To be honest, I’ve never reviewed a comedy night before. In fact I’m not even sure if I’ve ever been to a comedy night before. I suppose that sounds strange, since I enjoy, well, laughing.
I think this may be down to my inner Englishness, my fear of the embarrassment I would feel if someone were to stand up and not be funny. What would I do? Where would I look? Would I laugh politely, would I cough quietly, would I stare pointedly at the wall until a big stick came out and pulled him off? Would I eventually sidle off, looking at my watch and shrugging at people that weren’t there?
And then also, you know, comedy’s such a personal thing in the end. At least what you find funny is. What if I would be standing there with the people who invited me, who I like, you know, and they would start laughing hugely at things that I wouldn’t find funny at all? What if it made me think less of them? And would I have the balls to simply not laugh if I was in that situation and I didn’t think it was funny? Or would I pretend to laugh, feeling sick inside, wondering when I could slip away, and then just not get in touch with those people anymore?
So I hope you’re beginning to realise how difficult this whole thing was for me.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to talk about the other people that were there, those, for example, that were on stage.
But let’s not rush things.
First the venue: The Griessmühle is an old style open air venue down the back of an industrial place right next door to Sonnenallee S-Bahn station. It’s a cool place, one that reminds me of the old Berlin, the Berlin of wierd places that you accidentally stumbled upon in the oddest places. Places that haven’t seen a lick of paint since the century before last, places designed for some other abstract use than its present one, in this case as Berlin’s finest comedy club.
So, I suppose what you’re all wondering is: Were they funny? And yes, I can report, there was no need in the end to sidle off or stare at the wall or feel embarrassed. I said that comedy is such a personal thing. I forgot that it is also such a wonderful thing. Music moves you, paintings make you see if the eyes follow you around the room, fashion makes you feel funky, but when someone points out the abstractness of everyday life in a certain way you find yourself in a room with a hundred strangers all killing themselves laughing, and it’s special but it’s such a shared recognition, a recognition that we are all alike, that we all deal with and respond to everyday life, but that the people all around you aren’t robots and aren’t even really strangers. When you all collapse in helpless laughter you connect in a way that you rarely do otherwise.
What I’m trying to say is that nearly all of the people on stage were fucking funny.
From the two German people who not only had the balls to do English language standup in front of an audience of English speaking people, but also made them laugh their heads off, from the LBGT American lady who scooped low, aimed high and pulled both off with aplomb, from the crude jokes to the intellectual nods to the magic guy to the…ah yes. And there was a guy dressed up as an ancient Grecian who read from a scroll, whose skit had surely seemed hilarious in front of the mirror the night before but left the audience…well, let’s say confused. But credit where credit was due, he didn’t blink, he carried it through to the end. Nary a tremor. Imressive.
So yes, all in all it was a great night. The place was pretty packed out and everyone really did seem to be having a whale of a time. Highly recommended – watch this space and we’ll let you know when and where the next one will be. Or look for Neil Numb and/or Baumhaus comedy festival on facebook.