Jokes that, nowadays, need explaining

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.


Best explained in the movie:

In real life. “We can’t hire you because you don’t have enough experience.” But you can’t gain the experience unless someone hires you. Woooooo… Catch-22!

“Catch-22” didn’t mean anything. prior to the book of the same title. In fact, the original manuscript called it “catch-18”.

I always took it to mean that there were at least 21 other Catches in addition to 22. But 22 was the best!

It’s also the reason Klinger dresses like a woman in MAS*H. He can’t receive a Section 8 because no insane person thinks or will admit they’re crazy. Someone else has to make the declaration.

Off-topic. This has always played with my mind. When I go through moments where I think I’m losing it, it must mean that I’m okay. But when I think I’m okay, it could mean I’m insane!

Oh, okay. I just wondered if “It’s the best there is!” was a reference to something. Catch-22 is one of my favorite novels.

That’s just a ‘guns are too easy to buy’ joke, likely by people who favor gun control and either have no idea what actual gun laws are like or desire to paint them as much looser than they are. The US in general hasn’t allowed anything like ‘gun vending machines’ since 1968, when federal law was changed to require all new sales to go through licensed firearms dealer who has to complete certain records. NYC has required a license issued at the discretion of police to possess or purchase a handgun since the Sullivan act in 1911, and NY state has had a similar licensing system since the 1930s. The licenses have to go through an application process, so there’s an inherent waiting period for anyone who hasn’t already gotten one.

To make it clear, it hadn’t been legal in NYC to possess (or sell to someone) a handgun without a discretionary police-issued license for seven decades before that episode aired.

Haha, you either ordered an Alt in Cologne or a Kölsch in Düsseldorf, didn’t you? Those are normally instant death sentences :laughing:.

I think it’s more of the 1970s-1980s trope of New York as being a hellhole of uncontrollable crime and violence.

That first worked backwards when the British ordered cheap German industrial goods to be stamped “Made In Germany” around the 19/20th century turn. It backfired and soon became a trademark for quality.

ETA: the German industry in the second half of the 19th century was analogous to the Chinese in our time: industrial espionage, copying, selling cheaply, but getting better in the process and finally producing quality.

I think that’s based on casu marzu, a real-life Corsican cheese that is served infested with maggots.

Huh - the last time I smelled Limburger, I was a kid, and it absolutely reeked. I’ll have to check it out again the next time I’m at a cheese counter and see what I think nowadays.

There’s an old joke that if you eat a Chinese meal, you’re hungry again an hour later. I think that dates from when Chinese food was new here – a Chinese dish containing less meat and more veggies than Americans were used to, so of course it wasn’t as filling as their usual meals.

Actually, because it is very stinky. I’ve had it and it smells like something between a dead mouse and stinky feet. (It tastes a lot better than it smells though.) Seriously, if you don’t think it smells worse than a slice of Swiss, cheddar, or mozzarella, I would consider having your sense of smell checked out medically.

Pretty much every reference to it mentions the cheese’s smell.