First Published in The Fix, May 1st 2009


Achtung Britische!?


Published: May 2009 in The Fix, Britain’s foremost comedy magazine

This May you can learn about real (German) humour! Henning Wehn explains

Herr Kuhnle, the funniest man from Düsseldorf – and I – the German Comedy Ambassador – will drag a version of our Edinburgh and Melbourne show 1000 Years of German Humour across Blighty.

Admittedly the show title is a bit of a misnomer as Teutonic jolliness obviously dates back much further than just one magnificent millennium. (Joke number 1)
But let me introduce you to four of the many highlights of German hilarity:

The bat trick

Invented by the Neanderthalers in 40,000 BC this is the world’s oldest piece of physical humour: It involves sneaking up behind a fellow cage man and smacking him one over the head so hard he passes out. Then everyone starts laughing.
Hilarious! There’s still nothing funnier for Germans than seeing someone getting beaten up. Preferably a Dutchman.

Garden gnome taming

With the old Bavarian saying that humour is the little brother of inebriety in mind it doesn’t come as a surprise that lots of German humour has been invented at beer festivals.
Since medieval times the big social highlight of every beer festival is the performance of the garden gnome tamer. Luckily Herr Kuhnle is one of only 7 officially licensed garden gnome tamers and will bring some of his charges to Britain: Hans, Johann-Wolfgang, Friedrich and Horst, a foster gnome from The Gambia who is forced by Herr Kuhnle to perform the most dangerous tricks.

Folk music

Expect a rendition of ‘Im Fruehtau zu Berge’, Herr Kuhnle and my favourite German folk songs. It roughly translates as ‘Get up early in the morning so you’ll get a lot done” which is nothing but commonsense so clearly lacking  in all that foreign modern music on the radio. All those rubbish songs seemto go along the lines of ‘Uh,uh, I’ll fly to the moon on an orange elephant and once I’m up there I’ll smoke crack cocain, uh, uh”. Pathetic! But don’t worry – German folk music keeps it real. Get up early, identify the problem and then solve it. Bloody result!

The ring

Without wanting to reveal too much about the show I can tell The Fix readers that the biggest highlight of German humour is Der Ring der Nibelungen, an old saga turned into a magnificent opera by the likeable composer Richard Wagner in the 19th century. The plot revolves around incestuous love of two twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde and one ring or another. Considering the vulgar content it’s hard to fathom why it’s set on the Rhine rather than the Mersey.
Anyway, the whole opera takes about five days to perform but the first four nothing much happens. In that respect it’s very similar to test cricket. Outside Pakistan, anyway.

If you’re still not decided if 1000 Years of German Humour will be for you let me assure you that it’s not going to be real-time. Mind you, it might feel like it. (Joke number 2)

Auf gehts Deutschland!

Posted by Henning Wehn on Friday, May 1st, 2009.
Filed Under: Writing



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March 2018

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13 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
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April 2018

09 – BATH – Widcombe Social Club – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
10 – BATH – Widcombe Social Club – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
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14 – BORDON – The Phoenix Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
18 – BEVERLEY – East Riding Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
19 – POCKLINGTON – Arts Centre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
20 – POCKLINGTON – Arts Centre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
21 – BEVERLEY – East Riding Theatre – SOLD OUT – Work In Progress
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1 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
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8 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
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1 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT – Originally May 31st
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July 2018

24 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
25 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
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2 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
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10 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
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15 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
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17 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
18 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
19 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
22 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
23 EDINBURGH – Just The Tonic Caves – TICKETS SOON
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September 2018

20 – WAVENDON – The Stables – TICKETS
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27 – BRIDPORT – Electric Palace – SOLD OUT
28 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
29 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT

October 2018

4 – LOUGHBOROUGH – Town Hall – TICKETS
5 – MALVERN – Forum – SOLD OUT
6 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS
7 – LEAMINGTON SPA – Royal Spa Centre – TICKETS SOON
11 – BEDFORD – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
12 – LEEDS – City Varieties – TICKETS
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18 – CHESTER – Story House – SOLD OUT
19 – SALFORD – Lowry Lyric Theatre – TICKETS
25 – KINGS LYNN – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
26 – PETERBOROUGH – The Cresset – TICKETS
27 – LINCOLN – The Engine Shed – TICKETS

November 2018

8 – WORTHING – Pavilion – TICKETS
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10 – SOUTHEND – Cliff’s Pavilion – TICKETS
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1 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
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6 – EXETER – Corn Exchange –TICKETS
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