BY ALEXIA JAMES
No, Brit Girl, the Germans do not now have a better sense of humour than the British. 30,000 people across 15 countries were asked to name both the “funniest” (“best at making people laugh”) and “least funny” nationality in a poll conducted by Badoo.com. The Germans came out last. They were even below the Belgians. Germans are as funny as Nish Kumar, who is as much a comedian as I am a genetic engineer. German comedians need canned laughter in such prolific quantities as the most recent iteration of Have I Got News for You.
Let’s be clear. This fat German comedian’s point of humour (Oliver Welke, Heute Show) revolves around Boris Johnson wanting single market access. Reverse the situation. Have Germany leave the EU. Would they not negotiate for the best access to all markets and the least regulation for their businesspeople? What’s in the least bit funny about that? Dummkopf.
Rule of Thumb: what makes Germans laugh makes others squirm in embarrassment at the sheer stupidity:
— Kann ein Känguru höher als ein Haus springen?
— Ja! Weil ein Haus nicht springen kann.
— Can a kangaroo jump higher than a house?
— Yes! Because a house can’t jump.
I’m telling you, Germans are not funny.
The Germans are certainly not funny enough to replicate a Jon Stewart or a Graham Norton. That’s why the crowd in the above clip look like they are sporting enemas. Let’s be honest – and I say this as a woman – Germans are no funnier than female comedians who are not funny at all either (although Joan Rivers and Victoria Wood raised the odd chuckle and Jo Brand was funny until she revealed her Corbyn-supporting inclinations).
This may be sacrilegious to say in today’s politically correct climate but the truth counts – female comedians only sit on game shows and comedy panels because producers are wary of diversity officers. If comedy were a meritocracy, female comedians may have one or two places in the top 100. Generally, female comedians are as dull as ditch water. Like the German fellow, they tend to be chubsters – in search of a cuddly bear sympathy laugh. Worse, they are obsessed with making jokes about their vaginas.
There’s nothing wrong with women’s failure at comedy. Men are rubbish at looking after their feet. We can’t all be brilliant at everything.
Comedy is amazingly simple. It’s about telling people stuff and making them laugh. As long as you can connect with your audience, you’re laughing, and hopefully they are too. Yet comedy nights at some of the country’s most prestigious venues are often still an all-male line-up. Why? Bums on seats – customers pay to laugh not to fall asleep. Venues need to make money – they exist in the market, in the real world.
Meanwhile in subsidised paradise – a world on the wane – the new BBC Director General Tim Davie is threatening to target comedy shows often seen as too left wing. Who cares? The horse bolted ages ago and it’s not coming home to Auntie – removal of the licence fee will dictate who the market finds funny.
Programmes such as The Mash Report, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You are watched by so few. YouGov describes The Mash report as the 463rd most popular contemporary TV programme and the 428th most famous. Radio comedy fares even worse – “Listeners are no longer seeing the funny side of Radio 4’s early evening comedy programmes”, according to the BBC’s own research. Audience satisfaction in the station’s flagship 6.30pm comedy slot — which includes The News Quiz, The Now Show and The Unbelievable Truth — has tumbled over the last year.
The days when the whole family would sit around the TV in anticipation of Have I Got News For You have gone. Even lockdown didn’t help the BBC’s audience numbers.
The BBC comedy department may as well employ Germans.