CLOSE

7 Reasons Frogs are Funny

Frogs are such ridiculous animals that everything about them is fodder for jokes or parodies. Frogs have been used in comedy for so long that you have to smile just looking at one!

1. Kissing a Frog

They say you've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. The fairy tale The Frog Prince has the moral of not judging someone by their looks. The story of Beauty and the Beast would have been a sufficient tale for this concept, except for the fact that some women think horrible beasts are sexy. A frog? Not so much. The whole idea of kissing a frog is funny, but its also so easy to twist this tale into something you wouldn't expect.

2. Leapfrog
410leapfrogtomato.jpg
The amazing leaps frogs do has been studied by scientists and recreated in robotic form. It also lead to a pointless but funny-looking game that recently got the mayor of Belfast into a bit of trouble when he injured a tomato playing leap frog.

More frog funniness, after the jump.

3. Froglegs
435_frogwheelchair.jpg
Yes, they taste like chicken. The back legs are the only part of a frog that has enough meat to make cooking worthwhile. Cutting them away from the rest of the frog doesn't make them stop jumping, oh no! My mother cooked frog legs exactly once, and was so disgusted with chasing them all over the kitchen to put them back into the frying pan, that she forbade my dad from ever bringing more home. But the rest of the frog? Not edible. That's why you'll so often see cartoons about amputee frogs. A Google Image Search for "frog wheelchair" will yield a treasure of such comics.

4. Eating Flies
435frogtongue.jpg
Time's fun when you're having flies! A frog's tongue can move so far and so swiftly, the fly will never know what hit him. If you've ever seen it happen, you have to laugh. Add the unexpected and you have comedy gold.

5. Ribbit
435_froginthroat.jpg
The way frogs sound is funny. The usual frog croak is often translated as "ribbit", although the folks at Budweiser would disagree. A person with a hoarse or scratchy voice is said to have "a frog in the throat", which can scare literal-thinking children. The character Froggy from Our Gang got his nickname from his rough voice. When someone dies, we say he has "croaked". And some frogs can even scream!

6. Warts
435_wartytoad.jpg
I know what you're thinking -that's toads! But according to Wikipedia, there is no taxonomic reason for distinguishing frogs and toads. Toads are basically frogs who live on dry land. Some species of toads and frogs have parotoid glands which give the appearance of warts, but are not warts and are not contagious. They are, however, toxic. Dogs can get into trouble by catching a toad because the parotoid glands will exude poison. There have been stories for decades about people who lick toads in order to get high, but since proof or participants are as rare as hen's teeth, this is pretty much an urban legend.

7. Kermit the Frog

Jim Henson's favorite puppet that was his on-camera alter ego evolved into Kermit the Frog. Kermit became the star of ads, TV shows, and movies, but never let it go to his head. In fact, Kermit always had a melancholy self-effacing outlook. After all, it's not easy being green.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Cory Doctorow, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
arrow
Pop Culture
When MAD Magazine Got in Trouble for Printing Counterfeit Money
Cory Doctorow, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Cory Doctorow, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

MAD magazine has always prided itself on being a subversive, counter-culture presence. Since its founding in 1952, many celebrated comedians have credited the publication with forming their irreverent sense of humor, and scholars have noted that it has regularly served as a primer for young readers on how to question authority. That attitude frequently brought the magazine to the attention of the FBI, who kept a file on its numerous perceived infractions—like offering readers a "draft dodger" card or providing tips on writing an effective extortion letter.

The magazine's "Usual Gang of Idiots" outdid themselves in late 1967, though, when issue #115 featured what was clearly a phony depiction of U.S. currency. In addition to being valued at $3—a denomination unrecognized by the government—it featured the dim-witted face of MAD mascot Alfred E. Neuman.

The infamous $3 bill published in a 1967 issue of 'Mad' magazine
MAD Magazine

When taken at its moronic face value, there was absolutely no way anyone with any sense could have confused the bill for actual money. But what MAD hadn't accounted for was that a machine might do exactly that. Around the time of the issue's release, automated coin change machines were beginning to pop up around the country. Used in laundromats, casinos, and other places where someone needed coins rather than bills, people would feed their dollars into the unit and receive an equal amount of change in return.

At that time, these machines were not terribly sophisticated. And as a few enterprising types discovered, they didn't have the technology to really tell Alfred E. Neuman's face from George Washington's. In Las Vegas and Texas, coin unit operators were dismayed to discover that people had been feeding the phony MAD bill into the slots and getting actual money in return.

How frequently this happened isn't detailed in any source we could locate. But in 1995, MAD editor Al Feldstein, who guided the publication from its origins as a slim comic book to netting 2.7 million readers per issue, told The Comics Journal that it was enough to warrant a visit from the U.S. Treasury Department.

"We had published a three-dollar bill as some part of an article in the early days of MAD, and it was working in these new change machines which weren't as sensitive as they are now, and they only read the face," Feldstein said. "They didn't read the back. [The Treasury Department] demanded the artwork and said it was counterfeit money. So Bill [Gaines, the publisher] thought this whole thing was ridiculous, but here, take it, here's a printing of a three-dollar bill."

Feldstein later elaborated on the incident in a 2002 email interview with author Al Norris. "It lacked etched details, machined scrolls, and all of the accouterments of a genuine bill," Feldstein wrote. "But it was, however, freakishly being recognized as a one-dollar bill by the newly-introduced, relatively primitive, technically unsophisticated change machines … and giving back quarters or whatever to anyone who inserted it into one. It was probably the owner of those machines in Las Vegas that complained to the U. S. Treasury Department."

Feldstein went on to say that the government employees demanded the "printing plates" for the bill, but the magazine had already disposed of them. The entire experience, Feldstein said, was "unbelievable."

The visit didn't entirely discourage the magazine from trafficking in fake currency. In 1979, a MAD board game featured a $1,329,063 bill. A few decades later, a "twe" (three) dollar bill was circulated as a promotional item. The bills were slightly smaller than the dimensions of actual money—just in case anyone thought a depiction of Alfred E. Neuman's gap-toothed portrait was evidence of valid U.S. currency.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Getty Images
arrow
entertainment
Watch 18 Minutes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus Seinfeld Bloopers
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sometimes you just need to settle in and watch professional actors cracking up, over and over. That's what we have for you today.

In the two videos below, we get a total of 18 minutes of Seinfeld bloopers, specifically focused on Julia Louis-Dreyfus. When Louis-Dreyfus cracks up, Seinfeld can't help but make it worse, goading her. It's delightful.

Sample quote (during an extended break):

Seinfeld: "We won an Emmy, you know."

Louis-Dreyfus: "Yeah, but I didn't."

Her individual Seinfeld Emmy arrived in 1996; the show started winning in 1992. But in September 2017, Louis-Dreyfus—who turns 57 years old today—set a couple of Emmy records when she won her sixth award for playing Selina Meyer on Veep.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios