zebras begin to hoot in fear. Even the lions are startled from their peace and raise their heavy heads to see what's going on. As quickly as it began, it is over, and the croc slides back into the water, thrashing about until its young victim is still and the water runs red. The sun inches higher, grows hotter, and steam begins to rise steadily from the water until two hippopotami surface at once, breaking its evenness with blown spray from their gaping nostrils. One looks around lazily, turns to the other, and sighs. "It doesn’t feel like a Tuesday."

Reportedly, this was also Johnny Carson's favorite joke. I suspect he would have liked the muffin joke, too, and, if I'm right, that means it's as inarguably funny as any joke can be, dammit!

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