Dear Friends of German Comedy…
Woohoo, it’s December! Ihr Kinderlein kommet, Klinggloeckchenklingelingeling and all that. Unfortunately this year I have missed the big opening of the German Christmas Market in Birmingham, a fascinating event! Last time I was there I was truly gob-smacked as to how many of my countrymen these days are fluent in Romanian.
Anyway, now it’s time for the tale of my favourite Christmas present of all time.
Let me take you back all the way to 1987, when Weihnachtsmann [only recently did I find out it was actually my Mutter!!!] gave me a cassette tape of Kemal Ozturk, a stand-up who is virtually unknown in Turkey but became reasonably well-known in Germany, his adopted home country.
I clearly remember the striking blue and yellow colour combination of the tape’s sleeve. Or is it ‘cover’? No-one knows.
Either way, I had only ever seen Ozturk on panel shows, where his presence led to everyone cracking some tired jokes about invading Cyprus. It’s fair to say he wasn’t for me. I much preferred Helge Schneider and Gerhard Polt and Otto Kuhnle and such like.
God knows therefore why Weihnachtsmann [my Mutter!!!] bought me Ozturk’s ‘Hallo Gastarbeiter’ tape but seeing there’s only so many repeats of Tutti-Frutti one can watch I finally put it in the recorder and what can I say: his stand-up was so much better than I expected. He was so much more than just ‘that Turkish bloke’.
His style of humour was rooted in traditional political Kabarett; most his jokes were blunt statements, delivered with a twinkle in his eye. He was not only a great writer but also a very skilled performer and when I discovered he had been going for more than a decade I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on him all that time.
Luckily he was selling tapes of all his previous shows at his gigs and this gave me the opportunity to build a complete collection of all his shows. I will forever be grateful to Weihnachtsmann [my Mutter!!!] for this amazing present.
Frohe Weihnachten and have a good start to 2016
PS: If you’re googling Kemal Ozturk and you’re not getting any results it only illustrates the extreme fickleness of success in the entertainment business.
PPPS: Please find below a list of upcoming gigs. I’ll be adding loads more 2016 gigs in the next few days and weeks.
Please revisit the website for the latest updates.