How Laffy Taffy Selects The Jokes On Every Wrapper

Laffy Taffy is known for the jokes printed on every candy wrapper. Here's how they're chosen.

Throughout my mid-'80s childhood, Laffy Taffy always played a strong supporting role in my trick-or-treat haul. Part of the fun, as many of you know, is the joke printed on every wrapper. These jokes are usually corny and full of puns, but that's a big part of their appeal—almost like an appetizer to the chewy candy within. But where exactly do the jokes come from? How are they picked? And are they really all crowdsourced from candy fans around the country? Since they're such a unique addition to every kid's Halloween bucket, I wanted to learn more about the jokes I've taken for granted all these years.

Laffy Taffy jokes, explained

Laffy Taffy is owned by Ferrara Candy Company, which produces a whole slew of (mostly non-chocolate) Halloween staples, including Nerds, SweeTarts, Gobstoppers, Pixy Stix, and Fun Dip. Ferrara has owned Laffy Taffy since 2018 after Nestle sold off the brand. Printing jokes on the wrapper is a longstanding tradition dating back to the '80s (Laffy Taffy has been around since 1971), and the company maintains the jokes will always be part of the product. 

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I'd always thought that the jokes were all submitted by avid fans of Laffy Taffy, but that's not actually the case. Jenny Chen, brand manager of Laffy Taffy at Ferrara, explains to The Takeout that while many of the jokes are sent in, they're actually "a mix of jokes sent by fans and popular puns crowd-sourced or identified through research."

Just last year, Laffy Taffy held a joke writing contest to fill its internal joke depository and received over 6,500 submissions. The top 101 entries were accepted, and all of them are now within the pool of jokes that get "published" on the candy wrappers.

To be selected, the jokes have got to be family-friendly, first and foremost. But Chen says that they're also judged on their originality, humor, and alignment with Laffy Taffy's overall brand values.

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Ultimately, the jokes are a brand builder. This month, Laffy Taffy debuted its first-ever card game called The Last Laff, a limited-edition release with 500 copies only available via giveaway. The grand prize winner (who hasn't been announced yet) will get $5,000 and a trip to Los Angeles to have a game night with Mario Lopez, our favorite actor to ever play Sexy Colonel Sanders.

When you pick through your kid's Halloween haul this year to sneak a Laffy Taffy—I'm partial to the Cherry and Banana flavors myself—don't forget to read the wrapper before ripping it open. You might encounter the joke that won last year's contest: Guess who I ran into on the way to the eye doctor? ... Everybody! 

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