What’s So Funny About Racism? Germany’s New Minority Comics, Part 1

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Alexander Kühn, December 27, 2013 (Photo Gallery).

A new generation of comedians with foreign roots are shining an irreverent light on the prejudices they encounter in Germany. But when it comes to the integration debate, do their brash, cliché-rife performances do more harm than good? … //

… A New Wave of Minority Comedy: … //

… Some Turks Think I’m Awful: … //

… Irony or Servile Self-Caricature?

An essay published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine at the beginning of the year raises the question of whether ethnic comedy may actually be hampering the immigration debate, rather than encouraging it. The magazine also suggests that “these so-called comedians are not breaking down stereotypes, but in fact are confirming, reproducing and solidifying them.”

As it happens, however, a joke is not a physical experiment, which always has the same result under the same conditions. A comedian can’t protect himself against misinterpretation of his punch lines, the way a cautious trapeze artist is protected by a net. And political correctness is often merely synonymous with boredom.

Comedian Abdelkarim offers his own assessment: “A normal adult is going to understand what part of my act is irony and what part isn’t. Of course, someone comes along now and then who doesn’t recognize the irony right away, but luckily my audiences have always made a clever impression.”

Abdelkarim, whose parents are from Morocco, presents both German resentments and the full spectrum of Muslim clichés. As with a cunning penalty-kicker, one never knows which corner the 32-year-old is about to shoot into.
During a performance at Hamburg’s Quatsch Comedy Club a few weeks ago, he began by talking about an incident at a supermarket, in which he had asked an older man if he wanted to go ahead of him in line, the man replied: “No, I’d rather keep you in view.”

The next minute, Abdelkarim is joking about how his father wanted to forbid him from playing chess: “The queen can go wherever she pleases? What’s that about?” his father raged. But then he calmed down, says Abdelkarim, when he explained to him that players could also knock the queen down.
(full text).

Part 2: Making Comedy from Bigotry.


articles and persons in english:

  • Kanak Sprak on en.wikipedia is a German sociolect created by Turkish male youth in Germany in late 1980s. The sociolect takes its name directly from the title of the book Kanak Sprak (1995) by German Turkish author Feridun Zaimoglu. Its name means roughly “Kanake-talk”, referring to the word Kanake, which is used originally as a racially-charged pejorative. The book deals with the idea of reclaiming this term for positive purposes …;
  • Turks in Germany on en.wikipedia … refers to persons living in Germany originating from Turkey including non-ethnic Turks (but does not include ethnic Turks from outside Turkey). German Turks form the largest ethnic minority.[3][4][5] Estimates range between 2.5–2.7 million,[6] 2.7 million,[7] 3.5 million[8][dead link] and more than 4 million Turks and German citizens with part or full Turkish ancestry in Germany,[9][10] forming about 4-5% of Germany’s total population[2] …;

Feridun Zaimoglu:

  • on en.wikipedia (born 4 December 1964 in Bolu) is a German author and visual artist of Turkish origin. Zaimoglu has developed since 1995 to have become one of the important poets of contemporary German language. His central theme are the problems of the second and third generation of Turkish immigrants to Germany; including Kanak Attak and External Links;
  • on YouTube-search;
  • on Google Images-search;

Thilo Sarazin:

  • on en.wikipedia (born 12 February 1945) is a German politician (SPD), writer, and former member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank (until 30 September 2010).[1][2] He previously served as senator of finance for the State of Berlin from January 2002 until April 2009, when he was appointed to his position at Bundesbank.
  • on Politically Incortect;
  • In his 2010 book Deutschland schafft sich ab / Germany Is Doing Away With Itself or Germany Is Abolishing Itself, the most popular book on politics by a German-language author in a decade,[3] he denounces the failure of Germany’s post-war immigration policy, sparking a nation-wide controversy about the costs and benefits of the idea of multiculturalism. In 2012 another book by Sarrazin was published, Europa braucht den Euro nicht (”Europe doesn’t need the euro”); the book argues that the introduction of a single currency in Europe, in the form of the Euro, was a bad idea and one that should be overturned …;

articles and persons in german / auf deutsch:

Jilet Ayse – Jilet Ayse ist eine Kunstfigur. Eine echte Gettobraut aus Neukölln mit Rütli-Schulen-Dialekt:

  • on de.wikipedia (* 1975) ist eine deutsche Schauspielerin. Ihre klischeehaft angelegten Kunstfiguren, die Berlinerin Gerda Grischke und Jilet Ayse, eine 18-jährige Kreuzberger Türkin, wurden über YouTube bekannt. Seit August 2012 ist Jilet Ayse mit ihrer Show Isch schwöre … auf Bild.de auf Sendung …;
  • on YouTube-search /results in german;
  • on Google Images-search;

Abdelkarim (Comedian)

  • on de.wikipedia (* 6. Oktober 1981[1] in Bielefeld als Abdelkarim Zemhoute)[2] ist ein in Deutschland tätiger Comedian marokkanischer Abstammung; er lebt in Bochum.[1] …;
  • on YouTube-search;
  • auf seiner Webseite;

Tedros “Teddy” Teclebrhan

  • on YouTube-search;
  • on de.wikipedia (* 1983 in Asmara, Eritrea) ist ein deutscher Schauspieler und Komiker. Bekannt wurde er unter dem Pseudonym Teddy Comedy;

Teddy Comedy:


  • Ihr wollt eure Kanakin? Ihr kriegt sie, in Die Welt, von Christine Kensche, 28. Dezember 2013: Als prollige, türkischstämmige Gettobraut ist sie zum YouTube-Star geworden. Den Slang lernte sie bei der Nachhilfe in Berlins Rütli-Schule. Aufgewachsen ist Idil Baydar in anderen Verhältnissen …;

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