What is your sense of humour?
It's clear that different nations have different humours, and that they are not always mutually intelligible.
For instance in France, we have an absurd humour, like the British (but less deep), and some people have a college humour (mainly scatological, Rabelais country after all), and there are also a weird sense of humour where people think we are naughty or impolite, we love tease each other, but it's called pince-sans-rire (I think it's typically French), and self-derision (like Jewish humour), and I noticed that nobody understand this kind of humour (teasing + self-derision + pince-sans-rire), except the French.
Some people think, according to ethnic clichés, that some nations have no sense of humour, for instance the nations reputed to be well organized and rigorous.
On the picture above: Typical example of self-derision
So, how is your national humour?
I grew up in the USA. I watched a lot of TV (more than I’d like to admit).
I grew up watching some late-night talk shows, Saturday Night Live… Seinfeld….
Seinfeld and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart sort of made me fond of Jewish humor, I guess. I’m curious about studying Yiddish.
The nerdy part of me really enjoys puns. They’re best served deadpan.
• If a lawyer speaks for too long there will be an extended sentence.
• Oil executives are always using crude language.
• What is the difference between a raven and a crow? A raven has six pinions on each wing, and a crow has five pinions on each wing. So it’s a matter of a pinion.
Japanese is full of homonyms, so it’s ripe with wordplay. “Arumi kan ni aru mikan.” (Orange in aluminum can.) … (It just sounds better in Japanese).
Same here. But my TV fare was a little bit before your time. Until I was about 7 or 8, I grew up with radio. When TV's came out, all tiny screen black and white, our family watched Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners, Doris Day Show, Milton Berle Show (I learned to steal jokes from him), and for me during the day, it was Ramar of the Jungle, Captain Midnight, Chief Halftown, etc.
I think Mexicans have a self deprecating sense of humor we use a lot of cliches and stereotypes from our society in our jokes and like the parodies of many aspects of our life.
We like to laugh about absurd or exaggerated missconducts that often have to do with forbidden topics like drugs-alcohol, perverted harrassment, flamboyant homosexuality but also with irresponsability, Mexican wit or the ridiculous things we're -not totally ironically- proud of . The memes became a really popular way to convey our humor, they tend to be raunchier than English memes from what I've seen. We tend to friendly tease eachother too.
Other thing we use are the double entendres with sexual allusions called albures, I think French people use double meaning too.
Well, I've been having fun learning my languages with and through silly puns and witty one-liners, which is pretty much how my humor runs ... together with a healthy dose of irony. I love playing with words, and since I've got so many of them, well, why not? :P
I've got no idea what the national humor is like. Every time I ask, people just look at me and say, "Funny."
Maybe that says enough.
Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.
I believe the British have always used irony to stay more or less sane - it is often used to make a point without making a big fuss.
When ironic humour is used to point out the absurdities in life, it reassures us that other people have at least noticed those absurdities. ;)
I have heard funny remarks that if something is really a big deal, the phrase sounds like it is tiny, and the reverse.
Edit: Reminds me of Monty Python bit where King Arthur hacks off the arm of the Black Night who still wants to fight. King Arthur remarks he lost his arm to which the Night retorts, "Tis but a flesh wound."
Working in the child protective services field, we had to deal with a lot of unimaginable harm to child on a daily basis. We developed "gallows humor", the darkest of the darkest humor, to deal with the stress. I won't share any but I have a great quote of an example from Douglas Adams in his book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:
“So this is it," said Arthur, "We are going to die."
"Yes," said Ford, "except... no! Wait a minute!" He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur's line of vision. "What's this switch?" he cried.
"What? Where?" cried Arthur, twisting round.
"No, I was only fooling," said Ford, "we are going to die after all.” ―
Ivo Hollander from Brazil had some of the craziest sketches ever. Made me scared that if I ever traveled to Brazil I could get caught up in one of those crazy pranks. There was one sketch where a long line of people were waiting in line to exchange their small propane gas tanks. He waltzes up to the front of the line with his tank, making people angry telling him to get at the end of the line. He spends a few minutes arguing with them then walks away and returns with what looks like a bunch of dynamite sticks taped together with a lit fuse. People panic and run away.
In Belgium the most favored type of humor is mockery and also some self-mockery, not rarely with a pinch of acidity. It's literally everywhere, TV, carnival, newspaper political comics, caricatures, ...
Personally I had an absurd type of humor, but nobody ever understood it. Seems like the French might have liked it rofl.
once upon a time, there was an aggie and his friends and they were stuck on a deserted island. Indian legends told of a cliff that, when you jump off of it you say a word and you will become that. So, they decided to use that for escape. The first friend ran and jumped off the cliff while saying "Blue jay!". He became a blue jay and flew away. Second friend decided on something more majestic. When he jumped off the cliff, he yelled "Eagle!". He became an eagle and flew away. When it was the aggie's turn, he ran, tripped on a rock, and said "crap." as he fell over the cliff side.
Whatever my sense of humour is - it gets me into trouble at times!
Same here. I tend to fall back on satire and understatement. Worse, I can also be a bit sardonic at times. It is not uncommon for people I meet on the Interwebz to assume I am British. In real life, though, I have had to learn to be careful because it often leads to trouble as well.
Years ago, I was departing St, Lucia. Security was checking my bags and found my squirt gun in the shape of a fish that I used to tease the woman I was traveling with. They asked me what it was and I said, "It's a squirt gun." and proceeded to squirt my woman. Suddenly I was swarmed by a bunch of security people who found no humor at all in what I did. I was let off with a stern warning.
We got married by mistake there and both wearing t-shirts Sandals gave us. Mine said Just and hers said Married.
