Three Favourite Japanese Jokes

The worst job interview I ever had started with the interviewer asking me to tell him a joke.

I sat there flustered for a while before mumbling something about a man walking into a bar. The interviewer rolled his eyes. Needless to say I didn't get the job.

Sitting in a smokey cafe after the interview I remembered The Michael Jackson Joke which is probably the best beginner-Japanese joke of all time. I should've told him that one! Although he probably would have rolled his eyes at that too...

They say explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog - you understand it better but the frog dies in the process. So with that in mind, here are my three favourite, brilliant, terrible Japanese jokes. Happy Friday!


Maikeru Jakkuson no sukina iro wa nan desu ka.

"What's Michael Jackson's favourite colour?"

You have to really commit to the punchline for this one. You can even tell the question in English and the punchline in Japanese, as long as the person you're speaking to knows the Japanese word ao.

I once told The Michael Jackson Joke to a friend while standing at a traffic light in Nagoya and a stranger in front of us burst out laughing. True story.

↓ (Skip to 1:05)

「どうしてハワイ人は歯医者に行かないの? 」

Doushite Hawaii jin wa haisha ni ikanai no?
Ha wa ii kara.

"Why don't Hawaiians go to the dentist?"
"Because their teeth (=ha) are good (=ii)"

My friend Kendal sent me this one last week. ありがとうケンダル!


Panda no sukina esa wa?
Pan da.

"What's a panda's favourite food?"
"Bread (=pan)"
Pandas and puns are probably two of my favourite things. This joke has both.

What's your favourite Japanese joke? Have you ever told a joke in a job interview? Let me know in the comments!