ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hilarious History

Updated on January 13, 2013

Welcome to Hilarious History

This light-hearted lens is devoted to the funny side of history (otherwise known as a pretentious perspective on the past).

Who says "history is passé"? Who wouldn't want to visit a large library full of dusty dissertations about daring or dastardly dudes who are deader than a doornail, not to mention peruse the pages of dog-eared documents about the occasional buxom babe bereft of life by a power-hungry pudgy prince?

Learning history is as easy as changing a few laugh lines. It might even tickle your funnybone or satisfy your insatiable appetite for a juicy story!

_____________

Image Credit: Caricatures by Charles Philipon

WHY STUDY HISTORY?

Well, the simple answer is that it is one way for Joe Blow or Susie Q to gain a perspective on what makes people tick, or get ticked off when things don't go their way, and all hell breaks loose in the sandbox of life. It's also a great way to keep score on who won which wars and walked off with all the wampum. Better yet, in that great game of life (better known as "Kick the Can"), everyone needs to know who's been crowned the "King of the Castle", who got the finger...the "Dirty Rascal" and what are the odds of you winning any time soon.

The long answer is that often power-hungry politicians need pandering public relations people plus a passel of paltering pundits (who for the most part reside in ivory towers). Their job is to tar and feather adversaries, to tantalize the troops with trumped up tales, and to create delightful diversions among the masses (as to who can make the biggest and best bread loaves and circuses).

Who did what to whom, where, when and why as well as how are really important things to know -- especially for homo sapiens who currently rule the roost (or the sandbox if you prefer).

Some historians spend their entire lives compiling and chronicling tempests in ancient teapots, while others have focused on who called the kettle black in the Dark Ages. Still others have used their considerable talent to come up with half-baked history filled with intriguing ingredients such as hilarious half-truths mixed with misguided meanderings.

All this makes for what one might call entertaining events (which have been peppered with a pinch of salt, not to mention oodles of pith and vinegar).

____________

Image Credit: http://torontoist.com

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY...

USE OF THE WORD *UCK IN HISTORY

--"Any *ucking idiot could understand that." - Albert Einstein

-- "Why? Because it's *ucking there that's why!" - Sir Edmund Hillary

-- "Where the *uck is all this water coming from?" - The Captain of the Titanic

-- "You want what on the *ucking ceiling?" - Michelangelo

-- "How the *uck did you work that you out? - Pythagoras

-- "Heads are going to *ucking roll." - Anne Boleyn

-- "Scattered *ucking showers my ass." - Noah

_____________

Image Credit: Einstein caricature - jipi3@flickr.com

Words by Lawrence Dorfman from "The Snark Handbook - Insult Edition - Comebacks, Taunts, and Effronteries, p. 74"

Historical Facts

How the ancients got a good night's sleep

Illustration Credit: clipartof.com - Image #61530

The ancient Egyptians may have slept on pillows made of stone, but you can be darn sure that the Queen of the Nile never slept on a bed of nails!

BRITISH HISTORY BUFF BOOKSHELF

1066 & All That: 75th Anniversary Edition (Methuen Humour)
1066 & All That: 75th Anniversary Edition (Methuen Humour)

A great romp through ripsnorting English history.

 
The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody (Nonpareil Books)
The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody (Nonpareil Books)

For those who love a good story about those who fall from lofty pedestels and perches.

 
Great Tales from English History: A Treasury of True Stories about the Extraordinary People -- Knights and Knaves, Rebels and Heroes, Queens and Commoners -- Who Made Britain Great
Great Tales from English History: A Treasury of True Stories about the Extraordinary People -- Knights and Knaves, Rebels and Heroes, Queens and Commoners -- Who Made Britain Great

What's not to like about colorful characters who reflect humour, incompetence, bravery, apathy, sorrow, and lust; isn't that what life's all about?

 
Great Tales from English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionheart, and More
Great Tales from English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionheart, and More

Nothing but the "naked" truth or naughty narrative about some entertaining English heroes and heroines.

 
English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable
English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable

A thousand years of history all condensed into one pith and vinegar pocketbook that is sure to delight those who appreciate royal scandals and soap operas.

 

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?

1) The first-known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 BC.

2) Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a mourning symbol when their cats died.

3) And, if that wasn't enough...most of them died before the age of thirty (maybe from an overdose of croc crap?)

WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO STUDY PAST POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE?

The best place to study the past in all its glory and godforsaken goof-ups is in a large library.

Where else would they keep all the dusty disserations and dog-eared documents about dead dames and dudes? Pray tell where else would you expect to find tomes of truthiness begging to be grabbed, leafed through, and devoured by either harmless history buffs or hapless homo sapiens cramming for a "who won what, where, when, why and how" exam.

