I’ve come to believe 99%* of all dumb-person or race jokes are unoriginal and have interchangeable subjects. Behold the following templates:
1. A ______ walks into a bar and does something stupid or typical.
2. How many ______ does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 100. 1 to hold the bulb, and 99 to do something stupid or typical.
g) your idiot friend, Gary
h) all of the above
Don’t get me wrong; these can be hilarious jokes if done well. My current issue with them is not the humor, but rather, the cultural awareness. You see, culture jokes almost always revolve around a set of people we’re used to: asians, blacks, mexicans, whites, and western Europeans. Even then, the jokes are almost always generic and don’t teach us anything about the people or culture we ridicule. There’s a whole world of people out there to make fun of that we ignore, and even then, the ones we already do make fun of, we don’t do it in relevant or accurate ways. It’s a world of humor that has yet to be tapped for American audiences, and I think it’s important to spread awareness about these various cultures that go forgotten in the world of humor.
I speak, of course, about my one true love: Eastern Europe. Thus, I have provided you with several samples of newly made Eastern European jokes that use the standard forms, yet reject the fill-in-the-blank interchangeable format we have come to know and love. The following jokes are specifically tailored to the cultures they refer to.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how to make jokes funny, so the following creations are humor-optional. In fact, you might find them outright humorless. I apologize in advance, but I assure you, as somewhat of an Eastern European scholar, there is something you can learn from them. Thus, without further ado…
1a. An Italian, a Pole, and a Lithuanian walk into an American bar. The Italian notices the bartender is a young female, and gestures to his friends to join him over at the register where she is working.
“What will you folks have to drink?” asks the bartender.
“I will have… Sex on the Beach,” replies the Italian. He winks. The Pole scorns at his friend.
“Please. Do not mind my friend. He is bad catholic.”
The waitress shrugs. “No worries. And what will you have?”
“I will have Bloody Mary.”
The bartender nods and turns to the Lithuanian. “And you?”
“I will have dozen corpses buried in forest.”
The bartender looks at him. “We don’t have a drink by that name here.”
“I know.” The Lithuanian grins.
1b. An Italian, a Pole, and a Lithuanian walk into a Russian bar. The Italian notices the bartender is a smelly old man and opts to get a table. The waiter comes to the table and asks for their drink order.
The Italian says, “I will sample your inferior Georgian wine.”
The Pole says, “I will have freedom for my countrymen!” and storms out of the bar.
The waiter, unfazed, turns to the Lithuanian. “And you?”
“I will have dozen corpses buried in forest.”
The waiter looks at him. “How dark would you like your forest?”
“Very dark. And cold.”
2. A Belorussian and a Romanian walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “What will you have to drink?”
The Belorussian responds, “Please. White Russian.” The bartender begins mixing the drink and turns to the Romanian. “And you?”
“I will also have a White Russian.” The Romanian then turns to the Belorussian and bites him in the neck.
3. A Pole, a Czech, and a Lithuanian are working in a graveyard. While digging a grave, they come across a genie lamp that grants them three wishes in total.
The Pole thinks and says, “I wish for the largest house and nicest car in all of Poland!” *POOF* The Pole’s house gains a patio and backyard, and his Skoda turns into a Peugot with golden rims.
The Czech, a Bohemian, thinks for a moment and says, “I will have my beloved Czech music spread throughout the world so all will be aware of its greatness!” and *POOF* Suddenly every youth orchestra in the United States is scheduled to play Dvorak’s New World Symphony all at the same time.
The Lithuanian considers, and says, “I will have Pole die.”
The genie, hesitant, says, “That’s it? Do you also want his house and golden-capped Peugot?”
“No. Just culture and history of my country back.”
*POOF* The Pole falls into the grave he was digging, and the Lithuanian turns into a honeybee and flies away.
The Czech, confused, shrugs and begins burying the Pole while whistling the Moldau. Business as usual.
4. A Pole is in a Russian restaurant and asks the Russian waiter for some vodka. The waiter scorns and says, “Shut up!”
The Pole, confused and angered by the lack of polite service, says, “No! I ask for vodka, you bring vodka!”
The Russian punches the Pole in the face and breaks his nose.
A Czech is in a Russian restaurant and asks the Russian waiter for some beer. The waiter scorns and says, “Shut up!”
The Czech calmly looks at the Russian and says, “I’m sorry for speaking.”
The Russian considers for a moment, smiles, and says, “Okay. You may have your freedom.”
5. A German, a Russian, and a Pole are arguing about whose musical heritage was greater.
The German says, “Of course it is German music. Bach had Baroque counterpoint invented. Mozart was since the age of three composing. And Beethoven, he brought to music unparalleled drama and emotion.”
The Russian scoffs and says, “No. German music is old and boring. Russian music has color! Mussorgsky made harmonic language yet unknown. Rimsky-Korsakov invented modern orchestration. And everyone listens to Tchaikovsky ballet.”
The Pole looks at them both somberly and says, “Chopin was greatest composer in history. He kept Poland alive while of Poland no has.”
The Russian and the German exchange annoyed glances, and then start beating up the Pole. The Lithuanian hiding in the corner grins on the inside.
Congratulations! You now know more about Eastern European history and culture than the average American.
I also feel obliged to link you to Latvian Jokes. I found them inspiring.
*This statistic is made up.