It’s the accent, I’m sure, that makes Henning Wehn, the self-named German Comedy Ambassador, so laugh-out-loud funny. You may have heard it on the TV shows Have I Got News For You or Would I Lie To You?: a train of exaggerated diphthongs hurtling through the quirky territory of modern
It certainly worked this evening, with two hours of ‘Teutonic jolliness’ about life in
He’s not just about the accent or the stereotypes, though. Wehn’s humour is witty and socially intelligent: after poking fun at the State (and state) of
“He used lots of phrases that even British people wouldn’t use,” I overheard an audience member saying on the way out. There were a fair few ‘cor blimey’ and ‘what a palaver’s. They cannot have been accidental. However, when he examines relations between Brits and ‘foreigners’—for example, talking about integration—Wehn’s concept of Britishness seems stuck in a 1960s time warp, where everyone looks and acts the same way (except even then, they didn’t). Not accounting for the heterogeneity of Britishness makes his modern-day comparisons ring slightly less true, and because his comedic strength lies in uncovering these (often uncomfortable) truths, on occasion it falls short.
Some of the funniest one-liners were from our very own audience, tasked with suggesting who should be to blame for Brexit. The guy who thought it was his fault (“because everything usually is”) has my heartfelt sympathy. Henning Wehn is in