Flula Borg is fighting the stereotype that Germans aren’t funny — one hilarious malapropism at a time.
“When you’re looking at a book, you are judging it by its sleeve, but that sleeve could be covered in dog urine,” says the truly one-of-a-kind Borg, referring to the pigeonholing of his compatriots. “On the outside, we Germans look very serious like a Terminator, but inside we are like Mary Poppins.”
Initially a DJ in his home country, Borg gained international notice when he posted bizarre You Tube videos that uproariously showcased his excitable manner and mangled interpretations of English idioms.
He parlayed the viral fame into a scene-stealing appearance in the musical-comedy “Pitch Perfect 2,” and he recently accompanied Conan O’Brien on a memorable trip to Germany that appeared on O’Brien’s TV show.
Buoyed by those cameos, Borg has expanded his repertoire to incorporate standup gigs, including a performance at Cobb’s Comedy Club this week — headlining a bill with local comics DJ Real (Nick Stargu) and Krista Fatka — during this month’s ongoing SF Sketchfest.
Still a relative novice to the industry, Borg doesn’t know how to define his style of humor.
“I don’t understand comedy or what I do,” says Borg. “I only enjoy things if someone watches me do something, and I later receive a snack or some dollars or Euros, so that I could eventually buy a snack.”
Now a Los Angeles resident (he says he misses the sadness, drizzle and moisture of German weather), Borg is a master of cluelessly appropriating American culture. Whether it’s trying to understand basketball or hip hop music, Borg brings an irreverent inquisitiveness to his endeavors.
His latest venture is a video calendar project where he dresses up as a baby and enacts America’s holidays. (He’s a big fan of Arbor Day.)
For his show at Cobb’s, Borg will be playing “sassy” techno music and telling tales of his childhood.
He promises the event will be worth the price of admission, describing the night in his typically unmistakable fashion: “When you’re leaving my show, you will feel like you’ve received a giant Thanksgiving dinner. But there will be like, only, one calorie, because I am not serving real food.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F
When: 8 p.m. Jan’ 26
Contact: (415) 928-4320, www.cobbscomedy.com