If we read diaries from Goebbels then every Nazi was a very joyous person, constantly joking. If he liked a person, he described him as witty. ("Him", as women seemed to lack in that department?). And the Führer was the most jocular of all, a jack of all trades.
Similarly, the memoirs of for example Traudl Junge or Albert Speer paint the picture that actually the Führer was much funnier than Chaplin.
Seldom we see the actual jokes repeated verbatim. Often just the general topic.
But what do we learn from that.
That we are disgusting people.
StackExchange readers eager to read some nazi jokes told by the Führer himself? I will not retell those here.
That man was a human being, but his private life is occulted to us. Especially those memoirs from after the war are in general highly unreliable. Sources like 'Table Talk' and 'Speer' cannot be used uncritically for such purposes. Neither seemingly better ones like "The Hitler Book".
Just read Speer's memoirs, looking for jokes and read this assumed idiots as future readers:
Along with his expressions of approval he made jokes about the "dusty bureaucrats."
He mingled with the soldiers at the campfires, was surrounded by them, tossed jokes back and forth with them.
As just a few examples. And then a few pages later:
Hitler had no humor. He left joking to others, although he could laugh loudly, abandonedly, sometimes literally writhing with laughter. Often he would wipe tears from his eyes during such spasms. He liked laughing, but it was always laughter at the expense of others.
There is no discrepancy here, no contradiction. Move on, nothing to see here.
As is, the question
Q Did Hitler ever tell a joke?
is answered easily: "of course."
We usually get presented more an impression of a famous line alluding to his grab for power and the methods used:
You will still remember the Reichstag session in which I declared: "If Judaism imagines that it can bring about an international world war to exterminate the European races, the result will not be the extermination of the European races, but the extermination of Judaism in Europe. [Applause] They have always laughed at me as a prophet. Of those who laughed back then, countless do not laugh today any longer [Laughter]. Those who laugh now may not laugh in the near future. [Applause]
( — various variants. First version best known from July 1933, the extermination variant most well known above quoted from November 8, 1942.) (Original audio with eery laughter to a few of his jokes.)
But of course humour was used to great effect by that man. Just see how funny the Germans above found the line about the just started full-on Holocaust and the plain allusion on internal opposition and Jews killed and no longer laughing or soon murdered. Entertainment at its best.
One of the best jokes he ever made, probably, judging by the enormous and raucous laughter he provoked in his listeners is telling the Reichstag practically his invasion plans, albeit in a list taken literally from President Roosevelt.
Reichstag speech 28. April 1939, Hitler, masterful teacher of geography, Göring jumping with joy like a hot grenade on the edge of his seat:
— Adolf Hitler / Rede / Berlin / Deutschland / 28.04.1939, video, English translation transcript
— Albert Speer: "Inside the Third Reich. The memoirs of Albert Speer", translated from the German by Richard & Clara Winston, Macmillan, 1970.
— Ralf Georg Reuth (Ed): "Joseph Goebbels Tagebücher", Piper: München, Zürich 32003.
— Traudl Junge: "Bis zur letzten Stunde Hitlers Sekretärin erzählt ihr Leben", 2002.
— Heinz Linge: "With Hitler to the End: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Valet", Grub Street, 2009.
— Henrik Eberle, Giles MacDonogh & Matthias Uhl (Eds): "The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Otto Guensche and Heinze Linge, Hitler’s Closest Personal Aides", PublicAffairs, 2006.
Instead of giving in to a pathological fixation on the Führer and some of these repugnant fantasies, the following book is worthy of recommendation in this context:
— Klaus Theweleit: "Das Lachen der Täter, Breivik U.A. Psychogramm der Tötungslust" (The laughter/smile of the perpetrators. Psychogram of the lust to kill), Residenzverlag: Wien, Salzburg, 2015.
In case anyone believes that "Göring promoting his underpants" was a joke Hitler told: That Telegraph article wants to imply that this was a newly revealed joke to be found in Misch's book. It is not in there. And neither is there anything about Hitler giving paper medals to Göring for use on his pyjamas. And, you guessed it by now, 'Heini near any fire' is also not in Misch's book.
The Telegraph doesn't cite any source. It is itself the source cited for autheticity even on RationWiki!. As appalling as that is: an earlier source published in 2000 clearly depicts this as an underground joke. No connection to Misch whatsoever. Just to Emmy and Hermann as the butt of the joke. Whether Hitler even knew these three jokes or went on to retell them? Pure speculation by a morbidly obsessed crowd. Nauseating.
And even if one were to take Misch somehow seriously and assume reliability:
I cannot state for a fact that Hitler had a sense of humour. I never heard him laugh out loud.
