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"Stalin taught people to stop eating"

Сталин в 1915 г.
Stalin (1879–1953) starred in jokes by virtue of his murderousness, and the jokes about him were told in a strong Georgian accent. His cult of personality and the harsh shortages that prevailed in his time were reflected in humor.
  "Our Herbert Hoover taught people to stop drinking," boasts an American.
"Big deal," answers the Russian. "Stalin taught people to stop eating."

Many jokes about Stalin are of morose, dark humour dealing with his cruelty. :
"Comrade Stalin! This man is your exact double!"
"Shoot him!"
"Maybe we should shave off his moustache?"
"Good idea! Shave it off and then shoot him!".

Stalin reads his report to the Party Congress. Suddenly someone sneezes.
"Who sneezed?" (Silence.)
"First row! On your feet! Shoot them!" (Applause.)
"Who sneezed?" (Silence.) "Second row! On your feet! Shoot them!" (Long, loud applause.)
"Who sneezed?" (Silence.) ...
A dejected voice in the back: "It was me" (Sobs.)
Stalin leans forward: "Bless you, comrade!"

Most of the jokes about Stalin were told in retrospect, after his death and after his successor Nikita Khrushchev condemned his crimes and the cult of personality around him and marked the start of the period of liberalization.  Quite a few jokes related to the confusion introduced by the "thaw" into the public's attitude toward the leaders:
  "Grandma, was Lenin good?" asks the grandson.
"Of course, grandson, he was good," replies the grandmother.
"And Stalin, grandma, was bad?" asks the grandson.
"Bad, of course," replies the grandmother.
"And Khruschev, grandma, what's he?" asks the grandson.
"When he dies, we'll know," replies the grandmother. 

Stalin jokes posed an obvious problem with the idea that communist jokes represented an act of revolt: it wasn't just opponents of the regime who told them. Stalin himself cracked them, including this one about a visit from a Georgian delegation:

They come, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin's corridors. Stalin starts looking for his pipe. He can't find it. He calls in Beria, the dreaded head of his secret police.
"Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe," he says.
Beria scuttles off down the corridor.
Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria:
"Look, I've found my pipe."
"It's too late," Beria says, "half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning."

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