Monday, November 27, 2006

Jordanian Humor

It is generally agreed on outside Jordan that the Jordanian sense of humor pretty much is anything but funny.

So, I was thinking about how this situation can be improved a bit; In art, if one wanted to become good in art, he would study the work of Monet, De Kooning, Van Gogh, Giacometti, to name a few. These are the greats of Modern Art. Similarly, if one wanted to be good in philosophy, one would study Kant, Nietzsche, and so on.

Now, in my humble opinion the greatest works of Arab comedy were in the seventies, and though every Jordanian probably watched these great works at least 10 times, the Jordanian sense of humor is still annoying at best.

I am not sure if this would help, but I do not think it would be such a bad idea, if Jordanians who aspire to do something related to comedy took a look at the works of great British and American comedy shows and movies: Monty Python TV shows and movies, Faulty Towers, Saturday Night Live, Living Color, and so on.

I am sure that a lot of the comedy there is not culturally transferable. Nonetheless, I think that this can serve as a sort of inspiration. Furthermore, watching material of this sort can spark new ideas for new comic material, i.e., it would work as a catalysts for funny ideas to come out of the brains of those funny Jordanians to be.

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Blogger Joe Kalis said...

I really find your post irritating. The stereotyping of Jordanians as a whole, as being people lacking a sense of humor is truly detestable. If you’re not the world’s funniest man yourself, I think you should go lock yourself up in your house. After reading your post I don’t think I even want to hear you tell a joke. Haven’t you ever learned to insult people and make it seem nice, I guess not, and just one simple question: “where is it generally agreed that Jordanian sense of humor pretty much is anything but funny?”

The fact is, Jordan boasts some excellent and world renowned comedic stars ranging from comedians such as Nabil sawalha and Hisham Yanis to comic artists like Emad Hajjaj. A final note to you from the unfunny people of Jordan would be, if you feel like you lack a sense of humor, please don’t bring the rest of us down with you to your level of insecurity and low self esteem which is clearly portrayed in your post.

Just a final comment, for a person that has lived in the States for four years in the past, I would really expect your English to be of a higher caliber, you honestly lack the basic grammar skills anyone who has lived in an Anglophone nation would or should have . Oh and if I were you I would definitely change my profile. “I really hate stupidity and inefficiency,” that would be fine if I didn’t think you were stupid because now I guess you hate yourself, oh just another reason I see your so insecure.


P.s. I usually don’t leave my name, as to stay on people’s good side, but I honestly think a lot of people would be on my side with regards to this issue.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Mohammed Raei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Mohammed Raei said...

The Work of Nabeel Sawalha and Hisham Yanis was really great during the 80's and early 90's. Their current work is crap.

Imad Hajaj is the exception. But I think he is more successful with his written cartoons than he is with TV.

I am sure there are funny Jordanians out there. But the people who are being shown on Jordanian TV are not funny at all.

As to whether I am stereotyping or not. I did spend a great amount of time in Lebanon and I can tell you that the Jordanian sense of humor is not viewed positively there.

You seem to miss the whole point of this blog post. If Jordanian humor is to be improved(regardless if it is as bad I say it is or not,) Jordanian comedians to be need to study the works of the greats.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Hamzeh N. said...

I have to agree with Joe Kalis here. I never understood this characterization of people in Jordan as being "kishreen". And the characterization was never that we "had a bad sense of humor", but just that we're kishreen supposedly!!!

Well, I don't know what makes you support this characterization, but I think Jordanian people are one of the most cheerful people on Earth.

Everytime I'm back home I find myself sitting with either family or friends, and in either case they're telling funny stories and laughing at each other. When I'm sitting with friends it's non stop laughing and jokes. Everytime I go back home I'm surprised by how many new jokes I hear.

Just because we don't have a TV industry with comedians doesn't mean we don't know how to laugh, and everytime I think about it, I realize we are actually very funny and humorous people.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Diala said...

I must say despite the debate going on here, which I came across simply coincidently, I am happy that any kind of debate is going on about Jordanian “Sense of humor”. I grew up in Jordan & currently living in the states. All my life heard that Jordanian people are the hardest to entertain or make laugh. Given that comment, I am sure you all can relate to how serious our culture and family can be most of the time, and in some cases people who laughed or smiled constantly were labeled as “bala adab” or “3alam Maskhara” as my grandfather would call them.:)
In any case, the reason why I had to say this is simply because we have our own sense of humor. We laugh, but not at silly things. I have been living in the states for 10 years now, and have gotten around to accept the “American sense of humor”. However, I can truly tell you that “Saturday Night Live” or a mock of it will never work in Jordan. Simply hitting yourself on the head with a baseball bat will not make me laugh. It will make me think you are and idiot who is wasting my time. On the other hand, political humor, economic humor, or any humor that would relate to my everyday life as a Jordanian yes would make me laugh, hence the success of Hesham Yanes and Nabeel Sawalha, along with Amal Dabas. So maybe Mohammed, and this is simply a theory, maybe in an attempt to separate yourself from your Jordanian identity and disassociating yourself from the everyday life of a Jordanian, you are seeking a different kind of comedy that will relate to whom you have become or whom you are trying to be. No pun intended.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo u sad sad man. Im the son of Nabil sawalha and comments such as "the latest work of Nabil Sawalha is crap" dont please me. Find something better to do with your life then comment on people who you arent even worth the bottom of their shoe. You should be striving to reach the success my father has achieved in his life. Not make petty comments about something you obviously do not understand.

Dont dare make another remark about my fathers work

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that nobody can understand the sense of humor of Jordanians accept if he was actually a Jordanian him self especially now because almost every collage student that is not a nerd is actually a comedian him self and you can see a lot of funny channels on YouTube for Jordanians like "bath bayakha" even the Jordanian language it self is funny the one that collage students talk with.

so i think that you should fix your wrong idea of Jordanians lack of sense of humor

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