This Bulletin is from September 1st, 2006

Three World Cups and a Pope

Published: Autumn 2006 in Zeitgeist, the magazine of the British-German Association

Being the German Comedy Ambassador in the United Kingdom is not the easiest of jobs. The British always say we Germans don’t have a sense of humour. Well, I don’t find that funny.

Performing in comedy clubs up and down the UK made me familiar with most regional stereotypes. Geordies don’t wear coats, Scousers steal the milk out your tea, Welsh love sheep, Scots are skinflints, Cornish have six fingers on a hand and so on and so forth.

Some of the most clearly defined stereotypes are reserved for us Germans though. In the cold light of day presumably nobody really believes that people in Germany goosestep up and down the Hauptstrasse in Lederhosen, singing David Hasselhoff’s latest hits whilst munching on Bratwursts.
But it is such an entertaining thought to have, why adjust it? Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story as the old saying goes. I therefore doubt very much that the positive experiences that English football fans sampled on their trips to the World Cup 2006 will change the stereotypes about Germany in the long term. All it takes for normality to prevail will be a few more reruns of Allo Allo and Dad’s Army.

What makes me chuckle is that it is perfectly acceptable to take the piss out of Germans, or French or ginger people for that matter, whilst society gets its knickers in a twist trying not to offend ethnic minorities. I read the other day that the BBC wants to vet old Only Fools and Horses episodes and cut out remarks which could be considered derogatory to people from Asian or African background. I am all against discrimination but I think the biggest insult is to be deemed too inferior to be mocked.
What would happen to ‘Allo ‘Allo if BBC would decide to cut out all elements that might be deemed insensitive towards Germans? Listen very carefully – as there will not be many words left.

It must be said that in the five years I have been here I have not once felt threatened or offended by any comments as they were all good natured. It just becomes tedious. “Does meine Führer fancy eine pint?” is funny only the first 8,000 times.

As outdated as the British perception of Germany might be, it is equally difficult to characterise the British society because of its incoherence. On the one hand, I see lovely countryside, castles, Natives and Colonial motto parties (Harry, next time you must take me along!) and jam making competitions. On the other hand, I see chair-hurling tattooed yobs singing Rule Britannia and scantily-clad girls lying drunk in the gutter.

What all British classes have in common is an astonishing arrogance in all questions concerning humour. Contrary to the usual trademark modesty and understatement no Brit will get tired of letting the world know about his or her great sense of humour, which all other nations, in particular Germans, lack. You will be shocked to learn that there are not many differences between British and German humour.
Someone falling over or getting a cake in the face is funny everywhere. Also, two fat blokes, a cannibal or a vicar guarantee a good pub joke in any country.

As a rule of thumb, I think the British are perceived by the Germans as what they are: a funny bunch who love a laugh and are useless at playing football and running trains.


Current Live Dates...

September 2018

19 – LONDON – Betsey Trotwood – SOLD OUT
20 – WAVENDON – The Stables – SOLD OUT
21 – WAVENDON – The Stables – SOLD OUT
22 – WAVENDON – The Stables – SOLD OUT
26 – BRIDPORT – Electric Palace – SOLD OUT
27 – BRIDPORT – Electric Palace – SOLD OUT
28 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT
29 – WIMBORNE – Tivoli Theatre – SOLD OUT


October 2018

4 – LOUGHBOROUGH – Town Hall – SOLD OUT
5 – MALVERN – Forum – SOLD OUT
6 – GUILDFORD – G Live – SOLD OUT – Extra date 31st May 2019
7 – LEAMINGTON SPA – Royal Spa Centre – SOLD OUT
11 – BEDFORD – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
12 – LEEDS – City Varieties – SOLD OUT
13 – LEEDS – City Varieties – SOLD OUT
18 – CHESTER – Story House – SOLD OUT
19 – SALFORD – Lowry Lyric Theatre – TICKETS
20 – 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 – SOLD OUT – Extra date 6 June 2019 – TICKETS
9 – BEXHILL – De La Warr Pavilion – SOLD OUT – Extra date 18 May 2019 – TICKETS
10 – SOUTHEND – Cliff’s Pavilion – TICKETS
15 – ST ALBANS – Alban Arena – SOLD OUT – Extra date 30 May 2019 – TICKETS
16 – DARTFORD – The Orchard – TICKETS
17 – READING – Hexagon – SOLD OUT – Extra date 1 Jun 2019 – TICKETS
21 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
22 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
23 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
24 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
28 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
29 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
30 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS


December 2018

1 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
5 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
6 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
7 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
8 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
12 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
13 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS 
14 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
15 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS 


February 2019

6 – EXETER – Corn Exchange –TICKETS
7 – EXETER – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
8 – SWINDON – Wyvern Theatre –TICKETS
9 – SWINDON – Wyvern Theatre –TICKETS
14 – ALDERSHOT – Princes Hall – TICKETS
15 – LEICESTER – De Montfort Hall – TICKETS
16 – BROMLEY – Churchill Theatre –TICKETS
17 – BRIGHTON – Dome – TICKETS
20 – WHITLEY BAY – Playhouse – TICKETS
21 – WHITLEY BAY – Playhouse – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 20 Feb
22 – HARROGATE – Royal Hall – TICKETS
23 – SHEFFIELD – Octagon – TICKETS


March 2019

1 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – TICKETS
2 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
3 – EPSOM – Playhouse – TICKETS
7 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – TICKETS
8 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – TICKETS – Added date
9 – BUXTON – Opera House – TICKETS
22 – STEVENAGE – Concert Hall – TICKETS
23 – CREWE – Lyceum – TICKETS
29 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
30 – WREXHAM – William Aston Hall – TICKETS 
31 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – TICKETS


April 2019

5 – PORT TALBOT – Prince’s Royal Theatre – TICKETS
6 – CARDIFF – St David’s Hall – TICKETS
7 – SOUTHAMPTON – The Mayflower Theatre – TICKETS
12 – SALISBURY – City Hall – TICKETS
13 – TORQUAY – Babbacombe Theatre – TICKETS
14 – CHELTENHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS


May 2019

2 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS
3 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS
4 – OXFORD – Playhouse – TICKETS
10 – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre Butterworth Hall – TICKETS
11 – CHESTERFIELD – The Winding Wheel – TICKETS SOON
12 – LICHFIELD – Garrick Theatre – TICKETS
16 – CHATHAM – Central Theatre – TICKETS
17 – MARGATE – Winter Gardens – TICKETS
18 – BEXHILL – De La Warr Pavilion – TICKETS
23 – YEOVIL – Westlands – TICKETS
24 – BARNSTAPLE – Queens Theatre – TICKETS
25 – WESTON-SUPER-MARE – Playhouse – TICKETS
30 – ST ALBANS – Alban Arena – TICKETS
31 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS SOON


June 2019

1 – READING – Hexagon – TICKETS
6 – WORTHING – Pavilion – TICKETS
7 – SHANKLIN – Shanklin Theatre – TICKETS
8 – BOURNEMOUTH – Pavilion – TICKETS
15 – ST HELIER – Jersey Opera House – TICKETS SOON


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