Boom boom

“When I start singing you go out on the balcony.”

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The funniest thing I’ve seen here – apart from nutters in the street – was a Catalan translation of Michael Frayn’s excellent play-within-a-play, Noises Off, here presented as Pel Davant i Pel Darrera. The house was dominated by an elderly coach party from up the coast that screamed and fell about even in the bits where you’re meant to think: ah, this is a clever parody of how awful British farces used to be. Most original Catalan stuff I’ve watched has been crude slapstick. Nationalism and irony don’t mix, and local talent seems to have a habit of going to Madrid and publishing in Spanish. Even local celebrities Els Joglars aren’t so much funny as social-critical in a fairly 70s-80s fashion. However, none of this is as bad as Catalonia’s best-selling joke book, 500 Xistes Catalans (Editorial Millà, 1997 (10th edition)), which contains gems such as the following:

Senyora Paulina, a keen singer, says one day to her husband:
– You know what I’ve noticed, Ernest?
– What?
– When I start singing you go out on the balcony. Don’t you like my singing?
– Yes, woman, but I go out so the neighbours won’t think I’m hitting you.

Or:

A furious customer enters a pharmacy and says to the assistant:
– Idiot! Imbecile! You gave me strychnine instead of quinine!
– What? Then you owe me two pesetas extra!

Do you know anyone who’d laugh at that kind of stuff? Can you come up with any worse jokes? Which country has the worst? (I reckon it’s probably Slovakia. I once got off my bike in a little village there and went into the pub. There were two old men watching a Slovak comedy show and neither of them laughed once.)

update

Dave reckons that the intra-Scandinavian jokes on this site are worse, but I quite liked them

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