Advent Calendar 16 – “What is short and unfunny?”

 

Hallo ihr alle,

it’s the 16 December, and today we’ll look at something truly sad.

German jokes

Yes, jokes. Just because Germans can’t laugh that doesn’t mean that they can’t have jokes. They have lots of them. At least a dozen. And because a dozen  is WAY too many for one article, we’ll focus on one particular genre. A genre has jokes so flat, it makes a phone company look like the Himalaya.
Uhhhh. Yeah, THAT flat.
I’m talking about what I call “Was ist”-Witze. Here’s an example:

Was ist weiß und rollt den Berg hoch?
Eine Lawine mit Heimweh.

What’s white and rolling up the mountain?
A homesick avalanche.


First time I played cricket by the way. Badum tish.
And if you think that’s unfunny than you REALLY won’t have a problem making a Merkel face in a minute when you see the ones I want to show you. A sub-genre of what-jokes so to speak. In every sense of the word, because they’re so sub, they make U96 look like a plane (uhm… you can look that up later).
I’m talking about “What-is” jokes that are based on wordplay – German really likes those.
So here we go.
Can you figure out the joke :D?

Was schwimmt im Wasser und frisiert Autos?
(What swims in water and tunes cars?)
Ein Tunefisch.

 

***

Was ist rot und sitzt auf dem WC?
(What’s red and sits on the toilet?)
Eine Klomate.

***

Was ist Brad Pitt am Freitag Nachmittag in New York?
(What’s Brad Pitt on a Friday afternoon in New York?)
Stauspieler.

***

Was ist grün und arbeitet für die CIA?
(What’s green and works for the CIA?)
Spionat.

***

Was hat Haare und liegt in der Pfanne?
(What has hairs and is lying the frying pan)
Bartkartoffeln.

***

Was ist gelb, fettig und geht jeden Tag in die Kirche?
Frommes.
(fromm – pious)

 

I know, I know… they’re really stupid. But they’re also kind of surprising, which makes them more enjoyable for me than many other jokes.
I feel like Germans really have a soft spot for these kinds of flat wordplay jokes.
And the best thing is, everybody can come up with new ones. And that’s where you come in.

I hereby challenge you to make up your own joke. That’s what you gotta do to maybe win today’s giveaway. 

Come on. You totally got this. If you think “My god, this is the dumbest joke I ever heard.” then it’s probably just about right :).
So go ahead, and put your jokes in the comments. And also, how is it in your language? Do you have these What-is-jokes? And do you have these word play ones? And maybe the most important question… do you find them funny? Let me know in the comments below.
Hope you had some fun. I didn’t. But that’s because I’m German so I can’t.
Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Oh, here’s one I made up in English… do you know the answer ;)?

What is soon in the White House and makes “Kind of Blue”?

 

for members :)

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person243
person243

A Trumpet! Sorry, I don’t know many such jokes. There is: “Was ist ein Cowboy ohne Pferd? Ein Sattelschlepper!” (What’s a cowboy without horse? A saddle carrier/truck traktor train [is that the right word?]) and let me think of one: “Was ist ein türkischstämmiger, islamischer Schweizer? Ein Müsli’!” (What is a Turkish, Islamic Swizz? [word that sounds like the German moslem but with Swizz ending -li which makes it the word for cereals])

German-is-easy

That works in English, too, actually. And even without the Swiss part (though that’s neat, too)

– Which breakfast preys to Allah? A Musli.

aoind
aoind

Was macht eine “leichte” Mahlzeit am Morgen?
Frühbirne

German-is-easy

:D… nice! (kleine Korrektur: was ist would be better than “was macht”. German doesn’t have this “so and so makes for a …” phrasing.

Aleisha Kudrass
Aleisha Kudrass

ahaha, ohhh trumpet. Yes…. unfortunately a trumpet. He really does suit his name.

We definitely have those kind of jokes in New Zealand. I think we like sarcasm a lot and a twisted sense of humour (have you seen the flight of the conchords? Movies which display our sense of humour pretty good are ‘two little boys’, ‘boy’ and ‘hunt for the wilderpeople’. We like laughing out our ignorant, laid-back selves and also the annoying Australians.

I know a few classics in the style you mentioned:

What’s brown and sticky? (A stick)
What’s white and black and red all over? (A newspaper)

German-is-easy

Is that “red all over” a jab at the newspapers being all leftie/commie?

Anonymous
Anonymous

it doesn’t work as well in writing…when you say it, people naturally think “red”, but actually it’s “read”. i.e., What’s black and white and read all over.

German-is-easy

Ohhh… ach soooo :)

stosselgg

OK, I can’t resist a challenge, so here’s my growner…

Wer steckt Brot in Reihen in den Ofen?
Ein Linebäcker

German-is-easy

Hahaha… took me a second. These are the best ones.

Anonymous
Anonymous

What do you call the new girl working at the bank?
A Nutella

German-is-easy

LOL!!! This one is amazing. Did you make that up??

formaneka
formaneka

Mein Brudder hat diese Witze come up with (how do I say come up with in German?)
Obwohl er wirklich kein Deutsch kennt—er hat zwei woerter gelernt, genug fuer diese WortSpiel in zwei Sprache.

How do you say guerilla warfare in German?

AffeWaffe

david

Welches Auto fehlt eine Kupplung? Ein Auto.

German-is-easy

Wait, I’m not sure I get it. Is it a jab at automatic transmission? Then I did get it :D. Kleine Korrekturen:

Welchem (Dativ) Auto fehlt eine (feminine) Kupplung? Einem Auto.

Lex
Lex

Not sure if this fits the requirement…but here it goes:

Welche Stadt in Amerika hat die größte Zahl der Morde im Schlafzimmer?

Hackensack New Jersey!

Lex
Lex

maybe I should clarify – Welche Stadt in Amerika hat die größte Zahl der Axt Morde im Schlafzimmer?

Is that any better now? :/

German-is-easy

So I think I got it :). But does the New Jersey play a role, too? Or is it just there because the city really exists?

TimM
TimM

Wie nennt man ein unverdauliches Brot, das nicht mehr da ist?
Stohlen

(Funktioniert vielleicht besser auf Englisch. Allerdings bin ich Komiker, und koennta dafuer meinen Job verlieren.)

German-is-easy

Hilf mir mal… heißt ein unverdauliches Brot “stollen” auf Englisch?? (Du kannst auch anonym antworten, damit du keine Jobprobleme kriegst :)

TimM
TimM

Entschuldigung, ich habe deine Antwort gerade gesehen.

Es war ein Wortwitz mit ‘Stollen’ und ‘(ge)stohlen’. Ich meinte nur, dass es vielleicht besser als Englisch funktioniert, denn die Vergangenheit von ‘steal’ ‘stolen’ ist, statt ‘gestohlen’. Stollen ist aber hier (NZ) gar nicht so bekannt als in Deutschland (selber kenne ich es, aber ich meine, ich habe es nie gegessen).

Allerdings ist es ein total fuerchtbarer Witz. Vergiss mal, dass ich es geschrieben habe!

German-is-easy

Kein Problem, ich mache auch viele schlechte Witze :). Eine kleine Sche… ich glaube, du hast “allerdings” falsch verwendet, aber ich bin nicht sicher.
Wie meintest du es in diesem Kontext?

TimM
TimM

Ach so. Du hast recht. Ich meinte “anyway”. Wahrscheinlich sollte ich ‘sowieso’/’jedenfalls’ gesagt haben.

German-is-easy

“jedenfalls” is perfect. Or “auf jeden Fall”. “Sowieso” wouldn’t match.

Ruth
Ruth

Was ist ein Nagetier vorm Frühstück?
Ein Leerschweinchen.

One in English that I’m sure was old when I was a child is = What do you get if you cross a kangaroo with a sheep?
A woolly jumper.

German-is-easy

Beide superniedlich :)

Ruth
Ruth

Another very old one that works in any language, so here’s an attempt in German – Was ist die einzige Zigarette mit einem Bild der Fabrik am Päckchen?

