John Williams brings you ‘The Big Three’ Speed Jokes

John Williams

John Williams Speed Jokes (Illustration: David Lee Csicsko)

“The Big Three,” we called them.

For a year and a half, we’ve been telling several jokes every weekday morning after the 9:30 WGN Radio news with Steve Grzanich.  We call them Speed Jokes.  (What we lack in humor we make up for in velocity.  Cue the music, tell the jokes, lickety-split!)

We replay them at 11:38.  And it’s a good thing.  Because over the last year and half, some of them have played as much like riddles as jokes.  And since our only rule is to never explain the jokes, three – or is it now four – have proven especially vexing.

Reprinted here for your pleasure and frustration are The Big 3 + 1.  The Big (now) 4.


How many flies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?



A group of people were gathered for a group photo when a giant wheel of cheddar came rolling down a hill and crushed the photographer.  Witnesses say they tried to warn him.


My grandmother cooks carrots and peas in the same pot.


My friend was telling me I don’t understand the meaning of “irony,” which is ironic because we were standing at a bus stop.

There are different versions of all these jokes, and our wording is intentionally…economical.  But that’s the way we do it.  Also, one of these doesn’t work as well in print as it does on the air.

We’ve made each of the 100+ episodes of speed jokes into separate podcasts and you can hear and share them at

And if you’ve got any new ones, you can leave send them to me at or comment on this Facebook post.  Lord knows we could use the help.

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