My dear friend Sanni from Germany sent me a priceless gift this week. A CD with the first season of “Stromberg“, a German comedy show [which is comparable to “The Office”] with Christoph Maria Herbst.
The guy is absolutely hilarious – one of the best comedians that Germany has produced lately.
Comedy is really an interesting matter. Something which is intimately connected with the cultural background of a country, a language area or sometimes even a specific region.
I remember the first time I watched a comedy show in the State. Many jokes seem pretty universal around the world, so I would “get” many of them, but maybe 50% were referring to events, people and stories that only someone who has grown up here could understand. It was not only a language barrier, because I mostly understood the words that were spoken, but I couldn’t for the life of me understand how those words were remotely funny to anyone.
Over time, and due to a lot of pause-hitting-and-explaining on J’s part, I started to understand more and more of the comedy that was shown on TV. Still, I am pretty sure though that some things will forever be a comedic mystery to me.
The same will be true for J with German comedy. I will probably be able to “explain” many of the jokes [but as you know, jokes that have to be explained usually don’t measure up], but there will always be parts that he won’t understand.
As many benefits I see in being in a cross-cultural relationship, this is definitely a downside. I fear that we’ll never be able to understand each other’s cultural background completely – but tonight, we’ll definitely give it another try ;)