What's your favorite sketch comedy show
Bodenwerder - Polle
in the Weser Uplands
You once found an illuminating explanation for your success on German television - you said: "Germans would rather have a Dutchman on their screen than a hundred thousand Dutchmen on the autobahn."
This self-irony is a trait of yours that I personally like most of all of your praiseworthy traits. You were the first show master to emphasize the show and not the master and as a result were not afraid to joke at your own expense.
In this context, your version of the evergreen “Tulips in Amsterdam” will also remain unforgettable, in which you went into a duet with little Heintje about the phenomenon that so many Dutch singers want to make a career in Germany: “What shock can't sing, sing Nulpen from Amsterdam ... "
Nothing is more difficult for Germans than kidding themselves.
We're both the same year. No way you don't get old when you watch television - we have refuted that claim. When I look at your head now, however, I notice a serious difference to my head: If you had to, you could pull yourself out of the swamp by your own Munich-style hair, if you had to. It would be a bit more difficult for me.
We are united by an old bond: the running belt. A show with which you made television history in the 1970s.
When we first met, you were already a big star. You won the Silver Rose in Montreux and then had great success with the Rudi Carrell Show. Back then I was producing a program by and with the Dutch cabaret artist Seth Gaaikema in Bavaria. You did a sketch and after that you told me about your new idea and asked me if I wanted to produce that Saturday night show.
I often wondered why you just came up with me? The song that you all had to sing in the final certainly played a role. It had the memorable chorus:
“What happened to me?
I can't see any more beer ... "
The idea of not being able to see any more beer was so strange to you, so absurd that it obviously seemed strange again to you. You probably thought: Anyone who has the courage to expect you to write such a text can also work with you. Your preference for beer was pretty strong at the time. No wonder I thought it was because of the place where you were born: after all, you come from Alk-maar.
In the production week before a show, you don't drink a sip. Of all your colleagues there has not been and there is no one who works so disciplined, so diligently and so determinedly on his programs. When I think of “The Running Band” you were an obsessive workoholic who could be incredibly tough - on others and on yourself. Until shortly before a show you changed, rewrote, even reassigned.
You always had one goal: to make people laugh. If the millions who laughed at your gags on Saturday had known how excruciatingly they had come about, then they would have passed the laughter. You worked extremely hard for your success.
Up until a few years ago, the gilded remains of a typewriter hung on the wall of the radio Bremen recording line - a significant document from those explosive Sturm und Drang years. The then head of entertainment at WDR, who was responsible for the “Three Questions from the Tagesschau”, once accidentally wrote down a wrong answer for you. With the fatal result that one candidate wrongly lost. You came into your office, totally exhausted from the show, and sat down at your desk. Your team informed you about the bad mishap, you took the news strangely calmly and wanted suggestions on how to make up for the mistake as elegantly as possible. Then the head of entertainment came through the door with a smile. “You were great, Rudi! Great show! ”Your eyes became dangerous slits. "I'm sorry," he said, "but this time it was very difficult to find questions." "Difficult?" You shouted, grabbed your typewriter and jumped up: "I'll write these ridiculous questions for you with my ..." - (I'll leave out the rest of your sentence for now) In any case, you slammed the typewriter in front of his feet in the utmost excitement.
For me it was a sign of the pressure you were under at the time, but you always put yourself and your team under incredible pressure.
You later said on a talk show that you were the biggest asshole on German television at that time. I do not think so. First, there are much bigger ones, and second, your anger in the studio was just holy anger. You are an incredible perfectionist and you just can't stand it when someone is negligent in their job.
Once you turned the entire team against you so much that you were almost on strike. You felt it, and I think you reacted amazingly in this tense situation: You invited the whole team to a nice restaurant by the lake, they ate and drank, then you stood up and - you apologized. And it never occurred to anyone to interpret this admission as a weakness.
Today's television broadcasts early retirement or bullied people over fifty, but back then - when you were forty - you had an English consultant who, when asked about his age, always said with a mild smile, “I'm older than god. ”Everyone in the team loved your Leslie Roberts, who in his heyday had made guest appearances with his own dance group on all the great variety stages in the world and knew everything about show business - including the current one. He was a young at heart old hand. One of his sentences became a catchphrase in Bremen. We once had a final game that we didn't really believe in from the start. Nevertheless, we tried to save it by making new changes over the course of the week of production. But the game still didn't work at the dress rehearsal.
