The idea of creating a website for learners of German originated from our own experience of learning English as a foreign language: We found that, while the best way to learn a foreign language is – obviously – to visit the country where it is spoken (or ideally to live there for some time), the next best thing is to get as much exposure as possible to humorous content in that language in whatever shape or form.
Some of us had a tough time studying English as a foreign language at school. Later, though, exposure to American sitcoms such as "Cheers", "Seinfeld" or "Friends" got us immediately hooked on English-language humour. We simply could not get enough of it. Looking for more, we discovered such great British sitcoms as "Fawlty Towers", "Blackadder" and "The Office", which gave us the opportunity to further practise our listening skills and get used to the various British accents. But our hunger was by no means satisfied. On the contrary, we just wanted to learn more and more about Anglophone cultures. All of these shows sparked our interest in the comedians behind them.
We started devouring the acts of Paul Reiser, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres, Ricky Gervais and Kevin James. We just could not believe that anybody could be so funny. The good thing about this addiction was that it allowed us to steadily improve our English without any conscious effort. So it is true to say that the "Seinfeld" gang, Frasier and Sammy from "Cheers" and the hilarious lads from "Men Behaving Badly" taught us a few lessons not only in humour but also in modern English usage.
As comedy writer John Vorhaus once said, comedy is truth and pain. In a way, it is tragedy revisited. In that sense, each of these artists has also taught us something about life. We at Humor-Depot believe that humour is a powerful language learning tool and a great help in achieving deeper intercultural understanding. Through our resources we hope to make a modest contribution towards this goal.