> This is not the QUERY, that is a bit longer than this, but the theory is
> the same. Can this be done, if so how should it be structured?
If I understand the question right, sure it can be done:
SELECT id, LEFT(joketext, 20) FROM joke WHERE jokedate >= "2004-04-17"
AND joketext LIKE "%chicken%" ;
The joketext LIKE "%chicken%" condition won't be able to use any indexes
and could perform pretty slowly. You might consider looking at
full-text indexes and search if you can use MyISAM tables:
Obviously, whether or not this is a good option depends on your actual
query and use cases.