Chapter 3

Armenian Radio Answers Questions of Listeners


This chapter contains jokes related to both political and non-political issues. What all these items have in common, is their format. All these jokes are presented as if they are answers of an imaginary "Armenian radio" to the questions asked by its imaginary listeners. There had been the real Armenian radio (also referred to as Radio Erevan) which had broadcast from Erevan, the capital of Armenia. This real Armenian radio did not differ in any respect from any other radio station in the former USSR, as it was subjected to the same censorship and its broadcasts were mostly the same boring and nauseating propaganda swill as were those of Radio Kiev, or Radio Leningrad, or Radio Irkutsk. Then, in the sixties, anecdotes started to appear in the form of questions and answers attributed to the Armenian Radio. Of course, everybody knew that these anecdotes had nothing to do with the real Armenian Radio.

Why this specific form, and why Armenian Radio was chosen as the alleged source of these jokes? There is no definite answer to that question, but one may note that there existed a very old tradition of the so called Armenian riddles which actually had been jokes in the form of fake riddles. Here is one example of such an old 'Armenian riddle.'

What is it? Agramian walked out and slammed the door. Answer: childish behavior.

Here is another one. "What is green, hanging on a wall and squealing?" Answer: "A herring." Why is the herring green? "Well, it's my herring, I painted it as I pleased." But why is it hanging on the wall? "It's my herring, I can hang it anywhere I wish." But why is the herring squealing? "I added squealing to make it harder to solve my riddle."

As can be seen from these two examples, the old Armenian riddles were a jester's stuff deliberately presenting the imaginary Armenian, who asked to solve a riddle, as being slightly on the dumb side. Of course, these imaginary Armenians had nothing in common with real Armenians, who by and large are among the best educated, highly intelligent, talented and industrious people on the globe.

The jokes in the form of the answers of imaginary radio Erevan to the questions of listeners had rapidly multiplied and become popular all over the USSR. After the dissolution of the USSR, when Armenia had again become an independent state, with all of its concomitant and consequent events, often tragic rather than funny, the "Armenian radio" jokes had lost their comic and satiric appeal and had become mainly the matter of the past.

All these jokes have the same format, namely "Armenian Radio has been asked (the question follows). We are answering (the answer follows). In this chapter, only in a few items at the beginning, this form is preserved in full, while in the rest of the items it has been reduced to a shorter format, "Question:..... Answer:...."


 3.1 This is Armenian Radio. Our listeners asked us, "Will people have money when communism is built?"

We're answering: "Some will, some will not."

3.2 This is Armenian Radio. Our listeners asked us, "Is it possible to build communism in America?"

We're answering: "It's possible, but who will we buy grain from?"

3.3 This is Armenian Radio. Our listeners asked us, "When the final phase of socialism, namely communism, is built, will there still be thefts and pilfering?"

We're answering: "No, because everything will be already pilfered during socialism."

3.4 This is Armenian Radio. Our listeners asked us, "Was comrade Lenin a scientist or a politician?"

We're answering: "Of course, a politician. If he were a scientist, he would've first tried his theories on dogs."

3.5 Question: "What is the most permanent feature of our socialist economy?"

Answer: "Temporary shortages."

3.6 Question: "What is the difference between capitalism and socialism?"

Answer: "In a capitalist society man exploits man, and in a socialist one, the other way around."

3.7 Question: What is the difference between the capitalist and the socialist trade?

Answer: Capitalist trade means everything is to be sold. Socialist trade means everything is to be bought.

3.8 Question: When communism will be built, will there still be Jews and Armenians?

Answer: Don't worry, the Jews and the Armenians will find a way to fink out.

3.9 Question: Is it possible to make ends meet on salary alone?

Answer: We don't know, we never tried.

3.10 Question: What is the greatest achievement of the Soviet agriculture? Answer: Sowing in the USSR and harvesting in America.

3.11 Question: Is it true that American cars are the fastest in the world?

Answer: Yes, it's true, but on the other hands, our Soviet watches are the fastest in the world.

3.12 Question: Is it true that American skyscrapers are the tallest in the world?

Answer: Yes, it's true, but on the other hand the Soviet-made transistors are the largest in the world.

3.13 Question: Is it possible to sleep with an open window?

Answer: Yes, it's possible if there is nobody else to sleep with.

