Comedy: it's a global village. Travel the seven seas, drop your anchor in far-flung bits of Europe, Asia or North America and you'll still find familiar comics from over here doing their thing. Yep, even in Germany.
Now you don't much hear about German comedy clubs, but let's redress that balance by delving into the backstory of Helen Bauer, who actually started out in them and is definitely in favour, as you'll find out below. Indeed, she's back touring there as we speak, and plays Berlin's Comedy Café on the 30th, if you happen to be passing.
The usually London-based Bauer is "currently working on my first show Helen Bauer: Yellow Flower," which she'll be honing around the UK after the German jaunt, including a show at London's Bill Murray venue on 16th April.
And in August she'll be in Edinburgh as one quarter of the Pleasance's Comedy Reserve, which has helped nurture some impressive talents since launching in 2005, the likes of Brett Goldstein, Lou Sanders, Tez Ilyas, John Kearns, Holly Walsh, Doc Brown, Pippa Evans, Jack Whitehall and Roisin Conaty. Quality.
One to watch, then. But was she worth a watch three years ago?
I remember everything very clearly, which is frustrating, seeing as I drank so much I hoped I would forget. It was in Berlin at an open mic called Monday Night Mics in 2015. I thought I could just be funny. I'd had my first heartbreak, which felt interesting, so I just went on planning to chat about that.
Very quickly, I realised that I had nothing to say, so instead I played Cher's Believe from my phone into the microphone, whilst talking about this guy and how much I love Cher, all whilst smoking a cigarette (what a legend). I was terrible and the audience were very kind.
The hosts told me I was funny, so like a crazy person I thought 'yeah, you're right'. And I went back the following week... and basically every week after that.
Favourite show, ever?
There are two that really stand out. The first time I talked about a topic I was nervous and embarrassed to discuss, watching it click with people and seeing them understand and laugh with me FELT GREAT (particularly the shift from pacing around with nerves on the street to having such a great time on stage). Second was the first time I described breaking my hymen on stage.
Lawyers. Christmas. Party. Microphone by the buffet. I went on after the secret Santa.
Yes, I could help myself to buffet, but still.
The weirdest live experience?
I started performing in Berlin, which is brilliant and wonderful for so many reasons, one of which is the fact a lot of audience members are very high.
I think this was a one-off gig run by two promoters in Germany, in the coolest squat in the city. The audience were all out of their minds; one woman in the front just kept staring at me, trying to hold my hand and tell me I was an angel. I feel in love with that woman, despite the fact it was very hard to tell jokes.
Who's the most disagreeable person you've come across in the business?
The standout moment for me was arriving at a show in Kent, walking to the dressing rooms and making chit chat with the front of house staff, only to have them turn to me at the last second and very sincerely say 'I must say, it's lovely to have a woman. The last we had was six months ago and she left the stage crying. Have a nice show!'. I did not have a nice show.
Is there one routine/gag you loved, that audiences inexplicably didn't?
I have always made the ignorant assumption that everyone listens to the same pop music that I do, so when I reference an S Club 7 lyric and the audience goes silent I get immediately enraged. I need to do one show a year where I gather up everyone who listens to pop and have fun talking about it.
What tips would you give UK comics trying to gig in Germany?
Just go to comedyinenglish.de - it lists all the Berlin mics and showcases. Go over, do some mics, put on a solo show and have fun. The comedians there are great fun and the rooms are built for comedy. It's a city of so many basements.
The most memorable review, heckle or post-gig reaction?
It is not uncommon for people to think I am having a panic attack on stage. I am very enthusiastic and a very fast talker; it does get confusing every now and again though. At a show near Euston one night, a woman in the front row raised her hand and asked me to take a breath and try to calm down. I fear this will not be the last time.
How do you feel about where your career is at, right now?
I have been very lucky and hope to continue to be.