American Knock-Knock Canon

A throwaway line at Desbladet leads to the following question: Which knock-knock jokes are in the Western Knock-Knock Canon? Des’s inclusion of Irish stew in the name of the law indicates that there might be significant divergence between American and English Knock-Knock Canons, but let’s do forge ahead nonetheless.

I submit that the following jokes are canon:

  • Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
  • Nobel, that’s why I knocked
  • Leaf me alone!
  • Don’t cry it’s only a joke
  • Cargo beep beep
  • Otto know, who am I? (and variations)
  • Interru– MOO! – a modern and somewhat controversial addition that nevertheless deserves recognition for re-imagining literary conventions.



  1. Rana wrote:

    I _love_ Interupting Cow.

  2. yami wrote:

    Me too! Though I actually prefer Interrupting Starfish.

  3. tinypurpleelephant wrote:

    You forget “lettuce in, we’re freezing”, and
    “little old lady”–>”I didn’t know you could yodel.”
    It also occurs to me that there may be a divergence between Iowa City and Chicago-area canon, since I’ve only heard 3 of yours (orange, don’t cry, and interrupting cow).

  4. wolfangel wrote:

    I also only know orange, don’t cry, and interrupting cow, though I do know lettuce and yodel. And now I cannot think of a single other one.

  5. yami wrote:

    My memory is spotty and random, I think. Lettuce and Yodel are certainly canon! Otto is a little random, but given the number of Otto/Ida jokes, at least a representative sample should be included IMO.
    And I totally remember cracking up at Cargo beep beep as a kid, you both had deprived childhoods!

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