3.14 Question: What is Sholokhov writing now?

Answer: A crime novel titled "How I received the Nobel prize in


3.15 Question: Should an eighteen years old girl go to bed at eight pm?

Answer: Yes, if her parents expect her to be back home not later than ten.

3.16 Question: Will everybody learn swimming when the communism is built?

Answer: Please, please... Don't compare communism to the World Flood.

3.17 Question: Is there in the USSR an open opposition?

Answer: Even if it were, it would long have been none.

3.18 Question: What will be the results of the next elections?

Answer: Nobody can tell. Somebody has stolen yesterday the exact results of the next elections from the office of the Central Committee of the USSR.

3.19 (Another version of 3.18)

Question: What will be the sentence in the case of citizens Arutyunyan and Akopyan whose trial is expected to be completed next week?

Answer: Nobody can tell. The text of the sentence has been stolen yesterday from the District Party Committee.

3.20 Question: Is it possible to buy a man who is deeply honest and principled?

Answer: To buy is impossible; but it's possible to sell.

3.21 Question: Why the symbol of the Republicans in the US is an elephant, but that of the Democrats is an ass?

Answer: Because no ass can symbolize two political parties at the same time.

3.22 Question: What is the difference between the capitalist advertising and the communist propaganda?

Answer: We don't know about the difference, but one can't get away from either of them.

3.23 What is the difference between Russian and English fairy tales?

Answer: The English fairy tale start with "Once upon a time...., and ours with "It will be soon..."


3.24 Question: Why did you not broadcast for such a long time?

Answer: We had to make some changes in our staff. The previous broadcaster, while reading an article that contained the words, "Socialism is nothing as compared with communism," made a pause too long after the word "nothing."

3.25 Question: How will the people know that the communism has finally arrived?

Answer: Don't worry, the newspapers and radio will announce this in timely fashion. As to TV, it's not yet known.

3.26 Question: How should be a mermaid and a centaur depicted to meet the laws of the Socialist Realism?

Answer: The mermaid should have the upper part that of a fish, and the lower part that of a woman, the legs clad in stockings and shoes. As to the centaur, the upper part remain that of a man, but the lower part, rather than being that of a horse, is replaced with a tractor, desirably with spare parts.

3.27 * Question: Can a man rape a woman while jogging?

Answer: No, because a woman with a skirt up is always running faster than a man with pants down.

3.28. Question: Is it possible to make one chicken last for a whole week?

Answer: Yes. Just buy the chicken on Monday but cook it next Sunday.

3.29 Question: Why did Stalin work only in nighttime?

Answer: Are you indeed that naive? Even kids know who sets out to work only after dark.

3.30. Question: My husband cheated on me so many times that I just don't know who is the father of my kids. What shall I do?

Answer: Be magnanimous and forgive your husband.

3.31 Question: Is it true that the Berlin wall was built to separate West from East?

Answer: No, it's not true. It was built to separate East from West.

3.32 Question: What a poor man needs?

Answer: A slice of white bread. Caviar may be also black.

3.33 Question: We are told that the communism is already seen at the horizon. Then, what is a horizon?

Answer: Horizon is an imaginary line which moves away each time you approach it.

3.34 * Question: Is it possible to get intimate with a mare?

Answer: Yes, it's possible, but you'll have to run too far for a kiss.

3.35 Question: How to make it easier for a man and wife to bear the bond of marriage?

Answer: Minimum as a threesome.

3.36 Question: Is it true that the Suez canal was built to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea?

Answer: Not true. It was built to separate Israel from Egypt.

3.37 Question: I would like to marry a girl, but I am not sure she is a virgin. How to find out?

Answer: Very simple. Introduce your girl to us this evening, and tomorrow morning we will tell you the answer.

3.38 * Question: What shall we do when in a restaurant they serve a hamburger which looks like a piece of shit?

Answer: To be sure, just taste it.

3.39 Question: Is it true that every Soviet soldier dreams of becoming a general?

Answer: No, our soldiers are not that stupid. They know that generals may become MIA even in the time of peace.

3.40 Question: What should we do if the Western borders of the USSR were opened?

Answer: Rush to Siberia at once in order not to be crushed in the stampede.

3.41 Question: Will the police still exist when communism is built?

Answer: Of course, not. By that time, all citizens will have learned how to arrest themselves.

3.42 Question: What to do if a man you don't know takes a seat at your table in a pub and starts to sigh?

Answer: Immediately demand to stop the anti-Soviet propaganda.

3.43. Question: Do you often drink that much that you fully forget everything?

Answer: We can't remember.

