There are a lot of stereotypes about Germans—being funny is not one of them.
When I was a kid, I wanted to become a comedian. At that time, there was only a handful of German comedians doing stand-up. So, of course, I watched a lot of English content.
And it seems that the man who managed to become the most famous German comedian did exactly what I did at that time. Felix Lobrecht often talks about his passion for American comedians, music, and culture. I can totally relate to that.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The way I relate to Lobrecht’s story is the reason why I am such a fanboy. Seriously, this dude gives me hope, makes me laugh, and reminds me that there is no success without failure.
At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “Yeah, great, but I don’t understand German.” No worries, if you are able to read, you can check out his work.
Lobrecht’s show “Hyped” is available on Netflix with English subtitles.
If you want to learn something about German culture, drop existing stereotypes, and get an idea of how (parts of) my generation think, then you have to watch this special.
Even the New York Times wrote an article about him last year.
And before anyone asks, “But Robert, he has a few jokes that are not politically correct. How is that acceptable?”
Here is my answer: I agree with Felix on almost everything he says. I believe that being woke doesn’t work without reflecting on our own shortcomings. So, I am totally cool with jokes about hipsters, vegans, and political correctness.
There is a difference between telling a joke that makes us think about political correctness and telling a joke to reject political correctness. There is a difference between trying to improve something by pointing out contradictions and trying to destroy something by making fun of it.
One example of this is Lobrecht’s ongoing criticism of the Fridays For Future movement. Just like Lobrecht, I am also supporting Greta’s goals–but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with everything this movement does.
I think it’s okay to make fun of a youth movement that wants to save the planet and then cancels the performance of a woman because of her dreadlocks. I think it’s perfectly fine to point out that 99 percent of the kids protesting are German kids from rich families, while the ones with migrational backgrounds usually don’t participate.
But as always in life, it’s about finding balance. And that’s what inspires me the most about Lobrecht. He is able to make fun of political correctness as a way of supporting it.
He recently announced that he stopped eating meat by making fun of vegetarians on his podcast. Lobrecht does the right things and then makes fun of those who want to get celebrated for being a good person.
What sounds like a contradiction at first, makes more sense the more we think about it.
How much sense does it make to pretend that something imperfect was perfect? He is walking the talk and makes it more relatable to those who are normally not into saving the planet—and I love that approach.
Lobrecht runs charities against racism but makes fun of his buddies and their accents. He uses his fame to support the Fridays For Future movement, but as mentioned earlier, he also insists on pointing out weaknesses. And not to forget, he speaks a lot about elitism and how he wants society to overcome it but never forgets to point out that he is a pretty rich dude by now.
It’s these contradictions that he doesn’t even try to hide. I love how he manages to illustrate both sides of a story within one person.
And maybe that’s the secret behind his success?
Lobrecht started his career at poetry slams. But he wasn’t really a fan of poetry at that time. He just wanted to get on stage and improve his skills as a stand-up comedian. It would be an understatement to say that it worked out.
His podcast “Gemischtes Hack” is the only non-English podcast in Spotify’s worldwide top 10. He has one million followers on Instagram and wrote a bestselling book about his youth in Berlin.
He never tried to fit in, and he never did—and that’s what I admire about him.
Last week, I was performing at a poetry slam. But without poetry, I followed my childhood dreams and went on stage as a stand-up comedian. It was a fun experience. I can’t wait for the next time.
After my performance, someone walked up to me and said, “I liked your set. It didn’t really fit in, but I liked it. Maybe you should try at a comedy club?”
I thought about my podcast, my passion for music, the unfinished degree in political science, my writing, and my childhood dreams–and then asked myself, “What would Felix do?”
Maybe I should keep trying?
And that’s why I am more than thankful that he followed his dreams. Not because I am one of his biggest fans, but because he is living proof that authenticity is the key to success.
I want to thank Felix Lobrecht for the inspiration to be myself and follow my dreams.
Who knows, maybe he reads this article and thinks that I am just another fanboy—but that’s okay because that’s exactly who I am.