While the appeal of humor lies, typically, in its very spontaneity and original contextual incongruity, there is also the chance of an ‘afterlife’ for the humorous text. In most cases, the humorist seeks an immediate response for what is an ephemeral, fleeting, linguistic transaction. A permanent place in humor culture is probably the least of the humorist’s goals- after all, the immediate, positive response is prioritized as an evidence of skill. Thus, most humor studies focus on the first instantiation of humor, as being generative of the act of humor. This prioritization of the immediate surprise, over the ‘echoes’ of an instance of humor, does not address the fact that many people enjoy revisiting a familiar joke, or comic film, or an entire TV comedy series, and that these revisited texts become incorporated into group and cultural artefacts. These recontextualizations in themselves are potentially funny, but they are also important in sustaining the original instance of humor as a type of ongoing conversation: a very distinctive feature of humor’s social importance. This paper will present a theorization of an interdependency between author, text, and interlocutors for the ‘afterlife’ of texts, and will furnish high-profile examples to support this concept.