Humour about the EU is hard enough – how do you make the European Union funny without just falling back on crass national stereotypes? And then to try to do that in German, bearing in mind that – well – the stereotype is that Germany is not the funniest place in the world.
I nevertheless hope to show with these videos that it is possible.
Privater EU-Austritt (Private EU exit) – no subtitles
This is my favourite video. The public broadcaster in northern Germany, NDR, asked people what they thought about the EU, and offered them the personal option to leave. The results, and the reactions of the people, are really funny.
Unsere schönen deutschen Euros (Our precious German Euros) – English or Greek subtitles (in settings)
ZDF’s Jan Böhmermann playing a rich German, citing newspaper headlines from German newspapers about Greece. Handy satire about German media coverage of the Greek crisis.
ZDF Heute Show – Extrawurst für die Briten (Extra sausage for the British) – English subtitles
Heute Show is Germany’s closest equivalent of the Daily Show in the United States. This episode looks at Britain’s relationship with the EU, and goes on the attack about Cameron’s approach to immigration and his threatened referendum. It’s awful in places, and very funny at other times.
V for Varoufakis – in English (subtitles for other languages in Settings)
Also by ZDF’s Jan Böhmermann, part fan video and part critique of both Germany and Greece, this music video is raw and weird and funny at the same time. Böhmermann also put together this video about the Varoufakis “Stinkefinger” on Jauch.
Die Zeugen Europas (The EU Jehovah’s Witnesses) – no subtitles
Also from the Heute Show, the host Oliver Welke is greeted by two EU sort of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It covers things as weird as Herman van Rompuy’s fan club in Asia, and why German firms are in favour of straight cucumbers (critique of lobby power).
Sadly one of my favourite piecese of German political humour – poking fun at the Swiss in Konstanz – is now no longer online. Anyway though, you get the idea – German humour about the EU is possible!