What does this joke mean?

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Q: What do you call it when Batman skips church?
A: Christian Bale

Does the word 'Bale' have a special meaning in this joke?

user208959

Posted 2016-12-29T15:04:31.200

Reputation: 361

4bail – Mick – 2016-12-29T15:10:12.893

11It's punning on a slang use of bail to mean to depart or fail to arrive at a place where you are expected. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2016-12-29T15:10:33.753

1What do you call it when Batman promises to pay to get a group of Catholic priests out of jail pending their court hearing, and then fails to show up? – xdhmoore – 2016-12-29T22:34:46.137

Answers

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Yes: To "bail out" is to abandon a crashing aircraft by jumping out and using your parachute to descend to the ground. Hence the colloquialism "to bail" is to leave a situation urgently. So in the joke, Batman is "bailing" from church. We presume the church is a Christian one.

The other meaning that makes it a pun is that the actor Christian Bale played Batman in The Dark Knight (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Bale).

brendan

Posted 2016-12-29T15:04:31.200

Reputation: 1 305

5To bail in slang nowadays means to not participate in some activity. Did John go out with you guys last night? No, he bailed on us. But basically, your answer is great. – Lambie – 2016-12-29T15:15:59.117

Yes, just to stress that "to bail" on something is not only slang, it's also fairly old slang that was in common use perhaps 30 years ago. So be careful if you plan to use it with young people, because it might not be the slang they prefer to use. – Andrew – 2016-12-29T16:53:41.837

@Lambie It means more that the person said they would participate then didn't, or left partway through, especially unexpectedly. – Kat – 2016-12-30T00:42:40.070

Isn't "Christian" included in the definition of "church?"

– Angew is no longer proud of SO – 2016-12-30T09:36:08.513

@Angew Not necessarily (in everyday usage). I heard people refer to religious houses as churches if they did either not remember the correct term or didn't knew that it belong to a religion different from Christianity. Though technically correct, as far as I know, only christian places are called churches. – JFBM – 2016-12-30T11:13:26.833