Just like toilets, taverns, and tress salons, (many of which had restricted access on the basis of gender), what constituted a "history" was often confined to the patriarchal perspective on important stuff that befell beau-hunks and landed on lunkheads in the good old days.

History is herstory too! Today, those wishing to study "herstory" can now enjoy the point of view of babes who not only had to take a back-seat to the boys but also had to endure cockaludicrous comments plus the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune weilded by politically-incorrect princes, pontiffs, and professors in the past.

If truth be told, females the world over know where "The Fickle Finger of Fate" is pointing her pinky! Besides that, they also know that well-behaved women rarely make history!

____________

Image Credit: ww.wvculture.org - image - textbookmoore

HILARIOUS HISTORY BOOKSHELF

Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages
Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages

A boisterous book about hilarity in history not to mention merriment and mythconceptions.

 
Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions (Stupid History)
Stupid American History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions (Stupid History)

A "must have" books if you want to understand the idiocy and inanity that lies at the heart of America -- home of the brave and, apparently, the stupid and gullible

 
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader:   Plunges into History
Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: Plunges into History

Who said plunging into history isn't fun?

 

If you're so Goth, where were you when we sacked Rome?

So which parrot in history got the boot?

At Andrew Jackson's funeral in 1845, his pet parrot had to be removed because it was swearing.

WHAT'S SO FUNNY ABOUT HISTORY? - Well, if you have to ask...here are a few good answers!

What is history but a fable agreed upon. -- Anonymous

Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects. -- Herodotus

[Some historians hold that history] is just one damned thing after another. -- Arnold Toynbee

All the ancient histories, as one of our wits say, are just fables that have been agreed upon. -- Voltaire

History is merely gossip. -- Oscar Wilde

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience." -- George Bernard Shaw

The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history. -- Bertrand Russell

History supplies little beyond a list of those who have accommodated themselves with the property of others. -- Voltaire

You don't change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall. -- Jawaharlal Nehru

We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn't think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre. -- Dick Gregory

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Sir Winston Churchill

The history of the world is the record of a man in quest of his daily bread and butter. -- Hendrik Wilhelm van Loon

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there. -- George Santayana

History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up. -- Voltaire

It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world would occasionally swap history books, just to see what other people are doing with the same set of facts. -- Bill Vaughan

History - that little sewer where man loves to wallow. -- Francis Ponge

Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice. -- Will and Ariel Durant, Our Oriental Heritage

History is the short trudge from Adam to atom. -- Leonard Louis Levinson

History: An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools. -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

History: a collection of epitaphs. -- Elbert Hubbard

[W]hat mountains of dead ashes, wreck and burnt bones, does assiduous pedantry dig up from the past time and name it History. -- Thomas Carlyle

History, in general, only informs us what bad government is. -- Thomas Jefferson

History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes. -- Mark Twain

I grew up in Europe, where history comes from. -- Eddie Izzard

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." -- H. G. Wells

There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good. -- Stephen Colbert

_____________

Image Credit: Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com

"The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky."

-- Solomon Short --

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

"Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

_____________

Image Credit: Napoleon Bonaparte caricature - www.toonpool.com/user/3404/files/napoleon_827685

A QUIRKY QUEEN SPEAKS HER MIND - Queen Victoria was never at a loss for words!

"The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them."

"An ugly baby is a very nasty object - and the prettiest is frightful."

"The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone in checking this mad, wicked folly of 'Women's Rights'. It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself."

____________

Image Credit: Queen Victoria caricature - douceart.blogspot.com/2009/04/queen-victoria

George Carlin - A Slice of American History

The Amusing American History Bookshelf

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between. -- Oscar Wilde

How Come They Always Had The Battles in National Parks? A Factual and Funny Survey of American History from the Beginning Through the Civil War
How Come They Always Had The Battles in National Parks? A Factual and Funny Survey of American History from the Beginning Through the Civil War

National parks and national heroes have a lot in common -- kids usually dislike having to study them or visit them, but this book might be just the thing to read on those long road trips.

 
Hometown Revelations - How America's cities, towns, and states acquired their names
Hometown Revelations - How America's cities, towns, and states acquired their names

This historical trivia about towns with odd names just might tickle your funnybone and help you learn a little history to boot!

 
How the States Got Their Shapes
How the States Got Their Shapes

A great way to glean all manner of intriguing information about American geography and history without boring anyone to death.

 
The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution (Pt. 1)
The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution (Pt. 1)

An artful if not amusing looking at world and American history from the point of view of humor.

