This page is where you can read some of Rainer’s jokes, watch short videos, listen to excerpts from his CD and some whole radio programmes he has made for the BBC.
A short extract from Rainer’s CD ‘All Classical Music Explained’. Start with this if you haven’t got a very fast connection. (To buy the CD click on the advert on the home page)
A quick joke from Rainer’s CD ‘All Classical Music Explained’.
‘All The Right Notes, Not Necessarily In The Right Order’ (Series 1/Programme 1) This is the full 30 minute documentary programme Rainer made about Victor Borge made for BBC Radio 4. It provided the seed for his play ‘Rainer Hersch is Victor Borge’.
Another 30 minute programme made for Radio 4 in which Rainer takes a funny and very different look at Prokoviev’s ‘Peter and Wolf’. Witty and interesting.
Rainer doing one of his famous card routines – sometimes imitated, never equaled. This one is what he thinks they are singing in the March of the Toreadors from Carmen. Other numbers in his repertoire include Zadok the Priest, O Fortuna, The Queen of the Night Aria, The Drinking song from La Traviata and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. A full, audio-friendly, version the last two are on his CD ‘All Classical Music Explained’.
Rainer with full orchestra - short extract. This is the kind of thing he gets up to when in front of live musicians.
Rainer with full orchestra - long extract. More orchestral doings - this a big file and, if you don't have broadband, forget it.
Comedy meets Classic - with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Hobart, Tasmania
A clip from his show ‘Rainer Hersch is Victor Borge’.
My brother is addicted to fruit machines. He phoned up Gamblers Anonymous, they put him on hold and he got three lemons.
Instruments of Mass Destruction
Just as much as guns, musical instruments have been used by armies over the history of warfare. Of course there's the bagpipes in Scotland, the simple fife during the American Civil War and in the Italian army brass instruments because they are easier to play while you are walking backwards (with the reflection you can see what is behind you).
My Little Sister
As everyone knows, I am half German, half English which means I'd like to take over the world but I'm too polite. When we went to France on holiday for example, my Dad always insisted on first driving through Belgium. But the worst in my family was my little sister - so German. You'd do that thing "round and round the garden, like a teddy bear..." and she'd say "this is not very efficient. It should be once round the garden, one step, tickly. Get on with it!"
You know wherever you go in the world, in whatever city there is always a group of musicians from Peru playing the bloody pan pipes. Has anybody out there been to Peru? In the pedestrian zones are there groups of musicians from Europe doing string quartets?
...and in whatever hotel you go to in the world, in whatever city, in the bathroom there is always that little note from the management:
"Dear Customer! Can you imagine how many towels are washed needlessly every day in the hotels of the world and the amount of detergents that pollute our rivers as a result. Let's do something about that! If you leave your towl on the floor it means 'please change it'. Towel on the hook means 'I'll use it again'"
I think this is a pretty simple system, so are there any other kind of messages we could be conveying with the towels?: "Towel in my suitcase means 'at these prices, I'm stealing a towel'. Towel all scrunched up at the end of the bed means 'you'll probably have to touch that towel with tongs'. Towel on my head means 'if I live in America, I'm probably not getting on this aeroplane, am I?'"
Opera in English
You may think this sounds glib to say that opera isn't supposed to be understood but consider this: there are two opera houses in London. It costs a hell of a lot more to go the one, The Royal Opera House, where they sing in a language you don't understand.
Next time I want to be screamed at in a foreign language, I'm going to order a four course meal in a Chinese restuarant and at the end of it tell them I haven't got any money.
Opera in foreign languages! What's the point? Everyone knows that English is not only the universal language but also the language of the cosmos - haven't you seen Star Trek?
And now over to the sportsdesk for the latest symphony scores...
...and we are still waiting for the Schubert/Mahler result - that one as yet unfinished.
I haven't always done comedy, I have had some easier jobs. For example I spent six months as a store detective in a piano shop - those were the days. You should have seen the size of the rain coats people came in with.
Then I was a builder for six months - which means that half way through this show I am going to bugger off down the road to finish another show I didn't quite finish a couple of weeks ago.
Mozart wrote his first symphony when he was four - four! Of course it is rubbish that symphony - half of it is in crayon. But he went on and had a really successful career in music: 41 symphonies, 20 operas and, of course, a whole load of film music. Which is incredible when you think about it because many of the films weren't going to be made for another 150 years - goes to show what a visionary Mozart was.
In fact Mozart churned out so much stuff he once famously said "I write music as a sow piddles". Which is odd because Andrew Lloyd Webber once famously said "I write music as a cow farts".
- er - No he didn't, I said that
As you know Beethoven's 9th Symphony uses a choir which sings the words "Freude Schoene Goettefunken, Schoene Goettefunken".
- which loosely translates as "I'll tell you what I want what I really, really want".
North of England
Q: How many people from the North of England does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Five. One to change the lightbulb and the other four to stand around telling you how much more friendly people are in the North of England.
I got on the plane to come back from Johannesburg last month and the captain comes over the public address system to make an announcement and - it was a woman! Couldn't believe it! A woman piloting a Boeing 747 - and I thought Great. Why not? At last women are breaking through and really tackling those stupid stereotypes.
'Course she turned the wrong way onto the runway. Had to stop every 500 miles to ask directions and did come over the loudspeaker at one point to ask if this jumbo jet made her bum look big.
We very much hope you enjoy these jokes but remember that they are all ©2009 - copyright Rainer Hersch - and cannot be reproduced in any form without his written permission.
|Copyright ©2009 Rainer Hersch. Comedian and Classical Musician from Britain. firstname.lastname@example.org|