International senses of humour

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dongalong, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. dongalong

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    As an Englishman, I learned that being able to laugh at oneself was the basis for British humour.

    However, the English find it hilarious that other nations (such as Germany) take themselves very seriously and don't understand our humour at all.

    The Germans (as well as certain other nationalities) that I have met find it hilarious to laugh at other people's misfortunes, this seems to be the basis for their humour.

    Am I wrong to generalise? Is a sense of humour the same wherever you travel?
     
  2. Joll

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    I think ppl's sense of humour does differ around the world. We do like to take the piss out of ourselves here (Aussie's do that too) and take pleasure in the ridiculous. I think we also fancy ourselves as a bit clever when it comes to humour - dunno if it's justified though, haha.

    Americans I've met irl seem to be slightly more literal in their humour (but not always, by any means). So they sometimes don't get it if we're being tongure-in-cheek.

    Basically though, I think everyone likes a good laugh - and if you find out what other ppl find funny you can have a laff on the same wavelength. :p
     
  3. D_Kissimmee Coldsore

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    Perhaps the average citizen's sense of humour might be different in other countries due to cultural differences. But you meet people every day in your own town or city that have completely different senses of humour from yourself. At least I do, maybe I'm the odd-ball though.
     
  4. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    The English are a group apart from the rest of us humo(u)r-wise.

    EXAMPLE

    At it's best (Vicar of Dibley) English humo(u)r can leave me rolling on the floor in hysterics. Those on the Continent have a more urbane sense of the comedic and it's a bit off-putting.

    Americans? They take themselves too fucking seriously.

    hear! hear!
     
    #4 B_Stronzo, Jun 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  5. ZOS23xy

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    the language of a country, as well as its climate affects its mind set, and therefor, the humor. Remember the French? Cheese eating surrender monkeys...Germans? Deluded depressing philosophers. English--bad food and teeth....
     
  6. nudeyorker

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    I've never thought that a sense of humor was related to your nationality, I have always assumed it was your individual personality coupled with socioeconomic and education level.
     
  7. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    I think generally nations have a prominent style of humour but i agree with Nudeyorker about individual character.

    For me i tend to be more sarcastic in my humour (lowest form of wit) but it does not translate well in text because obviously its the way you hear it not read it
     
  8. nudeyorker

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    Oh really? ( You are right it does not translate to the printed word)
     
  9. Rubenesque

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    I'm quite sarcastic in my humour (I know I know lowest form of wit and all that) and find that it often offends some (by no means all) Americans. But that said, when it's in type it's hard not to take something literally isn't it.

    I do take the piss out of myself, and out of people I like - oddly.
     
  10. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    LOL...are you trying to test me mister :wink:
     
  11. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Thank you for that. I love 'British' humour.

    While I might tend to agree with you, I am also quite sure you don't mean this statement to sound quite as pretentious as it may. :wink:
     
  12. nudeyorker

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    No I did not...I was thinking about how it might have sounded after I posted it, but what I meant by that was...in television and film there are target audiences for humor based on age and geography, education level etc...
     
  13. Jake90

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    'American humour [humor]' - an oxymoron? Discuss...

    Sorry, I'm sure it works for you but I find American sit-coms as entertaining as watching paint dry. The 'humour' is formulaic, predictable, obvious and lacking in any sophistication. Irony is virtually unheard of. No way could American TV have produced sit-coms like "Allo Allo", "Red Dwarf", "Only Fools and Horses" etc. (I know they piloted a US version of "Red Dwarf" where they explained the jokes in excruciating detail and still no-one got it!)

    Actually to be fair the improvised comedy of American comics on "Whose line is it anyway?" is very entertaining. So maybe I withdraw my 'oxymoron' suggestion - with reservations...
     
  14. BiItalianBro

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    Hmmm...it is odd that this topic popped up as I was discussing it with friends just last night. I do not think schadenfreude is unique to Germans...as we see varying degrees of it from the USA to Asia to Latin America. Yes, one's individual humor is shaped by family & cognition...but there is the shared enviornmental nature of nationhood and language. German (and for that matter Dutch, Swedish, Danish) are very structured languages that do not leave room for word play. Asian languages are very literal with no way of expressing subtlety and implication. English and the romance languages offer varying ways to 'say' the same thing.

    IMHO, that is why you see degrees and types of mass media humor from nation to nation. The English are masters at laughing at themselves...while in the US the humor leans towards snarkiness. Mexican & Central American TV/radio favors the absurd while deep South American humor can get downright raunchy or dark.
     
  15. superbot

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    Don't forget also,that British comedians have a long history of men (gay or straight) dressing up as women!! We are a funny lot!!>>>> But we do have a great sense of the ridiculous and are great ego-deflaters so that helps...
     
  16. Joll

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    I have to admit I do find some American shows funny - it might sound lame but I think Friends was absolutely hilarious.

    Yup - the French like a play on words as much as the English. A French dude we know was in fits when we introduced him to a lady called Mrs. Pomfret - 'cos he thought she was called Mrs. Pomme-Frites (chips, lol). I've heard a few French ones too which are quite funny.
     
  17. quercusone

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    I'll put Seinfeld, All in the Family, Mash, Curb Your Enthusiasm, That 70s Show, Bernie Mac Show, etc. against anything. But we do produce mindless crap too. I love brit comedies but I've seen some pretty bad ones.
     
  18. D_Jared Padalicki

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    We Belgians have a "dry" humor, most don't get it lol
     
  19. dongalong

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    I was amazed by Russian comedy when I went to Russia, it is similar to British humour but stand up comedians only needed to say a few words to get the audience in stitches, I'd love to speak Russian just to understand what was so funny.
    Little Britain pushed the limits of humour in the UK a few years ago but the Russians copied the concept with Nasha Russia which made me laugh without fully understanding what was said.
     
  20. D_Kissimmee Coldsore

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    Add to them Arrested Development. Very clever comedy.
     
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