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  #1  
Old 08-01-2010, 05:31 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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I don't get this joke about Hitler

I was watching To Be Or Not To Be yesterday and they had a joke about Hitler.

If they named a brandy after Napoleon and a herring after Bismarck, what's Hitler going to be?
A piece of cheese.

I don't get it. Is it supposed to be saying Hitler's a rat? Or that he's cheesy?

From the context in the movie, it's clear that the joke is insulting to Hitler.
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2010, 05:34 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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A rat.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2010, 06:39 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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I love that movie. Assuming it's the Carole Lombard version.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:00 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
I love that movie. Assuming it's the Carole Lombard version.
That's the one I was watching. But I like the Mel Brooks remake too.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2010, 07:02 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
A rat.
If that's all there is to the joke, it's a really weak payoff.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2010, 07:06 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
A rat.
If that's all there is to the joke, it's a really weak payoff.
Well, back then, it was really boffo!

Best wishes,
hh
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2010, 08:28 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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How about this one then: Where did Hitler keep his armies?
SPOILER:
In his sleevies.
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2010, 08:30 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Hitler's favorite joke:




Man 1: MY DOG HAS NO NOSE!

Man 2: HOW DOES HE SMELL?

Man 1: TERRIBLE!





HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2010, 10:49 PM
In Winnipeg In Winnipeg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
If they named a brandy after Napoleon and a herring after Bismarck, what's Hitler going to be?
A piece of cheese.

I don't get it.

Don't overanalyze. What they're basically saying is that if they named anything after Hitler, it would be something unimpressive.

Cheese is no big deal (and is it ever "named after anybody"?), and in most cases, it stinks, more than anything else (think Limburger, Gorgonzola, etc.).
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:02 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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As opposed to the sweet smell of herring?

I agree, the joke doesn't make any sense. Cheese seems as fancy as herring, and only a little less so then brandy. And while rats eat cheese, do animals associated with Napoleon drink brandy?

Last edited by Simplicio; 08-01-2010 at 11:04 PM..
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2010, 11:03 PM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Yeah, that joke is lame. Sorry for fans of the film (I haven't seen it, FWIW).
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:07 AM
ministryman ministryman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I was watching To Be Or Not To Be yesterday and they had a joke about Hitler.

If they named a brandy after Napoleon and a herring after Bismarck, what's Hitler going to be?
A piece of cheese.

I don't get it. Is it supposed to be saying Hitler's a rat? Or that he's cheesy?

From the context in the movie, it's clear that the joke is insulting to Hitler.
Minor hijack: Holy Shee...I finally got the Blazing Saddles line "Is Bismarck a hewwing?"
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:25 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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How does Hitler tie his shoesies?







In little Nazis.

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 08-02-2010 at 09:25 AM..
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2010, 11:44 AM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
A rat.
If that's all there is to the joke, it's a really weak payoff.
Well, it takes place in Nazi-occupied Poland. I'd imagine someone making a joke about Hitler would end up with a knock on the door in the middle of the night. The joke itself might be lame, but even a veiled insult of Hitler would have been the highest order of political defiance.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2010, 11:56 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
If that's all there is to the joke, it's a really weak payoff.
Well, it takes place in Nazi-occupied Poland. I'd imagine someone making a joke about Hitler would end up with a knock on the door in the middle of the night. The joke itself might be lame, but even a veiled insult of Hitler would have been the highest order of political defiance.
Wouldn't, like, trying to kill Hitler be the highest order of political defiance?

But anyhoo, if I'm going to get gassed to death for a joke, I'd try and make sure it was at least a funny one.

Last edited by Simplicio; 08-02-2010 at 11:56 AM..
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2010, 12:04 PM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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What's in Hitler's nose?


