5. Keep it clean. And I mean crystal clean. If you wouldn’t tell it to the Queen of England (who probably doesn’t like jokes much anyway) then leave it out. Seriously. If you have any doubt whether you are “crossing the line,” then don’t tell it. Think of it this way: if you tell a joke to 10 people and 9 of them laugh, then you’ve still alienated a friend. Don’t do it.
6. If you are telling a joke as part of a presentation, give credit where credit is due for the joke. You can do that before the joke with something like, “Here’s one I read on the internet.” Or after the joke with something like, “That old joke was on the internet, but it reminds us to…. (follow with a point.)” If you don’t let people know that the joke is from the internet, you risk looking like a fool. I guarantee that at least a couple of people in every audience already know your joke, and if you want to earn and keep THEIR respect you need to make sure you don’t claim that joke to be yours.
7. Don’t steal jokes from stand up comics. Unless they are dead. Jokes are material, and it is how they earn a living. If you tell it, copy it, email it…. whatever…you devalue the joke for them. Besides, it’s bad karma. :)