Dear Friends of German Comedy,
A slightly delayed Happy New Year to all of you.
I had hoped that I could get through the festive period without throwing too many tantrums but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“Wir sind Papst” (We are Pope) came only runner-up in Germany’s word-of-the-year competition. Bild Zeitung’s fabulous headline celebrating Cardinal Ratzinger’s promotion deserved to win but got pipped to the post by “Bundeskanzlerin”, the female version of ‘Chancellor’. Then again “Wir sind Papst” should not have been eligible in the first place as it is a phrase and not a word. I hate inaccuracy.
In football terms the year came to a disappointing end when Ronaldinho was voted World Footballer of the Year for the second year running. “I want to continue bringing happiness to the people”, his PR advisers made him say after he received the award. What a misconception! Football should not be about happiness – it should be a battle of desire instead. If I have got the choice between a 5-4 victory full of pointless overhead kicks, one-twos, show-off combinations and poor defending or a no nonsense performance in which every player gives 100% and challenges every ball with a bone-crashing tackle with the only goal coming from a deflected short range shot after a goal mouth scramble I go for the latter every time.
It’s only five months to go until the World Cup kicks off and I must admit I can’t wait. It will be interesting to see how England copes with the extra pressure of this being their last ever chance to win the World Cup again.
Not because the Irish will invade within the next four years but because FIFA announced that World Cup 2010 will see the introduction of an intelligent ball, which will indicate whether it crossed the line or not. It is a shame that this technology had not yet been invented in 1966. Where was German engineering when we needed it most?
In regards to cultural topics I have taken very fondly to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He seems to be a very dangerous nutter at the best of times but last month he expressed a spot-on opinion on at least one cultural issue by forbidding all the annoying and intoxicating ‘music’ that does the head of every law-abiding citizen in, whether he or she lives in Teheran, London or Berlin.
Ahmadinejad ruled that “war hymns, traditional songs and bland instrumentals should be the only legal music” and he even considers a total ban on music. Some people are always quick in slagging off religious hardliners but this is another example that even those mentalists have the odd good idea.
THREE WORLD CUPS AND ONE WORLD POPE! is not only my motto but the name of the show that I will perform at the Leicester Comedy Festival and at Hampstead’s New End Theatre in February. German TV entertainer Otto Kuhnle will help spreading the gospel of German jolliness. It would be brilliant to see you at those events. Please find details below.
Onwards and upwards
Posted by Henning Wehn
on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006.