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Canadian fathers lean on their funny bones to get by

A sense of humour is essential in managing the craziness of family life these days. So Hallmark's designed its Fathers and Funny Bones survey to find out just where the funny bone is connected this Father's Day.
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A sense of humour is essential in managing the craziness of family life these days. So Hallmark's designed its Fathers and Funny Bones survey to find out just where the funny bone is connected this Father's Day. Canadian dads may not be as funny as they think they are. It seems that the majority of Canadian dads are indeed funny - whether they're being laughed with - or at.


The survey uncovered some interesting facts about dad and his sense of humour.

Not as funny as he thinks he is

According to Hallmark's first ever Fathers and Funny Bones survey, Canadian dads may not be as funny as they think they are. Ninety-two percent of Canadian dads claim to have a good sense of humour. While family members also give dad a high humour rating, seven out of ten sons and daughters maintain they are funnier than dad and more than four out of ten say dad is simply not as funny as he thinks he is.

Dad leans on his funny bone to get by

More than four out of five dads surveyed said that when it comes to parenting it's very important to have a sense of humour. In fact, three-quarters say they rely on their sense of humour to get by as a parent. Yet, kids may underestimate the importance dear old dad places on his funny bone. Just 43 percent of sons and daughters surveyed recognized that dad uses his funny bone to navigate through his day-to-day parenting perils.

Older crowd appreciates humour most

The numbers also suggest that as kids get older, there's a greater appreciation for the important role that humour plays in the parenting game. Seventy percent of family members aged 18-34 said that it's very important for dads to have a sense of humour compared to 81 percent of those aged 35-54 and 84 percent of the 55-plus crowd.

Part of the Canadian dad identity

Being funny is part of the Canadian dad identity. You just need to look at popular culture to see a variety of very funny Canadian fathers-men like Jim Carrey, Martin Short and Rick Morannis. The survey shows that it's especially important for Canadian dads to have a good sense of humour.

- Dad is often at the hockey rink at 7:00 am on Saturday morning (56 percent)
- He's often thought of as the local branch of the money tree (76 percent)
- Dad BBQs with his toque on (50 percent)
- He thinks bonding with dad has something to do with duct tape (39 percent).

Dad's joke-telling foibles


While everyone loves a good joke, dads seem to love their own jokes the most. According to the survey, 75 percent of dads laugh at their own jokes. But some dads admit they're not much of a joker. Of the dads who do crack jokes:

- Two thirds sometimes forget how a joke goes once they've started to tell it and 58 percent have forgotten the punch line
- Nine out of 10 said they sometimes tell corny jokes and the majority of kids agree
- 84 percent of dads confessed their jokes have bombed, although kids tend to be less critical of dad's joke-telling abilities (74 percent).

Homer Simpson or Dr. Phil?


While the majority of dads surveyed (78 percent) lean on their funny bones to get by as a parent, sometimes they do so in interesting ways. Fifteen percent say that when they're talking to their kids about difficult subjects they most identify with Homer Simpson, while 10 percent are more like Dr. Phil. The appeal of Springfield's dysfunctional dad was most prevalent with younger fathers, aged 18-34. Amongst this group more than 25 percent identified with Homer.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted for Hallmark Canada from April 17 to April 20, 2006. The poll was conducted online with a randomly selected sample of 1,011 fathers, 761 grandfathers, and 470 adult children across Canada.