May 30, 2011

Americans voted “Funniest Nationality” in Global Study

Americans voted “Funniest Nationality”

• America hailed a “comedy superpower”. Even Obama is “way funnier than any European leader.”

•  Germans named “least funny nationality”, Spanish funniest Europeans; Brits judged “not as funny as they think”.

• Humour is key when meeting new people


The Americans have been voted the world’s “funniest nationality” in a global poll, which also names the Germans the “least funny” nationality and the Spanish the funniest Europeans.

30,000 people across 15 countries were asked to name both the “funniest” (“best at making people laugh”) and “least funny” nationality in a poll conducted by (, the world’s largest social network site for meeting new people, with 119m users worldwide.

The Americans were voted the world’s funniest nationality by some margin, ahead of the Spanish in second, Italians in third and the British in seventh.  

The voting for “least funny” nationality confirmed the view of America’s Mark Twain that “a German joke is no laughing matter”. The Germans won comfortably, ahead of the Russians and Turks. 

“When we meet someone new, one of the first things we notice is whether they make us laugh”, says Lloyd Price, Badoo’s Director of Marketing. “Sometimes, it’s the most important thing. Badoo helps millions of people meet every month.”

America’s triumph in the Badoo poll is a tribute to the nation that has given the world not just Twain himself but such comedy classics as Friends, The Simpsons, Frasier, Cheers, Seinfeld and any number of comic greats.

The latter ranges from WC Fields to Marx Brothers to Woody Allen, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey… or Tom and Jerry, Peanuts, Mad Magazine, Shrek, and… the list goes on.

“America is the world’s comedy superpower”, says Price. “No other country comes close. Even Obama is way funnier than any European leader.” Indeed, Obama’s recent comic demolition of Donald Trump at a White House dinner went viral on YouTube. “It’s hard to imagine Angela Merkel, Nicholas Sarkozy or David Cameron achieving the same.”

Even the old British claim that Americans don’t “do irony” no longer holds water. “Seinfeld was massively successful and it was dripping in irony”, says Simon Nye, a top British comedy writer. “So that kicks on the head the idea that the Britain is the only home of irony.”

Indeed, the British pride themselves on their humor but learn from the Badoo poll that they are not as funny as they think. They placed just seventh out of 15 – behind not just the Americans, Spanish and Italians but also the Brazilians, French and Mexicans.

In general, though, American humor is less ironic than British humor and less political than much humor in countries like France and Italy. Instead, it tends to be more observational and more reliant on slapstick, physical comedy and gag-power. It draws on the comic traditions of many lands but with Jewish humor a major influence.

The results of the Badoo poll for “least funny” nationality recall an episode of the American animated sitcom, South Park, which involved Germany outpointing the Japanese and the Eskimos to be named the world’s “Least Funny People” at the South Park Elementary School Special Education Department Comedy Awards show.

The German Government responded by inventing a robot able to make “perfect” jokes and so conquer the comedy world.

But the idea that the Germans are more serious than others is not new. Twain, after all, delivered his verdict on German jokes over a century ago.

While it was Twain who best summed up German humor, it was WH Auden, the great Anglo-American poet, who best expressed the importance of humor in general, when he observed:  “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.”

Q. Which nationality – excluding your own – do you feel is the funniest and/or best at making people laugh?

 The 10 Highest Ranked Nationalities:





































Note: 2,000 Badoo users from each of 15 nationalities were asked to pick from a list of 15 nationalities. Other nationalities in the list from which respondents picked were: German, Polish, Argentinian, Canadian and Turkish.

Source: Badoo Internal Data: 30,000 Badoo users were polled online in April/May 2011 Survey

Q. Which nationality do you feel is the LEAST funny and/or good at making people laugh?

Six Highest Ranked Nationalities:













Note: 2,000 respondents from each of 15 nationalities were asked to pick from a list of 15 nationalities. Other nationalities in the list from which Badoo users picked were British, American, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, Argentinian, Canadian, Belgian, Dutch and Polish.

Source: Badoo Internal Data: 30,000 Badoo users were polled online in April/May 2011 Survey