He’s clearly still recovering from his last project when he turns up for the interview: Christian Meyer, musician and comedian, was one of the organisers of the 18th German-speaking poetry slam championship. As Europe’s largest theatrical literature festival, it was held in Dresden for the first time in November 2014. “Poetry slam is a modern-day poetry contest with very simple rules. People on stage recite texts and people in the audience vote on them,” explains Christian Meyer. He says it took a year and a half to prepare for the mammoth event. “We’re really proud of the fact that 300 poets and literary organisers came to Saxony, along with 7,000 spectators,” adds Julius Fischer, Meyer’s bandmate. As “The Fuck Hornisschen Orchestra”, the pair compèred the opening gala of the 2014 slam in their own uniquely musical, witty and offbeat style.

Comedic creativity meets musical improvisation talent

On stage, Meyer is neurotic and jittery, while Fischer is stocky and relaxed. The two 30-year-olds are an established team, bursting with comedic creativity and a talent for musical improvisation. The poetry slam is their natural artistic environment. In the past, they entered modern poetry contests like this and won many of them, gaining valuable experience and establishing themselves as an artistic duo. For a long time, they were considered one of the comedy world’s best kept secrets. They performed as the house band on the NDR Comedy Contest for three seasons and appeared on the German comedy shows “NightWash” and “Quatsch Comedy Club”. Meyer and Fischer began hosting their own television show on Germany’s MDR channel this year.

In “Comedy mit Karsten”, they sing, improvise and generally fool around and are joined on stage by both new and established comedians. When an audience member’s dog trots onto the stage, the script goes in the bin and they can really show off their strengths. They are both having huge fun with the project. Christian Meyer says: “I always wanted to be on television. The show is an amazing opportunity for us to experiment.”

The Fuck Hornisschen Orchestra: Saxony

It doesn’t take long to get Saxons laughing

The pair remain very down-to-earth despite their TV success. In fact, they appear slightly disconcerted by the world of television and all the promotional hype that goes with it – the chat show appearances and radio and TV interviews. Julius Fischer says: “It’s cool that we have the opportunity to do this show. If the first season gets decent ratings, it might be extended.” But if that doesn’t happen, it won’t be the end of the world for either of them. Meyer compères poetry slams and other subculture events, including Dresden’s soapbox derby. Fischer writes, appears at readings and in 2013 published his third book, a collection of short stories entitled “The Most Beautiful Hiking Trails of the Wandering Harlot”. They travel all over Germany, either for solo projects or together as The Fuck Hornisschen Orchestra. But Leipzig will always be home for the two artists. It’s where they both live and work, and they love performing on their home turf. Julius Fischer says: “Obviously we have a local advantage in Saxony. Our humour goes down especially well here. It really doesn’t take long to get Saxons laughing.”