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Old 06.04.2012, 00:25
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Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

Since a TV show last week, there is an ongoing debate among people who have nothing else to do than analyzing TV shows, but it reveals an interesting question about humour and culture. Here it is, please imagine good English behind my bad English:

The joke

A man and a woman are eating in a restaurant in Verdun. The man is visibly sad, emotionally devastated and has stopped eating. The restaurant manager go to them and ask:
- Sir, can we help you, are you all right?
The woman answers:
- My husband is very touched by this place, his grand father died in the Verdun battle, his father fell also in 1940, thank you for your concerns, it's all right.
The restaurant manager:
- Madam, I understand. I am a patriot, for the love of the nation, I offer you the dinner!
The woman turns to her husband and says with a soft voice:
- Darling, they are so nice, they offer us the dinner.
The man whispers:
- Danke schön.


The question

Is that humour or not ? As French-German, I just love it. But it's been mocked quite openly in other talk shows. Other people defend it and find it excellent.
You are the experts, I am all ears.
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Old 06.04.2012, 00:29
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

Quote:
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The question

Is that humour or not ?

Are you serious?

Where's DB?
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Old 06.04.2012, 00:42
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

it's subtle and you'd have to have some WWI history to understand it.

it's a joke along the lines of this:

Quote:
The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747 (call sign "Speedbird 206") after landing:

Speedbird 206: "Top of the morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the active runway."

Ground: "Guten morgen! You will taxi to your gate!"

The big British Airways 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?" Speedbird 206: "Stand by a moment ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with some arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, you have never flown to Frankfurt before?!?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, I have, in 1944. In another type of Boeing... but I didn't stop."
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Old 06.04.2012, 01:32
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

They are both good jokes, but do nothing to help Anglo German relationships.

Why are the UK and the US so obsessed with the 2 wars? I rarely hear of Russian or French jokes about the war, and yet these countries suffered much more in casulties. Also there are far fewer jokes against the Japanese armies.

Military jokes also exist in peacetime: on a naval exercise a British ship noticed another ship was flying it's flag upside down. The British ship signalled it's neighbour who replied "Thank you, we like it that way; we are Australian"

@ Faltrad, have you seen the BBC comedy series 'Allo 'Allo ? It is about Germans occupying a small French village during the war. It is very funny without being insulting,
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_14?url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=allo+allo+complete+collection&sprefix=all o+allo+allo%2Cdvd%2C1261

Customer Review

Allo Allo is magnifique, 10 Sep 2010
By
Peter Jacques "profbook"


This review is from: 'Allo 'Allo! - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
I remember watching this as it was broadcast years ago and as I now live in France in an area with strong links to the resistance movement, it seemed appropriate to buy the DVDs. I was not disappointed. They have come out as fresh as if just made. The "fallen madonna with the big boobies", "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once" and other catchphrases still make me laugh out loud. This was a great comedy series and every lover of comedies by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd has to have this one. I shall watch it again and again and still be laughing for years to come.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 06.04.2012 at 01:43.
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Old 06.04.2012, 01:37
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

Sear Connery, to me your joke is not at all in the same as the one I copied here. Yours is just cloddy (sorry for that), not the one I copied. It's not about war as such, which is a UK obsession, not a French-German one. To me, it's only an ironical view on the huge gap between definitions of nation and how insidious nationalism is, being good and bad at the same time. It's a double layer that I find witty. There is a tragic undertone, in the style of black humour. But it reveals a thought process we all get caught into. That's witty to me. But this is highly discussed. Hence the posting here.

The question is perfectly serious. Really. I'd like to know how you react to this joke. No biggy, it's Verdun, everybody knows Verdun and the explanation is in the joke itself.

To me, this is very German humour, but it was a French (very French) popular almost populistic guy who told it in a late show (Patrick Sebastien in Ruquier's show, for the ones who follow French among you).
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Old 08.04.2012, 18:13
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

Faltrad, as a French, your joke made me smile so don't bother too much, I think it's perfectly acceptable.

My hometown is actually not far from Verdun and even though we respect what happened we don't hold any grudge to the German nation anymore.
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Old 08.04.2012, 18:32
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

I found it funny, but what do I know, I'm Spanish .
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Old 08.04.2012, 18:50
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

I'm English and smiled when I got to the last line.

The political connotations (I'm afraid) were irrelevant to me - I just appreciated this type of humour; ..... the story telling, and allowing the reader to already create a pre-conception in their mind, and then presenting the contrary in the "punch-line".

Maybe, sadly or not, sufficient time has passed that the historical references, are now somewhat diluted in their potency for many.
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:58
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

I think it's funny. Well, it made me smile.

There's a place for black-humour. It doesn't (or at least shouldn't) negate the seriousness of the topic. It can, in fact, enable a proper serious discussion. Tragedy and comedy are so closely linked. Think of the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, for example.
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Old 09.04.2012, 03:28
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Re: Intercultural question: Good joke or bad joke?

Quote:
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Maybe, sadly or not, sufficient time has passed that the historical references, are now somewhat diluted in their potency for many.
Let's modernise it then:

The Freedom Restaurant at the top of Freedom Tower, built on the site of the Twin Towers, opened and accepted the first customers.

A couple sat down, but before the man took his first bite, he began to weep.

"Is everything OK", asked the waiter.

"It's fine, it is just that my husband lost his father and brother in the 9/11 attacks", replied the woman

"Oh, I am so sorry to hear that", replied the waiter. "Out of respect for the dead and their families, all those who lost a relative in the attacks will enjoy their meal free of charge".

"Thank you!", replied the woman.

"Which tower, did your father and brother work in?", asked the waiter.

"Neither", replied the man. "My father flew into the North Tower, and my Brother into the South".
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