What’s so funny? “Michael Mittermeier is very funny and German. If you don’t believe either of these things – go check him out”. It must be catching – even Eddie Izzard is wheeling out tired old national stereotypes when bigging up one of the acts he’s helped bring to Edinburgh.
Catching from whom? Mittermeier himself. He’s a big noise in his native Germany, where he supported U2. (Bono is another fan.) And he’s not averse to a cliché.
Germans get up early to put their towels on the sun loungers? Check.
The Brits abroad like a drink? Check.
The Chinese build things quickly? Apparently so. Mittermeier’s show is a parade of material like this: “Every nation reacts differently,” he tells us at one point, “to a lion attack.” It’s hackwork, by the standards of UK standup.
Are German-held stereotypes the same as British-held ones? Sometimes they deviate. To Mittermeier, Italians are “like human vuvuzelas” – which confused us Brits, who demand jokes about their war record and the olive oil in their hair.
Is there any respite? There is. There’s lots on the German language, and how harsh it sounds. There’s some playful boasting about Germany’s economic success. The show ends discussing climate change, which is, says Mittermeier, high-above-sea-level Germany’s plan B for world domination.
So do mention the war? Frequently.
Bono was wrong? Mittermeier is clearly a capable comic, and he does get the room laughing. But he does so by very unadventurous means.
- Until 27 August. Box office: 0131-556 6550
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