Presentation on theme: "GERMAN HUMOR By Jacqueline (Zelda) Edwards. Warum überquerte das Huhn die Straße?"— Presentation transcript:
GERMAN HUMOR By Jacqueline (Zelda) Edwards
Warum überquerte das Huhn die Straße?
Um zum Flughafen für einen Flug nach Deutschland!
The basics German sentence structure can be translated into English differently. So if you tried to tell an English joke in German, the punchline could come first and would get lost in translation. The sentence above is intended to mean: “This area is video-observed by the police to prevent crimes” but can also be understood as “This area is video-observed to prevent crimes committed by the police.”
Who likes what Parody, Irony, Sarcasm, Puns, Black Humor, and Slapstick make up most of what America views as funny. Black humor, Satires, Parodies and Irony are nowadays relevant in Germany today. In their past, primarily the Fasching Parade was their most beloved event, but with technology expanding so fast today, younger Germans are developing a more Americanized sense of humor than the past generations. Fasching has now become dull and something “your parents like.”
English lols vs. German lols German people distinguish between "Comedy" (using the English word) and "Komödie" (the German word of the same origin). "Comedy" refers to post-90s TV-comedy, much more modern and includes adaptations of foreign comedy concepts, and the airing of foreign shows. "Komödie” refers to plays and skits that are more visually and ascetically pleasing than being humorous, and this includes the traditional parade “Fasching”.
The popular German cartoon character "Werner" is virtually unknown outside the German market. While German-speakers can somehow appreciate the American/Hollywood or British Monty Python flavor of humor, it rarely seems to work the other way around. German film comedies—"Werner" or "Der Schuh des Manitu" (a German satire of Karl May Westerns)—never seem to achieve success outside the German-speaking market, but "Chicken Run" (Hennen rennen) and South Park were major box office hits in German Kinos. The sausage nosed Werner
Comedy Back Then… Comedy has to have a purpose in Germany, whereas in America it can be totally irrelevant. Comedy in Germany developed rules. The best-known form of live German comedy, the kabarett, not to be confused with the cabaret, had very clear parameters: performers commented on politicians—only politicians—and performers must have a point, a political perspective on the left or the right. The audience understands these rules. Sonja Kling attempted to play with the rules last year—instead of politics, her troupe talked about social events. Once this experiment became apparent, half the audience walked up and left. Such restraints are stifling for German comedians—exposed to the liberties of their American and British counterparts. “They say that you’re not supposed to hit below the belt,” said Harald Schmidt, a late-night talk show host and perhaps Germany’s best-known modern comedian. “That’s fine. But in Germany,” he said, pointing to his neck, “the belt is up here. ”
Matthias Buchinger Matthias Buchinger was born in Ansbach, Germany in1674 and was one of the most well known performers of his day. He played over a dozen instruments (some of which he’d invented himself) sang, danced, read minds, did magic tricks, drew portraits and landscapes, mastered calligraphy, built magnificent ships in bottles and was a stunning marksman with a pistol. And, oh yeah, he didn’t have any arms or legs.
“Little Man from Nuremberg” Nowadays, we can determine that he suffered from Phocomelia. He had fin-like appendages instead of hands, and “stood” only 28 inches tall. In addition to conjuring, Buchinger enjoyed a great reputation as an engraver and an artist. Buchinger was married four times and had at least fourteen children (by eight different women). He died in Cork, Ireland in 1732 at the age of 65. Self portrait by Buchinger.
Upon closer examination… Despite being disabled, his engravings were incredibly detailed. One such engraving, a self portrait, was so painstakingly detailed that the curls of his hair revealed that they were in fact several biblical passages and the Lord's Prayer, inscribed in teeny tiny letters!
Karl Valentin Karl Valentin (born Valentin Ludwig Fey, 4 June 1882, Munich) was a Bavarian comedian, cabaret performer, clown, author and film producer. He started in multiple silent films and was known as Germany’s Charlie Chaplin. He invented his own 20 piece One-Man-Band skit.