 
The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 2: From the Bastille to Baghdad
The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 2: From the Bastille to Baghdad

The second volume of hilarious history makes it easier to remember the facts, especially when it's filled with funny pictures and witty words!

 

So Smarty Pants - What's the Shortest War in History?

"The shortest war on record, between Britain and Zanibar in 1896, lasted only 83 minutes.

WHAT IS A HISTORIAN? - Well, if you really must know...

Historian: A broad-gauge gossip. -- Ambrose Bierce

Historian: an unsuccessful novelist. -- H.L. Mencken

Historians are gossips who tease the dead. -- Voltaire

Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them. -- Leo Tolstoy

If an historian were to relate truthfully all the crimes, weaknesses and disorders of mankind, his readers would take his work for satire rather than for history. --Pierre Bayle, Historical and Critical Dictionary

Too many so-called historians are really 'hysterians'; their thinking is more visceral than cerebral. When their duties as citizens clash with their responsibilities as scholars, Clio frequently takes a back seat. -- Thomas A. Bailey

____________

Image Credit: Ercan Baysal@flickr.com

Ripsnorting Reads Poll

Which Hilarious History Topic Would You Choose for This Month's Dine & Dialogue?

See results

Bloopers & Blunders of World History - As told by students with a humorous sense of time & events!

Here are a number of amusing anecdotes or misguided musings about world history. Compiled by Richard Lederer, they represent a wide assortment of actual student bloopers and mistakes collected by teachers from final history exams or papers.

The inhabitants of Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.

* * *

Without the Greeks, we wouldn't have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns - Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in "The Illiad", by Homer. Homer also wrote the "Oddity", in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athen was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.

* * *

In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote literature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

* * *

The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello's interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself be fore her troops, they all shouted "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.

* * *

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe. Later the Pilgrims crossed the Ocean, and the was called the 6cPilgrim's Progress. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they were greeted by Indians, who came down the hill rolling their was hoops before them. The Indian squabs carried porposies on their back. Many of the Indian heroes were killed, along with their cabooses, which proved very fatal to them. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their pacels through the post without stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. When Lincoln was President, he wore only a tall silk hat. He said, "In onion there is strength." Abraham Lincoln write the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope. He also signed the Emasculation Proclamation, and the Fourteenth Amendment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship. But the Clue Clux Clan would torcher and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innocent victims. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

* * *

France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolution, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorrilas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon's flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inheret his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't bear him any children.

* * *

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. He reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick Raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pastuer discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturailst who wrote the "Organ of the Species". Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

* * *

The First World War, cause by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

From the Annals of Amusing Things That Happened Once Upon A Time - Better Known as "Historical Fiction"

"Napoleon's ship tossed and turned as the emperor, listening while his generals squabbled as they always did, splashed the tepid waters in his bathtub."

________________

Image Credit: Dennis Holmes Designs clipartof.com/65622

Quote Credit: Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest - 2011 winning contribution in the category of historical fiction.

POTTY PEOPLE POLL - C'mon I dare ya to answer a simple question...

If you could bring one of the following colorful characters back to life, who would it be?

See results

HISTORY COMES IN HANDY HANDY AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR - Because only Santa Claus knows whether you've been good and deserve a gorgeous gift, or bad and get a large

Of course in the grand scheme of things, only Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates knows whether you deserve a spot in heaven -- so watch what you do and say while you're taking up time and space on planet Earth for pity's sake!

_______________

Image Credit: Santa list illustration - frmheadtotoe.com/naughtynicelist.png

"Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner."

-- Douglas Adams --

FEEDBACK FROM HISTORY BUFFS - What's your favorite tidbit of historical trivia?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      DavidMichaelRay 4 years ago

      I like where they had to remove the parrot from President Jackson's funeral. I could just see that.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Great lens and though you never explicitly say it this way you hint at it: History is what you make of it and you can go about learning it in a way guaranteed to make you want to gauge out your eyeballs... OR you can have a little fun with it and still learn a few things on the way.

    • profile image

      C_Rivait 6 years ago

      Great lens! A lot of good history information. If you are looking for great gifts for a history buff, check out http://yesteeyear.com

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Great lens! Love the quote and perspective. Appropriately appreciative and irreverent! Blessed by this squid angel 4-1-11.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      That George Washington, who proved to be a great politician, was such a poor general that the French generals, Rochambeau actually won the battle of Yorktown (and American independence) with Washington on the sidelines.

      The French won the American War of Independence.

      (I also like the way historians dance around Ben Franklin's playing around with young women in Paris, trying so hard to explain that he wasn't really doing THAT.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      nice lens, well detailed history.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      coin magic tricks | magic card tricks