So Long, And Thanks For Laughing

0 Conversations

Many of you will know of So Long,
And Thanks For Laughing
, but do you know the full
story behind how it was created and why?

Now, One Year after it was created, Bluebottle tells us how the joke
directory was formed, how its evolved, and how he sees it
growing into the future.

How It Was Formed

One thing which has never been asked, and I have not
told anyone before, is how the idea behind So Long,
And Thanks For Laughing
came about. Well, the truth
is it all started quite simply.

Surprisingly enough, it was not really my idea that
created the joke directory, although I was one of the ones
involved. I was in a conversation with Zaphod and Mondo,
and we started telling each other jokes. From there, we
progressed to suggesting that there should be some form of
Joke Directory on the Guide, one that they would be
interested in running, yet as I had been on H2G2 for
longer, they asked if I could perhaps host it, something
which I agreed to do.

The title "So Long, And Thanks For
Laughing" was Zaphod's idea, and the original idea for the
Directory was quite different to how it has developed.
Originally, it had been planned to have a series of fora,
each about a different type of joke, and that researchers
could come and perhaps add an elephant
in the elephant joke forum, or a Doctor Doctor joke in the Doctor, Doctor

Early Days

The joke directory developed into an article-based
archieve on H2G2, mainly because articles are easier to
read. The first jokes to enter the directory were Star Wars jokes, although a forum on
Baby jokes soon created the Baby Joke
article. After that, sadly, the joke directory lost it's
fora origin, and became strongly article related.
Another development was that both Zaphod and Mondo had
left H2G2, leaving me to develop the Joke Directory on
my own.

At this time, I wondered whether or not to continue the
Joke Directory, and in the end decided that I would, at
first in the hope that either Zaphod or Mondo would return
to take over. The joke directory was initially quite empty,
but Anonoymouse, who already had
a joke collection, merged her jokes with the directory,
allowing it to begin to grow.1.

Soon I became glad and proud of the directory as it

How It Developed

The original look of the Joke Directory was very basic,
with jokes simply being arranged in alphabetical order of
their author's name. This looked a little tacky, so when the
Life, The Universe and Everything system of searching the
Guide was introduced to H2G2, "So Long, And Thanks For
Laughing" soon followed and introduced it's own Life, The
Universe and Everything categorisation system, and
introduced a newsletter to keep
researchers up-to-date with any new jokes added to the

The next major development was when Asteroid Lil gave the joke directory
it's logo:
So Long, And Thanks For Laughing - The <br/>
H2G2 Joke Directory!

How It Is Today

Now the joke directory has grown until there are now
jokes about almost everything. The Directory is also lucky
enough to include not only joke collections, but also joke
articles which are in themselves major pieces of work.
These include:

and many more - the best way to find out is to read the
directory and see for yourself!

The Future

So Long, And Thanks For
is now one year old, and to celebrate this,
it is currently undergoing many changes in order to
modernise it. These include using smileys and pictures from
the official graphics library where appropriate to "spice
up" the look of articles to make them appear more
interesting. Also, one joke article a week is featured
in the H2G2 Post

A more useful update, though, is the inclusion of links
within joke articles themselves. One of the inconveniences
of the joke directory system was having to go back to the
directory at the end of reading each of the joke articles
before you could proceed to the next article, something
which slowed down browsing. Well, at the bottom of many of
the articles, you will find a table such as this:

So Long, And Thanks For Laughing

which will give you links to all other related joke
articles in the directory. This table, for example, is the
one from jokes about Cats and Dogs. Hopefully this will
encourage people to read more of the jokes in the

The Joke Directory: Conclusion

Overall, I feel that So Long, And Thanks For Laughing
has been an even bigger success than I could have imagined.
More people have contributed jokes than I expected, and
there are funnier jokes in it on more subjects than I
thought possible. And a lot of people have helped make it

I do, though, have some regrets. First of all I feel it
is a shame that neither Zaphod nor Mondo stayed to see what
was their idea too grow into what it is now - there have
been many times when I would have liked their help! I also
regret that somewhere along the lines in a way the joke
directory became too serious, with it being a collection of
jokes on articles, but little more. I miss the simple
telling of jokes that was the idea behind the directory.

But that is something that is being changed - the
directory has recently started a Joke
where anyone who has a joke about anything,
be it good or bad, can just enter a forum and tell us. That
can be as important a contribution to the directory as
adding 1 or 10 joke articles, and is something I hope will
grow over the next year.

So, So Long, And Thanks For
, the H2G2 Joke Directory, has undergone
many changes, but at the heart what matters - the ability
to make people laugh - has remained. Okay, I've seen and
read all of the jokes in the directory, and many of the
jokes I knew already - but there have been times when I've
not smiled for too long, and just seeing a joke out of the
corner of my eye has made me chuckle. The directory may not
mean much to anyone else - I still don't know how many
people read it - but even so, I personally would like to
end by saying:

So Long, And Thanks For Lasting


11.12.00. Front Page

Back Issue Page

1A side effect of
Anonymouse's jokes being included in the Directory was that
it cemented the Directory's article based

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry

There are no Conversations for this Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more