A few years ago, a group of researchers spent their time looking for the world’s oldest recorded-in-writing joke.
The oldest they found was from Sumeria in around 1900 BC. Prepare yourself for some 2000+ year old mirth:
Something which has never occurred since time immemorial…A young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.
The remaining oldest nine are available in the same Insider article that the above retelling of the world’s earliest known fart joke is from.
More locally to me, Reuters reports that the earliest recorded British joke was some Angle-Saxon innuendo.
“What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before? Answer: A key.”
That isn’t the worst joke I’ve heard even in modern times, if only we still hung keys at our thighs.