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As outdated as the British perception of Germany might be, it is equally difficult to characterise the British society because of its incoherence.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

December 2018

12 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS
13 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – TICKETS 
14 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT
15 – LONDON – Leicester Square Theatre – SOLD OUT


February 2019

6 – EXETER – Corn Exchange – SOLD OUT
7 – EXETER – Corn Exchange – SOLD OUT
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 – SOLD OUT
17 – BRIGHTON – Dome – TICKETS
20 – WHITLEY BAY – Playhouse – TICKETS
21 – WHITLEY BAY – Playhouse – SOLD OUT – Extra date added 20 Feb
22 – HARROGATE – Royal Hall – SOLD OUT
23 – SHEFFIELD – Octagon – TICKETS


March 2019

1 – BASINGSTOKE – The Anvil – TICKETS – Extra date 16 November
2 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS – Extra date 23 November
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 – SOLD OUT – Extra dates 11 & 12 October – TICKETS
30 – WREXHAM – William Aston Hall – TICKETS
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
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
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 – TICKETS
30 – ST ALBANS – Alban Arena – TICKETS
31 – GUILDFORD – G Live – TICKETS


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


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 SOON
4 – IPSWICH – Regent Theatre – TICKETS
5 – NORWICH– Theatre Royal – TICKETS
6 – DARTFORD – The Orchard – TICKETS SOON
10 – TUNBRIDGE WELLS– Assembly Hall – TICKETS
11 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
12 – BIRMINGHAM – Town Hall – TICKETS
13 – SHREWSBURY – Theatre Severn – TICKETS
18 – GLASGOW – Pavilion Theatre – TICKETS
19 – DUNFERMLINE – Alhambra Theatre – TICKETS SOON
20 – NEWCASTLE upon TYNE – Theatre Royal – TICKETS
25 – PORTSMOUTH – Guildhall – TICKETS
26 – LONDON – PALLADIUM – TICKETS – On Sale 10am Fri 14 December


November 2019

7 – DONCASTER – Cast – TICKETS SOON
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 SOON
22 – COLCHESTER – Charter Hall – TICKETS
23 – CAMBRIDGE – Corn Exchange – TICKETS SOON
29 – DORKING – Dorking Halls – TICKETS SOON
30 – CRAWLEY – The Hawth – TICKETS


December 2019

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


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