From Vanity Fair:
The very concept of “Canadian humor” an oxymoron? As they say in Canada: possibly, or possibly not.
Canada’s history lacks the violent frontier mythology that continues to fuel the folk hoax of rugged individualism so central to the American identity. Rather, Canadian society was carefully devised to run on the oiled ball bearings of amity and cooperation, ensuring a near-Scandinavian calm, as in: an aversion to firing semi-automatic Russian assault weapons into schoolrooms; the casual embrace of free health insurance even for deadbeats; debate over same-sex marriage that’s about as heated as that over licensing dogs; open arms to immigrants, swarthy and otherwise; volunteering for U.N. peacekeeping duties, no questions asked; and a national disinclination to jaywalk, even at three A.M. on an empty street, because, heck, they told us not to.
Thus, a strong case can be made that life in unrestive, uncomplicated, unconfrontational Canada is altogether too relentlessly nice for humor to flourish. Lack of societal friction starves the mischief instinct. See also: belgian stand-up comedy festival canceled again … new zealand museum of comedy files for bankruptcy … finland-wide clown search proves futile.
“Canadian humor”—does it even exist? Theories abound and conflict and contradict themselves.
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