This is no joke: Germany has been voted the least funny country. Of course, Germans are well-known for their work ethic and discipline. This is not a group that questions or ridicules authority (like the English lower classes)...which might explain World War II.
Anyway, I noticed this characteristic of the land in which I chose to reside soon after my arrival and emersion in the culture. Humor programs were few and far between in (the limited in those days) television programming. I formed the opinion that people laughed at other’s misfortune: falling down the stairs, tripping over something, bumping into something, etc. It is not without some reason that the word Schadenfreude (taking pleasure from another’s misfortune) was invented here.
Over the years, as my understanding of the language has improved, the culture has been infiltrated by US television programming, and the entertainment industry has needed to fill more hours, more humor has crept into everyday life. Of course, people still laugh at misfortune (other’s, not their own!), but creative word play is encountered more often. Most of these do not translate; any translations that do exist only contribute to Germany’s status as the least funny country.
Why did I marry a German woman? She made me laugh...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.