What Jokes Are Allowed?

The fine line between pissing off the PC people and being right-on.

What did the bus driver say to Christy Brown?

How’re you getting on?

See?  That proves that I hate disabled writers and that I fantasise about people with cerebral palsy being humiliated by petty officials.  Doesn’t it?

Of course it does, but let’s explore how far the prohibition extends.  This is a sort of guide to what is funny and what is not.  Read it carefully.  It might save your job.

You can’t make a joke that includes the word “rape”.  That’s out.  Jokes with the word “rape” in them are never, ever funny.  Got that?  Not funny, ever.  If you tell a joke with the word “rape” in it, you must be somebody who fantasises about raping women. There’s no other way to look at it.  You are a rapist.

You can’t tell a joke that includes the word “paedophilia”.   That’s never funny either.  Not even the one that starts “What’s the main cause of paedophilia?”  If you tell that joke, it means you’re an evil paedophile who fantasises about abusing children, and you should be killed immediately.

Since murder is worse than rape, you might think that telling a joke about murder makes you a depraved killer who fantasises all day and all night about slaughtering people horribly, but apparently not.  Murder is funny.  Murder jokes are always funny, unless they also involve rape or paedophilia.  You can slice a victim into a thousand bloodied parts in your joke as long as you don’t molest them.

It’s a bit of a minefield really.

You can’t tell jokes about cripples, but you can laugh at people who suffer from life-destroying illnesses like alcoholism.

It’s all right to joke about cannibalism.  That’s funny.

You can’t say “cunt” unless you happen to be Derek and Clive.

Extremely painful conditions like gout are also funny, as are videos showing men falling and  damaging their testicles.  However, videos of women falling and injuring their genitalia are definitely not the slightest bit funny.

Jokes about physical deformity are not funny, except in the case of hunch-backs.

You may tell jokes about rednecks but not about Travellers, because that simply would not be funny.  At all.

Mental illess is a tricky area.  Schizophrenia is always funny but not depression.

You may, in certain circumstances, joke about Alzheimers provided you make it very plain that you sympathise with sufferers.

Cancer is never funny and jokes about it are not permitted unless you happen to have cancer yourself, or you happen to be Derek and Clive.

Some jokes about debilitating respiratory disorders are approved while others are not.  Iron lung jokes are funny.   CF jokes are bad.  Sexually transmitted diseases, on the other hand, are  always funny, even when they involve a prolonged and agonising death.

You may also laugh at the genocide of American Indians, but not the genocide of Jews.

You may never, ever laugh at pictures of Muhammad in case somebody shoots you.

I know it’s confusing.  My advice is to avoid making any sort of joke about anything, or laughing at anything.  Ever.

That way, nobody can accuse you of doing wrong.

Best to be safe.



35 thoughts on “What Jokes Are Allowed?

  1. Can you make jokes about asthma attacks?

    I was walking down O’Connell Avenue d’other night and four Asthmatics attacked me.

    We’re going to kick the “wheeeze” bollocks out of “bark” you to use Limerick “cough” vernacular, they gasped.


  2. But…but, you told me a hilarious rape joke not 3 hours ago? Can’t we trust anything you write here?? Now I’m really offended!!

    (p.s. the answer is “sexy kids”)


  3. @ ricepaddy – that’s propagating a negative stereotype around the sacred 3 – i have 3 children and was once 3 years old – how fucking dare you

  4. Years ago an american stand-up comic, whose name escapes me ( apologies, sir), was discussing this very topic in the course of his routine. He maintained that there are only 2 types of people when it comes to humor: assholes and creeps. He proceeded to tell a very un-p.c. joke about deformed babies. He then stated that anyone who had burst out laughing spontaneously at that joke was an asshole. Anyone who had surpressed a laugh, cleared their throat and looked about them to determine who had laughed aloud, was a creep.

    As it turned out, by his criteria, I am an asshole. Any other assholes out there? And, are the PC crowd succeeding, in that you have learned, as I have, to stiffle that laugh until you can gauge how many creeps may be present ?

  5. Heh, went to see a stand-up called Eddie Ifft last night.
    He had a good skit on abducting midgets.

  6. There is a large group of people who are afraid to laugh in case they have crossed the line, they’re not sure they have crossed it (or the comedian has) this is reductionist behaviour and will lead to less jokes, a very bad thing.

    I once wrote a joke in the days I used to do the odd spot of comedy and it simply went “I did not know until recently that Ronan Keating’s mother died of cancer, I always assumed she had died of shame”

    The fact that this joke mentioned cancer (but the joke wasn’t about cancer) still caused people to be uncomfortable, which I found remarkable.

  7. I think the context within which the joke is told is important too.

    “What did the bus driver say to Christy Brown?

    How’re you getting on?”

    Not as funny as the original if it were told by a bus driver for a special needs school.

    “In the RCC, how do they seperate the men from the boys?

    With a crowbar!”

    Not as funny if you overheard two young priests who work with children telling it.

  8. Incest is relatively boring and necrophilia is dead boring, as the bishop said to the actress.

  9. Well, you can say you what you like about paedophiles as far as I’m concerned, but at least they drive slowly past schools.

