1. “What do you do for a living?”
    “I’m an executioner.”
    “Oh. OK. Well, have a nice day.”
    “No, I’m sorry, now I have to kill you..”
    “??? Have I been condemned?”
    “Uh, no…”
    “Do you have a writ or other legal document calling for my death?”
    “Uh, no…”
    “Are you not wearing a mask, so I don’t even know who you are?”
    “Uh, yeah…”
    “So tell me again why you have to kill me?”

  2. And in this instance:
    “What do you do for a living?” asks the condemned man.
    “I could NOT tell you, but I’d still have to kill you.
    “In fact, my killing you and my answering your question are completely unlinked in any way — if you are condemned I have to kill you, and if you are not, I don’t, and my answering a stupid question has no power in law to compel or constrain my actions.”

  3. I usually don’t like comics based on executions, but in this one the nerd seems to be playing the “annoying twit” card a little too forcefully, as if he’s trying to give everyone a reason to be glad that he’s going to be dead. Besides that, he was wrong, the line wasn’t particularly funny.
    P.S. I assume Bill’s headline is a reference to the doubly-armed executioner. If he has a guillotine, what in the world does he need the ax for?

  4. Now that I think of it, years back, there was an act at the local Renaissance Faire which was a pair of singing joke-telling executioners. I think most of their jokes were on this level.

    That’s not really to explain the joke, but to point out that I’ve encountered people who made actual money in the real physical world doing approximately this schtick. Maybe not a LOT of money, but still.

  5. Kilby: The guillotine and the axe, AND the fact that he’s threatening to kill somebody he’s already about to kill. I would have called it Overoverkill, but that would have been overkill.

  6. Hmmm…. I interpreted this as simply the redheaded guy was truly clueless and didn’t get that he was being executed.

    When he said “Lol, that’s never not funny” he was talking about people joking “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” in general and not an executor specifically.

    The redheaded guy thinks the executioner is just another guy making a joke and not that, in this case, it is literally true.


    Of course, as larK points out, the joke fails because it’s *not* literally true.

  7. People at the time knew not to piss of the executioner. He could make a nice, clean kill, or a messy, protracted, painful one. Making a joke about the executioner seems to me to be the opposite of tipping him.

  8. @ CIDU Bill – Besides all that, I’ve never before witnessed such a scene (including comics & movies) that had two masked executioners. What are they going to do, split the tip between them? Make that “overkill cubed”.

  9. The guillotine was invented (with similar historical devices as a starting point) because axes and such were often inefficient or downright barbaric.

  10. @ Bill – Very funny, but I meant that literally. Back when this sort of thing was common in English and French high society, it was considered “proper” for the condemned to offer the executioner a tip (to ensure a quick, as painless as possible death). I also remember reading (somewhere) that the executioner was given the boots of the victim, but I could not find any confirmation of that, so it might have been in a novel, rather than history class (although this clown isn’t even wearing shoes).

  11. Oh, I knew that, Kilby. I just figured since you’d already supplied the fact, I’d supply the comic relief. There’s never a bad time for a mohel joke.

    (Well… I guess if you’re the one on the table…)

  12. Yes, always tip your executioner – in advance.

    And if one can get a French swordsman as their executioner (as did Anne Boleyn) it worth a bigger tip than the standard British executioner with axe.

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