At the count of three all laugh please. Eins, zwei.....
Henning Wehn, self-appointed German ambassador to Britain, once said “Brits think we have a no sense of humour – and we don’t think that’s funny.”* Yet some German humour does manage to transcend language boundaries, as testified by Loriot. Even the world-acclaimed Huffington Post reports the sad news of his death, announcing “Germans often cited him as proof of their sense of humor”.
I suspect “Die Zeit” is exaggerating a little when it compares Loriot as a German cultural figure to classical writers Friedrich Schiller or Wolfgang Goethe. Yet there was certainly something very special and unique about the comic who could make unexciting activities like taking one's place at a concert or eating a hard-boiled egg look so hilariously funny.
And who can forget the noodle on the upper lip sketch :-). My favourite sketch, however, was Deutsch für Ausländer – a spoof on all those diabolical audio courses, which were supposed to teach us poor Brits but actually ended up making German grammar even more incomprehensible than it actually is.
Loriot will be missed, but his sketches, films and cartoon's will run for many more generations.
* Check him out, he’s really funny: Henning Wehn - the funny German