[…] Hitler. ‘The boss’ himself had a small fund of jokes, which he liked to bring out from time to time. (What follows is a sexist prank involving his dog…)
Yeah. Totally reliable, again.
— Rochus Misch: "Der Letzte Zeuge. »Ich war Hitlers Telefonist, Kurier und Leibwächter«", Pendo: Zürich, München, 2008.
— Rochus Misch: "Hitler’s Last Witness. The Memoirs of Hitler’s Bodyguard", Frontline Books, London, 2014.
Hitler loved jokes. […] Hitler himself was a good joke teller; he could imitate the tone of voice, facial expressions and dialect of others in a variety of ways.
Adapted from where?
Hitler loved jokes. Since he had a phenomenal memory, he was able to tell a great many of them, revealing a striking ability to imitate expressions, voices, and dialects. But he never told off-color stories, let alone dirty jokes.
At the same time, however, Schramm's interpretation of Hitler is disturbing. It is disturbing to see in that consummately evil man so many commonly and legitimately admired virtues so clearly mirrored. They are not even parodied; they are genuine. Hitler was, beyond any doubt, a man of uncommon self-discipline who led what can be fairly described as a relatively austere personal life. It is not congenial to think of him in this way. It is not congenial to see him portrayed as a charming gentleman with a quick wit and a wholesome sense of humor.
— Percy Ernst Schramm: "Hitler: the man and the military leader", Quadrangle Books: Chicago, 1971.
Portions of that book are translated into English and recycled from Schramm's edition of 'Table Talk', 1961. This quote instead is from the introduction of the English book, written by editor and translator Donald S. Detwiler.(p10)
Ah well, why not?
Why? This unreliable source that is 'Table Talk' alone has numerous examples of this 'wholesome' humour, so funny that some German editions explain with editorial remarks that they are: funny! And yes, that was an order.
A German source for this 'Göring underpants' joke — a secretive underground joke, not told by Hilter — would not work well with 'underpants' on a language level. One version circulating among the people, and using Unterhemden/–undershirts, is to be found in:
— Hans-Joachim Gamm: "Der Flüsterwitz im Dritten Reich", Paul List Verlag: München, 1963.
Concerning the 'talking to Franco is worse than going to a dentist':
This is also most often hearsay. Even published historians using second-, third-hand or worse 'quoting'.
In German the quote is often used with "Zähne ziehen", while it was quite popular in the 70s to use "reißen". Then we see books 'quoting' this and leaving it either unreferenced, or pointing to works that do not contain this 'quote'.
How did it come to this telephone game for a seemingly straight forward German quote even in the German language?
The main German sources for this 'quote' are given as two diaries: Paul Schmidt (Hitler's translator), Ulrich von Hassell (diplomat). Both Germans, both writing after the war, both referencing a meeting in October 1940 in Hendaye. But they do not tell us much teethy things. Both are referenced in papers together, as corroborating references.* For the general meeting and the frustrations voiced by Ribbentrop and Hitler. In English works the most often referenced source are 'Diplomatic Paper's' of Count Ciano of Italy, quoted from the 1948 English translation (p402 in that one).
This is interesting as Ciano – in very stark contrast to what is often counted here and elsewhere as 'yoohoo, a Hitler quote' – did not have the chance to rewrite his past since he died before the war was over. In the Italian original of his we read:
Ma a questa conclusione si è giunti molto faticosamente dopo un colloquio durato nove ore, colloquio che, "piuttosto che riaverlo il Führer preferirebbe farsi togliere tre o quattro denti".
— Galeazzo Ciano: "L'Europa Verso La Catastrofe" (p604); translated into English as "Ciano’s Diplomatic Papers", by Stuart Hood, Malcolm Muggeridge (Ed), Odhams Press: London, 1948.
Which explains nicely why translations, especially German ones, often differ in the exact wording of what looks to be a direct German quote. Looks to me as if too many German works also quote from the English version?
The remaining problem with that 'quote'?
In parallel to his official minutes from diplomatic talks he also kept a detailed private diary. This work does not mention Hitler's teeth or preferences for or against any dental procedures.
Some deliver decent and transparent work, some go into details and others work with what's available to them. But some are just too lazy and jump to unacceptable conclusions and perpetrate myths for the cheapest entertainment.
* Disclaimer: I did not have the opportunity to consult von Hassell's expanded diaries, only the old and therefore obviously incomplete ones. If the late 80s version has that anecdote, 'Franco-or-teeth-pulling' may have indeed two sources for attestation. Currently, I doubt that a bit.