3.44 Question: Is there a problem of racism in the USSR?

Answer: No. In our country both the whites and the blacks are counted among the red.

3.45 Question: Why do we have all those shortages in meat supply?

Answer: We are approaching communism at such a high pace that the cattle lags behind.

3.46 Question: In our factory's mess hall, the tea is not sweet at all, while the mess manager says he puts sugar according to the prescribed doze. What shall we do?

Answer: Try to stir your tea counterclockwise rather than clockwise.

3.47 Question: Is it possible to build socialism in Switzerland?

Answer: It's possible, but why? Did Switzerland really do something wrong to you?

3.48 Question: Is it possible in a socialist country to end up under a train?

Answer: Easier that on a train.

3.49 Question: What shall we do if suddenly we feel a desire to work?

Answer: Just rest for a while on a sofa. It will pass.

3.50 Question: Why some people say that Hungarians love the Russians and hate the Americans?

Answer: Because Russians helped Hungarians to get rid of one totalitarian rule, but Americans don't help to get rid of the other.

 3.51 Question: What is the easiest way to explain the meaning of the word "communism?"

Answer: By means of fists.

3.52 Question: Are the bedbugs also builders of socialism?

Answer: Of course, in their veins flows the workers-and-peasants' blood.

3.53 Question: Why the man who shot at a government limousine on the Red Square, missed the target?

Answer: Because citizens who happened to be next to him tried to wrest the gun from him and shouted, 'Let me shoot!"

3.54 Question: What does a hen think when a cock runs after her?

Answer: She thinks, 'I hope I'm running not too fast.'

3.55 Question: What to do if vodka interferes with the job?

Answer: Get off the job.

3.56 Question: When the elections were first held using the Soviet method?

Answer: When Adam was electing his wife, and Eve her husband.

3.57 Question: What to do if a tiger attacks a mother-in-law?

Answer: If he was the first to attack, let him defend himself on his own.

3.58 Question: Why some men are bald, while the other are not?

Answer: All men are bald. Just some of them have hair over the bald spot.

3.59 Question: Why the answers of Armenian Radio are often stupid?

Answer: Because these answers are invented not by Armenians.

3.60 . Question: Why have your answers become so dull lately?

Answer: Because the old Jew who used to give answers, died recently.

3.61 * Question: How long it takes to persuade a woman?

Answer: It depends on the length of your most telling argument. The longer it is, the shorter the time, and vice versa.

3.62 Question: Is it possible to wrap an elephant in a newspaper?

Answer: Yes, if this is the issue that features a speech by Khrushchev.

3.63 Question: What is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist?

Answer: A pessimist maintains that the things are so bad, they can't become any worse; an optimist believes they can become even worse.

3.64 Question: What is worse than a young pessimist?

Answer: An old optimist.

3.65 Question: What a husband should do if he sees his wife with a stranger and they both are naked?

Answer: A good husband should cover his wife at once, not to let her get cold.

3.66 Question: How many fools are there in Armenia?

Answer: Come over here, you'll be the first.

3.67 Question: What the leaders of the communist countries have in common with the unemployed in the West?

Answer: They all are uncertain about their next day.

3.68 Question: Moscow radio tells me every day about the cornucopia of food in our country, while my fridge is empty. What should I do?

Answer: Plug your fridge into your radio.

3.69 * Question: Why Lenin wore regular shoes, but Stalin wore boots?

Answer: At Lenin's time, Russia was still only ankle-high in shit.

3.70 Question: May you please give an example of the greatest utterances by Stalin?

Answer: Yes. For example, Stalin taught, "One has to plan skillfully. One should not plan unskillfully. What does it mean? It means that we, the communists, must not plan unskillfully. If we plan unskillfully then we plan poorly. And if we plan skillfully, then we'll plan well!"

That's what the Great Stalin taught us.

3.71 Question: What is the duration of the workday in a socialist country?

Answer: Of course, it's an eight-hour workday: from eight am to eight pm.

3.72 Question: My husband is a foreman of an all-female crew in our factory.

He gets so tired by the end of the day that he's unable to fulfil his spouse's duty. What shall I do?

Answer: Enroll in his crew.

3.73 Question: What is an exchange of opinions?

Answer: When you walk into your boss's office with your opinion and walk out with his.

3.74 Question: Is it true that carrots are good against impotency?

Answer: Yes, but many prefer bananas.

