Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Dry wititudes

The English actress Gemma Arterton says she will never live in the USA because Americans can’t tell when she’s joking:

“I always struggle when I'm over there because people don't get my sense of humour and they think I'm being serious all the time,” she explained.

I know how she feels. The African jungle is full of animals that don’t know when gorillas are joking. I’ll never forget the time I called a hippopotamus a fat cunt for blocking my path to the mangrove swamp. It opened it jaws so wide you could have put a microwave oven in its mouth. I had to climb up a tree and whistle through my teeth to convince it my remark was meant in jest.

The English sense of humour has been misunderstood by more truculent creatures than hippopotami, of course. Tom Jones has bittersweet memories of his first encounter with John Lennon, which occurred when the Beatles were rehearsing for a TV show. As Lennon walked on stage, he noticed Tom sitting in the studio and felt obliged to pay his respects:

“How are you doing, you Welsh poof!” he cried.

Tom responded to this affable greeting by calling John “a Scouse bastard” and inviting him to continue his enquiries at close quarters. It’s a good thing that Tom’s agent was on hand to explain that the Scouse bastard was trying to be funny rather than casting aspersions or questioning preferences.

The big advantage that Americans have over the English is that no one mistakes their earnest remarks for frivolous ones. A team of American scientists recently proposed that gold worth millions of dollars could be extracted from human dung. Had English scientists advanced the same theory, no one would have taken them seriously – the tabloid press would have mercilessly mocked them and their idea would have been roundly pooh-poohed. This explains why wacky inventions are far more common in the USA than Britain. The nose-hair trimmer and the nipple clamp are both of American origin.

Now, the American scientists are not suggesting that anyone can shit out a goldmine. The amount of gold a single human could produce in an entire lifetime of defecation would not be sufficient to fill a tooth cavity. However, sifting the sewers on an industrial scale could theoretically generate a bar of bullion every week, which would repay the US national debt in 100,000 years. That doesn’t come close to the gold rush of 1849, but it’s nothing to be sniffed at.

Perhaps Gemma Arterton has been hanging out with the wrong kind of American. I recently had a look at the amazingly silly tweets of Shia Lebeouf, and it’s difficult to imagine him taking anything seriously. His Wikipedia biography also reveals that he dated an English actress called Carey Mulligan for over a year, so perhaps he has a taste for haughty and sarcastic women. I don’t make a habit of playing the pander, but in this case it looks like a match made in heaven.

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Looks to me more like a match made in hell, GB. What's on her head - a swiffer mop? And what's going on all over his forehead? - looks like rugged terrain. I see no humor in that couple. But I do get Gemma's point. Americans are uptight, generally, present company (me and other bloggers) excepted.
In my experience American's are happy with most jokes as long as the butt is the rest of the world and never them. They also have a problem with context; they expect humour from stand-up comedians or movies that have been designated as "comedies". Suddenly finding someone in real life with a sense of humour without pre-warning throws them completely... whereas I think we Brits try to look for the funny side in most situations.
Ahh, why is Shia LaBoof's twitter called campaignbook? That's more of a rhetorical question, I really don't care. Anyway, Mr. LaBuff sure has a lot more fans than I realized, judging by all the thumbs down votes Wilford Fungus's video poking fun at him got. I guess most people are more like Tom Jones, and less like John Lennon and Gemma Arterton in the sense of humor department.
I find that older people often can't tell I'm joking :P
Oh, yeah? Well, we don't want her over here, anyway. And Gemma is a terrible name. Who names their kid Gemma?! It sounds like a skin condition.

Why would a class act like Carey Mulligan bother with a tool like Shia Lebouf? I hope that's not true.
So, after my next colonoscopy, I should ask if they found anything good up there?
That's ok most people don't get my dark sense of humor either.
What would we ever do without nose clippers? Sometimes people have to get to know each other before they appreciate their sense of humor, and some people never had one to begin with. I always look forward to laughing with you, Gorilla!

hello GB! how are you?
some people don't get my jokes either. sometimes they get it after 5 or 10 minutes. or not at all.
Robyn: I'm sure Gemma would have a grand time if she stayed with you, Robyn. You could introduce her to all your fans on your erotic poetry night!

Steve: You sound like someone who got told off by an American for poking fun at Abraham Lincoln. In my view beardies should never mock each other.

Jimmy: Next time be more savage in your mockery, Jimmy. Then you can take pleasure in getting voted down, as if you were Dick Dastardly. Do you remember Dick Dastardly?

Michael: That might be because they're hard of hearing, Michael. Try your visual humour on them, preferably while wearing a red nose.

Exile: Wikipedia says it's true, so who are we to argue? I've never heard of Carey Mulligan, so I'll have to take your word that she's a class act.

Al: Don't expect others to do your prospecting for you, amigo. Aren't you an expert on the toilet seat?

Mary: Are you dark like Morticia Addams, Mary? I'd like that!

Julie: Without nose-clippers we'd have to pluck our nostrils, Julie. I'm glad we can laugh together across the geographical and species divide!

JJ: Hello Jaya, how lovely to hear from you! Maybe you need to try them on a new audience!
replace smooth sewers pipes with corrugated culverts and collect the gold!
So all this time I've been shitting gold?

I think the problem with us Brits is that our accent lends itself beautifully to sarcasm. It's impossible to even say "I'm having a really nice time." without sounding like you're taking the piss.
Hi GB. I read somewhere that when Gemma jokes over here no one understands her either! She should volunteer for the Mars one-way trip. In years to come martians might get her grandiose sense of humour. Did you really call the hippo a cunt? You're braver than I thought. If it were me I wouldn't even have dared to think that expletive in case hippo could mind-read. Dung-gold? Well, hippos shit a lot!Maybe you should make peace with him and his herd...just an idea :)
Sometimes it takes a while to find you core audience. :P

Good luck on that match though.
Americans can’t tell when anybody is joking. That's why we have such a pronounced gun culture.
I'm surprised TLC hasn't come up with a reality show yet called "Sewage Prospectors"
I mostly remember Muttley.
interesting post, GB. I do think there is a difference between the British and American sense of humour, the former tending to be more inclined to laugh at themselves and their idiosyncrasies.
Billy: For every ounce of gold you'd have to sift 100 tons of shit.

Jules: It's especially true of ladies with posh accents, Jules. What ever can be done?

Joe: That's a long way to go to find someone who'll laugh at your jokes! Maybe she should get a pet kookaburra instead. If a hippo ever blocks your path, I'm sure you choose your words more carefully!

Lux: Yes, that's true. Gemma's core audience is probably in a titty bar.

Static: Perhaps, but Clint Eastwood's best jokes were made when he was holding a gun.

Cocaine Princess: Do you think many people would watch it, Miss Princess? I suspect its ratings would be shitty.

Jimmy: Well then you must remember Dick Darstardly too! There was a very funny blogger called 'Mutley the Dog' who is sadly no longer with us.

Bryan: Maybe so, but do you remember Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda? That was surely an American actor poking fun at Americans.
I will take English humor over American humor any day. And being in the jungle, you must have quite a stash of gems
We just like our humor without the U. The Brits never learn...
Mistress Maddie: The baboons stole my gems, Mistress. That's why everyone laughs at them.

Sage: The Brits spell it with 2 U's, sir. One for me and one for U.
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