After 17 years of living in a country foreign to my birth, I can honestly say that those of us who travel out beyond our comfort zone and land ourselves in places where the language and culture are different are the lucky ones. Lucky because we learn firsthand how to see beyond what is the perception we have ourselves, living in a society that may see us much more differently than we originally imagined. Lucky because these are things that are not taught in school.
Life is the best school for that.
So enter Rich Hall. An American comedian who’s become a bit more popular in the UK than in the States, Hall has been making regular appearances on a variety of British television shows (including my favorite, “QI”), as well as tours, for over 20 years now. With a proper sense of deadpan and a slight drawl, he touches on a variety of points that are completely normal to hear in the UK but would be points of contention in the US. And there is a certain reference to this in his work.
It is by virtue of people like him that I learn how to laugh at myself and to look critically at the country I call my home. He may have a profession that is not deemed so in many circles but to me, he is the most authentic you can get without actually being a good friend who isn’t scared of telling you straight up what is wrong. It is something I value in all people and it is kind of nice to see a fellow universal citizen sharing his experience that way.
I’ve included a bit of his stand-up so you can see what I mean. I was really surprised that a lot of people knew the song at the end but it turns out it’s because the song had been adapted to be a football (soccer) chant song for Manchester United.