Carnival in Germany: Did You Hear the One About the Financial Crisis?

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Germany
may be facing its worst economic downturn since World War II. But
so what? The country is seizing on carnival this year to drown its
sorrows – and even to laugh about the financial crisis.

"These
days, banks are happy to get robbed. It’s a sign they’ve still got
cash left!” That’s one of the jokes that has been playing well with
audiences at carnival shows this season, says Guido Cantz, one of
Germany’s best-known comedians. And there are many others. After
all, for Cantz and his colleagues, carnival is one of the busiest
times of the year.

So far, this
year has been no different. Fears that Germany’s recession – which
many fear could end up being the worst since World War II – will
wreck the party have proven unfounded this year. Millions of Germans
have seized on carnival as a welcome chance to forget about the
relentless stream of deeply unfunny news about mass layoffs, bankruptcies
and corporate bailouts.

"The financial
crisis has been a big subject in comedy routines and it’s getting
laughs," Cantz, 37, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Not surprisingly,
bankers are favorite target. Here’s another one from Cantz’s repertoire:
"I don’t trust my bank anymore. I was talking to them about
a loan, but I decided not to give them one."

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the rest of the article

February
24, 2009

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