Heard "Washington Square", Pete Seeger and the Kingston Trio as a boy in in the 60's. Bought my first 5 string in 1964.
Picked up the guitar in '71. I find the guitar useful but nothing compares to the rhythm and melodies one can find on a good banjo.
As for banjo jokes, Hell, I tell them myself. I have no problem of laughing at myself. I grew up in the north of England, try being a banjo player there 30 years ago! Our band has a hammered dulcimer and button accordion too, we love to take the piss out of each other.
Lighten up some of you lot.
Banjos are special and those of us who know that smile confidently.
Deliverance gave us an image, just drool sometimes to freak people out!