They have very strict gun laws in St Lucia and the guards were on me seconds after I uttered "gun". Actually, since I revealed the woman, the funniest thing that happened was as the guards were swarming me, someone shouted loudly amongst the others departing, "Can this marriage be saved?" And everyone laughed.
And the answer to that question was "no".
And in response to Tembo, the squirt gun melted the bonds...thankfully. Those bonds were too restrictive for us. But I was Just.
I don't know if my nationality (American) has anything to do with my humor, but I typically enjoy dirty (explicit) jokes. Perhaps it has something to do with how I was raised and the schools I attended. Also, I don't always enjoy English puns, but I always enjoy Korean puns. Wordplay is something that intrigues me.
My national humor? As a Vietnamese-in-training, living with Vietnamese, I am learning Vietnamese sense of humor and it is not much different from mine. I like to play jokes on people, here it is limited to word play, and enjoy having jokes played on me. Turn about is fair play and all that. Herewith are examples of jokes played on me in Vietnam by Vietnamese. There are many so I will limit it to one person who has gotten me a lot. I consider him my brother, a Saigon cop who grew up in Hanoi, Mr. Thanh.
Family and friends went to a big park in Saigon for a day of world music. Live bands and singers, playing traditional Vietnamese song, rock, jazz, classical, etc They had big movie screens around the park so everyone could see the musicians. So I am sitting there very relaxed enjoying the music this fine April 30th day when suddenly the music stops and an old movie of US Huey helicopters land in a rice paddy disgorging troops. As I was in slight shock by this sudden change, Thanh sneaks up behind me, puts me in a choke hold and whispers in my ear, "Me VC. I kill you." I threw up my hands and said, "I give up!" and everyone laughs. Two things should be noted: Saigon cops are trained in martial arts and I also had years of training. Thanh and I had sparred a couple of times. The other thing was April 30 is like July 4 in US. We celebrate independence from Great Britain, Vietnam celebrates independence from the US. Strange feeling. You Americans reading this want to join in the strange feeling? Read the first sentence of the Vietnam Declaration of Independence. You know it well. http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/ps/vietnam/independence.pdf
I was at a big party at a resort in Saigon and was asked to sing a song in Vietnamese. It is a custom that if you enjoy the singer you take a flower up to them as they are singing, roses are preferred. So, I am singing along, nailing the pronunciation to the satisfaction of the crowd, and I sense someone behind me. Mr Thanh playing his tricks again. There were no flowers available, so he gave me a handful of dead twigs. That almost broke my concentration.
Here in US I was in the drugstore to get a flu shot and I noted by the name tag the pharmacist was Vietnamese so we talked in Vietnamese. He took me behind a screen for my shot and he said I spoke Vietnamese good. He said he wanted to give me a language test and I agreed. He spoke this nonsense sentence that is a play on Vietnamese pronunciation and tones and actually means something but I was lost. Had no idea what he said. Lucky for me, I had been recently taught a great retort for such an occasion, and said to him in a firm voice, "Biết chết liền." Translated it means, "If I understood that, I would die right now." He laughed out loud and said in English, "You pass!".
I guess, I would consider myself almost devoid of humour or have very specific taste in humour, I almost never laugh especially out loud but the times that I do laugh I usually completely lose it.
Another caratheristic of my humour is that I like sophisticated huomour and comedy based on deadpan delivery.
Some series and other comedic play/films/etc. that I like include Frasier, Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Polonia (Catalan political satire) and the The Simpsons (season 3-11).
I don't know what nationality my humour would be but the French seems like a quite serious bunch of people at least the Parisians.
I know hardly anyone is going to read his but this joke gets me every time on some level (1.20 to 1.40)
Nope, I am a bit to young to remember him (turning 30 next year). I don't really recognize Scandinavian actor/actresses/etc, other than well-known superstars.
I did however recognize his final film role (according to Wikipedia), the king of comedy, which I have been meaning to see since it's quite topical with the similarities with the Joker.
In America, the ' national humor ' varies. Youth, such as myself, laugh at images that would make absolutely no sense to others. Older people find things like a child saying ' dad why isn't the book touch screen? ' We basically have boomer humor, which is the example above, millennial humor, which is pretty dark, and gen z humor, which is even worse than millennial humor.
Monty Python, The Goons, Eddie Izzard, Jackie Mason, Fry n Laurie, French n Saunders, Dame Edna, Victoria Wood, Will Ferrell, Peter Kay, Joan Rivers and the great much-missed Robin Williams. Never in the field of such hilarity have so many made me laff so much;-) (Edit: Ricky Gervais too!)
I got side loaded into Monty Python as a kid in the 80s. Every other joke on the message boards and BBSs seemed to be a Monty Python reference. The "Nudge, Nudge.. wink wink.. Say no more" was the "That's what she said," of the day and I knew the meaning way before I'd seen the Python skit.
In Primary school we were forced to act out Christmas pageants for a play for our parents. We tweaked the Christmas carols and a few of us actually sang the lyrics to one song thusly: "We three Kings of Orient are, tried to spoke a rubber cigar, it was loaded and exploded..." I forgot the rest.
I looked up the song and found this British version: "We three kings of Leicester Square Selling ladies underwear So fantastic, no elastic Only tuppence a pair
Now that I think about it, a sort of type of humor that I like and use is referential humor, what I mean is situations like this. I am confident in who I am but I might come across as a "elitist prick" or "eccentric" sort like Niles in this video who is looking for Daphne (the scene is from Frasier).
The media has a tendency to exaggerate a lot. A man is walking down a road in the middle of a storm and slips on a fast-food wrapper someone threw out their window. he tumbles down the hill and lands in front of a bear den and gets bitten. the news report reads as follows: "Is littering causing bear attacks?"