My experience, however, is that many (perhaps most) of the funniest (and, often, the most stereotypical) “ethnic” jokes I’ve ever heard have been told by people of the ethnicity referenced. As an example, I cite the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, music, lyrics and book written by folks of Jewish extraction, based on stories by a Jewish (Yiddish) author. While there is, of course, more to it than “ethnic” humor, there IS a lot of that present in it.
Personally, I think it’s too bad that we, as a society, believe that ethnic humor HAS to be assumed to be intended to be aimed at putting people down. Nobody tells “Jewish Mother” jokes like people from a Jewish background, and the same kind of thing could be said about at least most, if not all, ethnicities, races, occupations, religions, etc.; (just ask a Catholic to tell “priest or nun” jokes). Most of the time, you’ll hear a good one about Father “so-and-so,” or Sister “what’s her name.” Anyway, in honor of my own Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d post some, hopefully, amusing thoughts on the people and ways of Ireland. If you find them too “politically incorrect,” I figure that’s your problem. I enjoy them! Or, as we Irish might well say;
Ireland is, of course, known as a land of writers. Congreve, Goldsmith, Joyce, O’Casey, Shaw, Sheridan, Synge, Wilde, Yeats, Beckett, (please excuse the emphasis on dramatists, but they are the ones I know best) and a good many more are “Irish” writers, and there are many more around the world of Irish extraction. I have a theory that Ireland has bred writers because the Irish culture (being frequently suppressed by the English government) had to rely on storytelling for its preservation. It’s also true that many Irish were too poor to go to school. But they could gather around the fire and listen to stories. So, here are a few stories I’ve picked up over the years. Some may be traditional, but others probably aren’t. I really don’t care, I have enjoyed them. Maybe you will, too.
I found this one in a column in The Omaha World-Herald about this time of year in 2019.
A German spy sent to Ireland in World War II is instructed to meet an Irish spy named Murphy and confirm his identity by saying, “The weather could change by Tuesday.” After the German parachutes into Ireland, he sets off for town. Along the way, he asks a farmer where to find Murphy.
“Well, sir, it all depends on which Murphy,” says the farmer. “We have Murphy the doctor, Murphy the postal carrier, Murphy the stonemason and Murphy the teacher. As a matter of fact, I, too, am Murphy, Murphy the farmer.”
The German gets an idea.
“The weather could change by Tuesday,” he says.
“Aye,” says the farmer, “you’ll be wanting Murphy the spy.”
An Irish priest is driving down to New York for the St. Patrick's Day parade and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut.
The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car, so he asks the priest, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
"Just water," says the priest.
"Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks at the bottle, picks it up, sniffs it and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!”
An Irishman goes into a bar in America and orders three whiskeys. The barman asks: "Would it be better if I put all three shots in one glass?"
The Irishman replies: "No! I have two other brothers back at home, so every time I come into a pub, I order a shot for them both.”
The same pattern continued for several weeks.
Then, one week, the Irishman orders just two whiskeys.
The barman asks: "Did something happen one of your brothers?" "Oh no," replies the Irishman. "I just decided to quit drinking!”
Mick wanted to place an ad in the local paper, so he gave it a call.
“Is that The Ballycashel Echo?" asks Mick. "How much would it be to put an ad in your paper?"
"Five pounds an inch," a woman replies. "Why? What are you selling?"
"A ten-foot ladder," said Mick before slamming the phone down.
A sobbing Ms. Murphy approaches Father O’Grady after mass.
He says: “So what’s bothering you?”
She replies: “Oh, Father, I’ve terrible news. My husband passed away last night.”
The priest says: “Oh, Mary, that’s terrible. Did he have any last requests?”
"Certainly, Father," she replied. “He said: “Please, Mary, put down that damn gun.”
The wise old Mother Superior from County Tipperary was dying.
The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable.
They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen.
Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother Superior drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.
"Mother," the nuns pleaded, "Please give us some wisdom before you pass."
She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said: "Don't sell that cow."
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic; capable of both inflicting
injury, and remedying it.” ―Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows