Text by JESS BAULDRY
Photography by MIKE ZENARI
DELIVERING THE PUNCH LINE German national Sascha Kettern works in a bank by day, but in his free time he likes to make people laugh on the stand-up comedy circuit.
f the first time you meet Sascha Kettern is at an open mic stand-up comedy event, you may be forgiven for falling for his convincing stage persona. The German national’s clear English and immaculate suit sit well with the image of an airplane pilot. But then few pilots would carry a microphone with them everywhere. “People ask me what it’s like being a pilot… It’s interesting when I tell people I’m not because then they don’t believe me. They think maybe I’m lying by saying I’m not a pilot,” he laughs. Part of his material offers a rib-tickling take on a pilot seducing a woman, a skit which he stresses is purely based on observations of being a passenger, not a pilot. The idea behind the persona was inspired by an encounter with German comic Moritz Netenjakob, who gave him some personal advice on developing a comedy act a few years earlier. It would seem Kettern was destined for the entertainment industry. He recalls recording private “radio shows” onto cassettes in the living room of his home in Germany from the age of five. “Six years later I wrote comedy magazines for my school. I sold about 20 copies.” At the age of 30, Kettern began writing a comedy novel, which he read aloud to audiences in order to get feedback. He eventually abandoned the book for stand-up, having experienced the thrill of making people laugh. As he gained more experience, Kettern adapted his material for the emerging English stand-up scene in Luxembourg. He recently performed his act in French and wants to develop enough material to have his own show. But, he will not be quitting the day job. “I do it without pressure, for fun.” icon_website www.sascha-kettern.com Summer 2017
A CAREER IN CONTRAST Sascha Kettern’s career in a bank in Luxembourg developed over the past 11 years. He says he fell into the career “by coincidence” after completing a bachelor’s in financial studies through distance learning at the University of South Wales and landing a short-term contract with a recruitment firm. “They renewed the contract and then finally the bank hired me directly,” he says. He did not wish to name the bank he works for, but explained that his role entails auditing loans given to SMEs. “At work some people don’t believe that I do stand up,” he said, adding that he never uses work as material for stand-up. “I’ve not had any ideas for good jokes about work. It’s so technical. My colleagues might laugh about it, but I’m sure outsiders wouldn’t understand if I made jokes about interest rates and stocks.”