Henning Wehn arrived on this shores in 2002 to implement Customer Satisfaction Indices at Wycombe Wanderers FC having worked in a similar role for former German cup winner KFC Uerdingen. He initially planned to stay for only one year but the good weather, the tasty food and the beautiful women made him stay.
In order to blend in with the locals he decided to get extremely lazy, to spend money he didn’t have and most importantly: to unjustifiably bang on about his great sense of humour.
He therefore took office as German Comedy Ambassador to the United Kingdom in October 2003. This turned out to be not the easiest of jobs because Germans allegedly do not have a sense of humour. Herr Wehn does not find that funny but thrives on the low expectations. You must know that Henning never did stand-up back home. He simply isn’t good enough to cut it in the Fatherland.
Berlin-based Otto Kuhnle on the other hand is a prime example of a versatile German entertainer and actor. He sings, dances, juggles, plays several instruments, does magic tricks and, despite his old age, is a real looker (or so he thinks). The quality of his set pieces which he performs up and down Germany varies between funny and very funny.
Unlike Herr Wehn, Herr Kuhnle insists in mentioning that he has a profound and serious side to his professional life.
He has worked as an actor in movies such as Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire) or Die Brüder Skladanowsky (The Skladanowsky Brothers), both directed by Wim Wenders.
Back in 2005 Herr Kuhnle donned his finest socks and sandals and decided to inspect London’s comedy circuit.
In order to impress the simple-minded people of Britain he added stereotypical German props such as Lederhosen (short leather trousers), Maßkrug (beer stein), Gartenzwerge (garden gnomes) to his props.
It was on this trip that Herr Kuhnle and Herr Wehn met by chance at Pearshaped, a small London comedy club. The comedy night both turned up for got cancelled but Herr Wehn and Herr Kuhnle got their steins out and after much thigh-slapping they decided to meet the next day outside London Eye to sing German folk songs.
The rest is, if not history, at least the beginning of a beautiful friendship that greatly benefits Anglo-German relations.
Since then they have appeared at several corporate gigs, had three successful shows at the Edinburgh Festival, 1000 Years of German Humour (2008), A Beginner’s Guide to German Humour (2007) and Three World Cups and One World Pope (2006). They also had several successful runs at The Questors Theatre Ealing and New End Theatre Hampstead.
Last but not least Herr Wehn and Herr Kuhnle presented Tourism Guide to Germany on Channel 4.
Teutonic jolliness at its best.