Friday, June 20, 2008

Funny? Peculiar…

On the Times’s Comment Central blog, Danny Finkelstein has been running a communist jokes contest (that is, jokes about Soviet communism – not that you had to be a communist to enter).

Somehow, I’ve won. Which is nice. So thanks to Danny.

You can read the top ten jokes here. I particularly like the ones from Lee Jakeman and from Mark.

One thing, though. When the contest was launched, a commenter called Gavin said:

I can't wait for the Nazi jokes, Khmer Rouge shaggy dog stories or Rwanda genocide themed knock knock jokes.

Fair point. The Soviet Union involved a vast bodycount. The purges and gulags and engineered famines and KGB and crushes of uprisings were not exactly a barrel of laughs. So why (at least, in Britain) is there vastly more of a tradition of Soviet jokes than, say, Nazi jokes?


Chris said...


Speaking personally, I'd never heard of these as a subgenre of the funny until I read a bit by PJ O'Rourker in the early 90s, whereas I feel that I've lived with jokes about Nazis all my life. And isn't it because 'communist' jokes are, if not samizdat, at least the types of jokes that people living under those systems told each other?

Anonymous said...

hi just funny,
it's clear the punishment.

Tamil Actor vijay