The other night, after sh'ma, my son asks me "Knock-Knock"
Me: "who's there?"
Him: "Mickey Mouse's underwear!!"
I heard the same joke when I was 5. Yet it's not written down anywhere. Nor did I, my wife or his rebbe teach it to him.
If 4 and 5 year olds can pass on an oral tradition and preserve it in pristine condition, why is it so hard to believe that the intelligent learned adults described here did the same?
You know what? I should go work for Discovery. Kugel anyone?