Speaker aims to debunk Canadian stereotypes

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Kasey Johnson|Staff Writer
Photo credit: Jeanette Blain | News Editor | [email protected]

Pete Robinson shed some light on the concept that satire need not be ugly during a speech on Dec. 1.

He inferred that Canadians are more than happy to make fun of just about anything—even themselves. Robinson, who has spent 13 years living in Canada, said that the sense of humor expressed in Canada, often differs from American humor in many ways. The most prominent difference he said, is that, “Canadians enjoy gentle humor.” They enjoy poking fun at things that don’t necessarily promote negative feelings.

In the course of Robinson’s hour-long presentation, audience members participated in reading jokes and singing along to Canadian songs that poked fun at politics, culture and even feminist movements.

The largest takeaway from Robinson’s presentation was the idea that Canadian humor is not as relentless as American humor. Canadians enjoy poking fun at the next guy just as much as Americans do, but Robinson insisted that the difference lies in intention.

Videos provided by Robinson offered a first-hand look at the sorts of things Canadians made fun. One video showed was of a Canadian, who stood on stage with a huge backdrop of the Canadian flag. This TED Talk like speech showed the man attempting to debunk common misconceptions of Canadians.

“I am Canadian! But I’m not a lumberjack,” he said, allowing the audience to identify at least one common misperception of Canadians. According to the video, that particular Canadian was Canadian, he spoke English and French- “not American,” and he wasn’t wearing flannel—which he hoped would lead some to say, “Canooks aren’t all bad after all, eh?”