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Humor Around the World

Updated on February 17, 2008

Jokes Around the World

Jokes are a universal joy that humans have specially preserved in a specific art and form. Precision, synthesis, and wit are the key ingredients in making the perfect one liner. Contrary to the belief that the best jokes arise from a burst of inspiration, there is a required structure, and rhythm needed for a joke to have the desired impact.

Research on humor around the world shows an interesting array of tastes, and trends. Groups of countries shared similar interests, while others failed to show a specific trend.

Starting with Americans and Canadians, research shows that they had a preference for jokes involving a superior intellectual mocking an ignorant individual.

The UK, Australia, and New Zealand liked jokes involving word plays, usually using mischievous sexual connotations.

European countries such as Belgium and Denmark enjoyed jokes with phantasmagoric qualities. Another strong trend in Europe are jokes about death and serious subjects associated with stress.

Germany stands out uniquely as the only country that didn't show a specific preference for a certain type of joke, enjoying various jokes from different styles.

Research shows that these are the 5 countries who found the most pleasure from a wide variety of jokes....

1) Germany

2) France

3) Denmark

4) United Kingdom

5) Australia

......Europeans come out as the easiest crowd to amuse!

Theories to the need for Humor

Humor and the jokes it utilizes has been pondered on and theorized by various people. From our need to feel superior, the repression of human feelings, and amusement from the irrational, these theories have tried to pin humor's elusive purpose.

The three most prominent theories to humor are Freudian's Humor Theory, the Superiority Theory, and the Incongruity Theory....

Freud's Humor Theory: Sigmund Frued's place as one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers is undeniable. His freudian slip stems from his belief of why there is humor. Freud believed that since society repressed thoughts of agression, sex, and immorality, humans let out their pent up feelings and thoughts through jokes.Freud also believed that jokes acted as a stress reliever, by releasing pent up thoughts and making them amusing.

Superiority Theory: This theory derives from how humans laugh over the mistakes, and shortcomings of another human. A classic example is when someone trips on a banana peel, and we laugh. This feeling of superiority fuels humor, and we achieve amusement from another person's inferior move.

Incongruity Theory: The Incongruity Theory is the most popular humor theory. The theory is based around the amusement a human feels when faced with unnatural, and odd scenario. For example, when an animal walks in the bar, or how a man met his demise from a mad pie. It's these abstract events, and odd characters that we find funny.

Prefrontal Cortex and Humor

The brain assembles our thoughts, and operates our body, so it's not suprising to find that a specific area of the brain, called the Prefrontal Cortex holds our ability for humor. This area of our brain is used for flexible thinking, to untangle an abstract idea, and understand it's amusing message.

Tests show that when people read one liners off of a page, the Prefrontal Cortex showed visible change in activity, and was the most active part during the thinking process. It is also reported that people who have damaged this area find it harder to grasp a joke and find it funny.

The 4 Funniest Jokes in the World

After heavy searching and voting, the top four funniest jokes in the world have been unveiled.....

Source: Wikipedia

The Wise Hunter

#1 - Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

Sherlock Holmes and the stolen tent

#2 - Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" exclaims Watson.

"And what do you deduce from that?"

Watson ponders for a minute.

"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

Monkey Baby

#3 - A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: "That's the ugliest baby that I've ever seen. Ugh!" The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: "The driver just insulted me!" The man says: "You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you."

Sad but True

#4 - A woman rushed to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off: "Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face! What's WRONG with me, Doctor!?"

The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says: "Well, I can tell you that there ain't nothing wrong with your eyesight."

Interesting Facts

- Ducks are the easiest, and funniest animals to mock

- The funniest jokes have around 105 words

- People who are able to accept humor easily, are more likely to have a stronger immune system

- Laughing speedens the heart rate, and forces one to breath deeper

- It is reported that a hearty laugh provides a heart rate increase up to par with 15 minutes of biking

- The philosopher Aristotle was fascinated by laughter, and wrote many papers on the subject

- A research says that %35 of people have been amused in the past week, and %65 have been amused in the past year

- A survey showed that the chance of finding humor in a joke is greatest in the 15th of the month at 6 pm in the evening.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      The first three were pretty good, but the last one's not even in the first one million. It's also pretty funny how I could anticipate the ending to ALL of the four funniest jokes in the world.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      9 years ago from California Gold Country

      I find it not so amusing that 65% of people have been amused in the last year. That means 35% have not found anything amusing-- Glad I don't hang with that crowd.

      Good article.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This article is really amusing, particularly the jokes!!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      It was really amusing! I enjoyed the jokes.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I think is a very interesting article, due to the fact that I could know how the humour is in other countries and besides I could enjoy reading the jokes.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm on hysterics and my trousers are wet.

    • profile image

      just laugh! 

      10 years ago

      Facundo when did you take yourself the photo at the beginning?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The one of the tent was awesome! LOL :-)

    • Talem profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from South Carolina

      Yeah, the top 4 jokes were hiarious.

      And thanks for the compliment.

    • darkside profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      I like the information you've presented in this hub. It's made for a very interesting read.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Talem, this is great! I love the monkey baby joke :)

    • Talem profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks :). I found the trends around the world to be particularly interesting.

    • topstuff profile image


      10 years ago

      Humor is good in many aspects.good attempt to shed light on its importance


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