Snatzis!
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2010, 01:58 PM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
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Is the joke a reference to wartime rationing and privation? People were eating cheese where before they had been eating meat.
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:13 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Or, they're saying Nappy was a drunk, Bizzy was fat, and Hitzy is a rat fink?
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:19 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Or, they're saying Nappy was a drunk, Bizzy was fat, and Hitzy is a rat fink?
Bismark got a little plump in his old age, but he wasn't really remarkably fat even then, and I don't know of any story or tradition of Napoleon being a drunk, he was famous for his crazy work-ethic and conquering Europe, which doesn't really seem like something you could do why sloshed.
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  #20  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:23 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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My favorite Hitler joke: Why didn't Hitler drink whiskey?

SPOILER:
It made him mean.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:25 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Or, they're saying Nappy was a drunk, Bizzy was fat, and Hitzy is a rat fink?
Bismark got a little plump in his old age, but he wasn't really remarkably fat even then, and I don't know of any story or tradition of Napoleon being a drunk, he was famous for his crazy work-ethic and conquering Europe, which doesn't really seem like something you could do why sloshed.
Political humor being what it is, they could be exaggerating or even making it up. It's merely the first thing I could come up with to link the silliness.

Is/was there a cheese with a name similar to Adolph or Hitler?

Last edited by AncientHumanoid; 08-02-2010 at 02:26 PM.. Reason: Jurrasic Park
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  #22  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:30 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post

Bismark got a little plump in his old age, but he wasn't really remarkably fat even then, and I don't know of any story or tradition of Napoleon being a drunk, he was famous for his crazy work-ethic and conquering Europe, which doesn't really seem like something you could do why sloshed.
Political humor being what it is, they could be exaggerating or even making it up. It's merely the first thing I could come up with to link the silliness.
Yea, jokes usually have to play off a well known myth though. Al Gore never said he invented the internet, but its still a staple of Al Gore jokes because its a famous story. A joke about Gore being a drunk wouldn't make any sense then, since drunken Gore isn't really even a popular myth.

Course, the movie came out in the 40's, so maybe drunken Napoleon and fat Bismark were popular tropes that have since faded, though I kinda doubt it, since an alcoholic Napoleon is kinda hard to even make plausible.
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  #23  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:35 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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I wonder ...


Is this actually a real joke of the era or is it only from the movie?



If it's just about the movie, then it could be that there is no reason for the joke at all, except to be something silly and lame. Any ref to the joke that isn't the movie?

Last edited by AncientHumanoid; 08-02-2010 at 02:36 PM..
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:36 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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I've always assumed that there was some sort of pun involved, lost to us now. Lubitsch was certainly capable of making a better joke.
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  #25  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:37 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Maybe the joke is about the parents?
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  #26  
Old 08-02-2010, 02:51 PM
TWDuke TWDuke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy
Bismark got a little plump in his old age, but he wasn't really remarkably fat even then, and I don't know of any story or tradition of Napoleon being a drunk, he was famous for his crazy work-ethic and conquering Europe, which doesn't really seem like something you could do why sloshed.
Political humor being what it is, they could be exaggerating or even making it up. It's merely the first thing I could come up with to link the silliness.
Bismarck herring was named after Bismarck as a marketing tool, after it was discovered that he liked the stuff. I'm not sure how Napoleon brandy came to be called that, but as it's meant to convey a sense of prestige, I'm sure it's not an insulting reference to the emperor.

In fact, if anything, the joke would be even lamer if the other two names were derogatory. The twist comes from the fact that the first two items were named after greatly admired leaders as a sort of tribute. If they were also insults, there would be no joke.

Last edited by TWDuke; 08-02-2010 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: I hate nested quotes.
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  #27  
Old 08-02-2010, 05:40 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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huh



That's the beauty of it. It doesn't MEAN anything.




.
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  #28  
Old 08-02-2010, 05:45 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is online now
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
As opposed to the sweet smell of herring?

