But its not that simple, in Ireland
Irish jokes are simply jokes which have an Irish character in them. In this context Irish jokes are niether entirely one of self-parody
or laughs at the expense of foreigners (although the English
and, suprisingly, the Welsh
often come in for a lot of stick).
In a typical Irish Irish joke the punchline is usually delivered by the Irishman of the story, and who, as in English Irish jokes, is called Paddy, Murphy or Seamus.
The Irishman of the joke is often shown to a be a wily, shrewd and cunning character running rings around the other nationalities - always a couple of steps ahead (even if he does bend the rules of logic sometimes).
Irish Irish jokes often use the English "All Paddy's are thick" as the very comedic device of the joke, which (for the average English person anyway) gives it an extra twist. My mate Noel told me that it took him over 5 years to work out what the English meant when that said "That's a bit Irish" when they saw some bad workmanship or illogical behaviour.
I'm a Londoner with lots and lots of Irish friends so I hear quite a few jokes. When I first met first Irish jokes the like could make me feel awkward - you know when you suddenly act all "politically correct" and innocent about certain stereotypes, jokes and issues when surrounded by an ethnic grouping. The Irish have to be one of the funniest nations on the planet - but thats another node.
ANYWAY! I've been gearing up for it and after explaining all that I think I have a right to add my own favourite Irish* joke. I heard it Irish toilet, and it is a good example of the type of Irish-Irish humour I'm trying to explain:
Terry is in charge of handing out the contract to renovate
the company's offices. So he invites the three leading contractors
, one Welsh, one English and one Irish, that are all competing to win the renovation work, so he can ask some questions about the cost of the work.
First to arrive is Dafyd the Welshman, Terry welcomes him and they move on to discussing business.
"So" Terry says "How much will it cost you to carry out the job Dafyd?"
Dafyd replies "I'll do you a very good deal indeed sir - the total cost will be £3000"
"And how did you come to that price?" Terry inquires.
"Simple" says Dafyd "£1000 for materials, £1000 for the labour, and £1000 profit"
"Very good - I'll let you know"
Dafyd leaves, and then John the Englishman arrives. Terry asks the same questions...
"£6000 - for the renovation guv'nor. A fair price I think you'll find"
"And how did you get to that price?"
"It's not complicated squire... £2000 for the tools, £2000 for the labourers, and £2000 profit"
"Hmmmm, Okay..." says Terry "I'll be in touch"
At the end of the day Paddy arrives, Terry welcomes him and they get straight to business...
"So.." Terry says once again ..."How much will you charge the company to renovate the office?"
Paddy boldly says "£9000"
Terry is so shocked and almost falls off his chair, once he gathers his breath he asks the Irishman:
"£9000?!!? How are you going to spend the very grand sum of £9000(!) on renovating our office?"
Paddy smiles and with a glint in his eye he says...
"It's quite simple your Lordship.... £3000... for you. (pause for small laugh from your audience)....£3000 for me. And £3000 for the Welshman to do it!"
(joyful laughter usually follows if told right - I promise)
*Replace and insert whatever ethnic groups if you like, just be polite!