Henning Wehn / Otto Kuhnle: Das Very Best Of German Humour
Tuetonic titters from two of the Fatherland’s finest
This article is from 2011.
Let’s establish a fact: Germans are overly efficient. Bear in mind that this conceit is central to many of the jokes performed at this comedy double-header – if you find the cliché a little too well worn, this may not be the show for you.
Indeed, the bulk of Henning Wehn’s material feels a little flat – he mentions several times that he has lived in London for nine years, which may have blunted his external observer’s sharpness somewhat. His rant about the exploding Olympic budget seems particularly ill pitched; faced with Scottish apathy about the whole affair, he finds himself alone in his indignation. Dropping in a few salty references to World War 2 doesn’t raise his stock much, either, instead coming across like Frankie Boyle-esque shock-jockery.
Thank heavens, then, for Otto Kuhlne. More content to adopt the stereotype of a jolly lederhosen-sporting mountain-climber, he dances with brushes, yodels tunefully and even constructs a working alpenhorn from drainpipes. His clownish comedy belies a wealth of talent – he sings opera and plays accordion flawlessly, all the while wearing a delightfully massive grin, and his disappearing ping-pong ball trick has to be seen to be believed. The image he's pushing may be just as hackneyed as the efficient German stereotype, but by Gott im himmel it's funnier.