Otto’s Komedyshow | Brighton Fringe comedy review
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Otto’s Komedyshow

Brighton Fringe comedy review

Imagine all the oddball variety acts from Britain’s Got Talent rolled into one, and you’ll have a good idea of what ridiculous entertainment Otto Kuhnle is offering.

He wears a white suit that recalls Steve Martin in his ‘wild and crazy guy’ heyday, and while nowhere near as manic, has a similar spirit of reckless silliness, as you could have predicted from either the glittery bow-tie or the jumble of eclectic props and obscure musical instruments that clutter the stage from the get-go.

And where Martin had his banjo, the affable Otto has an accordion, playing jaunty oompah music to get us all in the mood for his Teutonic absurdity. 

Kuhnle has the energy of a cheery father trying anything to get a laugh out of his baby, picking up the objects around him – from a leaf-blower to guttering – to see what ridiculous purposes they can be put to.  

And just when you think he’s just arsing around, he shows a real, if obscure, talent for juggling a broom, opera singing, yodelling or playing the theramin. He wears such skills lightly, however, preferring to lean into the cheesy stupidity of acting the fool. 

Kuhnle used to be in an occasional double act with the more stereotypically rigid ‘German comedy ambassador’ Henning Wehn, who’s supportively in this small audience tonight – and he won  Malcolm Hardee Award winner for comic originality in the last decade, even though he owes a debt to generations of daft clowns.

He’s certainly been doing his trademark ping-pong gag forever, but it’s pure comedy and a visual treat, which anyone with a pulse should find funny as Kuhnle struggles to maintain poise and dignity despite the preposterous position he’s put himself in.

Nothing can match this, but there’s plenty of turn-your-brain-off silliness in the rest of the hour. 

• Otto’s Komedyshow returns to Caroline of Brunswick at 9.30pm on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

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Review date: 16 May 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Brighton Caroline of Brunswick

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