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A beginner's guide to Aussie humour

No matter where you are around the world, comedy is always a cultural “thermometer”. In fact, watching Aussie comedy will teach you so many things you will never find in guide or culture books. It is one of the best ways to learn about how Australians perceive politics, gender, class, social boundaries and so much more. 

There are many ways you can learn and enjoy comedy. You can watch a movie, catch a TV show, go to a stand-up comedy performance, listen to comedy radio shows or podcasts, and even join annual comedy festivals. 

Many new international students sometimes find it confusing when first exposed to Australian humour. Australian humour sometimes seems to foreigners like the person telling a joke is teasing or making fun of them. Often this isn’t meant to offend, rather, this is just how Australians express their humour. This can often be misinterpreted, so we have tried to summarise what Aussie humour is all about!


Making fun of their friends

Aussies have a good time making fun of their friends – but in a friendly way. Aussies are very bold when it comes to comedy, especially when delivered between friends. They are not afraid to say something that may be insulting to others. In some cultures, making fun of how a friend looks or acts is considered very inappropriate, however, in Australia, it’s all part of the day-to-day fun, and often isn’t meant to be received as nasty.

Making fun of themselves

When insulting a friend is not enough, Aussies also have fun insulting themselves. Aussies call themselves all sorts of names, and they love sharing embarrassing stories to make themselves look foolish and funny. In Australia, most people do not like to “show-off”, and in the process, enjoy having a laugh at themselves just as much as others. 

Using sarcasm

Sarcasm is something that many Australians find funny and applicable in many situations. It is so common that many sarcastic comments are not even noticeable. If you are in doubt as to whether a comment was literal or sarcastic, always pay attention to the how the comment was delivered and by whom.

Jokes against the authority

If you ever find your colleagues joking about someone in a position of authority, this is a common Aussie ritual. Aussies have no reservations when it comes to making fun of bosses, politicians, moguls, or celebrities. It is a simple way of life and part of the typical, Aussie day-to-day fun. 

Dark humour

Aussies are not afraid to joke around with subjects are that are normally a taboo in other countries. For example, they may joke about things like death, accidents, illnesses, and more. According to psychologists, dark humour is one way for a person to deal with life’s difficulties. So if ever you hear a friend worried about “dying” because of an exam, it’s usually not something to be concerned about!
To know more about the culture and life in Australia, make sure you check out our previous blogs. We also offer consultations for those who are interested in living and studying in Australia. 
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