Roger White presents

The new and improved

"Why did the chicken cross the road?"


Note to Korean students: This joke, Why did the chicken cross the road? is considered one of America's oldest and most standard jokes. It's so well known that it's no longer considered funny, but it is considered to be the archtypical joke. The standard answer is: "To get to the other side." What follows are some other possible answers, answers that might be given by famous people if they didn't want to say, "To get to the other side."

These alternate answers reflect what these people are famous for. See if you can figure out how the alternate answer relates to the person. You should be able to understand about five of them. If you can understand more, you are well versed in history and famous people!



For the greater good.

Karl Marx:

It was a historical inevitability.

Thomas de Torquemada:

Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Timothy Leary:

Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Douglas Adams:



Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

Carl Jung:

The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Mike Tyson:

'Cause that's where her lawyer's office is, the ungrateful!

Jean-Paul Sartre:

In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:

The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road," and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Albert Einstein:

Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.


To actualize its potential.


When you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Salvador Dali:

The Fish.

Bill Gates:

She's going to have to jump through some hoops, too, before she gets a Windows distributor contract.

Charles Darwin:

Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are disposed to cross roads.

Emily Dickinson:

Because it could not stop for death.


For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann Friedrich von Goethe:

The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway:

To die. In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg:

We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

David Hume:

Out of custom and habit.

Jack Nicholson:

'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored) reason.

Pyrrho the Skeptic:

What road?

Richard M. Nixon:

Let me make this perfectly clear. I will reveal all: I had no prior knowlege of this event.

Ronald Reagan:

I forget.

George Bush, Sr.:

It's a dead issue. Why are you bringing that up?

George W. Bush:

We will find that road, don't you doubt that for a moment!

The Sphinx:

You tell me.


Due to the loveliness of the hen on the other side, more fair than all of Hellas' fine armies.

Henry David Thoreau:

To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain:

The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Joseph Stalin:

I don't care. Catch it. Crack its eggs to make my omlette.

Captain James T. Kirk:

To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.


So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.


Because of an excess of pleghm in its pancreas.

Louis Farrakhan:

The road, you see, represents the black man. The chicken 'crossed' the black man in order to trample him and keep him down.

Martin Luther King Jr.:

I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.


My thanks to John at Rainbow Information Systems Limited in New Zealand and Jeff at CBT nuggets in Washington for helping assemble this collection.