I’ve just finished a quite interesting book on jokes from behind the Iron Curtain: Hammer And Tickle: A History Of Communism Told Through Communist Jokes. It looks at the jokes themselves; the evolution of these jokes as communism aged and new leaders took over; it looks at the different kinds of jokes told in different communist countries; it examines the fate of those who told such jokes and the difference in the fate of those who made such jokes depending on who was the leader of the Party; it asks whether such jokes helped the communists consolidate power or whether they helped bring communism down; it looks into the difference between telling anti-Nazi jokes in Nazi Germany versus telling anti-communist jokes in communist countries; it asks about the psychology of those who told such jokes and whether they helped relieve tensions; and much else. But I will say this, some of I found really funny. This is my favourite.
Khrushchev is walking through the Kremlin, getting worked up about the Soviet Union’s problems, and spits on the carpet in a gesture of disgust.
“Behave yourself, Nikita Sergeyevich,” admonishes the aide. “Remember that the great Lenin walked through these halls!”
“Shut up,” responds Khrushchev. “I can spit all I like here; the Queen of England gave me permission!’
“The Queen of England?”
“Yes! I spat on her carpet in Buckingham Palace too, and she said, ‘Mr Khrushchev, you can do that all you like in the Kremlin if you wish, but you can’t behave like this here …'”
Easy to see this one added to the Donald Trump canon and now that I have pointed it out, I expect it to be.
I therefore thought I might have a look at what passes for Donald Trump jokes. And google all you like, there really is not much although there was this: Donald Trump Jokes. None were funny but I did like this:
Where’s Donald Trump’s favorite place to shop?
Mere pun though it is, it seems appropriate. At least it’s policy-related and almost entirely a joke that could only be told about Trump. The rest are re-treads, never specifically about anything related to Trump himself and his policies, but are almost entirely forms of insult than anything with any associated wit or insight. The most interesting part to me about the communist jokes was that the ones that became acceptable were those directed at the failures of communism relative to the promises that had originally been made. Lots like that. The way to end up in the gulag was to tell jokes about actual party leaders, especially Lenin and Stalin. Very few like that.
As for Trump jokes, there was also this from Quora: What’s the best Donald Trump joke you ever heard? I don’t know if you can link from here but I read through as many as I could bear – there are at the present 2566 of them. For myself, I found them unbelievably tedious, almost entirely retreads from other contexts and other politicians. Not witty and not fun. Might help Democrats and other socialists relieve their tension but not funny. See for yourself if you can bear it. And because it’s Quora, there was not a single pro-Trump joke I came across.
It would be mind-numbing to go through the lot but this one had 12.1k upvotes. It is an old joke which I actually quite like which I heard long before and about someone else, not sure it wasn’t an Irish joke to begin with. I won’t put it down in full. It’s a shaggy dog story in which the President secludes himself from everyone and as the Secretary of this or the Secretary of that comes to see him to deal with some emergency he sends them packing because he is so busy. Finally:
Sanders open the door slowly and finds a disheveled unshaven Trump sitting at his desk with a big grin on his face. On top of his desk is a completed 30-piece puzzle of the New York skyline.
Sanders doesn’t know what to make of it.
Trump leans back triumphantly in his chair and says. “I’ve got something for your next press conference…” Sarah takes out her notebook.
“You see that puzzle?” Trump asks pointing at his desk. “Well, the box says ‘3 to 7 years’ and me, I finished it in JUST 6 DAYS!”
I would be interested if anyone has a really good Donald Trump joke, either for him or against him. Meanwhile there are lots of jokes about the Democrats I do find funny. E.g.
Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place.