Left to right: hans

Teeuwen, Theo Maasen. Raoul Heertje



While Germany is still perceived as humourless, its neighbour is rocking with laughter. The Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective tell Brian Donaldson about anal sex, racism and hookers

t's a balmy June evening in

Amsterdam. and as I'm led into

the bowels of Toomler. the city‘s prime comedy club. the rich and dramatic history of the venue is being imparted to me. Formerly a mob hang-out. the club was closed down for a few years after a contract slaying was performed on the stairs outside. These days. the only dying permitted on the premises occurs on stage. usually during the regular open mic slots. The experienced gentlemen I am introduced to are more in the business of finding a killer gag. as Edinburgh audiences may well discover very soon.

Raoul Heenje. Theo Maasen and Hans Teeuwen are the three top comics in the Netherlands. and. having caressed their nation‘s funny

Could this be the year of the European comedian? Brian Donaldson cherry picks some continental comics, both real and made-up

Manes the Greek Could Manos be the next Borat or Pub Landlord? Or is he here just to educate us on the sordid myths which abound

about his homeland? Laughing Horse @ the Counting House, 667 7533, 6-25 Aug, 12.30pm, free.

bones for over a decade are now looking to branch out and have a

real go at the UK. Under the banner

ot‘ the Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective. the trio will lead proceedings with another eight stand~ups in tow on a rolling roster.

Is there such a thing as ‘Dutch humour’i” Can it be defined? Hans Teeuwen We have a big tradition in Holland of cabaret. of long one-man shows and we're from that Uadmon.

Theo Maasen The tradition would be to do some stand-up then sing a song and back to stand-up.

Raoul Heertje There was the time when the humour was absurd and then when it was really about nothing. Hans When we started there was nothing new really emerging, then the

3 Aug, £5.


Branko I Branka The sensational Croatian magic double act return with more eye-watering illusionist antics. We are told that they're static to be in Edinburgh again. Underbelly, 0870 745 3083, 4-26 Aug. noon, £7.50—E8.50

(£6. 50-}: 7. 50). Previews 2 &

Hennlng WehnlOtto Kuhnle More myths are

Comedy Train stand-up llilllt'lilU: came along and then loads of comics came up after us.

Raoul Yeah, they were all imitating you Hans,

Are there any obvious differences between Dutch and British humour?

Raoul One of the differences is that there are not many taboos here anymore. When British or American comedians come over here tell them it's not a big thing to Joke about taking drugs Or gomg to hookers. and people won't laugh I remember Scott Capurro was over and I told him that being gay and making jOkCS aboiit it isn't going to get yOu any laughs and after half an hour he said: 'weil. you're not shocked at all'. And he had to be more creative.

Theo Also. here y0u can earn money dOing stand-up or one-man shows but in America. comics have to turn to TV. Raoul I remember when were domg the Dutch version of Have / Go? News for You. the executives in Shock when l said that The, needed a big budget for writers. because they're not used to that investment in people.

So, what is considered offensive in Holland?

Raoul What I think is offensive is it you really connect what yet. are saying en the stage to the peocle themselves, When I was in Britain if you said

this pair bring us the

razed to the ground when

Beginner's Guide to German Humour Ach du Iiebe zeit! Holyrood Too @ Faith, 225 9764. 5—26 Aug, 7.45pm, £7 (£6). Prewews 3 8 4 Aug, £3. Ismo Leikola A funny Finn? Can it be? Rogue State Finland is the offering from one of Scandinavia's hottest stand-ups. Laughing Horse @ Edinburgh City Football

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‘.‘.‘.OY anyhow, aha . unset H‘cllal‘o. : z- t" "n " .-.e1 "es talking ah in. "e E:"t‘ can". be me" Hans ‘i a. this ' 'ie about hawm .1".i sm .'."." the Que-e" and it was "I‘ll". :‘ guest Adi" .ict \lfit‘oov a"? "“e'ided. 1er 9‘0” I did ‘i:‘ This "‘e :‘it about {Nieiot‘h'lui and t 30: .iaws-t v a while but The relie" came .i te.'. ,fikes later Theo had i" ‘t‘le'hs show because' 1L] stir“. about my parents being dead and had a crucifix on stage and started M‘Klliti It at not) point OK. but it (15‘. "no " it' ‘l‘.i‘ D: and there were lots ct emails and letters from Christians sawig was the devil Hans The ad. the Queen 71'! "a.

so she could

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d"‘»'>'eh"e there is that the use of her arms intended herself.

What’s the story here with racist jokes?

Hans Holland has tween so polititalli, correct for decades and we have linen raised so anti racist that for us it can be almost a 'eliwt 'x make a racist Joke because evtnyonc would think; 'ot course. this guy is not really raCist'

We can go so far in m ir irony because in our daily lift}. .‘.’(3 "fivt-n t really encountered racisl?‘

Raoul l‘ve heard illlllQ‘} said by comedians that are really racist but because it's in theatre. then suddenly it's OK.

What are your hopes for Edinburgh?

Raoul YOu can ham,» that Olynpir: mentality to loin and be there and have fun but think .-.yr: want to really do something and Just ti) say that we did the Edlflbtll’il‘ l-estixal is not enough.

It WOUld be good to show people the kind of comedy that we're dOing over here and not be Just another act.

I hear you’re big in Bath having played there in May? Hans There was a really good reView in the Bath Chronic/e. Raoul lt spoke abdut how Dutch footballe's but a lot into the British leagues in terms of creatiVity and intelligence and how there were Dutch COmedians doing the same thing Hans I get it delivered every week, Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective, Assembly @ Edinburgh Comedy Room, the Tron, 623 3030. 4—26 Aug, 70.30pm, £8.50 (E7). Prey/8W8 2 8 3 Aug, f5.

Club, 557 3838, 4—25 Aug. 3.20pm, free.

Menno Kuijper The Dutch-born writer and performer was behind the rather successful Gaydar Diaries and this year he promises to be Butch. Which very nearly rhymes with Dutch. P/easance Dome, 556 6550, 4—27 Aug (not 20).

1 1 pm, £8-£9 (£6. 50-27. 50). Previews until 3 Aug, £5.