The World Agrees: Germans Aren’t Funny
Much to Ricky Gervais’s chagrin, a new international poll about the funniest nationalities doesn’t seem to think much of British humor, either. Somewhere, John Cleese and friends are choking on their tea.
When Mike Myers slicked his hair back, donned a tight black turtleneck and demanded that we touch his monkey (TOUCH IT!!) in his infamous “Sprockets” skit on Saturday Night Live, the world laughed at Germans for presumably the very first time. While his depiction was obviously hyperbolized, the comedy was purely American. And the poll results won’t beg to differ.
In a poll conducted by Badoo.com, a social network and dating website headquarted in London, of all places, 30,000 people across 15 countries came to the consensus that Americans were the “funniest” and “best at making people laugh.” Spaniards followed in second place, while Italians and their “bunga-bunga” party-loving Prime Minister were voted third, and rightly so–try saying “bunga-bunga” without cracking a grin.
After I took a minute to wipe some tears after watching “Sprockets” again, I noticed the most peculiar results from the poll: when considering which country is the funniest, Brits came in a measly 7th. Behind the French.
The French are good at a few things, primarily culinary-related, but don’t usually come to mind when naming the prime producers of the world’s comedy. On the other hand, the British, more readily known for their barley and hops than their meat pies, have been comedic pioneers for generations (think Steve Coogan, Monty Python or the existence of the Royal Family, for example)
North Korea, however, should be the most surprised. Clearly, Kim Jong-il has tapped into a source of happiness unknown to the rest of the world, devoid of jokes and laughter. Russian-style theme parks, perhaps. (Not surprisingly, Russia was deemed funnier than only the Germans and Turks).
Perhaps if “best at making people laugh” was interpreted differently (satirically), the list would look much different. Saturday Night Live has proven that the “funniest” countries tend to be the most politically absurd, and in my opinion, Iran should take the cake. Or perhaps that’s how we Americans and the Italians got to our spots in the first place…
But the consensus remains: Germany may be nice sometimes, but they sure as hell aren’t funny.