Question: What is Canadian humor like?
Margaret Atwood: Whenever you see something about Canada mentioned in a U.S. show, there’s bound to be a Canadian involved with it who is making some sort of Canadian joke. And there are quite a few Canadian jokes which are instantly understandable to Canadians and sometimes baffling to other people. Running a turnip for Prime Minister would probably be considered unbecoming levity in many countries. They would never do it, whereas Canadians have a reprehensible habit of making fun of just about everything.
Question: What is the biggest misconception Americans have about Canadians?
Margaret Atwood: That it's always cold. Let me see, what else might they have... you tell me. You tell me. I’ll tell you a Canadian joke and see if you get it.
So it’s not my joke, it’s a joke by somebody called Nancy White who said, “What does a Canadian girl say when you ask her if she’d like some sex?” She says, “Only if you’re having some yourself.”
So one of the Canadian jokes is that Canadians have this ultra-politeness, which is not always true.
Interviewed by Max Miller