Giannis Antetokounmpo has an MVP … and all the dad jokes


The comic walks to his stage. It is a late-night set, and he may need new materials as a result of he is carrying his joke ebook. That does not have an effect on his confidence. He’s ebullient and dealing his viewers.

“Prepare, prepare,” he says with a beaming smile, sitting down behind a microphone. The backdrop is not the stereotypical brick wall of a comedy membership — it is a picture backdrop with the Milwaukee Bucks‘ brand and sponsors on it.

The comic has each cause to be assured. He’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he is obtained jokes.

Antetokounmpo cracks himself up. There are just a few chuckles from his viewers — the media members on the Bucks’ postgame information convention following a 118-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on March 29, lower than two weeks earlier than the beginning of the NBA playoffs.

Whereas Jerry Seinfeld works in observational humor and Jerrod Carmichael has a extra contemplative and introspective model, Antetokounmpo has his most well-liked comedic medium: the “dad joke.”

The ebook from which Antetokounmpo learn in late March is titled “Dad Jokes: the Good. the Dangerous. the Horrible.” The writer, who goes by the pseudonym Jimmy Niro, is a former Milwaukee resident, and he could not imagine it when his writer informed him that Antetokounmpo was studying from his ebook.

“Truthfully, I am nonetheless shocked,” Niro informed ESPN. “I did these books for enjoyable, actually, so seeing them out on the planet and liked by folks is actually superb.”

Niro is the daddy of 5 youngsters whom he repeatedly embarrasses with dad jokes. He calls his materials “my sort of humor,” and his joke-writing course of includes on the lookout for particular matters or human pursuits that anybody can relate to, reminiscent of meals, sports activities or holidays. In line with Niro’s expertise, his greatest jokes come from “punderful on a regular basis moments.”

Having a star studying his work, nonetheless, has modified issues for Niro’s youngsters. The children are enormous followers of the Bucks, particularly Antetokounmpo. When the six-time NBA All-Star arrived on the postgame information convention in March with their father’s joke ebook in his huge palms, they took discover.

“For my older children, who at all times get this humor, that is the primary time they’ve cared about this venture in any respect,” Niro mentioned. “… It is a huge deal now.”

The cow joke following the sport in March wasn’t the primary time Antetokounmpo has gleefully informed certainly one of these groan-worthy, pun-laden gags. Antetokounmpo has informed a number of jokes about cows, pasta, football and oranges, typically mirthfully bolting from the dais.

As soon as, recalling the chicken nuggets he bought to rejoice profitable the NBA title, he informed his own version of a “rooster cross the highway” joke.

“Why did the rooster cross the road?”

“It was working away from my dinner plate.”

On one other event, Giannis had this joke for older brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo on a non-public jet flight:

“What is the hardest factor about studying to trip a bicycle?”

“The pavement.”

It is a riff on one other joke from Niro’s ebook. The punchline is “The highway” in Niro’s telling. It is attainable Thanasis, a reserve ahead for the Bucks, has heard his justifiable share of those groaners and perhaps cannot take any extra of his brother making an attempt out new materials on him.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has his personal youngsters as properly. His first son was born in February 2020, and the second arrived in August 2021. It is pure for any comic to attract humor from his environment. Generally, dads make dad jokes.

“I really like indoctrinating new dads into the dad joke world, and it is nice to see Giannis embrace that and likewise make this sort of humor one thing anybody can love,” Niro mentioned.

What’s incorrect with that? Is it incorrect so as to add somewhat levity to the usually rote and mundane information convention? In 1895, the good Mark Twain wrote, “Humor is the good factor, the saving factor in spite of everything. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away. …”

Antetokounmpo would possibly agree, and the Bucks would possibly want one thing to ease the tensions of defending their NBA championship. Milwaukee leads its Jap Convention semifinal collection with the Boston Celtics 3-2, with Recreation 6 Friday night time (7:30 ET on ESPN). Whereas he is in all probability not about to give up his day job to tour golf equipment and jump-start his comedy profession, that does not imply he’s going to show tremendous critical.

“I say dad jokes every time I really feel it is acceptable,” Antetokounmpo mentioned on the Bucks’ all-access Youtube present final week, and advancing within the playoffs will not cease him from returning to his joke ebook. “[A dad joke is] at all times acceptable.”

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