Think You're Stupid? It's Just Italian Humour

Two men are in a mall.

"I need to go find my wife."

"Me too! How does your wife look like?"

"She's tall, blonde, with blue eyes and a great cleavage."

"In this case, I'll come look for yours as well!"

Haha-ha. Did you think this was funny?

The face says it all.

Here's another one:

On Monday, Giovanni opens his lunch box during break, takes out a sandwich with butter and anchovies, looks at it and throws it away, disgusted. On Tuesday, he does the same thing. And on Wednesday, and Thursday, the sandwich with butter and anchovies lands in the bin. On Friday, his friend Giuseppe asks him: "Why don't you ask your mother to prepare a sandwich you actually like?" Giovanni looks at him. "My mother doesn't prepare it. I'm preparing it myself."

I didn't get this one and needed to have it explained to me that the gist of this joke is Giovanni's stupidity. I still didn't see why it was funny. And I felt very stupid.

At first I thought it was my fault. Whenever an Italian was telling a joke or thought something was incredibly funny and I didn't get it, I desperately started to mull it over in my head and look for some double sense, some hidden intelligence, some witty remark. All while the joke-teller stared at me with this expectant look and made gestures and "Eh? Eh? Capito?"-noises. Then I understood that there actually is nothing I missed.

Italian humour is one thing: Incredibly simple. Tune into any episode of a 90ies sitcom to understand what I am getting at. Sorry Italians. You have funny and adorable accents when you speak any foreign language. You are beautiful people with the best wine and hand-gesture culture ever. Your food? Amazing. But your jokes? Not funny. Not. One. Bit.

Of course the entire Italian nation disagrees with me. A few years ago, I went to see famous Italian comedian Gigi Proietti's show. All 3000 seats were sold out, standing ovations already at his entrance onto the stage. He started singing and I didn't know why. In general there was quite a lot of singing in the following four (four😳) hours.

He made fun of Italian TV-celebrities (alright, it might have helped if I knew any of them), continued with a long monologue and then did strange imitations. Then he dressed up in a toga and coughed exaggeratedly several times while shouting "Che caldo, che caldo!", for what seemed ten minutes. Needless to say that I didn't understand what was going on. While my mind slowly drifted off to analyzing the fascinating architecture of the tilted ceiling, E. was laughing like a mad person next to me, exactly like all the other 2998 spectators. "He's doing wordplay!" he yelled unhelpfully in my direction. Yes, right. It was as if I had never heard this language before.

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