There was an emergency meeting. Everyone sat brooding desperately, but no one came up with a solution. And suddenly Leslie said into the silence: "If you start with shit you’ll finish with it." A wise insight that does not only apply to show business.
In your book “The World is a Show” you wrote: “In show business, you get advice from all sides. Listen to them all. But always decide for yourself! ”You always made your own decisions, but you took every advice seriously.
You were always ahead of your time. You studied, selected, adopted and adapted American and English material extensively at a time when, apart from Michael Pflegehar, no one else suspected how productive it could be. But you always produced your own ideas, too, all the time. You anticipated Kachelmann with your great climate analysis “When will it be really summer again?” You anticipated the “Literary Quartet” by verifying the thesis “Goethe was good” and many years ago you warned of an impending population problem: “Darling , The Germans are dying out / A German man can't see that / A real man has to stand by his man / Come on, pull out the TV plug / Darling, the Germans are dying out ... "
You were the first in your show to have the then current election of Miss Germany take place and for this you were voted “Pascha of the month” in Emma. Years later, on the “Wetten, dass” couch, Alice Schwarzer sat next to you, and you reminded her of the Pascha. "But since then," you said, "I haven't done anything misogynistic." "Then the action had served its purpose," said Alice Schwarzer. And you said to her: “Phew, it's pretty hot here. Don't you agree? ”You took something out of your jacket and wiped your sweat with it - it was a bra ...
You describe your biggest game idea in your book “Give me my bike again”: (I quote) “Four candidates, four spectators, four completely normal people boxed against the greatest boxer of all time, and not only that: Muhammad Ali had a comedy -Show that no gagwriter could have written better. The only sad thing was, I knew I would never be able to invent a better game. "
It is certainly one of the secret of your success that you are a laugh maker who loves to laugh a lot. Just as you can tell when something doesn't work, you show undisguised enthusiasm when a gag arrives.
The best example of this was the legendary appearance of the Australian ventriloquist Rod Hull with the emu. I've never seen you laugh so wholeheartedly and wholeheartedly. You couldn't stop laughing.
Your unmatched strength are the optical gags.
My absolute favorite sketch of yours is the one in which you stand next to Heinz Erhardt. You sing sun songs, he sings rain songs. And every time the word "rain" falls, he gets water on his head. Until he understands the system and changes place: “Now I sing sun songs for once”! He smirks and you start singing:
"As a boy small on the mother's breast" ... You pause and ask: "What's next?"
"Juchheissa in the rain and in the wind!"
And already Heinz Erhardt is standing there again like a doused poodle ...
It's not for nothing that this scene has become a classic like “The same procedure as last year” or Loriot's noodle scene.
By the way, you have brilliant ideas not only for television, but also for everyday life. I was struck by the way you reacted when a young man drove up to your manor in Syke in his open convertible, got out, crept around the premises and turned out to be a nasty paparazzi. You watched it for a while, trembling with rage, then you went to your neighbor - a farmer - came back with a fully loaded wheelbarrow and unceremoniously dumped the entire contents into the chic convertible: it was steaming crap.
For some, what you have been doing so successfully for so long is crap, for me, dear Rudi, it is really great art.
As a long-time fan of Werder, you will definitely become a fan of Bodenwerder from now on. Bodenwerder and Bremen are connected by the Weser, and you and Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Münchhausen have a lot in common - he also survived many battles, he also had a manor for many years and he also entertained people very well with his incredible ideas and inexhaustible imagination and his unique sense of humor.
One day I'll see you riding through the air, but not on a cannonball, but on an Alkmaar cheese ball.
You have earned the Münchhausen Prize, you already have the Till Eulenspiegel Prize, but around the corner, twenty kilometers from here, is Hameln, and I have to say, the Pied Piper Prize, you would have deserved it too ...
Dear Rudi, we were once a team - as different as beer and wine. And there was a lot going on sometimes. Godverdomme! But I am proud that I was your companion in a very important phase for both of us. I congratulate you on the Münchhausen Prize.
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