If your only image of Teutonic national identity involves highly organized industry and militant aggression, then perhaps Paco Erhard truly is the “Worst German Ever,” as he claims. But if you recall that pre-Nazi Germany was a hub of progressive culture and liberal thought, then Erhard is certainly a huge step up over Hitler. And if (like most Americans) you can’t tell the German flag from the Belgian one, this show should be as much a remedial world geography lesson as a laugh-riot.
America’s optimism and confidence has always appealed to Erhard, ever since he was an exchange student here 30 years ago. But he’s equally aware that his adopted country is the only nation on earth that “does stupid with jazz hands.” Now that he’s returned (legally), Erhard’s show description says his modest six-month goal is to fix America with his cross-country comedy tour ... but to be fair, he was high as a kite when he wrote that.
Taboo-breaking highlights of Erhard’s monologue include his modest proposals to solve supremacy by taking the phrase “fuck racism” literally, and to preserve peak TV by distributing free firearms. He bashes Florida almost as much as his homeland, but saves some choice swipes for Canada (where even the fascists are apologetic) and other supposedly left-leaning lands, lending this edition of his show a bit more bipartisan balance than the last.
With a mix of new material and bits familiar from Erhard’s earlier routines, this stand-up set’s pacing and structure are still quite loose; Paco occasionally resorts to referring to his notes to stay on track, and struggled to squeeze in his finale for the press preview, so I still didn’t get to learn much about his emigration. However, this version is definitely tighter than the “chaotically hilarious” version I praised at January’s Winter Mini-Fest.
It ain’t easy making an audience of eight laugh out loud — much less think — at 10:45 in the effing a.m., as Erhard successfully managed to do during his press preview. I’d love to see how much funnier he can be when he (and I) have had more than three hours of sleep.
Paco Erhard: Worst. German. Ever.
German Comedy International
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