Ask Czechs about their national sense of humour and they will probably say it is dark, sarcastic and absurd. Not surprising, perhaps, from the country that gave us Kafka. They will likely hold up Monty Python as hilarious, too, which is absurd given that it’s British and not Czech.
But there is one thing the whole world seems to agree upon: the Germans have no sense of humour. One German comic – Henning Wehn, self-styled “German Comedy Ambassador” (it’s up to you if you think that’s funny or not) – tackles that international issue in the opening joke of his stand-up routine. “Some people say the Germans have no sense of humour,” he says to giggles from the audience. “I do not find this funny.”
His success hasn’t stopped the Germans from addressing their perceived humourlessness. Step forward the German Institute for Humour, which according to its website “combines scientific research with hands-on training courses” and offers “goal-oriented counselling, lectures, entertaining shows,