Chinese have no sense of humor?

"I have concluded that we Chinese do not have much of a sense of humor."

That's what Wang Xiaofeng said in a recent blog post, translated into an abridged English version by Raymond Zhou: Chinese sense of humor? You've got to be joking.

There are currently 11 Comments for Chinese have no sense of humor?.

Comments on Chinese have no sense of humor?


Wang Xiaofeng's logic seems to go: "Spring Festival TV is boring and safe" however "the rent-a-crowd audience applauds madly" therefore "Chinese aren't funny".

This is even more pathetic than his usual drivel.

On the positive side, that kind of argument is a game everyone can play:

"Wang Xiaofeng's arguments aren't logical" however "they are translated into English" therefore "English speakers aren't logical".

I can't speak for Chinese, but Taiwanese have a sense of humor. Sure, it's juvenile, scatological, mildly retarded, and frequently directed at foreigners (white, black, or Asian, as long as they're not Chinese), but it's there.

Some Chinese do have a sense of humor but it is very silly and juvenile. It involves a weird but obvious play of words for day to day things. The play of words is most often pretty plain. But the very fact that words could be modified somehow excite the Chinese and they laugh.

So Jackass: The movie is a sublime masterpiece huh? Damn hypocrites.

wow who ever said this is stupid and i find it racist(to himself..)as well as offensive. Having no sense of humor is neither racial or genetic. It's based on the way you were raised.Proof:

Releasing such demeaning comments about others' culture when they don't fully understand the culture they are speaking of simply shows the speaker's intelligence.

I believe those Chinese also think the same way about our jokes.

Wang Xiaofeng is just one Chinese out of 1.3 billion of his kind. His single statement only speaks for himself. I have known some funny Chinese jokes, they are funny, in their own way.

That is so true!! I'm a 100% pure chinese living in Asia, I don't know about the chinese in western countries, but it's something that I've observed and meaning to tell my fellow chinese here in my city to their face my whole life! It bugs the hell out of me cuz they tend to take things very seriously & don't seem to like to laugh. But that would mean offending 99% of the chinese people I've encountered or known. However, those who have been westernized & exposed to western humor either through joke books/comedy or just Hollywood movies in general, tend to have a sense of humor. I mean let's face it, westerners are the ones who invented sense of humor. Why do you think they started standup comedy clubs? I read that according to a study, a person's upbringing determines his/her sense of humor. But I think it also has to do with the fact that most chinese are introverts, conservative, serious, love numbers & logic and unimaginative. So if they themselves are not funny, how can they develop a sense of humor in their children? You seldom find them cracking jokes or looking at the lighter side of things. I agree with Cheech that they like the obvious play of words which are childish & silly. Makes me mad everytime I receive stupid unfunny poem/quotes sms forwards. Of course, sure you say there're some funny jokes/ppl that you know of but they're a small minority. It's nothing to do with racists, it's facts. I have a western friend who live in my city for two years and told me after having lived here, he has lost his sense of humor.

Ha, love you sympathetic views there. One thing I disagree about darkness though, some of the greatest comedians went through some really "dark shit," take Richard Pryor. Without all that "trails and tribulations" you don't get much. But that's just my take. As for Chinese funny...I call bullshit. If you talk about personal humor, I knew some really funny clowns. As for regular jokes... how about I don't understand the language, the culture, etc, that deeply therefore I cannot say for sure. I think Steve Chow is hella funny. His style may not fit a westerner's idea of comedy but my personal opinion on that is they just aren't that into the culture. Case in point some oversea student I know understand and laughs at "Get it done" jokes, but may have a hard time watching Bill Hicks.

What is funny anyway? Some may think a bullet in my head is funny. Do you think that's funny? I may think a bullet in your head is funny.

I just don't know how the f*** you can understand someone else's comedy without some understanding of context.

Ha. I'm humorless. That was I pay my therapist for, to keep me supplied with plenty of shit to keep me grinning.

BTW, life is a cosmic joke. My mom don't love me, my GF thinks I'm gay and won't f* me, I abandoned all my friends I can't stand them no longer, my boss thinks I'm a joke, and top all that with my beliefs in a universe ruled by N-dimensional evil beings who rules everything, etc, etc. Life is funny. I rather be 100% humorless but life's cosmic joke will not and won't let me get a free pass. Now that's funny to me.

im chinese and i've got a really good sense of humour.

This is an old post but people still read it so I'll comment. I've got lots of Chinese friends and have lived with Chinese people for many years. I speak Chinese too and understand the culture in some parts of China. Sense of humour is influenced by culture and the Chinese generally are much more serious than British people.

Many a time I've made a ridiculous comment which is obviously a joke and I got a serious reply back. In my opinion they are most similar to Germans in terms of sense of humour. Again I'm generalising as there are some Germans who have a good sense of humour.

Some Chinese people have a good sense of humour but generally a lot of time they either think I'm childish or being serious if I joke with them.

There are some cultural differences in what is regarded as funny too. I've listened to Chinese cross talk and understand it and find it a little amusing but I can't get why some Chinese people think it is hilarious. But I do like the situational humour in Chinese movies and my Chinese friends like the situational humour in Mr Bean. Me and my Chinese friends insult each other all the time and that's something we all enjoy too. So if you want to have a laugh with your Chinese friends there is always some common ground. You just have to adapt a little.

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