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Just wondering, do the French have a sense of humor?

Just wondering, do the French have a sense of humor?

Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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GR, there are plenty of non-racist non-fascist French comics more popular than Dieudonné. One offensive stand-up comic hardly defines the sense of humour or tastes of a nation.

That aside, personally I don't find French stand-up or sitcom style comedy that funny.
What they do do well is farce and comic plays. For example, "Le Diner de Cons" had me in absolute fits. "Un air de famille" and "Le Père Noel est une ordure" are also pretty funny.

And of course, Cyrano de Bergerac is an absolute comic masterpiece.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 08:55 AM
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I'm so sorry, the correct answer is No, the French do not like to laugh. Thank you all for playing.

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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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OK, not really.

I think what some people misinterpret about many French is that they are not as quick with a smile for strangers as we are in the U.S. Which has absolutely nothing to do with being rude or not having a sense of humor.

One thing you might want to do in Paris to see people loosen up is go see a kids' puppet show - seriously! You'll realize laughter is universal, and I think it will loosen you up about caring whether an entire culture has a sense of humor.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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No.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Not to my knowledge!

Then again, the US seems to find Benny Hill funny, which to my mind is unfathomable!!!
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Some of them must have. Whenever I go out to dinner with my French friends we end up laughing all night.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Tallulah, which do you find unfathomable -- anyone finding Benny Hill funny, or just Americans finding Benny Hill funny?
If it is the latter it shouldn't be a surprise at all. Have you ever seen the Three Stooges or the movie Dumb and Dumber?
 
Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Neopolitan: Err..I find it unfathomable that ANYONE should find Benny Hill funny, I'm afraid! It's one of our exports that I'm terribly embarrassed about!!
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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"Claire Bretécher est née à Nantes le 17 avril 1940".
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Anyone that didn't find Dumb and Dumber hilarious has to be a senior citizen. It was so stupid it was funny. You probably didn't find European Vacation funny either.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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One need only look at Impressionism in their art & music to sum them up - boring...
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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Back to Heavens' question: do the French like limericks? The only French limericks I've come across were written (and illustrated) by George du Maurier (Daphne's grandfather, and the author of "Trilby&quot, who was more English than French. Here's one that comes to mind (apologies for the lack of accent marks):

A Cologne est un maitre d'hotel
Hors du centre du ventre duquel
Se projette une sorte
De tiroir, qui supporte
La moutarde et le poivre et le sel.

It's funnier with the drawing, and again it's not altogether French. Also, it's more than a hundred years old; does the limerick exist in France today?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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French impressionism boring? Have you seen any French impressionism? And I don't mean in books. Anyone who has seen an oil painting in a museum knows that 90% is lost on paper. In any case, would you care to explain such an odd statement, amp?
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Yes, I've seen Impressionistic art in person. Just not my style. I'm not saying the artists and composers were not skilled and talented. I just think that after all their hard work and effort, the end result is kind of, well... boring.

As a musician, it is the most annoyingly repetitive style to play, and I dread having to tackle it whenever it is put in front of me. The only instrument that ever gets any action in the parts is the flute, and, well, let's just say that's another one of my pet peeves! lol!

Now, how is all this related to French and their sense of humor? no idea...!
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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Well, there's nothing wrong with a digression here or there. Keep in mind that the French invented impressionism, in art at least, and the antithesis of what's boring is what's innovative.

Perhaps you would find Derain or Marquet or Bonnard to be more your style (three personal favorites of my own...)
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 06:42 PM
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From the many street performers I've seen its pretty clear they have an excellant sense of humor.

No doubt much of the humor is beyond someone, like myself, who is not a native French speaker.

Jokes often translate very badly. I know some rip snorters in Chinese that I've tried translating for my English speaking friends. The only reaction is blank incomprehension.
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Old Apr 10th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Guy - the actual technique might be innovative, but the end result can still be boring. It depends on what you do with the technique. Maybe it's just the subject matter that bores me. Anyway, if I ever want to explore the style more, I'll look up your favorite artists. Maybe they will enlighten me.
Are there any museums where I can find their works in person?

In the meantime, I'll just keep changing the radio station every time Claire de Lune starts playing! Yawn!!
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 12:32 AM
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I still chuckle at the sequence in Mon Oncle where the little dog keeps opening and shutting the garage door, and what is the film where somebody drives around with a great tall flower sticking out of the roof of a 2CV?
One of the films that had me laughing aloud was "Les Triplettes de Belleville"
The Triplets of Belleville (International: English title) (USA)
Belleville Rendez-Vous (UK)
It's pretty well dialogue-free too.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Zeus, who are you talking to about not finding Dumb and Dumber funny? I think you must have totally missed my point. I was merely saying that American humor finds things like Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber, and Benny Hill -- all funny. Yes they are so stupid they are funny -- hysterically so in fact.
 
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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I am almost embarassed to know this, but in his early days, Benny Hill used to "develop" his repetoire by spending months at a time in France listening to French comics, then adapting the routines for the UK market. Personally, I find BH about as funny as running out of toilet paper, but many people find him funny.

I think I could probably claim the prize in a "Fodorite closest to Benny Hill Competition" - as he is buried about 500 yards from where I am currently sitting.
(We did wait until he was dead, we are not that cruel).

Would a book on great French war heroes include a man called Lafayette (?sp) - who found some popularity in the US ?
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