Michael Mittermeier: A German on Safari
Eddie Izzard's German protege is in desperate need of fresh material
This article is from 2012.
The omens were good for Michael Mittermeier. Accompanied by Eddie Izzard’s endorsement, the German has toured widely in the Anglophone world and his publicity shots contain no lederhosen or sausages. It’s a shame, then, that Mittermeier’s set is as cliché-laden as anything you might encounter on Graham Norton’s Eurovision coverage.
OK, it’s a show about national stereotypes so the introductory references to Italian footballers’ dramatic skills and the perils of flying Ryanair can be forgiven. But when he rolls out the towels-on-sun-loungers material, it feels like we’ve been handed a checklist of all that’s bad about cultural comedy.
There are flashes of a better wit: at one point he delivers a withering put-down to an irksome commentator in the audience. But mostly Mittermeier is over-egging his punchlines with needless mugging (his zombie and robot impressions are more or less identical), and attempts to weave earlier references back into the set feel forced. After repeatedly professing to be our safari-style guide to those odd creatures they call foreigners, he succeeds in telling us nothing new.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 13, 20), 9.30pm, £9--£10 (£8--£9).