I just finished writing my second book this week, which is very exciting (you can read it in early 2018, earlier if you email me and ask nicely for a copy of the unedited manuscript and promise not to sell it or anything, but it doesn't have a title yet). I'd taken an extendedish break from joke-writing during the whole process, which meant I ended up texting myself a lot of joke ideas I felt confident would stand the test of time and are now completely inscrutable to me:
"what if a high school teacher on TV ended class on time"
"power bar in the sub"
"a podcast about someone who didn't get murdered"
"the sorrows of young werther where every time i see the word werther i read faster"
"do you think it's too late for us to put on a really bad, way too on-the-nose two-person show about internalized anti-femme sentiment called MASK4MASK, I googled it and so far it seems like the only things already called MASK4MASK are tongue-in-cheek face mask reviews and actual masquerade parties so I think we're good to explore the space"
It's a pretty good strategy, just texting jokes to yourself; I've tried texting joke ideas to my friends and the responses have ranged from "okay" to "please take me off this thread." There needs to be a certain level of buy-in before someone is willing to hear a joke from you, I think. It doesn't seem to work when you just assume someone you know is in the mood to hear one and tell them a joke against their will.
I find the idea of a podcast about people who don't get murdered incredibly soothing. I get nervous when I think about murder too much, and would happily subscribe for six to eight weeks to a podcast that explored six to eight different people who never got murdered. "At eight-forty-seven pm, he arrived at his home and went inside, where he continued to be alive, and still is." And I could listen to a very thorough journalist catalogue everyone the non-murdered person met throughout the week, all the people who didn't kill them.
Heck, I'd watch an SVU without any murder in it, too, just week after week of Mariska Hargitay and Danny Pino and Ice-T walking around Manhattan with white paper cups of coffee, sitting down for long talks on park benches and interviewing daycare center workers and bartenders and personal assistants about where would be a good place to get their next cup of coffee. "Wow, thanks for telling us about Ruth-Ann," they'd say to the daycare center workers and bartenders and personal assistants after they got done asking them questions. "She sounds like a really interesting person, and I'm glad she's still alive." Then after a while they could go back to the station, I guess, and everyone would be alive there too. Anyhow, don't tell anyone about this. Nobody asked to hear this joke.