I agree, the joke doesn't make any sense. Cheese seems as fancy as herring, and only a little less so then brandy. And while rats eat cheese, do animals associated with Napoleon drink brandy?
I interpreted it as Napoleon liked brandy, Bismark liked herring, and Hitler (since he's a rat) liked cheese. Not that either of the other two guys mentioned were animals.
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  #29  
Old 08-02-2010, 05:47 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In Winnipeg View Post
Don't overanalyze. What they're basically saying is that if they named anything after Hitler, it would be something unimpressive.

Cheese is no big deal (and is it ever "named after anybody"?), and in most cases, it stinks, more than anything else (think Limburger, Gorgonzola, etc.).
This joke is insulting to cheese!
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  #30  
Old 08-02-2010, 06:32 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
That's the beauty of it. It doesn't MEAN anything.
But it was clear in the movie that it was an obvious insult. And that it was supposed to be a common joke.
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  #31  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
That's the beauty of it. It doesn't MEAN anything.
But it was clear in the movie that it was an obvious insult. And that it was supposed to be a common joke.

That was a joke. From an older, very hard to find the answer question.
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  #32  
Old 08-02-2010, 08:24 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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This review of a review of alternate-history treatments of Hitler is mildly appropriate:

Quote:
Finally, there is the fate of Hitler himself. In his earliest postwar allohistorical incarnations, he is up to his old tricks: inciting neofascist movements and devising superweapons in jungle exile; in one American television drama he is the colleague of the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. By the 1970s, he is portrayed as a decrepit old man, almost pitiable. Revenge against such a creature seems irrelevant in comparison to the magnitude of his crimes. In his most recent metamorphosis, though, he meets as strange a fate as any allohistorical scenario: he has become a clown. Increasingly over the last 30 years, der FŁhrer has been appearing in comedy sketches and comic books, where he displays a short temper and a certain talent for explosive epigram.

Hitlerís final state may be that of Mad Baggins, who, as Tolkien tells us, used to vanish with a flash and bang in fireside stories and became a favorite character of legend after all the true events were forgotten.

It may be allohistory, but you canít make this stuff up.
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  #33  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:46 PM
Sam A. Robrin Sam A. Robrin is offline
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Perhaps the idea is that if Hitler brought peace, everybody would say, "Chee!" . . .
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  #34  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:51 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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How about this idea: France is not stereotypically known for its brandy nor is Germany known for its herring. Therefore, the food item Hitler will lend his name to will also be something Germany is not known for: cheese.
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  #35  
Old 05-27-2013, 06:22 PM
Popular Culture Fan Popular Culture Fan is offline
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World War II slang explain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I was watching To Be Or Not To Be yesterday and they had a joke about Hitler.

If they named a brandy after Napoleon and a herring after Bismarck, what's Hitler going to be?
A piece of cheese.

I don't get it. Is it supposed to be saying Hitler's a rat? Or that he's cheesy?

From the context in the movie, it's clear that the joke is insulting to Hitler.
You have to know a little about American slang from this time period.

Cheese was a slang term during this time period for human dung...So the punchline is calling Hitler a "Piece of excrement"

A slang expression for when someone broke wind in a group and someone smells it was, "Who cut the cheese!"

Last edited by Popular Culture Fan; 05-27-2013 at 06:23 PM.. Reason: clarifying remark.
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  #36  
Old 05-27-2013, 06:45 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Interesting. I'd never heard that "cheese" meant poop, but the expression "who cut the cheese?" still exists to this day. It's kind of cool how some things survive and some don't.
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  #37  
Old 05-27-2013, 06:53 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
How about this idea: France is not stereotypically known for its brandy
Huh? Cognac? Armagnac? (And obviously Napoleon, which is a brand of cognac)

Last edited by jayjay; 05-27-2013 at 06:54 PM..
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  #38  
Old 05-27-2013, 06:58 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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More generally, "piece of cheese" was a slang insult to imply that somebody was useless, insignificant, or contemptible, as in this example from the early 1920s:
Quote:
"I called in that jackass there"---he pointed to the guilty clerk---"[...] and that piece of cheese says: [...]"
The movie line isn't suggesting that any type of cheese might actually be named after Hitler; it's just calling Hitler a "piece of cheese".

