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Journal yerricde's Journal: The Basics of Soviet Russia Jokes 11

Some Slashdot users, in an attempt to get a comment moderated Funny, imitate a joke form introduced by Ukrainian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff called the "Soviet Russia joke".

The common form of a Soviet Russia joke is not simple reversal of object and subject in the headline, as in this poor attempt. Instead, it reworks nouns and verbs in the headline in a way that implies control of individuals by machines or by large organizations. "In Soviet Russia, Segway drives YOU!" Make sure to omit articles ("a", "an", or "the") because Russian language does same.

Better is a Soviet Russia joke that refers to things that actually happen in actual Russia. For example, all works published outside of Russia before 1995 are in the public domain in Russia. "In Soviet Russia, Mickey Mouse is copied by YOU!" You may be able to squeeze even more humor by introducing the unexpected and breaking the Noun-Verb-YOU form: "In Soviet Russia, government doesn't worship Disney!" Or you can comment on the situation in "Soviet China" or "Soviet Germany" instead, as both are (China) or were (DDR) under Communist rule.

Best is a good Soviet Russia joke followed by a paragraph or so of actual content expounding on the thesis made in the joke. For example, one could give an overview of what happens in Russia to works first published at various times and why.

But be warned: Many bad Soviet Russia jokes seem to quickly gain a response from some ticked-off AC with subject "Dead Horse Beats You".


31 Jan: credit Yakov at MulluskO's request

8 Feb: Yakov is from Ukraine (thanks Big Sean O)

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The Basics of Soviet Russia Jokes

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  • Yakkov (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MulluskO ( 305219 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2003 @11:55PM (#5187009) Journal
    Doesn't it also have something to do with Yakkov Shmirnoff? He spends most of his routine pointing out differences between Soviet Russia and the United States. I think The Simpsons did a sketch featuring him, but if you haven't seen that, I think he's still in Branson.

    Also, you have the occaisional variation: "In KGB's Soviet Russia..." Shmirnoff usually followed it up with, "WHAT A COUNTRY! HUH HAH HUH!" Making a terrible noise which I believe involved inhaling.
    • Doesn't it also have something to do with Yakkov Shmirnoff?

      Yes. Yakov Smirnoff [] invented the Soviet Russia joke. I had forgotten to mention it in my article, which was intended primarily as a reply to an offtopic comment in an article, namely a bad SR joke in response to a less-bad SR joke.

    • Oh, Branson. My state's reply to Vegas.

  • Free time has too much YOU!

  • In Soviet Russia, beowulf cluster imagines Natalie Portman's grits.


  • Great article.

    Now do others for all the standard /. jokes (beowolf cluster, KHAAAAAANNNN, etc.) and you'll have a real angle going for yourself.

    I think more people are clueless about these then would care to admit.


  • It's allways annoying to see people work with stereotypes like the genuine article. Why the f is that comedian called "Russian" on his site? He's not Russian, he's a Jew of Russian origin. if he's not a Russian citizen, or Russian nationality, then why does he call himself Russian? In this clown's case, it's benefiting from the stereotype - let's sell those american rednecks an image of Russia they expect. Those "soviet russia" jokes are extremely blase and poor taste. Untill Recently, Russians enjoyed more intellectual freedom than any of us Americans- they allowed for backwards engineering, and were very flexible with copyright enforcement. So please, stop feeding this ridiculous stereotype. And before the PC crowd starts screaming antisemite, let me inform you that i'm a Russian Jew living in brooklyn. And when people ask me where i'm from, that's exactly what i tell them. I dont' tell them i'm Russian. Because i'm proud of my heritage. Wich that hack clown yakov clearly is not. Please stop this Soviet Russia nonsense.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig