Keith Mars Of 'VM' Was The King Of The Dad Joke

by Amy Roberts
Warner Bros. Television

As a self-proclaimed Marshmallow who has watched every episode of Veronica Mars more times than I should like to admit in public, I have a deep adoration for just about every character on the show. And though I've always been a fan of the father-daughter relationship between Veronica and Keith Mars, the older I'm getting the more I genuinely appreciate Keith as a character all of his own. As well as being an incredible father, tremendous detective, and all-around good guy, Keith reminds me so much of my own dad and of those of my friends. In particular, Keith's dad jokes on Veronica Mars are so eerily reminiscent of the sort of jokes I grew up with, and continue to hear, that I feel as though his appeal is a universal one. He's a classic comedy father.

To anyone who has a dad who loves to crack terrible jokes and make their offspring cringe on a regular basis, Keith's brand of dad comedy on Veronica Mars will be all too familiar. His jokes follow the classic, tried and tested formulas of Dad Jokes everywhere: slightly embarrassing, full of horrible puns, an obsessive fixation on age, and a failure to be hip and relevant in the slightest.

Most importantly, however, Keith's jokes nail the most important aspect of a successful dad joke: It may well encompass all of these things, but ultimately, these jokes are also incredibly endearing. So, be prepared to chuckle while shaking your head in disapproval, because here are 14 of Keith's most ridiculous dad jokes:

1. The Wonderfully Self-Deprecating Celebration Dinner Announcement

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I nailed our bail jumper 100 yards from Mexico... 2,500 bucks. No sack dinners tonight. Tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire. Fire up the 'bachie!

A familiar, beloved joke for anyone who grew up in a low-income home.

2. The Cringe-Worthy Brag

In fairness, this particular joke actually turned out to be some fantastically sweet foreshadowing when Veronica genuinely did worry about who her biological father could be. But, yeah, it's still fulfilling an entire daily quota of cringe in just three horrifying words.

3. The Good Old Proving-A-Point Punchline

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Keith: Veronica, there are some things in life where you will have to defer to my age and experience. And that, sweet child of mine, is the Chrysler building.
Veronica: Mmm... senility... that comes with age, too, right?
Keith Mars: I don't remember.

I don't know about you, but I've played out this very same joke with my dad more times than I'd care to admit.

4. The Completed Fabricated Memory Bit

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Keith: You know what, this is important. You remember this: I used to be cool.
Veronica: When?
Keith: '77. Trans-Am, Blue Oyster Cult in the 8-track, a foxy stacked blonde riding shotgun, racing for pink slips. Aw, wait a minute, I'm thinking of a Springsteen song. Scratch everything, I was never cool.
Veronica: I don't know which bothers me more, "foxy" or "stacked"...

Ah yes, Springsteen. The go-to-songwriter for all dads longing to re-live an over-idealized version of their past.

5. The Intensely Proud Funny That Only A Dad Could Make

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Keith: Did you make any friends?
Veronica: Lord, no.
Keith: Enemies?
Veronica: Eh...
Keith: Well, it is a day that ends in Y.

When your dad knows you as well as Keith knew Veronica, then this kind of pride is second nature. But especially so when your ability to make enemies feels like a hereditary trait you inherited from your very own badass father.

6. This Major Cringe Joke Regarding Veronica's First Day At College

Don't mind me, I'm just over here squirming in absolute horror.

7. The "I'm So Ancient" Classic

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Keith: Hot dog!
Veronica: Hot dog?
Keith: It's an expression of excitement and enthusiasm. Joe and Frank Hardy and I used to say "Hot dog!" all the time, while we were waiting for the carhop to bring us our malteds at the drive-in.

This is a stage one version of this joke. Once your dad reaches stage five of it he starts reminiscing about the day he discovered fire and his pal Barney made a wheel out of stone.

8. When He Reminded Veronica To Count Her Blessings

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Veronica: You should hire someone to do this.
Keith: You're lucky I'm not a farmer, you'd be out plowing a field.

I don't even want to consider what kind of show we could have been watching had this been the case.

9. The Gentle Tease

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Veronica: Going somewhere?
Keith: Oh, very good number one daughter. You might make a detective yet.

I would like to take this moment to remind readers that stating the obvious to a father is a terrible idea. And one that you will never hear the last of.

10. The Complete Inability To Acknowledge Adulthood

Keith: When you leave a sleepover early, I'm supposed to put a trench coat over my pajamas and come pick you up.
Veronica: Sorry, I drive now. And I'm not 9.
Keith: [Shaking his head] You'll always be 9 to me. Going on 30.

Yeah, I know this game well.

11. The "You're Still 6, Right?" Joke

Can confirm: No matter how old you get, your dad will continue to make this joke in reference to adult concerns like your career and love life. It has no end.

12. The One That Was Definitely Pulled From The Bumper Book Of Dad Jokes

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Keith: Almost started without you; you'd have missed my chili surprise.
Veronica: You made chili?
Keith: Surprise.

Seriously. In fact, I suspect that there's a dad cookbook out there with this exact joke in the "recommended items" list of the preface. Noted under the title: Ways to Make Your Daughter Shake Her Head.

13. The Deliberately Failed Attempt At Being Hip

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Keith: 'Sup?
Veronica: I'm not acknowledging that.

Nailed it.

14. The Old "Missed Your Hand" Failed High Five

Actually, this gesture is no joke. To the comedy father, the failed high five is at the core of their repertoire. And I absolutely love it.

OK, I have to give it to him (and with my apologies to Veronica) — his dad humor might be totally silly and more than worthy of a shake of the head, but Keith definitely is the king of those jokes. Own it, Sheriff.