The German Joke of the day
January 22, 2005 5:38 AM   Subscribe

The German Joke of the day. "In Germany, We have ways to make you laugh."
posted by ronsens (23 comments total)
Das? Ist ausgezeichnet!

My favorite part... when a punchline is "dumbed down" for Americans to understand it becomes "Kramer enters the room." Heh.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:06 AM on January 22, 2005

Okay, i'm german, and I actually find the jokes funny. And while laughing, I had the feeling that everyone else does not find the joke funny. Is that right?
posted by markesh at 6:13 AM on January 22, 2005

I had the feeling that everyone else does not find the joke funny. Is that right?

The jokes are decently funny, or would be with proper telling. What's funnier to non-Germans is the presentation-- long explanations and warnings for punchlines that play to our stereotypical view of Germans.

Germans certainly can be funny and tell a good joke. But most of us who are non-Germans never get to know a German well enough to move to "du" from "sie", where joking is appropriate. Consequently, we think of Germans as uptight, serious, "ordentlich" people. Especially in the US, where we move from introductions to lewd comments in 10 minutes.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:00 AM on January 22, 2005

This is well-done, I meant to add.

But it's funny that an ethnic stereotype of English people is that they like to exploit ethnic stereotypes.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:23 AM on January 22, 2005

See, for example, if we Germans make a joke, we already start laughing in the middle of the sentence. This saves valuable time, which we can then use for explaining the joke. For example, in this case …


[Disclaimer: I'm German]
posted by Slothrup at 7:39 AM on January 22, 2005

"Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! .. Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput..."
posted by weston at 7:45 AM on January 22, 2005

I'm American, and I've been to Germany and gotten to know some Germans pretty well (this in response to Mayor Curley), but I don't find this funny. And I don't think those guys are really Germans, either. Or is that supposed to be part of the joke? Har har.
posted by bingo at 7:51 AM on January 22, 2005

weston beat me to it.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:04 AM on January 22, 2005

I lived in Munich in the 70s...with a German girl for a while...we were out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant and the old joke about combining Chinese and German cuisines, and how it would taste great but leave you hungry for power an hour later came to mind. I told her, and she looked confused and a bit angry..."Huh?? You couldn't combine Chinese and German food...that would taste terrible!" I continued to try to explain that *hypothetically* if you were to combine them, and that the cliche about Chinese food is that regardless of its tastiness it leaves you hungry an hour later, and that Germans and hungry for power, well, let history be your guide, etc....this went on for several minutes until I finally said, "Dammit, Doris, it's a joke!" To which she replied, "Yes, and a damn stupid one, too!"

No sex that night.
posted by 1016 at 8:15 AM on January 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

posted by Galvatron at 8:57 AM on January 22, 2005

As long as these jokes stay on course and don't degress into jewish jokes I think that would be fine.

I had a great uncle that died in a German concentration camp.
posted by CCK at 9:19 AM on January 22, 2005

Possibly the funniest German video I have ever seen:

"Mom, dad, there's something that's been on my mind for a long time...
... I'm german."
posted by anthill at 9:39 AM on January 22, 2005

He fell from a watchtower
posted by CCK at 9:51 AM on January 22, 2005

The Kramer thing cracked me up to no end. Thank you.
posted by muckster at 10:12 AM on January 22, 2005

I'm proud of the fact that 15 comments in and no onw mentioned the Monty Python sketch yet... oops 'nuff said
posted by edgeways at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2005

Fawlty Towers?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:26 AM on January 22, 2005

The canonical top 11 German jokes.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
The police. I'm afraid there's been an accident. Your husband is in hospital.

A man walks into a pub. He is an alcoholic whose drink problem is destroying his family.

Did you hear about the blonde who jumped out off a bridge? She was clinically depressed and took her own life because of her terribly low self-esteem.

What do you call a cat with no tail?
A manx cat.

Why do undertakers wear ties?
Because their profession is very serious, and it is important That their appearance has a degree of gravitas.

How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb? One.

Why do women fake orgasms?
Because they want to give men the impression that they have climaxed.

Two men are sitting in a pub. One man turns to the other and says: 'Last night I saw lots of strange men coming in and out of your wife's house.'

The other man replies: 'Yes, she has become a prostitute to subsidise her drug habit.'