Last edited by Kimstu; 05-27-2013 at 06:59 PM..
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  #39  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:13 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popular Culture Fan View Post
You have to know a little about American slang from this time period.

Cheese was a slang term during this time period for human dung...So the punchline is calling Hitler a "Piece of excrement"

A slang expression for when someone broke wind in a group and someone smells it was, "Who cut the cheese!"
Okay, I had never heard this particular slang term before but it fits the joke and makes it work. So thanks for solving the mystery.
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  #40  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:15 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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In the Mel Brooks remake, they changed it to "a pickle... because he's such a sourpuss!"

Apparently Mel either didn't get the cheese joke either or else got it but didn't think it was funny.

Last edited by Sampiro; 05-27-2013 at 07:16 PM..
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  #41  
Old 05-27-2013, 08:01 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
In the Mel Brooks remake, they changed it to "a pickle... because he's such a sourpuss!"

Apparently Mel either didn't get the cheese joke either or else got it but didn't think it was funny.
Most likely, no one in the audience would have gotten the allusion, since the slang term was no longer au courant. I certainly wouldn't have.

In line with the above, Hitler was notorious for his flatulence. He apparently had something like irritable bowel syndrome, aggravated by his vegetarian diet. After one meeting with some particularly important aristocrat and potential Party backer in the '20s or '30s, she leaned over to a servant and said sotto voce "Open a window, please. It stinks in here!"

Last edited by terentii; 05-27-2013 at 08:01 PM..
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  #42  
Old 05-27-2013, 08:14 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
More generally, "piece of cheese" was a slang insult to imply that somebody was useless, insignificant, or contemptible, as in this example from the early 1920s:


The movie line isn't suggesting that any type of cheese might actually be named after Hitler; it's just calling Hitler a "piece of cheese".
I think I get it, this is actually like those old fashion bad words/line substitutes, like "Oh Sugar!" "Fiddlesticks" to replace Oh shit and fuck. "piece of cheese" seem to be a bad word substitute for the common insult of calling someone a "piece of shit"
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  #43  
Old 05-27-2013, 11:25 PM
Sam A. Robrin Sam A. Robrin is offline
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Possibly the idea is that Swiss cheese is full of holes, and they'd like to see some gunmen put him in the same condition ...?
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  #44  
Old 05-28-2013, 12:29 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popular Culture Fan View Post
Cheese was a slang term during this time period for human dung...So the punchline is calling Hitler a "Piece of excrement"

A slang expression for when someone broke wind in a group and someone smells it was, "Who cut the cheese!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
Interesting. I'd never heard that "cheese" meant poop, but the expression "who cut the cheese?" still exists to this day. It's kind of cool how some things survive and some don't.
"Who cut the cheese" referred to the fact that many kinds of cheese (like Limburger) are very stinky. Because of this the phrase was a euphemism for "Who farted?" Cheese wasn't actually a slang term for crap.
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  #45  
Old 05-28-2013, 10:46 AM
mlees mlees is offline
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Would you like a slice of Hitler on that sandwich?
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  #46  
Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM
White SIFL White SIFL is offline
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
My favorite Hitler joke: Why didn't Hitler drink whiskey?

SPOILER:
It made him mean.
I know I'm late for the party, but that was funny.
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  #47  
Old 05-29-2013, 11:13 AM
White SIFL White SIFL is offline
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Would you like a slice of Hitler on that sandwich?
No thanks, it gives me gas.
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  #48  
Old 05-29-2013, 12:02 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Though in fact, Hitler became a tea kettle.
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  #49  
Old 05-29-2013, 12:33 PM
detop detop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
This joke is insulting to cheese!
But only to non-aryan cheese.
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