Sharp wit is an important part of white British culture. Unfortunately, not all jokes turn out as well as the would-be comedian had planned in their head, whether due to faulty delivery or because the idea wasn’t funny in the first place. Luckily for the white Brit, there is a way to turn an unsuccessful joke into a cause for merriment. By acknowledging how unfunny your joke was, the whole exchange will magically become a comedic triumph.
Obviously, some people are better at pointing out how bad their jokes are than others. Revered stand-up comedians such as Daniel Kitson and Stewart Lee are known to elaborate at length on the fact that their sketches are falling flat, thereby coming round full circle and making them funny. The longer they step out of character to better draw attention to their comic failings, the more hilarious they become. It does help that most of their jokes do actually work the first time round, but this is beyond the point.
But never mind meta humour, anything meta will do for the white Brit. Meta-literature is a particular favourite (see Don Quixote and anything written after 1850), as are meta-films and meta-theatre. Meta-conversations work too. For example, seeing as small talk about the weather is an unavoidable part of British life, you can turn this to your advantage by self-referentially discussing conversations about the weather (“I hate to talk about the weather, but it really is miserable outside”). Meta-songs are also popular: a recent example of this is when the Arcade Fire sing ‘Now we’re screaming sing the chorus again’, and then sing the chorus, again.