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In the pod Every Little Thing, they often play with words making jokes with intricate references. Recently, I heard an exchange where a person made a joke about the former president Ronald Reagan being the president of the planet Mars. I simply do not get it. Even the host admitted it was deep.

A: Did you want to hear a space joke?
B: I would love to.
A: Um so, it's a little out there...that's the first part...you didn't get it...the space joke is "out there".
B: I love it!
A: But here is the actual joke. "Who is the president of Mars?".
B: "Who's the president of Mars?...Hmmm...Tell me.
A: Ronald Reagan.

Source at time "16:40

That's it. No explanation, no nothing. I'm not even sure if the first part before the pause is an independent joke (space joke - it's out there) or if it's a build-up for the main part. Is it the actual former president they refer to? The program was about space junk so I assume that Mars actually refers to the red planet but I'm unsure about that too.

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  • Was the whole last line spoken by the same person? So that Ronald Reagan is a guess? Aug 13 at 19:31
  • I think you mean podcast, not just pod.
    – stangdon
    Aug 13 at 20:31
  • Do you have a link to the podcast (episode and approximate timing) Jokes sometimes depend on subtle intonations and don't work when transcribed to text.
    – James K
    Aug 13 at 21:09
  • Okay I've found it. I've corrected the transcript. In this case it doesn't matter, the joke isn't affected, but it might be. Especially with jokes, you have to be very precise on the wording, because it might matter.
    – James K
    Aug 13 at 21:33
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    @stangdon I had no idea such a thing existed. We do have a word for that in Swedish (i.e. efterhandskonstruktion which roughly translates to construction after the occurrence) but that's only applicable to the BS someone fits to discovered facts, once they're caught. Not sure if I like the idea behind the backronym. In the end, one won't be able to trust anything as original... Aug 16 at 15:37
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The joke is a play on the pronunciation of his last name. In the U.S. his name is pronounced Ronald Ray Gun. Get it? Ray Gun? Bzzzaappp!

Take me to your litre.

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    I don't pronounce it that way but I think this is probably right. It's a pun.
    – JimmyJames
    Aug 13 at 19:36
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    That makes sense. A straight line is the shortest distance between two puns. "As Mozart once remarked to Schubert: 'Take me to your lieder'" -Tom Lerher. Aug 13 at 19:36
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    This is the joke, and it is very clear when you hear the podcast that the speaker says "Ray gun" There is a "meta joke" in that this is a particularly bad joke. So we can laugh at the person who is telling it.
    – James K
    Aug 13 at 21:35
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    Probably the correct answer, but this is literally the worst joke/pun I've ever heard... and I have kids.
    – TypeIA
    Aug 13 at 21:43
  • So the joke has nothing to do with Mars specifically? I don't see how a ray gun relates to that planet (or any celestial body or even outer space). Is it a reference to the star wars program which was Reagan administration's way to drive Soviet to bankcrupcy by pretending they were developing weapons usable in space? Aug 14 at 3:47

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