“Brand New” Mitch Hedberg Jokes (Thanks to AI)

AI-generated pencil sketch of Mitch Hedberg. It's surprisingly good.

With the incredible capabilities of ChatGPT released last week, it got me wondering what AI would struggle with, at least in the foreseeable future. Ethics? Very likely. Authentic emotion? Probably. How about humour? Let’s find out…

Being a Brit, I should probably choose Monty Python or the like, but if there’s one comedian whose joke book is sadly much thinner than it should be, it’s Mitch Hedberg. Can AI give us even a hint of some new material?

Prompt: Please tell me 10 jokes in the style of Mitch Hedberg.

ChatGPT seemed to interpret “in the style of” as “similar or the same as” so we got mostly existing classics like “I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.”

Or “I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.” Funny, but I want to hear the “new” stuff! So I tweaked the question.

Prompt: Please tell me 10 new, original jokes in the style of Mitch Hedberg.

And already we got results I was happy with. A couple of them are existing quips by others, but most are new to me and not easily findable in search engines. Enjoy 😁

  • “I never make predictions, and I never will. Except for that one time I said I would never make predictions.” [1]
  • “I’m not a procrastinator. I just wait until the last possible moment to do things because that’s when I’m the most motivated.”
  • “I don’t believe in astrology. I’m a Sagittarius, and we’re skeptical.” [2]
  • “I don’t have a bucket list. I have a ‘stuff I want to do before I kick it’ list, but I don’t have a bucket.”
  • “I don’t play the lottery. I don’t want to have to rely on chance for my future. I’m already relying on it for everything else.”
  • “I don’t believe in aliens. But if they do exist, I hope they have better fashion sense than us.”
  • “I don’t have a green thumb. My plants are always brown and crispy. But I keep trying because I believe in the power of positive thinking… for my plants.”
  • “I don’t believe in ghosts. But I do believe in ghosts of relationships past.”
  • “I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight. Love takes a little longer to develop.”
  • “I don’t believe in the afterlife. But if there is one, I hope it’s like a never-ending buffet. And I hope I’m really good at holding my plate.”

The full exchange is below, including ChatGPT’s inability to accept gratitude. But overall, like many others, I’ve been stunned with how well it performs. It’s fascinating contemplating how the future could change, and how the past could be brought to life.

Screenshot of the ChatGPT output when asking for new Mitch Hedberg jokes. See the blog post text for details.

[1] Seems to originate from English footballer Paul Gascoigne.
[2] The origin is unknown but this dates back to at least 1978.
[3] Yes, the Mitch Hedberg pencil sketch is AI-generated too, by DALL-E.

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