3.75 Question: Is it possible for a man to give a birth?

Answer: There has not been such a case on record. But experiments continue in many countries.

3.76 Question: What is the most uncomfortable?

Answer: To put on your pants by pulling them over your head.

3.77 * Question: Is it true that Tchaikovsky was a pederast?

Answer: Yes, but he is liked not only for that. Some also like his music.

3.78 Question: Is there anti-Semitism in the USSR?

Answer: We must answer in the positive: No!

3.79 Question: How to prevent damage caused by earthquakes?

Answer: To borrow the experience of the progressive part of the Western youth. They often organize mass demonstrations, for a cause or without a cause, under an universal slogan, "We protest!" With this slogan, they bravely march in front of parliaments, or of Universities, or of any other structures. As a rule, they carry portraits of Marx, Lenin, Che Guevara, Tito, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Ho Chi Min, Charlie Chaplin, Arafat, Napoleon, The Pope, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and many other known and unknown personalities. The oscillations of the ground caused by their footsteps strengthen the urban structures.

3.80 Question: Can a son of a General become a Marshal?

Answer: No, because every Marshal also has a son.

3.81 Question: What is a Soviet musical duet?

Answer: It's a musical quartet after a trip abroad.

3.82 Question: How to find out the precise time of the day?

Answer: A few seconds before noon, you'll hear a low-pitched tone followed by a high-pitched tone. At that moment the time will be 12 noon, or at the most 12 and a quarter.


3.83 Question: Why is our government not in a hurry to land our men on the moon?

Answer: What if they refuse to return?

3.84 Question: Are there men who do not cheat on their wives when they are on a prolonged business trips?

Answer: Of course. Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts.

3.85 Question: Does China have rockets powerful enough to reach the moon?

Answer: They don't need rockets. If the Chinese communist Party ordered, their people just would step on each other's shoulders and this way they can reach even the sun.

3.86 Question: Is it true that the X-rays were discovered in Russia?

Answer: Yes, it's true. Even in 17th century prince Morosov wrote to his wife "I see through you, whore." Later, it became a popular adage, "I see through you and even deeper."

3.87 Question: Why did our scientists photograph the backside of the moon?

Answer: At the request of the gay community.

3..88 Question: Is it possible to sit down on a porcupine with a naked ass?

Answer: It's possible on three occasions, to wit:

1. If you first shave the porcupine;

2. If it is not yours but somebody else's ass; and

3. If that's the will of the Party.

3.89 Question: Is it true that if you measure a tiger from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, the length is twice as big as if you measure from the end of the tail to the tip of the nose? If it's true, how can it be?

Answer: What's unusual in that? Don't you know, for example, that from Easter to Christmas it's eight months, but from Christmas to Easter only four?

3.90 Question: Was it possible to criticize Hitler?

Answer: Sure. The same way as you criticized Stalin. You had to lock yourself in your bedroom, hide under two, or better three covers, place a pillow, or better two pillows on top of the blankets over your head, and then whisper whatever your soul wishes about the dictator, strictly adhering to a five-minute limit.

3.91 Question: What is the difference between newspapers and radio?

Answer: You can use a newspaper to wrap a herring, but you can't wrap it in radio waves.


3.92 Question: Which tea is better, Chinese of Soviet-grown?

Answer: Don't mix up in the confrontation between the superpowers. Drink coffee.

3.93 Question: When Nixon visited Moscow, he and Khrushchev ran around the Kremlin in a race. Nixon came the first. How should our media report on that?

Answer: The report should be as follows: In the international running competition the General Secretary of the Communist Party took the honorable second place. Mister Nixon came in one before last.

3.94 Question: Will there be the third world war?

Answer: No, but the struggle for peace will reach such degree that there will be no stone left intact on the earth.

3.95 Question: What is the safest contraceptive device?

Answer: Telephone. Don't use anything else to get in touch with a women.

3.96 Question: Is it true that you always lie?

Answer: We always lie only the sheer truth.

3.97 Question: Is it true that Akopian had won last Sunday hundred thousand rubles in the state lottery?

Answer: Yes, it is true. Only it was not last Sunday but Monday. And it was not Akopian but Vagramian. And not in the state lottery but in checkers. And not hundred thousand but one hundred rubles. And not won but lost.

3.98 Question: Why policemen always walk the streets in teams of three?

Answer: The partners in the police team are always chosen in such a way that one of them knows how to read, the other how to write, and the third one, naturally, has to keep watch over those two intellectuals.

