Stories about jokes

12 times Pakistani sense of humour stole the show on Twitter

The end of the year is upon us, and yearly roundups are spreading like wildfire. After all, for Pakistan alone, this was the year of the elections, of some intense accountability and of some horrendous behaviour by politicians and celebrities alike. International news didn’t fare any better. In a year that is certain to be remembered as a dumpster fire, the only thing that kept us going was a platform where all the dark souls on this planet gather to laugh at their misery – Twitter. They say things get worse before they get better. Pakistanis can attest to that, ...

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Dear Comedy, when did you go from mere jokes to demeaning mockery? Yours truly, Ali Gul Pir

Dear comedy, It is time to acknowledge your stake in my sanity, your ability to keep me hopeful in tough times and your power to not let me take life too seriously. I love how you take the world’s most tragic, absurd and unjust news and turn them into awesome memes (jokes) which make millions of people laugh. When I was a child, I would repeatedly ask my mom to read out the jokes from her weekly magazine to me. I would memorise them so I could tell them later in school or to other adults. Earlier on in life, I understood ...

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When our commercials think domestic violence is funny, how can we expect society to take it seriously?

For the second time in only a few months, several of us (hopefully millions) are baffled with the ‘sense of humour’ of the artists and creative people of our country. First, the horrendous joke about child molestation at the Hum Awards, and now the extremely offensive TV commercial talking about beating up (dhulai kerdi) your wife. If you found the advertisement funny, then let me warn you, either this blog is going to alter your patriarchal (slightly misogynistic) mind-set or it will deeply offend you. In both cases, I hope it will start a healthy discussion as to why several people deemed it acceptable ...

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Can Saad Haroon be the ‘Funniest Person in the World’?

Comedian Saad Haroon has been making people laugh for over 10 years now, and he now stands on the cusp of achieving something truly great. Saad is representing Pakistan in the finals of the inaugural ‘Funniest Person in the World’ competition and this weekend saw him perform in front of legendary comedians at Los Angeles’ ‘Laugh Factory’ – a venue that has hosted top performers such as Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and Robin Williams. It was wonderful to see Saad don a sherwani for his semi-final performance and to entertain an American audience with quips about biryani and the hospitality of Asian parents. Ahead ...

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An open letter to anti-PTI trolls

Am I a member of a cult or some secret society? No. Have I recently been released from prison for murder? No. Then why do I have to cringe every time I show my support for the Azadi March and why am I made to feel like a deviant? If you follow your leanings and happen to side with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as an effort to get rid of this putrid system of government, get ready to be torn apart by a new breed of trolls. Our government and our systems have failed us. We have been disillusioned and indifferent for far too long. Now that ...

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What I learnt from Robin Williams

Robin Williams- when I hear that name I think of my childhood. Watching Robin portray amazing characters like in the film Jack, a young soul trapped in an old man’s body or being stuck in a board game in the movie Jumanji. When you watched him on the screen, it did not feel like you were watching a comedy legend, it felt like you were watching a kid, just like yourself, going through these extraordinary obstacles. He was never an old man trying to act young in a family comedy film, like most of the actors you see nowadays. He owned every ...

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‘Gullu’ app: Are we becoming the Butt of all jokes?

Smash it and thrash it, and who knows, you could be the next famous person with your face plastered on every television screen in Pakistan. The Model Town incident in Lahore not only brought with it a lot of bloodshed but also helped surface a notorious character, Gullu Butt. Since then, the man has been the talk of the town, taking over social media with memes, tweets, posts and shares depicting his infamous act of smashing and thrashing cars. Photo: Google Play Lately, game developers, Weird Science, joined the bandwagon and came up with a game app called ‘Gullu’. It ...

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So you think Pathan jokes are funny? Read this!

 The screen of my touch phone glowed and it beeped. I picked it up and it said, “One new message received.” There was a text message and it read something like this. Man: “What’s the difference between a radio and a newspaper?” Pathan: “Yaara (dude), the major difference I can think of is that one can wrap chapattis in a newspaper but not in a radio.” The moment I finished reading it, my cell beeped again. And this time it read, “A man was drowning in the sea. Tourists stood on the ship, helplessly watching the man frantically gasp for air. Suddenly a Pathan, standing on the deck, jumped into ...

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Rape is not funny

“Yaar main nay toh exam ka rape kar dya” (Man I totally raped the exam) …I overheard someone triumphantly say as I was packing my bag in school. My fingers fumbled with the strap as I tried to drown out the peals of laughter that erupted after the inappropriate comment. Sadly, it isn’t that strange to hear someone use the word ‘rape’ in such a frivolous manner. People have now become accustomed to using this word casually in contexts that are far from serious. This immature use takes away from the gravity of the issue, and attributes a humorous quality to a crime that is far from a ...

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Fat people have feelings too!

It has been observed that obese individuals are the last people on Earth you can make fun of without a strong legal or social backlash. I concur with that observation. Having a weight problem myself, I understand what it’s like to be at constant war with one’s own physical form. My day starts with me standing in front of the mirror, and staring at a round face, wearing an expression of sheer disappointment. I suck in my tummy hoping that it improves the way I look. It does not. On my way to my university, I can sense hundreds of judgmental ...

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