With a group of friends, East German Tom Jester tested West German humour. And realised: it’s different.
Back then we countered the bananas and dime novels given out to Ossis with a parody of the “Test the West” cigarette advert called “Kost the Ost”. We handed out paper bags with East German coffee and chocolate, a GDR-riddle magazine and East German condoms to the West German cars at the Bornholmer Straße border crossing. But the tourists coming from West Germany didn’t think it was funny. They railed at us and thought we were West Berliners. When we showed our East German ID cards, they were surprised. Humour was developed very differently back then.
Tom Jester is a professional stuntman. He spent the wild years after the fall of the Wall as a bouncer in East Berlin.
Translated by Aida Baghernejad