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As outdated as the British perception of Germany might be, it is equally difficult to characterise the British society because of its incoherence.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...

March 2019

1 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – SOLD OUT – Extra date 16 November – TICKETS
2 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS – Extra date 23 November
3 – EPSOM – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
7 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
8 – NOTTINGHAM – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
9 – BUXTON – Opera House – SOLD OUT
22 – STEVENAGE – Concert Hall – SOLD OUT
23 – CREWE – Lyceum – SOLD OUT
29 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT – Extra dates 11 & 12 October – TICKETS
30 – WREXHAM – William Aston Hall – SOLD OUT
31 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – SOLD OUT – Extra date 13 October –  TICKETS


April 2019

5 – PORT TALBOT – Prince’s Royal Theatre – TICKETS
6 – CARDIFF – St David’s Hall – TICKETS
7 – SOUTHAMPTON – The Mayflower Theatre – TICKETS
11 – BATH – Forum – TICKETS
12 – SALISBURY – City Hall – SOLD OUT Extra date 2st February 2020 TICKETS
13 – TORQUAY – Babbacombe Theatre – SOLD OUT
14 – CHELTENHAM – Town Hall – SOLD OUT Extra date added 20th February 2020


May 2019

2 – OXFORD – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
3 – OXFORD – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
4 – OXFORD – Playhouse – SOLD OUT
10 – COVENTRY – Warwick Arts Centre Butterworth Hall – TICKETS
11 – CHESTERFIELD – The Winding Wheel – TICKETS
12 – LICHFIELD – Garrick Theatre – SOLD OUT
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
26 – BRISTOL – Old Vic – SOLD OUT
30 – ST ALBANS – Alban Arena – SOLD OUT
31 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS


June 2019

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


July 2019

27 – YORK – The Barbican – TICKETS
28 – MACCLESFIELD – Gawsworth Hall – TICKETS


August 2019

1 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
2 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
3 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall –  TICKETS
4 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall –  TICKETS
8 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall –  TICKETS
9 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall –  TICKETS
10 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
11 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
15 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
16 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
17 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
18 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
22 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
23 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
24 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS
25 – EDINBURGH – The Queen’s Hall – TICKETS


September 2019

26 – REDHILL – The Harlequin – TICKETS
27 – WATFORD – Collosseum – TICKETS
28 – NORTHAMPTON – Derngate – TICKETS


October 2019

3 – CHELMSFORD – Civic Theatre – TICKETS
4 – IPSWICH – Regent Theatre – TICKETS
5 – NORWICH– Theatre Royal – TICKETS
6 – DARTFORD – The Orchard – TICKETS
10 – TUNBRIDGE WELLS– Assembly Hall – TICKETS
11 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
12 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
13 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – TICKETS
17 – NEW BRIGHTON – Floral Pavilion – TICKETS SOON
18 – GLASGOW – Pavilion Theatre – TICKETS
19 – DUNFERMLINE – Alhambra Theatre – TICKETS
20 – NEWCASTLE upon TYNE – Theatre Royal – TICKETS
25 – PORTSMOUTH – Guildhall – TICKETS
26 – LONDON – PALLADIUM – TICKETS


November 2019

7 – DONCASTER – Cast – TICKETS
8 – KENDAL – Leisure Centre – TICKETS
9 – CARLISLE – The Sands – TICKETS
14 – DUNSTABLE – Grove Theatre – TICKETS
15 – HIGH WYCOMBE – Wycombe Swan – TICKETS
16 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – TICKETS
21 – CANTERBURY – Marlowe Theatre- TICKETS
22 – COLCHESTER – Charter Hall – TICKETS
23 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS
29 – DORKING – Dorking Halls – TICKETS
30 – CRAWLEY – The Hawth – TICKETS


December 2019

5 – BRADFORD – St Georges Hall – TICKETS
6 – MIDDLESBROUGH – Town Hall – TICKETS
8 – SCARBOROUGH – Spa Hall – TICKETS


February 2020

20 – CHELTENHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS SOON
21 – SALISBURY – City Hall – TICKETS
22 – WEYMOUTH – Pavilion- TICKETS
27 – RHYL – Pavilion – TICKETS
28 – STOCKPORT – Plaza – TICKETS
22 – PRESTON – Charter Theatre – TICKETS SOON


March 2020

6 – HULL – City Hall – TICKETS
7 – LINCOLN – Engine Shed – TICKETS SOON
8 – PETERBOROUGH – The Cresset – TICKETS
26 – SWANSEA – Grand Theatre – TICKETS
27 – NEWPORT – The Neon – TICKETS
28 – POOLE – Lighthouse – TICKETS SOON
29 – BRIGHTON – Dome – TICKETS


April 2020

2 – STAFFORD – Gatehouse – TICKETS SOON
3 – SOUTHPORT – Theatre – TICKETS SOON
5 – DOUGLAS ISLE OF MAN – Gaiety Theatre – TICKETS


Sign Up For Henning's Newsletter

Pop your details in here... MORE INFO