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REVIEW: A (Very Brief) History of German Humour @ Fringe

Words by: Emily Schofield-Cox


With Greg Fleet watching on from the wings of the room, Paco Ehard nervously fumbled a few prop-based sketches but, as a whole, gave us exactly what he promised in A Very Brief History of German Humour, with a whole lot of belly laughs along the way.

The comedian behind the hour-long show, Ehard, is a German-born man whose further travelling around the world has given him not only a very strange accent, but also a better understanding of just what makes each nation tick. His Fringe Festival show is his neatly-packaged deliverance of his newfound knowledge, and is sure to alienate Greeks just as much as it perfectly captures the essence of what it is to be Australian.

He spoke to the 80% of us, who he felt were caught between the 10% nanny-state government, and the 10% racist bogans who need signs to remind them when and how to wash their hands. Though judging from a few strange and rambling racist heckles after this assertion, I think he may have slightly misjudged the ratio.

His harsh but endearing look at his home country (a nation of football and guilt) and harsh but endearing look at our own (a nation of lovable buffoons whose enunciation gets worse and worse the closer you get to the border of Queensland) had the audience wholeheartedly on his side.

His thinly-veiled comments on his derision at our immigration procedures were encompassed in larger, warmer jokes that allowed him to get his point across without the loud and proud on the right side of the room (and the political spectrum) rising up.

The show was a polished and efficient performance that seemed effortless, and his clever interaction with hecklers highlighted just how switched on he was.

He had a multitude of jokes about Hitler (Mein Bad being the unreleased sequel to Mein Kampf was the first of many) and 9/11 and its connection to Angry Birds, yet his overall message of diversity and multiculturalism rang out loud and clear. This show is very, very funny and very, very clever; A Very Brief History of German Humour lives up to hype.