Dear Friends of German Comedy,
Now the Paralympics are over, British society can go back to normal. Instead of cheering on the physically handicapped and highlighting how inspirational they all are, everybody can once again give their undivided attention to the mentally disabled stars of the Barclays Premier League.
It truly is the best league in the world. And if there’s ever not enough entertainment on the pitch then the FA will amuse fans with its brilliant side-shows, such as condemning FIFA for being racist yet continuing the ludicrous John Terry-Anton Ferdinand saga. Which is a bit like the pot calling the kettle a b**** c***.
Let’s hope the still-ongoing FA investigation will throw up another gem like Westminster magistrate Howard Riddle’s pronouncement that Ferdinand “wouldn’t have the sophistication to make up the allegations”.
Concluding that someone is too unintelligent to be capable of malice has been unheard of in legal circles since Frank Spencer was let off for distributing pornography by motorbike in that episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.
Going to court is about vindication. But being believed because you’re considered too thick to lie makes for a quite hollow vindication. And if the person you testify against is then still somehow being let off it has no redeeming features at all.
Luckily, if the court got its assessment right, Ferdinand is too dim to understand what was happening anyway and has taken the judge’s comment as a compliment.
Talking of handicaps, Marek Larwood and I conducted a scientific experiment on what fruit or vegetables are best to play golf with. Watch the outcome here:
Let’s end with a quick whinge about the Edinburgh Fringe [NB: this rhyme was unintentional]. The festival finally made the transition from the arts to the business pages, due to the incessant moaning and negativity of some of my colleagues about how much the Olympics paired with the recession ruined them financially and emotionally.
From what I saw the same business rules applied as they do every year.
If your advertising boards are bigger than your venue, you’re going to make a loss. If, in addition, the design of those advertising boards is off-putting, you’re going to make a massive loss. But if you manage to control your ego and stay clear of all that cynically-priced PR nonsense you will come out not too battered.
Or you could take the Olympics seriously as a business challenge, show up in Edinburgh after they’ve finished and your competition is demoralised and defeated, and do a short run of shows which – through the simple logic of supply-and-demand economics – will be all the more sought-after for their rarity.
People think that German humour is all about the laughs. But it is also about months of cold, cynical planning carried out with brutal efficiency. And free pens.
And yes, I realise I haven’t mentioned the quality of the show at all but that’s traditionally the least of any comedian’s concerns when in Edinburgh.
So, that’s enough smugness for now – have a great month and try not to despair too much at today’s predictably undignified circus at Loftus Road!
Please find below some of my upcoming gigs. It would be great to see you at one of those.
I particularly recommend the (Pseudo-) Authentic German Christmas shows at Leicester Square Theatre. First three Saturdays and Sundays in December.
And just like last year Gustav Brown will be tickling the hard-plastic ivories of his electric keyboard.
Tickets for all shows on www.henningwehn.de Except for the Kirkcaldy show, where the locals are too drunk and disorganised to put up a link. And the Lewes gigs, where the locals are too rich and comfortable to put up a link.