Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Beginner's Guide To German Humour - Faith, Cowgate, 21 August 2007

This was a two-man show by Henning Wehn (German Comedy Ambassador to the UK) and Otto Kuhnle (the Funniest Man in Dusseldorf). As to content, it was a brief illustrated lecture, firstly on what German humour is not (stand-up, self-deprecation, sausage crime)(which is selling crap sausages at inflated prices) and then what it is (folk music, gnomes, punctuality, yodelling, Ostis)(that's ex-East Germans). It was in fact very funny, though the quality ranged from uttely hilarious to merely quite funny. The highlights for me were the illustrated version of Auf der Schwäbischen Eisenbahn, which added a number of jokes about obsessive punctuality; Otto's version of the Birdcatcher's Song from The Magic Flute, complete with frantically flapping mechanical bird, and Otto's home-made B&Q Alphorn. There were of course jokes about the English, especially football fans ('They have this chant: Two World Wars and one World Cup, which I think is strange because, as far as I know, the United States has never won a World Cup"). The wars (both) get a mention, of course: Henning expressed happiness that Germany had lost the 1914-18 war because that meant it lost all its colonial possessions; which in turn meant that practically nobody outside Germany speaks German; which means that when he phones his bank the call centre is going to be no more than a few hundred kilometres away (though if he's unlucky it might be in the old East....) You have to take off your hat (oh, another thing that German humour is: the hat trick. I suppose you had to be there....) to anyone who can get most of an Edinburgh audience yodelling. And who can joke about Prince William supporting Aston Villa "when he should be supporting his local team.......Hannover".

Worth seeing, but book early: Hilary and Vanessa tried last night to get tickets for tonight and couldn't (so they went to see the new Shah Rukh Khan film* instead). On until Sunday.

*Chak De India, in which there is music but no dancing, and in which SRK never actually cries, though his eyes spend much of the film being rather moist. What is Bollywood coming to?

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