A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 02, 2017
“I asked my North Korean friend how it was there. He said he couldn’t complain”

"I can’t complain” usually means “I have no complaints,” but it can also mean “I’m not allowed to complain.” A joke about an oppressive governmental regime is:

“I asked my North Korean friend how it was there. He said he couldn’t complain.”

A form of the joke was posted on Twitter on September 5, 2011:

A:"How were things in North Korea?”
B:"Can’t complain.”
A:"What? Why did you become a refugee?”
B:"Here, I can complain, and live.”


The joke went viral on January 18, 2012, when it was posted on Sickipedia and Twitter. The North Korea joke has been printed on many images.


Twitter
Ty Tilde ~ign‏
@MFN_Ty
This is America. It’s our right to complain. Think about China and North Korea… They can’t complain.
2:41 PM - 16 Dec 2010

Twitter
Brian Crouch‏
@BrianCrouch
A:"How were things in North Korea?”
B:"Can’t complain.”
A:"What? Why did you become a refugee?”
B:"Here, I can complain, and live.”
12:28 AM - 5 Sep 2011

Twitter
Douglas Murphy‏
@entschwindet
I asked a North Korean cabbie what he thought about living in a state with no free speech. He shrugged and said; “can’t complain...”
10:30 AM - 15 Dec 2011

Twitter
Fresh Stand Up‏
@FreshStandUp
So, how’s life in North Korea?
well, I can’t complain. http://bit.ly/z0n5uZ via @sickipedia
12:14 PM - 18 Jan 2012

Twitter
damola‏
@the_9jaturk
An interviewer asked a North korean ..."So, how’s life in North Korea?"The north korean answered ..."Well, I can’t complain.”
3:24 AM - 30 Jan 2012

Twitter
Tomek Nadolny‏
@tomekn
I asked my north korean friend how he’s doing. He told me he couldn’t complain.
11:35 AM - 18 Feb 2012

Twitter
3️⃣‏
@its3lite
i asked my friend from north korea how life was like. he said he couldn’t complain (yes i stole this joke lol)
12:31 PM - 23 Sep 2012

Reddit—Jokes
I asked my North Korean friend how life was there
submitted July 29, 2015 by PigletIU
He said he couldn’t complain.

Twitter
Shit Jokes‏
@ShitJokes
I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn’t complain.
2:34 PM - 10 Aug 2016

Google Books
3000 Jokes, 2997 Laughs
By Mike Haskins
London, UK: Portico
2017
Pg. ?:
NORTH. KOREA. I asked a friend in North Korea what it was like to live in that country. He said he couldn’t complain.

Reddit—Jokes
I asked my friend from North Korea how life is
submitted March 15, 2017 by ijekster
He said he can’t complain.

Reddit—Oneliners
I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn’t complain. (self.oneliners)
submitted August 2, 2017 by ProfCrumpets

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, August 02, 2017 • Permalink