The collection in question is titled "Laughing Under the Covers." This title stems from one of the Russian jokes in the collection which is as follows:A listener sends a question to a radio station, "Please tell me, was it possible for a man in Nazi Germany to tell his wife a joke about Hitler?" The Radio station answers: "Of course it was possible, in exactly the same way you could tell a joke about Stalin. Namely, to do so you and your wife had to lock the doors, to close the windows, to go to bed, thoroughly tuck in the covers from all sides, put a pillow, or better two pillows over your heads, and whisper the joke, strictly adhering to a two-minute time limit."
The collection comprises an introduction and 9 chapters, to wit:
Chapter 1: Glory to our Great Party! This chapter comprises 131 jokes about the Communist Party, most of them deriding the clishes of the official communist propaganda.
Chapter 2: Our Great Leaders. This chapters contains 57 jokes about] Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev, etc. Here is an example:
Khrushchev visits an exhibition of abstract painting. Pointing at a picture, he asks, "What the hell is this blue spot with yellow dots on it?"
"Comrade Khrushchev, this painting depicts our heroic workers toiling to fulfil the 5-year plan."
"And what is this green circle with red triangles?"
"Comrade Khrushchev, this painting shows our great peasants toiling to grow abundance of food for our motherland."
"Good. And what is this fat ass with ears?"
"Comrade Khrushchev, this is not a painting, this is a mirror."
Chapter 3: Armenian Radio answers questions of listeners.
This chapter contains 125 jokes, all in the same format of questions to and answers by a fictitious Armenian Radio. Here is an example:
Question: "Is it possible to build socialism in Switzerland?" Armenian Radio answers: "What was it that was so bad Switzerland did to you?"
Chapter 4: About This and About That. This chapter contains 124 non-political jokes about family life, old age, sex, etc. Here is an example: A wife of a man who left for a business trip, is in bed with a lover. She says: "You are so brave and strong. You know, my husband is due back any minute now. What would you do if he showed up?" The lover says, "I would tear off his scalp and put it in his mouth!" They hear a weak voice from the entrance: "No, no, I am still on a business trip..."
Chapter 5: This Mad, Mad, Mad World. This chapter contains 28 jokes reflecting how the Russians view the world outside Russia.
Chapters 6 and 7 contain 32 jokes about ethnic minorities in Russia.
Chapter 8: Off-Color Jokes. This chapter contains 65 jokes whose type is self-explanatory.
Chapter 9: Old Anecdotal Tales. This chapter contains 26 anecdotes originated in the pre-1917 imperial Russia.Back to Perakh's homepage