[…]The American Sense of Humor, however, has absolutely nothing to do with serious things like making money, or working hard, ot consulting one’s personal dietitian. A British person would find it hard to refer to any of these activities without some sort of jokey remark, since it wouldn’t be right – even after a decade of Mrs T – to be seen to be trying too hard. An American would not confuse his conversation parteners by adding inappropriate humour; for them it wouldn’t be right not to be seen to be trying too hard.
THE PUNCH. BOOK OF UTTERLY BRITISH HUMOUR (1990), 9 p.