Dear Friends of German Comedy,
My celebratory newsletter was meant to be sent after July 11th.
But considering the injury crisis affecting Nationalmannschaft we had better make the most of winning Eurovision Song Contest. It might be our last triumph for the summer.
Unfortunately it wasn’t as much of a triumph for the German language as Lena Mayer-Waldrut’s winning entry ‘Satellite’ was sung in…..English!
Last time I counted, Duden, the standard German dictionary, had 257,312 words. You would have thought that’s sufficient to write some inconsequential ditty.
Trying to win the Eurovision song contest in a foreign language is every little bit as pathetic as, say, trying to win the World Cup with a foreign manager.
How there can be no stipulation requiring the entrants to sing in their local language is beyond me. Letting everyone garble away in pigeon-English removes all the identity and, more importantly, the fun of the Eurovision song contest.
The Eurovison song contest used to be the one day a year when you could hear songs in Finnish, Russian, Albanian and what not else; poorer countries spent their annual GDP on a keyboard, it was a laugh and a half!
Families gathered round the telly long before transmission in giddy expectation of the hilarity to come and ready to guess what the songs were about.
The Wehn family usually agreed that all Northern European candidates were demanding some schnapps against the cold, all Southern European candidates were singing their donkeys praises and all Eastern Europeans were celebrating an extra rations book for attending their communist party’s congress.
Therefore twelve points to Serbia for playing by the rules of decency and entertainment. They fielded a platinum blonde androgynous freak who sang away in his absurd language while some people dressed as peasant farmers jumped up and down in the background shouting “Balkan, Balkan, Balkan”. Now That’s What I Call Music! Milan Stankovic and the Serbian people were certainly the moral winners of this year’s competition!
Britain’s entry Josh Dubovie also deserves a special commendation for his self-congratulatory song title “That sounds good to me”. This refreshingly strange title not only showed its bottom to the British idea of understatement but also set itself up for a critical backlash like no other.
It’s the same trap that I’ve fallen into with my new Edinburgh show “My Struggle”. Expect reviews along the lines of ”….and he’s not lying because a right old struggle it is. Particularly for the audience…..etc”.
But why not make up your own mind? Come to one of the LONDON PREVIEWS! JULY
19-24 at Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon. Tickets: here
Enjoy the World Cup and may the best team win (as long as it’s not the Dutch)
This is the place where I usually plug upcoming gigs. But during the World Cup I’ll be glued to the television and won’t do a thing. And neither should you.
Posted by Henning Wehn
on Sunday, June 6th, 2010.