A friend of mine told me that he heard うくれ or 受けれ was slang for funny (He said it was suppose to be "we accept"). I don't really know much more that that so I'm having trouble finding it online-does anyone have ideas what it could have been?
I think your friend has picked up the use of 受ける which can be used to say popular or in the sense of "the joke carried". This is one the many uses of 受ける. I took the following as set phrases to learn this use, from 総まとめN１語彙 (p92)：
若者に受ける映画｜movie that is very popular among young people
ギャグがウケなかった｜the joke did not go down very well
The following examples came from the dictionary on my Apple computer:
彼の推理小説は学生に大いに受けている｜His detective stories are extremely popular with [among] students.
彼のしゃれはインテリの間で受けた｜His witticisms gained [earned] him popularity among the intelligentsia.
そのミュージカルは非常に受けた｜The musical was a great hit.
彼女のパーティーはお客に受けた｜Her party [was a success / went over well] with the guests.
彼のだじゃれは一般大衆に大いに受けている｜His gags [have caught the public fancy / appeal to the public].
その芝居は全く受けなかった｜That play was a complete flop [failure].
You're thinking of
Note that for ウケる we don't use kanji.
Origin: Because reception of something is 受ける. One party (the person telling a joke, for example) is seeking reception (from the person receiving a joke, for example).
In this case, if your personal reception of something is positive you could use ウケる. The usage of this particular usage started around the ~1980s.
(More: http://zokugo-dict.com/03u/ukeru.htm )
I have definitely heard/ seen "ukeru" used as slang for funny, but in those cases it is usually written as ウケる (manga, books, drama scripts). Often, I've observed it proceeded by "cho" - 超ウケる. ( Though as virgil points out, this is not a definitive - usage may vary by region, etc)
I never thought of it before, but it makes sense that it originated from 受ける, and started as more of "that joke really gets to me/ I receive that joke" - however, as I've seen it used in natural language, especially in response to a joke or such, it does seem to simply mean "that's funny/ that's really funny" - that is certainly how I would translate it, at least. And a quick google of Weiblo's English/Japanese dictionary shows them translating it as simply "funny" when spelled in katakana, and linking it to 受ける.