HOLMEN, WIS — A Holmen man is well on his way to setting what some are calling the most Midwestern record possible.
David Barre, now 63, first began telling one of his classic and long-winded “Sven and Ole” jokes on his 57th birthday at Smokey’s Bar and Grill.
“I knew it was going to be a long one,” Barre’s friend Ralph Gnader said, “They’re always a really long walk for a short drink of water. But this one he’s telling? Woof. This might be the first Sven and Ole to span three presidents…”
Barre’s tale continues from bar opening to bar close every single night. Each day, he picks up exactly where he left off the night before, drawing in crowds larger and larger each night in anticipation of him finally reaching the punch line.
“I know, I know, it’s probably stupid to come here every day waiting for Dave to finish this one,” Smokey’s regular Donald Tramps said, “But I don’t want to get complacent now and risk missing him finishing. I already invested years into this! I know it’s probably not going to be that funny at all, but I need to be there when it happens.”
Facebook groups and online forums have popped up catching new people up on Barre’s epic six-year tale to allow them to jump in to the live telling as it’s happening.
“People like to make a lot of fan theories and predictions on where he’s headed next, or what the punchline will be, but they are always way off,” Tramps said.
Both Holmen Police and the Fire Department are standing by each night on high alert for the eventuality that Barre reaches the conclusion of his joke.
“Listen, there’s about two hundred plus people a night and that number keeps growing,” Holmen Police Chief Valience McKnight said. “When ol’ Dave finally gets to that punchline, we have to be prepared for the scenario that a lot of them will be really disappointed and get violent. We could be looking at a riot on our hands.”
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.