Radio Yerevan jokes
The Radio Yerevan jokes, also known as the Armenian Radio jokes, have been popular in the Soviet Union and other countries of the former Communist Eastern bloc since the second half of the 20th century. These jokes of the Q&A type pretended to come from the Question & Answer series of the Armenian Radio. A typical format of a joke was: "Radio Yerevan was asked," and "Radio Yerevan answered."
Examples of jokes
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Is it true that there is freedom of speech in the USSR (in some versions, Russia), just like in the USA?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the White House and yell, “Down with Reagan!”, and you will not be punished. Equally, you can also stand in the Red Square in Moscow and yell, “Down with Reagan!”, and you will not be punished."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Comrades, will there be war?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "No, but there will be such a struggle for peace that everything will be razed to the ground."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Could an atomic bomb destroy our beloved town, Yerevan, with its splendid buildings and beautiful gardens?"
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "What is the socialist friendship of nations?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "It's when Armenians, Russians, Ukrainians, and all other peoples of the USSR unite in a brotherly manner and all together set out to beat up the Azeris."
Since the fall of communism
After the perestroika period, and the final dissolution of the USSR in 1991, new Radio Yerevan jokes became rare, as Russians felt freer to engage in more conventional forms of political protest and satire.
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Does Radio Yerevan still accept questions from the listening public?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "No. The Jewish man who wrote the answers died (variant: left for Israel)."
With the rise of Vladimir Putin and increasing authoritarianism under his rule, new jokes in the Radio Yerevan format became popular, distributed on the Internet as much as orally. Putin, other prominent Russians, and the Russian economy are the most common targets, but with greater availability of news from abroad, Western current affairs are also alluded to.
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "How does Putin's Russia differ from Soviet Russia?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "The Communist Party of the Soviet Union can be thought of as a corporation that owned everything. Vladimir Putin is more like a sole proprietor."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Speaking on RT, President Putin supported the toughening of penalties for corruption. Are you comfortable discussing measures that you believe should be applied to corrupt officials?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "Yes, we feel comfortable discussing such measures. The most blatantly corrupt officials should be banned from appearing in music videos."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Why did President Putin help Mother Russia off her knees?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "He wanted to screw her in a different position."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Russia is often called a petrostate. What is the difference between a petrostate and a banana republic?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "Bananas are a renewable resource."
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Is there any way Hillary Clinton could still enter the White House?"
- Radio Yerevan was asked: "Why did the Greeks want to flee the eurozone?"
- Radio Yerevan answered: "Eurozone, Soviet zone, exclusion zone---a zone is a zone, no matter what you call it."
- Paul Gleye (1991), Behind the Wall: An American in East Germany, 1988-89. SIU Press. ISBN 9780809317431
- Birgit Beumers (2005), Pop Culture Russia!: Media, Arts, and Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851094592
- Allan Stevo (2014). "Radio Yerevan Joke Collection". Bratislava Guide.com. Archived from the original (Internet Archive) on September 8, 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Draitser, E. (1989). "Soviet Underground Jokes as a Means of Popular Entertainment." The Journal of Popular Culture, 23(1), 117–125.
- Armenian Institute
- https://www.anekdot.ru/tags/%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BC%D1%8F%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B5%20%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%B8%D0%BE Adapted from literal translations of Russian originals collected by anekdot.ru.