  10. A bus driver takes a group of blind people on a day out to Kilkee.
    He’s sitting in the strand hotel having a few pints when he bumps into a friend.
    When he explains to his friend why he is “down for de day” His friend asked where’s all the blind fella’s’
    ‘Their playen a game a soccer on the beach’ says the bus driver. ‘Wha? says his friend. Don’t worry bout is says the driver, I’ve a bell tied onto the ball, so they just follow the sound of the bell, and they’ll have a great crack.
    Just then a police siren was heard and a great commotion on the pier. The driver and his pal ran outside.
    ‘What after happenen’ says the driver. Some shower of fucken thugs are after kicken a hare Krishna to death on the beach. Fucken bastards!

  11. ya never mentioned incest

    guy rings his boss and says i won’t be intoday I’m Sick
    How sick are you says the boss
    yer man replies, I’m in bed with me sister.

  12. Given the recent controversy in Mayo i thought this joke was witty:-

    A woman goes into her local Garda Station and informs the desk Sergeant that she was raped.
    I think they were County Council workers says the woman.
    “How do you know that” asks the Sergeant??
    “Sure i had to do all the work myself” replied the woman!!

  13. Years ago a relative of mine was a young cop in Cork straight out of the Depot. Area he was posted to one of the most salubrious tree-lined &c. in or just outside the City. Little copshop he worked out of size of a kiosk. One day him manning the desk young girl maybe 13 walked in told him her dad was raping her regular. My relative had never heard of such a thing, he was horrified. But took her story and filed a report to his sergeant. Sergeant filed a report to the Super. They were prepped to go lift the guy bring him in for questioning when the parish priest made a phone call and the word came back from HQ NFA the file. Case closed. Suspected rapist was a major donor to the Church in Cork. Costigan was Commissioner at the time. Just by way of my earlier point. Rape’s just a joke in Ireland. Maybe when you’ve been raped as a nation for 800 years familiarity breeds contempt.

  14. Great topical post I myself have been a victim of this kind of censorship this very week by incompetent moderators of another site who decide whats funny and whats not.

    Which is quite a difficult task when in life, you’ve had a humour ectomy

    Some very good funny posts, very funny in the context, the world has become too PC for this kind of humour, Jerry Sadowitz should be mandatory viewing, (he has actually sneaked on to You tube at this stage.)

    He even manages a Paedophile joke, because most grown ups in the audience, like him, would not condone the actions of the “king of rock and roll”

    Along the lines of…….

    “It’s a very bad day when the fucking king of rock and roll can’t have sex with whoever he chooses”

    Doesn’t work out of context of his live show

    I’ll try this one

    “Jesus was always giving people new names”

    Jesus says

    “Simon I shall call you Peter”

    Simon Says

    “Peter Lord……. thats a fucking shoe shop ”

    You have to see it delivered, by the big nosed Glaswegian Jewish comedian

    I’m here all week matinee on Saturday bring the kids…. no please bring the kids

  15. I’m glad to hear Jerry Sadowitz is still in business. Magic or coincidence? You decide! Hysterical.

    Why don’t you name and shame that stupid website?

  16. Ok it was the fucking, stupid lame badly moderated Limerick Blogger, I wasn’t sure if you were mates of theirs.

    Last week they had a special on racism, site and moderator sponsored racism, it’ s a handy site if you want a bit of racism, father, or to talk about soaps.

    And several days of posting wasted because some fucking numb nuts suggested Horse racing should be banned because some horse died at the grand national. then several other posters took it seriously and debated it for a couple of days. Like it was a live debate and like anybody was going to ban horse racing

    I’ll probably be banned again so, it’s a bit of a “holy show” as they say in these parts

    Way off topic but you asked

    I enjoy the severe moderation of this site, and the offence appeals to my sensibillity, is that enough plomoss ?

    I have only just realised it is made up of the people who would not post here, because the majority of posters would cause instant offence or not follow the threads.

    Also less alter ego’s here or need for them. And the moderators don’t need 10 alter ego’s to try and control things

    Thanks got that off my chest, Iv’e said my piece, saves me having to buy the webite http://www.the limerickbloogerispants.com

  17. Limerick blogger? Spare me. The sink estate of Irish blogging. What made you think we’d have any connection with such a poor site? They have their place, in the sense that people who want to reminisce about their favourite chip-shops in the 80s have somewhere to go, but that’s about it.

    I might add that a lot of the people who comment there wouldn’t last five seconds on this site. Some have visited and decided they felt more comfortable among people of a similar outlook.

  18. I thought you blogged on ther sometimes ? some people from there blog on here

    But yeah Chip shops, regular feature, racism, whats your favourite Pizza, music, youtube clip,

    And alter egos to beat the band, and thats just the moderators

    Anyway, Sadowitz funniest Jewish Glaswegian doing magic tricks on the circuit, see him most years at the festival, highlight of the fringe, and a great eponent of the humour you describe back on the thread.

    few beers and Sadowtz in the upside down big purple pig, sponsored by C4 doesn’t get any better.

