Hagop and Dr. Vartan

Hague goes to Dr. Vartan.

V: You are such an educated person, why did you go to a witch doctor?

H: I don’t know.

V: What was the stupid thing he advised you to do?

H: Well, he said to come to you.

Background information: This is an Armenian joke. Hague and Vartan are recurring characters in Armenian jokes.

Context: The informant told me this joke in a conversation about folklore.

Thoughts: This is a funny joke, in which one person’s questions backfires on himself and leads to him being insulted to his face. Dr. Vartan wonders why Hague was stupid enough to go to a witch doctor, whose practices Vartan doesn’t believe in (it makes sense – the doctor would obviously think he knows more, since he is formally educated in medical matters). He then asks what was the stupid advice given (since he doesn’t believe in the witch doctor’s powers), and Hague fires back and tells him the stupid advice was to go to Vartan. It is a witty joke, and a clever and inadvertent way to insult someone.