Chilean Sense of Humour

Even though it’s scientifically proven that a dark sense of humour denotes intelligence, not everyone appreciates this trait and might find it offensive. Since I know Indie Road readers are as wicked as we are, I feel comfortable to talk openly about a very distinct sense of humour in the world, the Chilean one.

Street art in Valparaíso

Chileans mock everyone and everything

Once I met an American guy, a GRINGO, who told me he didn’t enjoy his time in Chile because locals kept making fun of his accent in Spanish. Although this might sound rude to many of you, when Chileans make of fun of you, you shouldn’t take it personally; there’s nothing they won’t make fun of, particularly when it comes to foreign accents. Before you get offended, you must bear in mind that Chileans make fun of nobody more than they do of themselves.

From religion to sex and politics, they are no boundaries to mockery; political correctness is nearly inexistent in Chile. Once my mother was wondering what she did in her past life to bear such karma and my Chilean uncle said: “perhaps you were in charge of the gas chambers in Auschwitz.” Awful, I know.

I was showing my photos from my trip in New Zealand to my cousin Daniela and her friend Diego. While I swiping the images of The Lord of the Rings’ movie set, Daniela turns to look at her friend and says: “Look Diego, Claudia has been to your shire! She visited Hobbiton.” He wasn’t particularly happy with being mocked because of his height but I had to rush to the kitchen suppressing a smile.

My sister and me, Viña del Mar

Double entendre

If you say something in Spanish you believe is not funny and a bunch of Chileans burst out laughing, they are probably reading more into it than you might think. Chileans are capable of finding a double meaning to almost every word or phrase and I can promise you this, you won’t see it coming.

Good sense of humour is overreaching 

Jokes and comical gestures impregnate every other conversation amongst Chileans. If they don’t come up with a pun, their gestures or the way they tell a story will spark a laugh or two. A funny person is highly appreciated and being funny can be useful in many different ways: “The key is to make her laugh until she forgets you are ugly.”

A Chilean guy once said that sense of humour is a mechanism for coping with reality and somewhat improving it. Comedians heavily rely on current affairs to compose their repertoire and it’s funny because it’s true. While comedy ridicules political irregularities and flaws in the legal system, it may also serve as a catalyst to fix them by emphasising its absurdity, influencing public opinion and keep them under scrutiny.

I was watching a comedy show where a Chilean comedian was mocking a law that allows burglars to break into your house if it’s not properly locked; after a burglary, if there is no evidence of breaking and entering, it’s your fault for not securing your home and inviting burglars to break into your home. You evil bastard, tempting others to take your stuff. Shame on you!

Aforementioned comedian ridiculed this law by telling the tale of his friend who hit a burglar who broke into his home. Upon calling the police, the cop treated the homeowner as the criminal and was charging him for leaving the window open and inviting burglary; the cop even accused him of being a “snitch” for calling the police. The tale included a helicopter and an ambulance that showed up in the crime scene to save the burglar. The end of the tale was set at court where the homeowner heartily apologised to the burglar and promised to leave both doors open next time. “You can take everything you want,” he pledged.

Comparative superlatives 

Chileans also make jokes by comparing a situation to an absurd one. For instance, “she is more scared than a nun with a messed-up cycle.”

Sly jokes 

Chileans also enjoy their dark sense of humour when it comes to relationships. It’s not strange to spot outside a restaurant a sign that reads: “Treat your girlfriend, wife or lover to have a nice meal, but if you bring the three of them, it’s on the house.” Or “if she writes on social media, ‘I love spending time with my boyfriend,’ it doesn’t mean she likes being with you, she is just warning her lover you are home.”

And more absurdity…

Chileans love absurdity. They enjoy mocking ridiculous people, situations and even themselves. Their absurd jokes are hilarious because they are absolutely ludicrous. Unfortunately, most of the Chilean comedy gets lost in translation, so you’ll have to take my word for it that their sense of humour is unique in the world.

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