Karl II His comedy would often begin with a simple misunderstanding, on which he would insist as the sketch progressed. Valentin gave advice to a fellow actor who wanted to know what soldiers looked like in battle. Karl answered, “Extremely pale. Scared ****less.” This exchange became historical since this sparked the trend of using white face chalk in “epic theatre.” He passed away in his sleep on February 9 th,1948. Karl Valentin as the Barber in Mysteries of a Barber Shop, 1923, holding the head of a patron he has accidentally shaved too close. The movie became apart of the 100 most important films in Germany’s history.
Lou Jacobs Johann Ludwig Jacob (Nicknamed Lou Jacobs) was born in Bremerhaven, Germany on January 1 st, 1903, and realized quite young that he was a contortionist and a natural comedian. He immigrated to America and was 22 when he first joined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus where he eventually became known as the most famous clown in the world.
Lou Jacobs II While he worked, he invented his own skits that have become clown clichés all over the world. Even though his satires and comedy sketches were top bill, he enjoyed making props and acting more. He had a faithful sidekick for over 14 years during his shows who always performed well under the stress and physical effort (his dog Knucklehead.) He is credited with popularizing the red rubber clown nose. After four years of tinkering and many painful crashes, he finally perfected and also invented… the infamous clown car.
Lou Jacobs III He knew the healing power of laugher, and in 1948 he performed for 37 children who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In 1966 he was honored by being the only living American featured on a German postage stamp. The mid 70’s were a new beginning for him as he left Barnum to pursue teaching other young men and women how to perform and became a professor at Master Clown College, which he believed was more full-filling job for him at his age. In 1988, after 62 years, he retired entirely from performing, but continued teaching. And in April 23, 1989, he was one of the first six clowns to be inducted into the newlyborn Clown Hall of Fame. He passed away in 1992.
Hitler Humor? The history of Hitler humor in Germany is brief. Karl Valentin was somehow permitted to get away with a playful stunt in which he raised an arm in a Nazi salute, said “Heil,” and then added, “I forgot his name.” but received disapproval for it for the rest of this life. After the war, as Germany rebuilt itself, in a period which is reffered to as “The Comedy Gap,” there was little comedy in Germany, and what humor did exist didn’t touch controversial issues, let alone Hitler or the Third Reich. Even in the 90s, for instance, a cheeky member of the Berlin Philharmonic signed his name “Adolf Hitler” on a hotel receipt in Israel; he was promptly fired and excoriated in the German press. German’s reactions to the their past and America’s reactions to our past are very different comedy-wise.
Serdar Somuncu Serdar Somuncu (who was born in Turkey but now lives in Germany) was thrown into the spotlight in 1996 with his controversial idea to read comedic-dramatic skits from Adolf Hitler’sautobiography Mein Kampf. His parodies of the book (which had been banned for over 50 years and still is) earned him the title Man of the Year and in total he performed over 1,500 performances in front of over 250,000 people. Somuncu performing one of his skits.
Serdar II But this success was not given without serious risk to himself. At a few of his live shows, he was advised to wear a bulletproof vest and was escorted by police to venues. Venues received bomb threats. During one of his acts, an enraged neo Nazi stormed on stage and unfurled a pro Hitler banner and proclaimed Somuncu to be “ridiculing the greatest man alive”. In response, Serdar stopped his show and proceeded to question the man for 45 minutes about Hitler. He even performed on Hitler’s birthday. After that skit he left the venue without incident, but when he got to his hotel, the clerk wasn’t there and there was an anonymous message saying, “We’ll be watching you.”
Serdar III Through all of this, Serdar was energized to keep going because he knew he was doing something no one had done before and was sending a spark through people, both good and bad. He never cancel a single performance even with death threats against him. In order to perform his skits, he had to basically challenge the German government to make an exception for him and only him. And what made him different to the government was that he WASN’T German. Being born in Turkey, he was except from the politically correct attitude people gave him. Other comedians had tried this Hitler act before, but only Serdar succeeded.
The Last Laugh :D In conclusion. What sparked my interest in this subject was hearing personal accounts from my brother who’d traveled to Germany. I love the differences in humor. I love hearing laughter and what it can do for a person. It’s amazing to me that in different countries everyone has different ways of finding humor in something. And it saddens me that most humor is getting really lazy and monotone all over the world. Final words: Wer zuletzt lacht, denkt am langsamsten!