Category Archives: Comedy

5 Myths About Germany

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Ah, Germany! The economic powerhouse of the EU! A shining beacon of hope in a world that’s gone mad! More and more, the world turns to Berlin (and Munich and Hamburg and even Düsseldorf) as a sign of stability in uncertain times. Quality of life is high, employment is steadily rising, and the lessons of history have been well learned. However, as one starts to examine what exactly makes the German system work, they come face to face with some rather inaccurate stereotypes. So in order for you, dear reader, to truly understand what it’s like here, I offer the truth I have personally uncovered regarding 5 Myths About Germany.

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An Ode to Herrentag

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Today’s the day- no, not Ascension Day. That’s right, it’s Herrentag! Also known as Vatertag, the German Father’s Day is when German men and teenage boys grab their beer, throw it in a cart, and then go on a drunken hike in the woods- as MEN! Just as Ascension Day marks the time when Jesus returned to his Holy Father, Herrentag is a day to celebrate being a father by historically giving the man with the most children a large piece of ham. Indeed, this is a day for just men- no girls allowed. Curious? I was, too! Until I participated myself and wrote this poem about my experience. Please, enjoy!
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Don’t Quit Your Day Job- No, Really

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I had an interview recently with a question I’m sure all comedians love:

How do you manage to sustain yourself just by being a stand up comedian? 😉

Now I’m not criticizing the interviewer. I’m honored to be interviewed in the first place and overall it was a great chance for people to get to know me better. Nor am I criticizing the general wonderment that a person could “just” be a stand-up comedian (or any performer) and survive- the term “starving artist” came about for a reason. I guess I’m criticizing the use of the word “just”.

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The Böhmermann Affair: One Small Step For Jan, One Giant Leap for German Comedy

 

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Congratulations, Germany! While you have been notoriously known for lacking a sense of humor and having seriously terrible comedy, you’re finally in the big leagues. The Böhmermann Affair is your chance to shine- a satirical piece which criticized a foreign leader, tested the boundaries of an outdated law, AND has gained worldwide attention! This is an amazing opportunity not just for your culture, but also for your country, to break the stereotypes holding it back and really make a mark- so let’s make sure you don’t screw it up.

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Build Your Room’s Energy

Taken by Beatrice Murch (blmurch)

One thing you’ll hear performers talk a lot about is the “energy” of a room. This is to say, the general feeling in the air that is either brought in by the audience or thrust upon them once they have entered a space. While there’s a lot to be said about “feeling the room”, you really need to have good energy for a performance to work. Even the best act of all time can bomb when the energy is bad or low, and sometimes the worst act can come out shining just because the energy is high. In short, the energy is nothing less than the foundation on which you build your set- and building that energy early on is 100% necessary.

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Funny Business: How Comedy Helps Your Job

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In addition to performing and producing comedy shows, I also have been completing a business degree in Germany which for the past few years has taken up the vast majority of my time. I could tell you plenty about what it was like going through that experience as an American (but that’s a story for another time). For now I’d like to talk about how performing improv and stand-up have made me a better businessman- and how anyone can do it.

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Feel the Room: Political Correctness for Comedians

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I’m more offended by the spelling error, honestly.

John Cleese once came forward to say that “political correctness is killing comedy”. His argument was that having to dance around what offends people removes the humor from comedy and that people expect to be “protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion”. I didn’t really think about it too much- until I had to.

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Maggie Lounge Alternative Comedy: Wherein Georg Interrupts Me

First of all, what an amazing night. Seriously, all the comedians- all on top of their game, lots of laughs every time. If you weren’t there, you missed out.

However, dear reader, as I am a generous god, I have deigned it a worthy night to have my photo taken and share my set! Special thanks to Kalle for the amazing shots (can definitely recommend him!), to my special recording assistant, to Alex and Ian for putting it together, and (of course) to my interruption, Georg Kammerer. Two Georges entered, two Georges left- although maybe not all with their dignity intact. Give it a listen!

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In Defense of the Genre: The Dad Joke

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend on the subject of “dad jokes”. For those of you who are unaware of what exactly a dad joke is[1], the essential part of it is that it is a joke that is so bad it makes you groan. Not just a groan, but an “oh God why did you waste my time with this” groan. These are puns, plays on words, and in general bad jokes that can barely classify as one. In a nutshell, they are the kind of jokes my father tells me all the time.

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