3.99 Question: Is it true that there are two kinds of people serving as deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, as members of the Supreme Court, and as Soviet diplomats?

Answer: Yes, it is a true. One kind is those not capable of anything at all, and the other, those capable of anything whatsoever.

3.100 Question: What if socialism were built in Sahara?

Answer: First sand would become available only through ration cards, and then sand would be distributed only to the Politburo members.

3.101 (Version of 3.100)

Question: What if socialism were built in Greenland?

Answer: First snow would become available only through ration cards, and later snow would be distributed only to the KGB officers and their families.

3.102 Question: What is communism?

Answer: It's when everything will be available in stores. In other words, like it was under the Czar Nikolai the Second.

3.103 Question: What is the difference between the Constitutions of the USA and USSR? Both guarantee freedom of speech.

Answer: Yes, but the Constitution of the USA also guarantees freedom after the speech.

3.104 Question: Why do we need two central newspapers, Pravda (Truth) and Izvestiya (News) if both are organs of the same Party?

Answer: Because in Pravda there are no news, and in Izvestiya there is no truth.

3.105 Question: What is it that starts with an R and never ends?

Answer: Reorganization.

3.106 Question: Is it possible to build socialism in one stand-alone country?

Answer: It's possible, but better to live in another country.

3.107 Question: Is it true that due to the achievements of the Soviet technology, we will soon be able to order food over the phone?

Answer: Yes, our sources tell us it is true. The same sources told us the ordered food would be delivered via TV.

3.108 Question: What is the socialist friendship of nations?

Answer: It's when Armenians, Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, and all other peoples of the USSR unite in a brotherly manner and all together set out to beat up the Azeris.

3.109 Question: Is there a symphony orchestra in New Guinea?

Answer: Of course not, as no Jew would agree to put a ring into his nose.

3.110 Question: Is Israel a big or a small country?

Answer: Of course big. If it were small it would be called Izya.

3.111 Question: Why did butter disappear from the stores' shelves?

Answer: It all has melted under the sun of the Soviet Constitution.

3.112 Question: What is the difference between Zionism and Impressionism?

Answer: We don't know about this difference, but if you are who we think you are, you better go.

3.113 Question: is it possible to solve a problem which has no solution?

Answer: We don't answer questions related to agriculture.

3.114 Question: Are there questions you can't answer?

Answer: No. We approach our job in accordance with the Marx' dialectics. To any question we can give any answer.

3.115 Question: Is it possible to open a brothel in Erevan?

Answer: It's possible, only in the socialist society we don't say brothel. We call it collective.

3.116 Question: What was the main problem our pilots encountered during Korean war and during the war in Vietnam?

Answer: In both wars, our pilots had to operate their planes with one hand only, the other hand busy pulling the corners of their eyes to keep them slanted.

3.117 Question: What methods do our enemies use in their subversive work against the socialist state?

Answer: Such questions we discuss in our program "Useful Advices."

3.118 Question: Our teacher told us every student must do something big and pure. What could you suggest?

Answer: Go to a Zoo and wash an elephant.

3.119 Question: Is there life on other planets?

Answer: On other planets there is also no life.

3.120 Question: Can a woman serve as a diplomat?

Answer: No, because a woman and a diplomat use differently the words Yes and No. If a diplomat says Yes, it means Maybe. If a diplomat says Maybe, it means No. If a diplomat says No, what kind of diplomat is he? On the other hand, if a woman says No, it means Maybe. If a woman says Maybe, it means Yes. If a woman says Yes, well, what kind of woman is she?

3.121. Question: What is permitted and what is prohibited?

Answer: In England, what is permitted, is permitted, and what is prohibited, is prohibited.

In America everything is permitted except for what is prohibited.

In Germany everything is prohibited except for what is permitted.

In France everything is permitted, even what is prohibited.

In the USSR everything is prohibited, even what is permitted.

3.122 Question: What is a one word joke?

Answer: Communism

3.123 Question: What is the longest joke?

Answer: The speech made by Khrushchev at the Party congress.

3.124 Question: How can it be that ugly cocoons convert into beautiful butterflies?

Answer: What is unusual about it? For example, all young girls are so pretty and nice, but where do all those ugly witches of wives come from?

3.125 Question: Why Solzhenitsyn, Brodsky, Bukovsky, and other dissidents have been exiled from the country?

Answer: Don't you know that the best products are always selected for export?