Check out this hilarious and video of former President Ronald Reagan cracking some jokes about the Soviet Union.
He admitted they actually do have a great sense of humor, something many people may not know, but they also have a cynical attitude about their system.
Reagan retold stories he collected from people in the Soviet Union that actually created or told them.
One joke that Reagan said he did not share with Gorbachev was about the way that Russians buy cars. He said there is a 10-year waiting period and only one in seven families owns one. When setting an appointment to pick up the car in 10 years, Reagan joked that a customer would ask what time of day due to other appointments scheduled on the same day.
Taking a look back into history, the Cold War created great tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Laughter is one effective way of removing tension, and Ronald Reagan certainly evoked that with his stories.
In the video, he told how General Secretary Gorbachev laughed at some of the jokes, one in particular.
“The story was of an American and a Russian arguing about their two countries. The American said ‘Look, in my country I can walk into the Oval Office, I can pound the President’s desk, and say Mr. President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country.’ And the Russian said, ‘I can do that.’ … ‘I can go to the Kremlin, to the General Secretary’s office, pound his desk, and say Mr. General Secretary, I don’t like the way President Reagan’s running his country.'”
Watch this great compilation of Reagan telling Soviet jokes:
One joke Gorbachev certainly didn’t laugh at was the “August 11, 1984 joke where during a sound check prior to his regular Saturday radio broadcast, Ronald Reagan made a joke about bombing Russia. The recording was transmitted to the press and later played on CBS’s Monday night Evening News program,” according to History.com.
It is rumored that the CIA had a file titled “Sicko jokes” and they would decipher through the Cold War-era documents to find these true but funny instances that could be used as jokes, the National Post stated.
Reagan enjoyed telling the jokes, and would also use his facetiousness to make fun of himself and his failing memory.
In 1987, the New York Times reported that Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman at the time, said about Reagan’s joke telling, ”These stories accurately reflect the President’s attitude toward the Soviet Union, ”that the people are exploited by the government. He has a lot of sympathy for the Russian people. That’s a very strong Reagan attitude.”
Former White House speechwriter under the Reagan Administration, Peggy Noonan, said she was instructed to open each speech with a joke. She said, ”The President needs a joke right away, so he can relax. As soon as he gets a laugh, he’s O.K.”