Jokes that, nowadays, need explaining

Undoubtedly. I remember in areas, and/or among people where tastes were more adventurous, a kind of what I’d call “affectionate contempt” toward those whose food tastes were considered staid: remarking about those who probably boil their steak or fry their salads and considered anything spicier than salt & pepper to be an affectation.

I recall my father bought Limburger once in the 1960s just to try it out, but that’s the only time I ever encountered it. It was indeed very stinky.

I recall a joke from the 1950s where a mouse from outer space landed and said “Take me to your Liederkranz!”, a cheese that was extinct for 25 years but which has recently been revived.

Anything involving technology that didn’t exist at the time - cell phone annoyances don’t make sense to pre-cell-phone people. A lot of those fade out of relevance pretty quickly - jokes about using up phone minutes really only clicked from sometime in the 90s to 00s, they seem weird today. Anything involving major cultural change - marriage jokes involving same-sex couples, for example, would be interpreted as some kind of absurdist humor. Jokes from today about the annoyance of wearing masks, or having to social distance would flop for most of that time, though at some point (80 years maybe) people who had lived through Spanish Flu would get them - though the ones related to things like food delivery and Zoom conferences wouldn’t.

Back in the 50s, there were a lot of jokes about someone turning over an item that they had just purchased, and being dismayed to see that it was stamped “Made in Japan.” Now being made in Japan is a mark of quality and coolness.

Checking online menus quickly for places near me, on chains Papa John’s has them but Domino’s, Little Caesar’s, and Pizza Hut don’t, two local places that are Italian do have them, two other places that are more general don’t. So they’re far from universal, but not very hard to find.

I agree, there are some jokes where the specific reference isn’t something you don’t get, but can tell from the joke what the reference must be. I vaguely remember “Bob Packwood”, but it’s really obvious in the joke that he’s someone who was in the news for some kind of groping or sexual harassment.

She meant keep the coins.

In the U.S.? No, but I didn’t go looking for them, either.

Durian pizza I have seen, in fact it seems you can now order it from Pizza Hut in Singapore:

But, more importantly, I could swear I heard, or at least read somewhere, a couple of jokes about durian, nothing to do with pizza though, the gist simply being that they are smelly. So that fruit is or was already the subject of jokes in the US, unless I’m misremembering.

Haven’t personally seen surstromming pizza, I must admit, but I’m positive someone has tried it. I’ve heard cracks about lutefisk, BTW.

To continue the hijack… I find it strange when a place (I’m looking at you Domino’s!) doesn’t have anchovies.

I would guess that even if anchovies aren’t on the menu, they’d be available if you ask. It’s not like a tin in the restaurant kitchen would go bad waiting for someone to order them.

The best cheese joke is from Asterix in Corsica

…it explodes.

There is more than one layer to the joke, too, like how the Corsican can smell the unmistakable scent of Corsica over the cheese :slight_smile:

Based on my last visit to Europe in 2013, I don’t disagree with any of this. Like I mentioned earlier, it might have been more of an issue a couple of decades ago. And whatever less-than-stellar experiences* I had with a server in Europe in the '80s and '90s could also be attributed to the fact that I was in my 20s then. But I’m just guessing.

*And to be honest, I can only think of a few bad experiences out of dozens of good experiences, so it could also be selective recall.

Maybe someone like Dennis Miller might make such a joke, but I think 99% of Americans aren’t going to get it. I’m sure I would have to explain what durian was to most people I know. Fresh durian can be had in the US but can be expensive ($177 for one fruit!). I’m sure anchovies and even Limburger are known to far more people.

I had durian when I was in Malaysia, and was kind of disappointed. It was neither as stinky nor as delicious as its reputation. (It is stinky, and it is delicious, just not to the hyperbolic extent some accounts suggest.)

I figured it was like using what’s on hand. An Italian restaurant might use them for other dishes, like bagna calda.

If you stock anchovies to make it already, you can offer it on pizza. Sorry if anybody posted upthread:

There was an old Critic episode from the mid-90’s where somebody needs to buy a gun quickly and they just go to a vending machine to buy one, right next to the crack vending machine. While you can easily say it’s about American gun culture in general I believe the reference was more specifically back in the 1980’s when New York City’s gun laws were far more loose, it might have even been no waiting periods leading to the infamous “Saturday Night Specials” where you could buy a cheap gun from a gun shop for less than $50 and then use it that very same night for something nefarious. Now I think NYC has the tightest gun laws in the entire country (iirc there’s only a single gun shop left in NYC proper) but it’s still weird to see a show depict NYC as having guns that were easily and legally obtainable.

I thought gun control in New York has always been strict, dating back to the Sullivan Act of 1911. Is there evidence that they were ‘looser’ in the '80s?

I think the idea was it was uncommon and strange
It kind of reminds me of the cartoon trope that Limburger cheese was extremely stinky. I’ve had limburger cheese, to me it didn’t smell any worse than any other kind of cheese. Where did the idea come from? Probably mostly due to the fact that they knew that less than one percent of the people who watched the cartoon had ever tasted limburger.

Agreeing with both of you. In both my Boston years and upper central Midwest pizza eating years anchovies have been easy to get on :pizza:. Not at every place, but usually most local pizzerias have them if you request them. Franchise places less so. I find anchovies on pizza far more explicable than pineapple. Hardest thing is finding another person to share a pie with them on it with you. BTW, I like them in salads too.

When I worked at Domino’s in the Eighties, anchovies were available.

Hey, Google, has Domino’s had anchovies?

Also: an article that addresses the question: “When, however, did anchovy pizza become a joke, shorthand for ‘this person likes weird food?’”

I ordered a pizza with anchovies from Vocelli Pizza earlier this month.