Do you think you’re funny? The best way to get a feel for a country is to try to understand the humor. Laughter is a universally recognized expression of amusement, and joke telling can become a professional gig for those that truly have the humorous touch. International Joke Day is the perfect day to let out all of the guffaw producing, or groan inducing jokes you’ve collected over the years, sharing them with friends or any passerby you can get to listen to you.
History of International Joke Day
International Joke Day seems to have officially begun in the United States but whatever the origins of International Joke Day, it is clear that jokes themselves pre-date by hundreds and hundreds of years. The first joke is often attributed to the Greeks, specifically Palamedes, who is also credited with the invention of many other things. An example of ancient Greek joke telling reads thus:
“A barber, a bald man and an absent-minded professor take a journey together. They have to camp overnight, and so decide to take turns watching the luggage. When it’s the barber’s turn, he gets bored, so amuses himself by shaving the head of the professor. When the professor is woken up for his shift, he feels his head, and says “How stupid is that barber? He’s woken up the bald man instead of me.”
Greece also boasts the first comedy club, though its purpose was sharing jokes among friends rather than stand up performances as we have now. Jokes have likely been told since man first looked at himself in a pool of water and passed judgment on his own complexion, so it’s a safe bet that people have been celebrating jokes for a long time.
Celebrating International Joke Day
There are many options for celebrating! You could simply tell some jokes to a co-worker or friend, or a stranger on the street, whoever seems to need the most hilarity in their day. Or invite your friends over for a joke telling party! Take turns telling jokes or reading them out of a joke book or online source.
Another option is to visit a local comedy club and listen to a professional (or wannabe pro) tell jokes for a night of fun! Find out if the club has open mic opportunities and consider sharing some jokes of your own. If going out for a night on the town doesn’t suit your fancy you could pull up some DVD’s of a famous comedian’s standup routine, such as Robin Williams or Jim Carrey or a TV channel may play an hour long standup comedy special featuring well known comedians such as Daniel Tosh.
Need some inspiration? Try out these international jokes:
France: “What would a parrot says that got its leg stuck in a freezer? Shiver me timbers.”
“’You’re a high-priced lawyer! If I give you 500 dollars, will you answer two questions?’
‘Absolutely! What’s the second question?’”
Belgium: “Well, you see, there are basically three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those that can’t.”
Sweden: ‘A guy phones the local hospital and yells, ‘You’ve gotta send help! My wife’s in labour!’
The nurse says, ‘Calm down. Is this her first child?’
He replies, ‘No! This is her husband!’
Canada: You know you’re from Canada when….
- Driving in the winter is better because all the potholes are filled in with snow.
- If the local newspaper requires 2 pages for national and international headlines, but requires three for hockey.
- If “vacation” means going anywhere south of Detroit for the weekend.
- If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number.
- If you find -40C a “little chilly.”
China: I was walking down the mall with a friend yesterday when he turned to me and said, “Seeing all those flags on display makes me so proud of my country.”
“But Chan, you’re Chinese,” I replied, “All those flags are British.”
“No they’re not,” he laughed, “just take a look at those labels!”