English-Language Funnies in Hamburg

 

Trevor Ferdy
From London, U.K.
1 year in Hamburg
Comedian/Music and theatre teacher


 

You started a comedy show in Hamburg! Awesome. Where is it?

Our comedy show, “The Hamburger’s Big Night Out” is on the first Thursday of each month at Bar Mathilde in Ottensen at 8pm. Hosted by myself, the first half starts with newer comedians and ends with a professional headliner, often from Berlin. The second half comprises of the as-yet unnamed comedy improv team who perform on-the-spot scenes, led by audience suggestions and my need to screw with them as much as possible.

 

You set up a similar show in Tokyo, of all places! How does Hamburg compare?

When I found myself living in Tokyo I was surrounded by comedy material and in partnership with a good friend Jazz Twemlow, formed a new monthly comedy night, “The Mad Cow’s Big Night Out” show in 2010. I left because Tokyo slowly drives you nuts. My job as a music and theatre teacher brought me to Hamburg. Desperate to fill my time with stuff when I split-up from a girlfriend, I asked the kindly people of Bar Mathilde if they wanted a regular English comedy show and now we are approaching our sixth show!

Shortly after arriving here, I quickly got the sense that many Germans revered British style comedy. Personally speaking, I get away with a lot of awful things when other people simply attribute it as “British Humour”. I wanted to recreate the sense of community me and Jazz had created in Tokyo here in Hamburg, where budding and experienced comedians could mix, share ideas and create a writing pool of material that inspired and excited us. We seem to be getting there!

 

What do you love most about comedy nights? How would you encourage people to start doing comedy? How did you get into it?

People go to comedy nights to laugh, yes of course. But also, people need someone to say things they don’t dare to say, to point out the ridiculousness of society and the things we do. People get a thick slice of truth when they watch comedy, much needed truth in a world that is otherwise full of nonsense. I think lots of people would make great comedians. It’s not in the creating of material but rather the capturing of it. The greatest joke ever told was probably said by some random person in some town somewhere with their mates. Most of us would make good comedians but lack the performing skills, which just comes from experience. For me, a room full of people laughing and experiencing a shared unity of ‘truth’ is a beautiful thing!

If you want to give it a go at The Big Hamburger’s Night Out, email Trevor at trevorferdy@gmail.com!


HAMBURG CITY TIPS

What’s the funniest place in Hamburg?

The funniest place in Hamburg is probably the Reeperbahn, a few minutes walk from my apartment. Out of the six countries I have lived in, this is the only place I can find homeless alcoholics, punks, crossdressers and goths wait a full minute on a clear road for the green man.

For more city tips visit our page >> OUR CITY TIPS 

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