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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Revolution In Humor

It is hard to know what foreigners find more perverse: the fact that we celebrate the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in November -- due to the change in 1918 to the Gregorian calendar -- or the fact that we celebrate it at all. But, in reality, for most people the holiday this week simply provided an opportunity to enjoy the last of the autumn weather and settle down in the evening to read something pleasantly unchallenging.


And Igor Ugolnikov, the popular host of a weekly comedy show on NTV called "Dr. Ugol," has written just such a book. Oba-na!, which roughly translates as "Oops!", is a collection of Ugolnikov's sketches and gags from the TV show as well as some entirely new material. This includes a sketch parodying how Russians respond when asked by a tram inspector if they have properly stamped their tickets: 62 percent answered "yes;" 18 percent answered "more yes than no" (skoree da chem nyet); 12 percent answered "more no than yes;" 4 percent answered "no;" 3 percent were unable to answer; and 1 percent were offended that the ticket inspector wasn't able to tell that they were holders of a monthly pass.


The book is published by Vagrius in its Humoricus paperback series and it sells for 10,000 rubles ($1.83).


Another funny book is by St. Petersburg author Konstantin Melikhan. He has never appeared on television and yet everybody seems to know, if not the man, then at least his innumerable jokes about a typical "Sovok," or a lowly Soviet man, who tries to pass himself off as an English aristocrat. A Gentleman's Words (Slovo Dzhentelmena) runs to


445 pages and contains more gentleman jokes than one would have believed possible. It is published by Novy


Helikon and sells for around 15,000 rubles ($2.75).


Perhaps you haven't heard the one about the boss who reprimands the "gentleman" for drinking on the job. "That's a lie," the gentleman replies, "I never work when I'm drinking." Or the one about the man who writes home to his wife while on a business trip: "You are the best woman in the world. Yesterday it was proved to me again."