Comedy Estonia touched down in Afghanistan on Tuesday after a protracted trip that saw three performers fly out of an undisclosed location in the British countryside - RAF Brize Norton - land in Cyprus last night, then continue to their Central Asian destination where they will be entertaining Estonian and Danish troops in a variety of languages.
"I am not sure the three of us are really the main event here. It is a tremendous honor to be asked to come, super proud to be here representing my adopted home," said Louis Zezeran in a public Facebook status update. The core dueo
The troupe will be doing two two-hour shows, one for the Estonians on Wednesday and one for the Danes on Thursday. Zezeran will host, with Stewart Johnson and Andy Valvur going on later for 25 minutes each, interspersed by routines from Estonian cheerleaders.
Regarding material, Zezeran said in an online chat with ERR News: "I don't think anything is off limits for us, we certainly haven't been told anything like this."
"I have been trying to get an idea of what the troops think about the Taliban to know if we joke about them, because really I don't know much; however, I would personally like to stay away from cheap racial stereotypes about them (more than happy to make cheap racial stereotypes about Estonians, however)."
He added: "My 'new' material in this show will probably center on life in the base as we have experienced it in the last day. I mean we have seven good looking Estonian girls walking around a base full of troops, there's already comedy gold in that."
Zezeran and Johnson both suggested life on the base was fairly normal.
Apart from some no-camera zones, the comedians said they were not barred from talking to the press. "Everyone here has a laptop," Zezeran said. Stewart Johnson said the troops were busy from dawn to dusk and were also "keeping the comedians pretty busy."
In perhaps a blow to network pride, both Zezeran and Johnson, who are the stars of an Raadio 2 show aired on Saturdays, said ERR sites, along with YouTube, were blocked at the base, because of bandwidth concerns over embedded videos.
Correction: The original lead sentence failed to mention that California-based Estonian Andy Valvur is the third performer.