Humor – the Scandinavian Way

Humor – the Scandinavian Way

What do you know about Scandinavians – and their humor (or lack of it)? Have you experienced Scandinavian humor personally, or is it defined by things your parents told you – or what you have seen in the media or read online? Learn more about Humor – the Scandinavian way.

Some of the jokes below might be perceived by some as “politically incorrect” but I have included them just because they strike me as well-intended, good-natured humor.

Related: Humor in Scandinavia

Humor – the Scandinavian Way
Well-intended, good-natured humor

Lars Andersen’s Laundry
A guy was walking through Chinatown and sees a building with a sign “Lars Andersen’s Laundry. “Lars Anderson,” he thinks. “How in the world does that fit in here?”

So, he walks into the shop and sees an old Chinese gentleman sitting in the corner. The visitor asks, “How in the world did this place get a name like Lars Andersen’s Laundry?”

The old man answers “Is name of owner.”

The visitor asks, “Well, who is the owner?”

“I am he,” answers the old man.

“You? How did you ever get a name like Lars Andersen?”

The old man replies:

“Many years ago, when I come to this country, I was standing in line at Documentation Center. Man in front of me was big blond Norwegian. Lady looks at him and go, ‘What your name?’ He say, ‘Lars Andersen.’ She looks at me and say, ‘What your name?’ I say, ‘Sam Ting.’

Related: What Does the Fox Say?

Humor – the Scandinavian Way
Viking in supermarket

The Swede, the Dane and the Norwegian
Scandinavian jokes featuring “the Swede, the Dane and the Norwegian” are commonplace in schools. The typical Swede is seen as rich, arrogant, and tech-savvy. The typical Dane is usually seen as a slightly decadent hedonist, with a can of beer never far from reach. The typical Norwegian is shown to be an uneducated jumper-wearing country bumpkin, always with a fish close at hand.

Let’s laugh about some Swedish takes on the Norwegians:

Q: Why did the Norwegian take a ladder with him to the supermarket?
A: Because he’d heard the food prices in Oslo were extremely high.

Q: Why did the Norwegian crawl on the floor through the supermarket?
A: Because they’re looking for the low prices.

Q: Why do Norwegian garbage trucks drive so fast?
A: The drivers are scared of getting robbed.

Q: Why did the Norwegian bring a rolled-up piece of sandpaper to the desert?
A: Thought it was a map.

Q: How do you sink a Norwegian submarine?
A: Scuba-dive down and knock on the door.

Q: How do you sink a Norwegian submarine again?
A: Dive down and knock on the door again. Wait for them to open the window and say, “You aren’t fooling us this time!”

Q: How do you sink a Danish submarine?
A: Dive down and knock on the window. Wait for them to open the door and say, “Come on, who do you take us for? Norwegians?”

Q: How do you sink a Swedish submarine?
A: Give it a Norwegian crew.

Q: How do you say “genius” in Norway?
A: Tourist.

Read the book Scandinavian Humor and Other Myths

Humor – the Scandinavian Way
Humor – the Scandinavian way

Faulty blinkers
Two Norwegians are driving at night. The driver starts to worry something is wrong with his blinkers so he pulls over and asks the other Norwegian to get out and check them.
“Hey,” the guys yells from the front of the car, “It works… Wait it doesn’t work… No now it works… Wait it doesn’t work… No wait, now it works… Oh sorry, it doesn’t work…”

Related: How To Annoy a Scandinavian?

Irish and Norwegians
Centuries ago many Norwegians came to Ireland to escape the bitterness of the Norwegian winter. Ireland was having a famine at the time and food was scarce.

The Norwegians were eating almost all of the fish caught in the ocean, leaving the Irish with nothing but potatoes.

St. Patrick, taking matters into his own hands, like most Irishman, decided all the Norwegians had to go. Secretly he organized the IRATION (Irish Republican Army to Rid Ireland of Norwegians). Irish members of the IRATION sabotaged all the power plants in hopes the fish in Norwegian refrigerators would spoil, forcing the Norwegians to a cooler climate where their fish would keep. The fish spoiled all right, but the Norwegians, as everyone knows to this day, thrive on spoiled fish. Faced with failure, the Irishmen sneaked into the Norwegian fish storage caves in the dead of the night and sprinkled the rotten fish with lye, hoping to poison the Norwegian intruders, but as everybody knows, this is how lutefisk was introduced to the Norwegians, and how they thrived on the lye-soaked smelly fish.

Matters became even worse for the Irish when the Norwegians started taking over the Irish potato crop to make lefse. Poor St. Patrick was at his wits end. Finally, on March 17, he blew his top and told the Norwegians to “go to hell” — and it worked, because all the Norwegians left Ireland and went to Minnesota.

I hope to bring you more laughs next month!

Humor – the Scandinavian Way, compiled by Tor Kjolberg

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.