Chicken Joke Competition: Seinfeld vs. Trump vs. Biden

Illustration provided by ChatGPT

It is, of course, a matter of extreme urgency to know why the chicken crossed the road. And who better to answer that question than the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT (

Of course, we must also acknowledge there can be different views on this matter, which ChatGPT can also assist with. How would, for example, Jerry Seinfeld or Donald Trump or Joe Biden answer the question?

Forthwith: In the style of Jerry Seinfeld, please answer the question, Why did the chicken cross the road?

Seinfeld: “What’s the deal with chickens crossing roads, anyway? Have you ever noticed this? A chicken, just strutting along, deciding, ‘Hey, it’s time to shake things up, let’s hit the asphalt!’ I mean, do chickens have a secret agenda we don’t know about? Is there some clandestine chicken meeting on the other side that requires a road trip? And what’s with the road? It’s not like there’s a chicken crosswalk or traffic lights timed for poultry pace. Maybe, just maybe, the chicken is thinking, ‘If I make it to the other side, I’ll finally figure out why all these humans are   so obsessed with my travel plans!’ ”

Thank you. Please now answer the question in the style of Donald Trump.

Trump: “Folks, let me tell you about this chicken, okay? This chicken, probably the smartest chicken, believe me, decided to cross the road. Why? To get to the other side, of course. And let’s be honest, nobody crosses roads like this chicken. It saw the road, it saw the other side, and it said, ‘I’m going there, nothing’s going to stop me.’ And that’s what it did. It’s about making roads great again for chickens, folks. That’s what it’s all about. This chicken, it’s a winner, it doesn’t just stand around clucking, it takes action. It crosses that road like no chicken has ever crossed before. Incredible, absolutely incredible.”

And please answer the question in the style of Joe Biden.

Biden: “Folks, here’s the deal. We’ve got this chicken, right? And this chicken, it’s not just any chicken. It’s an American chicken. And it’s standing there, looking at this road. Now, why does it cross that road? It’s not just to get to the other side. No, it’s about more than that. It’s about resilience, about taking that step, no matter how daunting the road ahead looks. It’s about the journey, the pursuit of something on the other side, something better. And that’s what we’re all striving for, isn’t it? To get to the other side, where we can build a better future for all our chickens, for all Americans. That’s the heart of the American dream, right there in that chicken’s journey. It’s about not being content with where you are, but having the courage to cross that road, to seek out something better. So, let’s give a little credit to that chicken, folks, because it’s showing us the way forward.”

I laughed. But I urgently needed to know which chicken joke was the best. Naturally, I asked ChatGPT:

“Determining the ‘best’ chicken joke among the versions channeling Seinfeld, Trump, and Biden hinges on personal humor preferences. If you prefer observational comedy with a touch of existential musings, Seinfeld’s version might resonate the most. If a more exaggerated, self-assured style tickles your funny bone, Trump’s rendition could be the winner. And if you appreciate a narrative that ties in broader themes and a sense of journey, Biden’s approach might be the most appealing. Ultimately, the best joke is the one that aligns most closely with your sense of humor.”

What is the lesson here? I can understand how ChatGPT’s “large language model” can siphon billions of words from the internet into a primordial soup and then spout some language in a particular style. But how does it know to shape a joke? And how is it then able to cogently analyze the essence of each response with such perspicacity?

The developers of AI often don’t themselves know the answer to these sorts of questions. But let’s be clear: AI is not intelligent in the sense that we understand the word. It has no idea about what it’s saying. It’s simply mechanistic and statistical.

Yet what I’m eager for you to understand is how incredibly useful this AI is. Recently two of my colleagues who have coauthored a book couldn’t agree on the wording of the subtitle, so they asked my opinion. In my email I gave my opinion, and then, for the fun of it, gave a response from ChatGPT.

They were astonished at how insightful the response was. And later in the discussion, as they considered changing a word, one of them asked ChatGPT. Again, we were delighted.

The lesson is that we now have readily available AI tools that have an answer for almost any question—and that can even seemingly offer analysis and insight. It’s a different world.

Find column archives at