Camel.

German-is-easy

Den versteh ich nicht… Hilfe bitte.

Ruth
Ruth

Das Bild am Päckchen ist eines Kamel. Die Zigaretten riecht oder schmeckt wie Kamelscheiße.

Ruth
Ruth

Selbstkorrektur – riechen oder schmecken

German-is-easy

Ah… dann hatte ich es doch richtig verstanden :)

Ruth
Ruth

There should be a lot of people who learned German in New South Wales high schools long ago who know that there are indeed German jokes. Enough that the passage to translate from German to English in every German exam I did (at least 11 of them) was a joke of some sort. By the time the pattern was clear German exams were something to look forward to! I don’t remember any of the jokes, only the anticipation and enjoyment. And the fact that getting the punch line could help to fill gaps in the middle.
I suppose the New South Wales Education Department kept a substantial file of carefully graded German jokes. Sort of hope it’s still there somewhere. One of our final year texts was Frisch’s “Biedermann und die Brandstifter,” a seriously comic/comically serious play.
Deutsch may not be einfach but it really can be Spaß.

Anonymous
Anonymous

¿Cómo se dice ‘autobús’ en alemán? Suben, estrujan, bajan!!

German-is-easy

What does that mean? Google tranlate failed me :)

billkamm
billkamm

“¿Cómo se dice ‘autobús’ en alemán?” means “how do you say bus in German” and “Suben, estrujan, bajan!!” means basically “get on, squeeze in, and get off”. I’m not a native speaker in Spanish though, so I could be missing some nuance here.

Btw I don’t get the Klomate answer. I see the word Klo in there, but I can’t think of a German word for something that is red that looks like the word Klomate that would be sitting on a toilet. Can you help me out with that?

German-is-easy

Sure, “Tomate” :). It’s REALLY stupid.
Now help me out in return and explain the bus one. Doesn’t that apply to every bus ever?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I understand the bus thing as much as I understand why there is a tomato sitting on a toilet lol.

I’ve found multiple articles that say the play on words deals with sexual assault of women in crowded busses. “squeeze” means to squeeze their boobs, “go down” instead of getting off the bus means for your hand to go down their pants. I have to yet figure out what this has to with German though. I google image searched it and pictures of hitler, swastikas, and VW mini-buses came back. I’m starting to think I don’t want to realize what the connection is. Maybe it is something as innocent ast the public busses are crowded like VW Mini-buses? Who knows.

Macah
Macah

My feeling is, the German connection is more the sounds the words make may remind people of the stereotypical way people think German sounds when you don’t speak it (the J in these verbs is a hard J sound, as in Jose”) , I guess we should bear in mind that most people would’ve watched 2WW movies and therefore think German is very sharp language and that people shout a lot and/or only give instructions or something. Before I ever came to Germany I also thought that sterotype was somehow true (hard language), after 6 years in Berlin I think can be very gentle too.

Pretty lame in my opinion.

Ano Menschkind Königin
Ano Menschkind Königin

Okay… bei meiner ABF & ich haben wir beide zweisprachig & zweideutige Witze (ich kann beide Hindi & Deutsch), also wird es uns viel, viel lustiger xD

Aber, ich habe 1 für dich:

Wunderschöne lange Wurst,
Mach meine Hunger abgekürzt!

(Kontext: Ich hatte zum 1. Mal deutsche Würste gegessen & ich war in sie so beeindruckt dass ich diese Strophe schrieb. Nur viel später wusste ich wegen der ABF dass es zweideutig klingt :/ )

German-is-easy

Gibt es solche “was-ist”-Witze eigentlich auch in Hindi?

Ano Menschkind Königin
Ano Menschkind Königin

Es ist mehr ein englisches Ding. Normalerweise wenn man diese was ist Witze machen geht es mehr um belästigen :/

Anonymous
Anonymous

What do you call a fake noodle?

An impasta!

German-is-easy

Einfach super :)