Thomas Hermanns: "I miss Stefan Raab"

Thomas Hermanns: "I miss Stefan Raab"
Thomas Hermanns: "I miss Stefan Raab"

The "Quatsch Comedy Club" had them all: Whether Michael Mittermeier, Dieter Nuhr or Cindy from Marzahn - they all owe their big breakthrough to the talent factory. On January 31, the club is celebrating its 25th anniversary. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the inventor and presenter of the club, Thomas Hermanns, looks back on the beginnings and his favorite comedians and at the same time announces a comeback of the show on TV. He would also like another famous colleague to make a comeback…

Congratulations on 25 years of "Quatsch Comedy Club". How will the anniversary be celebrated?

Thomas Hermanns: We have decided to celebrate for a whole year on such a historic date. That means from the founding day, i.e. January 31, to the opening of the Berlin house, which celebrates its 15th birthday at the beginning of November. We do a lot of campaigns of all kinds and drink for a year. After that I'll go into rehab for a year and go to the Himalayas to meditate.

The show ran successfully on ProSieben for many years. Any plans to bring her back to screen?

Hermanns: We will be on TV again in the anniversary year. I can't reveal where yet though.

Is there a comedy discovery that you are particularly proud of today or comedians that you are particularly fond of?

Hermanns: My favorites are the warriors from the very beginning, the Golden Five: Michael Mittermaier, Ingo Appelt, Rüdiger Hoffmann, Dieter Nuhr and Atze Schröder. At the time we didn't even know what was going to happen. You invented the format with us. But also Olli Dietrich, who appeared in our second nonsense show and who presented Dittsche on stage for the first time. By the way, the bathrobe is still the same.

Cindy from Marzahn in particular had a lightning career after her performance in the "Quatsch Comedy Club"

Hermanns: Yes, that's really a funny story. She really only called us to be a waitress. The man who also produces the talent evening happened to be on the line with us. Typically Ilka, she babbled at him so much that he finally asked her if she would like to perform with us. The rest is comedy history. I think Cindy's rise from 0 to 100 was the fastest of the entire time. That was the fastest star factor we've ever had. Of course, it was also great because she was a woman. Comedy was mostly a boy's business at the time. Currently, women are getting more involved. This will certainly develop even more.

Ilka Bessin has now given up her character Cindy. What do you think of your decision?

Hermanns: That was very clever. I was really happy about that. You always have to be careful not to break anything and stay creative. Especially when you're playing a role. There are people who just play roles too long and don't even like them anymore. I thought it was great that she pulled the plug. I always say that being able to stop at the right point is often the greatest art - after getting up. But we will also hear something from her as Ilka. Only Cindy is gone.

How long do you want to do the "Quatsch Comedy Club" yourself?

Hermanns: I think we'll talk again on our 50th birthday. We invented a form of showimported, which constantly renews itself. That's why I see no reason why there shouldn't be any more comedy clubs in Germany. I have the feeling that the Germans have learned from us to laugh at themselves. At cabaret, the laughter was always a bit about the politicians and the authorities. Our gags were everyday stories from the supermarket or fights between men and women. The German is always very controlled and always wants to do everything right and perfectly. They have learned from us that they don't have to take themselves so seriously. Germany has become funnier in the last 25 years. Foreigners see it that way too.

Is there a difference between comedians then and now?

Hermanns: Yes, definitely. 25 years ago there was no industry behind it. That all came over time. When we sat at the comedy award for the first time, we were all stunned. Suddenly there were managers, DVD and CD labels. Suddenly there was a whole entourage around the artist. The next generation was then of course aware of this and made targeted efforts to achieve success. The breakthrough happened more to us back then. We approached it all with passion. I'm doing this because I really want to, and not necessarily because I want to make a lot of money. It kind of bothered us in the '90s and '00s that everyone thought comedians were so insanely rich. It's not good for comedy. Millionaires don't do good gags. The generation after us approached it with the thought: I will be the new Michael Mittermaier or the new Dieter Nuhr. I will now fill the halls. Another trend is currently emerging. The talents that appear in our club are not necessarily fans of the big stadiums. They are more into the American style. Better a bit more clubbing and sophisticated.

The interest in the comedians is still unbroken today. Or were there losses?

Hermanns: There are differences in the live and television business. For many years, together with ProSieben, we had the monopoly on stand-up comedy. Then RTL started staging these big stadium shows with Mario Barth or Bülent Ceylan. Suddenly the comedians were standing in huge halls. The live market has grown steadily over the years. Both at the club level with us, but also at the big shows in the big halls. The great thing is that today there is a huge selection. Today it's no longer a question of whether I like comedy or not. But which comedian do I like? Sascha Grammel or Carolin Kebekus or maybe Dieter Nuhr? I find that a very refreshing development.

In the USA, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon are very successful with their Late Night. Why doesn't this concept also work in this country?

Hermanns: Well, we had Stefan Raab. TV total was a late-night show, and so was Schmidt, of course. Right now the throne is a bit vacant. Böhmermann and Pierre M. Krause also moderate a late-night show. There are some aspirants for the place. Luke Mockridge does that in a certain way too. The question is always, do you need a desk or don't you need one? There are sanctities in America. I think the right person just has to come along. The difficult thing about this concept is that on the one hand you have to conduct good interviews with your guests and on the other hand you can perform well alone on stage. Most can only do one or the other.

Do you miss Stefan Raab?

Hermanns: Yes, mainly because he always did everything according to his own snout. Even big things like the Eurovision Song Contest, for example. It has been said again and again that he works very instinctively, very self-sufficiently, a real showrunner. I also miss him as a source of ideas for German television. He's just thought of great things over the years. But I also understand that doing a late night every day is exhausting. You don't want to end up with a stomach ulcer. In general, I miss the position of a television producer who also works in front of the camera. Raab was perfect there. I think at the moment you can throw a few new ideas into the ring. Before everything goes digital, which of course will be the next stage.

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