  19. I left a few comments there a couple of years ago but soon realised the whole site was operating at a very low standard. It’s true that some people who comment here also comment there, which I’m glad of. Everyone is welcome here, but I try to set a standard of rigour. I don’t always succeed but that’s the way shit happens. At least I try.

    Anyway, to get back on topic, I’m very glad that Sadowitz is still pissing people off. I was a big fan when he started out.

  20. Sadowitz is still good, been to the festival a few years when he is too wasted to go on stage, he did all that crap on Channel 5 in the uk, he’s very well behaved now.

    I agree LB is a very low standard, but the whole site has great potential, if it wasn’t moderated badly, the number of people who have came, looked and kept going is quite high, ignoring the spammers.

    I’m going to have to finish with a joke here, the idea is good, the theory behind it is good, but doesn’t deliver

    Apologies for the perceived link

  21. delete if you will but I find this funny:

    Two necrophiliacs at it in the morgue.
    “Hey , check out his one’s clit – it’s like a pickle!”
    “Really? like all green and shrivelled?”
    “No, really sour!”

    anyone who doesn’t find that funny is a creep, no doubt.

  22. Chubby Brown, Bernard Manning, Derek and Clive, etc etc. It’s their vulgarity that removes us from the humdrum of a Politically Correct world. I busted my sides at Derek and Clive’s sketch about Cancer simply because I HAVE lost friends and family to this terrible disease. This type of comedy makes light of the some of the most difficult aspects of life and long may it continue.

  23. Bernard Mannigs joke about a Pakistani – and his next door neighbour, a Paki.

    “My neighbour knocked on my door one day and I answered.
    “What do you want, you bastard?
    “You know, I’m a better man that you.
    “How’s that, you cunt.
    “I’m not living next door to a Paki.”

    Manning swore that his next door neighbour, a doctor and from Pakistan, said that to him.

    “Oh well, – people laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian, but they’re not laughing now. (Bob Monkhouse)

  24. bishop getting deressed after sex with his lover.
    lover turns and say’s ‘ i love it when you ejaculate’
    bishop replies, ‘fuck me, but that’s a big word for a nine year old’

  25. I was realy, really depressed last night, almost to the point of suicide, like I had thoughts of suicide. So I decided to ring the Samaritans, thinking that they might be able to help assuage my feelings of dispair..

    Their lines were very busy, what with all that business about Quinn, Libya and Lady Gaga’s tumble on stage, so they transferred me to their International Call Centre, which it turned out, was in Afghanistan.

    “I’m feeling VERY suicidal!” says I

    “Oh dear! How bad is it? “says she…

    “REALLY REALLY BAD!” says I crying…

    “Can you drive a Truck?” says she, excitedly!

    It all depends upon context, like who is telling the joke, to whom…… and for what purpose….

    Them Gardai in Corrib being a case in point.

    And of course, funny to some is not to others – clubs usually have bouncers to remove those who heckle… to ensure the free flow of the ‘comedian’ on stage…

    Blogs have moderators and comments.

    The best one I ever heard went as follows.

    In a pub in Oliver Plunkett Street, a man was complaining loudly about Cork. A thing Corkonians do a lot of. The man was American, by accent at least. Only his voice was permeating most of the conversations in the Pub. He roared out how “CORK IS THE ARESHOLE OF IRELAND!” to which one inebriated, yet alert Corkonian responded within micro seconds “YEAH! AND YOU’RE JUST THE SHITE PASSING THROUGH!”

    Which did the trick. Lots of laughter and a rapid silencing of the complainant.

  26. and one for all the christians
    Hitler is at the pearly gates,
    I vant to kom in
    peter say’s I dunno about that.
    You leaf me in I gif you iron cross
    oh that’s difficult says peter I’ll have to see JC about that.
    So off he goes and finds jesus,
    hey JC, Hitlers at the gate and he said if you let him in he’ll give you an iron cross
    Oh that’s a tough one says JC, I’ ll have to see the auld fella about that
    So JC goes into God and goes, hi Da, Hitlers at the gate and he said if I let him in he’ll give me an iron cross
    God looks at him and says , what the fuck do you want an iron cross for, you couldn’t carry the wooden one I gave you.

  27. This might seem like a tangent but I don’t think it is. In football in England they are starting an Anti Semitisim campaign with the backing of three top flight footballers http://youtu.be/RIvJC1_hKt8 but a year ago they tried to do the same thing for an anti homophobic campaign and not a single footballer wanted to participate! Funny old game isn’t it!

  28. Meant to mention last night I have an excellent VHS video of Sadowitz around the mid 80’s playing in the Bloomsbury theatre, very funny, and intrestingly dies on his arse half way through because of a heckle, he recovered but it through him off.

    At the Edinburgh festival when he used to play in the mainstream venues, (the assembly rooms early) American tourists would buy tickets thinking he was New York Jewish and be totally horrified and storm out.

    The venues he plays now he sells out with the cult of Jerry, people go for what they know, and he does better because of it.

    Definetly all about the context of the humour

  29. This punk’s makin out with his girlfriend in a park and the boombox going. ”Is that Johnny Rotten?” sez she. ”Nah. Only used it twice.’

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