Old Russian Humor in Ogonek


“Retro” is in fashion today, so we will look through the old issues and the new ones to see what was funny many years ago and pretty recently. It turned out that that the jokes are like dresses- the older they are the less attractive they become, and we laugh now at something what was serious and important then.


• “Emperor Nikolay Pavlovich doesn’t like “Ogonek””. 1927


• “”Don’t kiss!” The epidemical disease of the year- flu spreads through kissing!”. 1927


• “Comrade, don’t sleep! Everyone has already subscribed to “Ogonek” and “Ogonek Library””. 1925


• “Ask at the all book stores “At the madhouse” book by S.Broide”. 1925


• “Sale of former royal property is in front of us- Royal flea market! It’s a typical narrow-minded holiday. Can you imagine, Nickolas II dress is now on sale and also Alexandra Fedorovna’s chief uniforms, Olga Nikolaevna’s stuff, palace portiere with services and carpets are now available…Real, actual royal belongings. What can be more splendid?”. 1925

All the vogue
Husband (with fright): “Honey, what has happened to you? Why do you have a band-aid on your eye?”
Wife: “Band-aid?! This is my new hat!”

Funny Laws:
• In Clinton, CT, USA it is forbidden to have a tiger on a rope walking on the street. All cats in Alton, IL must have small bells so birds could know about their approaching.


“You know, my dear, they say next year the furs to wear will be shorter …”


“Gotlib Gotlibovich and Mary Ivanovna Narvet family from Cvetnopole village, Omsk region has six children. This year the triplets is finishing the first grade, they are Yasha, Vitya and Sasha. No one can distinguish the boys from each other”. 1967


“Students of London University and Royal College annually compete in “racing with pancakes” contest. A winner is the one who doesn’t drop any pancake from the pan”. 1967

Photo credits: 1

11 thoughts on “Old Russian Humor in Ogonek”

  1. So exactly is Ogonek?

    Was is something similar to a comical satire magazine(Mad) or just a general news magazine (Time magazine)?

  2. The oldest publication in Russia centering around entertaining reading. Soviet Union’s popularity of the magazine is largely due to the good quality reproduction of world painting masterpieces which where the exclusive rights are. It was first started in 1899. Then later after soviet troubles was re established in the soviet union in 1923. It covered world, local, cultural news and articles.

  3. Photograph with the title “Sale of former royal property is in front of us” reminds me of reading so-called “Yurovsky Report”(memoir of Yurovsky whose firing squad which executed Nicholas II and his family in Ekaterinburg) published in Ogonek in late ’80s(Or Am I remebering wrongly?)..Althogh I do not sympathize with Nicholas II at all due to his political incompetance and reluctance to reform during his reign), the wholesale butcher of his entire family was surprising

    But people had already been witnessing many deaths of women and children which were caused by both Reds and whites by that time – July 1918 in which they were shot by local Bolsheviks, that incident was not surprising one to people(Of course, anthpathy to Nicholas II might have been another reason for such people’s reaction)

    What a turbulent modern history Russia has!

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