His humor had a general appeal. Not only the circuit lawyers and the Western villagers and farmers, but even urbane Easterners readily succumbed to it...Van Buren related several amusing incidents of New York politics, while others told tales of early life on the frontier. But all yielded at last to Lincoln, who kept them in an uproar far into the night with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of yarns, until Van Buren insisted that "his sides were sore with laughing."
Much of Lincoln's success as a story-teller was due to a talent for mimicry. "In the rôle of story-teller," said T. G. Onstot, son of the New Salem cooper, "I never knew his equal. His power of mimicry was very great. He could perfectly mimic a Dutchman, Irishman or Negro."And here's a rare photgraph from one of his performances:
Well, it was a long road to that joke, but here we are!