Two cows are in a field. Suddenly, from behind a bush, a rabbit leaps out and runs away. One cow looks round a bit, eats some grass and then wanders off.

Why are there no aspirin in the jungle?
Because it would not be financially viable to attempt to sell
pharmaceuticals in the largely unpopulated rainforest.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:26 PM on January 22, 2005 [23 favorites], that made me laugh out loud! Love it...

<Also German>
posted by spaghetti at 7:30 PM on January 22, 2005

danke schoen, spaghetti. I reckon those would work pretty well auf Deutsch too.

Actually, I studied German at university and once spoke and read it quite fluently. German humour is very funny, but I always found it difficult to translate. It seemed to rely on rhyme, rhythm and wordplay much more than a lot of English humour.

Also, I think North German intonation in particular (along with Dutch) sounds very serious and sober to the English ear, whereas in fact it is simply normal and conveying nothing of the sort. Combine a literal translation with a dour delivery and you have the stereotype German joke.

Ah well. There are worse things to be typecast as than earnest and well educated.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:46 PM on January 22, 2005

Is this the coming out for all teutonic MeFis?!

Actually the german joke of the day site sucks big time. Rather boring jokes as well. Germans can do better - and without any weird WWII accent.

IMHO to understand the jokes of another language/culture you have to dive deeply into their history, state of mind and perception of time and space. Translating stuff won't work, neither will 'constructing' funny stuff.

German humor has changed a lot in recent years.

Before the war political cabaret was en vogue and wide spread. This of course changed a lot thanks to the brownies taking over control (and torturing people with piono wires and such ...)

Germany lost a lot of brain power and 'humor' thanks to Herr Hitler. Many great comedians, musicians and writers left for America or where put into Konzentrationslager. It was a loss of culture Germany has not yet recovered from. Especially the jewish/intellectual humor is still underdeveloped after 50 years ...

After the war Germany - like most countries - tried to forget the war with 'naive' humor - sort of Benny Hill stuff that made it easy to forget the war, but also celebrate the Wirtschaftswunder. Heinz Erhardt would be a typical comedian from that period: witty, very funny, universally acceptable, but easy to digest.

But political satire came back as well: in Munich the Lach- & Schiessgesellschaft made it debut and continued to fire ugly salvos of cabaret at political figures. But overall people didn't go for it that much.

Germany has produced a couple of great comedy moments - mostly tv stuff (like almost everywhere): das Ekel Alfred (70's), Klimbim (70's), Dieter Hallervorden, RTL Samstag Nacht (90's) und Quatsch Comdey Club (90's).

There is also a series of Blöddelbarden (a bit like the early days of Billy Connolly, when he used to sing funny stuff and crack a couple of jokes in between): Mike Krüger, Insterburg & Co and Fredl Fessel.

Standup Comedy was a late import, but is so far a big success (I personally hate it). First of all Germany lacks the tradition of comedy clubs and pubs to grow it's own entertainers. Most of them are TV creatures. Secondmost of them offer pretty 'flat' humor to please the crowd or make fun of the usual suspects (sex jokes, recycling tv shit). All rather childish.

And rarely some of that stuff reaches the obscure dimensions of the gifted Eddie Izzard or insights of a Bill Hicks.

German comedy overall is compareable to most international stuff, since our humor also seems to get more and more global ... and remixed ...

Overall I would say one of the 'advantages' of german humor would be the complexity of the language, since you can invent/compose new words and meanings ... and twist them even more. This is of course absolutely impossible to translate.

One of the few exceptional humorists (I don't like the word comedian) is Loriot, who is a great overserver of every day disasters, but also a great writer and comic artist.
posted by homodigitalis at 8:01 PM on January 22, 2005

Why not just expand the website to showcase German humor, French engineering, and British cooking.

/ethnic stereotyping
posted by yhbc at 8:14 PM on January 22, 2005

Let's not forget the German Safety Video
posted by crumblydonut at 12:13 AM on January 23, 2005

homodigitalis--Klimbim was not really very good, except when Ingrid Steeger would flash her tits. Meaning, it wasn't really quality humor.

70s humor--Otto der Ostfrieser was actually quite clever.
posted by 1016 at 4:13 AM on January 23, 2005

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