Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Canadian Humour

Canadian Humour is a bit of a strange phenomena... extremely common but strange, especially to an outsider.

Some ground rules...

The majority of Canadians have a very good sense of humour. Canadians like to laugh at everything... their country, other people's countries, their politics, other people's politics, situations, controversial issues... everything. Sometimes it may seem inappropriate. In fact if they are making fun of your country, religion, or anything else that may be related to you... don't be alarmed. It is probably not necessary to take offense. A Canadian in their next breath may turn around and make fun of their own country, religion, etc. It's just what we do. Everything is funny... sometimes even when it is not funny.

Another thing to look out for, especially if English (of French depending on the situation) is a second language to you is sarcasm. Canadians use a lot of sarcasm. You can be having a perfectly serious conversation and then sarcasm will be thrown in there out of the blue. Sometimes a whole conversation may be sarcastic. If you are not from Canada and you miss the sarcasm usually Canadians will apologize and point it out to you... unless they decide given the context that it is more humourous not to.

Another popular type of humour in Canada is comparative humour. Generally this type of huomur involves Canada comparing Canada and the USA. Again this is not usually a cause for offense! Hold on while I explain. Canadians and Americans get along quite well. The reasons for Canadians to compare themselves to Americans are simple. The first one is American politics. Often what Canadians mean when they compare Canada and America is actually they are comparing American politics to how things are done in Canada. Often Canadians may hold different political opinions than those in office in the USA. The problem in this humour is it often appears in a more generalized form so it sounds like a Canadian is comparing Canadians to the American public rather than say... the President of the USA. (Being well travelled I personally try to stay away from such generalizations because they can harbour resentments when the humour is misinterpreted). The other reason Canadians feel the need to compare themselves to Americans is an issue of Canadian identity. Canadians and Americans are similar in many ways... however in recent years there has been a strong desire among Canadians to create an identity that makes them stand out from the USA. This has come about due to the larger size, population and economic power of the USA but was perhaps sparked by beer ads a number of years ago that where aired by Molson Canadian with the slogan "I AM CANADIAN". For the record a lot of the information that was supposed to highlight Canadian achievements was false and should not be quoted! After all, even Canadians should know better than to let beer do the talking! So yes, comparative humour is usually meant to be harmless but it sometimes goes too far and something should be said to stop it.

There is also comparative humour between provinces, towns, cities and regions within Canada. This can also go too far at times. Canadian humour may have different variations depending on the region as well. For instance Newfoundland humour is not entirely the same as British Columbian humour, which is not the same as Albertan humour, Torontonian humour, or Quebec humour. I could give you reasons for this but it would involve using comparative humour...

The last "serious" aspect of humour I want to discuss is Canadian comedians and celebrities. Humour in media is not limited to comedians and political comics. If you were to watch CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) you would even find humour in the news... generally involving annoucers bantering back and forth between segments. Canadian humour also finds its was into Canadian music. A prime example of this is the Arrogant Worms. (Also of note to Canadians... the song "War of 1812" is not an Arrogant Worms song! It is sung by the band Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie. Look it up! Another Canadian fact!) True there are lots of great Canadian comedians who are humourous as a profession: Rick Mercer, the cast from 22 Minutes, and Red Green just to name a few!

You may be wondering why this entry which has some truly controversial content in it would come first. Simple. It seemed best to get it out of the so that when I am using humour later on in other entries you'll recognize it. (Hopefully.) Now let's stop being so serious for a moment. I'm going to include a few jokes here that are by Canadians and about Canadians. (Laughter Encouraged... even if you don't get it.)

You Might Be Canadian If...

1. You bring a portable TV on a camping trip so that you don't miss Hockey Night.
2. You can repeat the entire Molson's Canadian 'The Rant'.
3. You know all the words to "If I had a million dollars" by The Barenaked Ladies, including the inter-stanza banter between Steven and Ed.
4. You dismiss all beers under 6% as "for children and the elderly."
5. You hum David Foster's '88 Calgary Olympics theme in the shower.
6. You know that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) don't always look like that.
7. You make up patriotic lyrics to go along with David Foster's '88 Calgary Olympics theme.
8. You cried when Gus "drowned" on Road To Avonlea.
9. You remember when Alanis Morrissette was "Too Hot To Hold".
10. You think there isn't enough of Peter Gzowski to go around.
11. You think it's normal to have a grain elevator in your backyard.
12. You watch MuchMusic constantly, in the hopes of occasional fleeting glimpses of The Tragically Hip.
13. You have an Inuit carving by your bedside with the rationale, "what's good enough protection for the Prime Minister, is good enough for me!"
14. You can sing "O' Canada" in French and actually know what the words mean.
15. You send angry letters to the CBC demanding the return of the Hinterland Who's Who spots so you can finally find out what happens to the arctic ptarmigan in winter.
16. You participate in Participaction!
17. You think Peter Mansbridge is sexy.
18. You stood in line for hours for Another Roadside Attraction tickets.
19. You killed your best friend for Another Roadside Attraction tickets.
20. You think Great Big Sea isn't Atlantic-centric enough.

21. You go check out the unabbreviated version of this list:


Top 10 Reasons to be from British Columbia

1. Weed
2. Vancouver: 1.5 million people and two bridges
3. The local hero is a pot-smoking snowboarder
4. The local wine doesn't taste like malt vinegar
5. Your $400,000 Vancouver home is 5 hours from downtown
6. A university with a nude beach
7. You can throw a rock and hit three Starbucks locations
8. There's always some sort of deforestation protest going on
9. Cannabis
10. If the weather's bad, wait five minutes.


How do you get 100 Canadians out of a swimming pool on the hottest day of the summer?

Just yell "Ok now, everyone out of the pool!"


A Canucklehead goes into a Tim Horton's in Gander and notices there's a "Roll Up The Rim To Win" Contest going on. So, he rolls it up and starts screaming;
"I've won a motor home! I've won a motor home!"
The girl at the counter says, "That's impossible. The biggest prize is a car".
But the person keeps on screaming, "I've won a motor home! I've won a motor home!"
Finally, the manager comes over and says, "I'm sorry, but
you're mistaken. You couldn't have possibly won a motor home because we didn't have that as a prize!"
The person says, "No, it's not a mistake. I've won a motor
home!" They hand the cup to the manager and he reads..........

"W I N A B A G E L"


there will be more Canadian jokes in later entries!

***The owner of this blog does not share the views of anything said by people that are linked from this entry, but may still find these views funny!***

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