Japanese term for any joke that is not funny. It is NOT in any way intended to look down upon or make fun of Americans, because as you may already know, Japanese are the only people in the world who admit that they like American culture and Americans.

The reason why a joke that is not funny is said to be an “American joke” is that Japanese cannot fully understand jokes said by Americans or British or Australians for that matter. It is not only an engrish communication problem, it is also that the sense of humor of Americans and Japanese are so different that it is commonly known and said that Japanese cannot understand jokes said by Americans.

If you don’t believe me, go the movie theatre and watch an American comedy in Japan with an audience full of Japanese. Notice that you are the only one laughing at the jokes and gags and everyone is looking at you funny.

More precisely, in Japanese, an "American joke" (pronounced ah-may-ri-kan joh-ku using katakana English) is any joke where the intended humor relies on sarcasm, irony, black humor, or absurdist humor, because these are types of humor that generally speaking do not exist in Japanese.

In a Japanese context, the three main forms of humor are slapstick (people taking pratfalls), insult humor (calling people fat or dumb, for example), or puns.

When a Japanese person calls something an "American joke," it does not necessarily mean that they did not get the joke or that it wasn't funny - some Japanese people understand these jokes - but it means that it is a type of joke a Japanese person would not normally make.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.