Paco Erhard: 5-Step Guide to Being German Review
When I went to see this free stand-up show I was instantly struck by a vague sense of recognition about the German comedian in front of me. It was pointed out to me, by my other half, that who he reminded us of was a young Eddie Izzard. This isn't to denegrate him as being derivative in any way, but rather speaks volumes about his potential as a comic. He reminded us of Eddie Izzard because, partially, there was a vague similarity in delivery, but mostly because he manages to roll out waves of comedy gold with the assuredness of a true master of his craft.
It's difficult to overstate how hilarious Erhard's act is, he has a brilliant sense of whimsy whilst still being serious about undermining the unhelpful stereotypes we in the UK have about Germany. His extremely clever material on English tourists and the hangups and angst the Germans have about themselves is as close to stand-up genius as I have ever seen. His observational humour is a joy to behold, unleashing roars of laughter from the delighted audeince.
Aside from being a downright hilarious show, Erhard is thought-provoking when he wants to be as well, particularly when he discusses issues surrounding our relationship to national identity. His show ultimately contains a very positive message of understanding and rejecting stereotypes, without decending into sentimentality.
Erhard is an extremely well-rounded comedian, expertly navigating around prop use, audience interaction, some brilliant observation, wonderful ad-libbing, and delivering a positive message all the time keeping the laughter coming in a way most paying shows would be jealous of.
If you get a chance to see this man's stand-up show, do it, do it now. This comedian has a very bright future ahead of him and I will not hesitate to see him again next chance I get. Watch this space, Paco Erhard is going to be big.