Joke – Los Angeles

“There is an American man, Italian man, and a Chinese man. And they are working in a mine. So the head of the mine, like their boss in the mine gives them each something to do. So he says to the American man go get me some shovels and be back in three hours. And he says to the Italian man go get me some lanterns and be back in three hours. And he says the Chinese man go get me some supplies and be back in three hours. So three hours goes by and the American man comes strolling in with his shovels, and the boss says nice job. And so about ten minutes later the Italian man comes walking in. The Italian man comes walking in with his lanterns and the boss says good job. So then about 15…20 minutes passes by and there is still no sign of the Chinese man. About one more hour passes by and there is still no Chinese guy. And so they are looking around and they are like where the fuck is the Chinese man. All of a sudden they are looking around and the Chinese man pops out from behind a rock and yells Supplies!”

His dad told him this when he was younger and he said that it was always so corny. He told me that the joke is a play off of the fact that Chinese people when speaking English get their Ls and their Rs mixed up. He told me that whenever his dad would tell the joke he would always interchange the part of the American and the Italian as well as the tasks that they would have to perform. However, the part of regard the Chinese man always remains the same.

When analyzing the joke, I found that it plays into the stereotypes surrounding the Chinese. The first, that Chinese are unable to complete simple tasks, especially in comparison with American and Italian people, who in this case are deemed a superior race. The second is the play on their speaking ability, and how they confuse L and R when pronouncing words that contain them. It is a very racial joke and most likely intended for an audience that does not contain those of Chinese decent. Brandon does not recall if the version he told me was exactly the same as the one that he heard from his father. There are areas where one can change the joke around for their own personal preference. For example, Brandon told me that it can work well if you have a friend hide and then pop out to surprise the audience while yelling the punch line.

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