Two corncobs were walking down the street when one corncob noticed that a third corncob was following them. The first corncob said to the second one ‘I think we are being followed by a stalker’.

This is of course a corny joke. How did failed attempts at entertainment become known as corny? Just like Popsicle sticks are infamous for their dreadful wisecracks, old corn catalogs similarly used hackneyed jokes to ‘entertain’ the reader. This phrase evolved from corn jokes to just plain corny.

The jokes from the seed catalogs may be prosaic, but the artworks that adorn the covers are the opposite. You have never seen more beautiful pictures of food in your entire life. Visit the Smithsonian’s website to view their collection of about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from the 1830’s. This is where I found the amazing King Corn pictured above.


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