Eavesdropping

Comedian Nick Kroll Atones for an Epic Oktoberfest

Second Annual Hilarity For Charity Benefiting The Alzheimer's Association - Inside
attends the Second Annual Hilarity For Charity benefiting The Alzheimer's Association at the Avalon on April 25, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

Actor and comic Nick Kroll is best known for playing defense attorney Rodney Ruxin on FX’s “The League.” This Wednesday his new sketch comedy show “Kroll Show” premieres on Comedy Central; it features bits with signature Kroll characters like Bobby Bottlservice (one of the ‘Ed Hardy Boys’) and flamboyant caterer Fabrice Fabrice. Today he tells us about the time when he got run out of Munich on a rail.

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I was 18 and I was living in Spain, spending a lot of time with my buddy Mark from California. He was still trying to speak Spanish all the time. So one day he comes up to me and he’s like, “Nicolas, vamos a Germany a beber muchas cervesas para Oktoberfest.” And I was like, “All right, let’s do it! Let’s go to Oktoberfest!”

We got on a train to Munich. We had met these brothers who had been surfing in San Sebastian, and they were like “If you ever come to Germany, you have to stay with us for Oktoberfest.” And so we’re like “Great!” I’m gonna call them the Funf brothers, because my favorite German word is funf, which is five. It sounds like someone’s been kicked in the groin.

So a couple things that the Funf brothers neglected to to tell us: one, that they were not living actually in Munich, but in the suburbs of Munich, and two, they were Orthodox Hungarian Jews.

So we get there. We were like “Well, let’s go to Oktoberfest.” And they’re like “OK, but it’s the Sabbath. So we can’t drive in a car or spend any money.” So we had to walk from the suburbs of Munich into Oktoberfest. Now these kids couldn’t handle money and they couldn’t drive any cars, but they had no problem getting drunk and ogling German girls.

So we had a great time at Oktoberfest. We got good and sauced, but controlled for the most part. And at like six the next morning, I get woken up by the Funf brothers.

“Why, last night, you said that you wanted to join us for Yom Kippur.” And I was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” So I guess I was a little tipsier than I remember. Ironically, Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of repentance. It’s the day that you’re supposed to be like, “God, so sorry. Are we cool? Thank you, God.” I’m not a religious person, but I thought, “God, my mom would be so proud of me if she knew that I had gone to Yom Kippur services in Germany during Oktoberfest.”

So I got up, I put on the closest thing I had to a suit, which is like probably half a lederhosen, and walked an hour and a half in the rain to an old age home, where they were helping them make a service. We got there at like seven-thirty in the morning, and we started to pray. Now I have gone to services for much of my life, but I couldn’t follow anything.

The other thing about Yom Kippur is, you’re not allowed to drink or eat anything. Now, I was Oktoberfest-hungover. Dehydrated, starving. I can’t drink or eat anything. And for 12 hours, I sit in a room with like 15 old German Jews, just slowly dying. Not very repentant at all to God, but maybe the apology should go the other way.

We finish up services, and I’ve been told that we’re gonna go break the fast at a pizza place. I’m so excited for that. I’m getting everyone’s coats, all ready to be like “All right, Funf brothers, we’re all ready to go now.” At which point one of them comes up to me and they’re like, “So, our father was asked by the rabbi if we would stay to break the fast here at the old age home.” So I had to eat old age home smoked fish.

I got home probably about nine, nine-thirty. My buddies rolled home at midnight hammered, and we had to get on a train the next morning.

So the next morning I woke up, was packing, and realized that in my drunkenness, my first night at Oktoberfest, I had lost my wallet. So now I have no Eurorail pass, I have no wallet, and I have to get out of Germany. So I got on the train, and every time the conductor came through and I would hear, I would run to the bathroom and hide.

I literally left Germany hiding on a train. Does not get more Jewish than that. And once I got to Paris, the French turned me in. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.