As part of his current tour “ZAPPED! A TV junkie returns – 25 years special “sets Michael Mittermeier revisits its classic show. He not only recycles old gags, he also gives them a current reference.
We talked to Michael Mittermeier about appearances in times of the corona pandemic, educational issues, his new style and a classic women’s topic: menstruation. Of course, the comedian had one or two jokes ready for us during the interview …
DERWESTEN: Dear Michael, to begin with, please tell us about the current tour: What is old, what is new, why shouldn’t you miss it?
Michael Mittermeier: Let me put it this way: It’s a must anyway for the fans who beamed it away back then. And for those who have not seen it, it is a double must, because they watch a classic completely pimped up and it has never been in this form before. It’s almost like a remake!
How does it feel to be back on stage after such a long time?
It is great! And you notice it in people too. They are so happy that they can see something live again and laugh while doing it. Eight months without appearances – that was tough. None of us have had such a long hiatus in the past 35 years. For the artists and the audience just awesome!
Does Corona cloud the anticipation – being among so many people during the pandemic can certainly cause stress. Especially now that the number of cases is rising again.
If I had a queasy feeling, I wouldn’t go on stage. You don’t make anyone laugh with queasy. And there are concepts and they are great. Why do you even discuss it? It would have been better to send a letter to UEFA and England. Nobody needs to discuss with me whether the events in Germany are safe or not! It is absurd when we have to break off our tours. If we put 500 or 1000 people outside, everyone keeps their distance and elsewhere everyone stands in a heap completely unmoderated. The only distancing that partially took place was mental.
Were you able to observe in yourself – after all, that’s how many felt that you became a bit ‘anti-social’ due to the isolation during the pandemic? As an artist, do you develop a whole new fear of the stage as a result?
In my private life, I think each of us got a social hangover. So that you have to get used to meeting people again. Sometimes after a few minutes you think to yourself: ‘Tell me, did I say hello to him at all? Did I talk to him or just give him my fist and turn around? ‘ But when I go on stage now, it’s like letting the comedy genie out of the bottle. From gig one it was wonderful.
As a child, you said you were immobilized by your parents by ‘parking’ you in front of the television. You don’t seem to be offended by that, but rather to be grateful, because that’s what the foundation of your stage program grew from. How do you feel about this technique today, when you are a father yourself – which is very popular with many parents? What good things can television do for children?
I think there is good and bad television. ‘Zapped’ was probably revolutionary and beautiful for people back then, because finally someone was there who didn’t turn TV off. I am not saying ‘television is harmful’ because that is a statement that is not true. It’s like saying ‘water drowns’. You can also swim and have fun in the water. It is difficult for me to tell my daughter, ‘watch less TV!’ Because then she simply says, ‘Yeah, dad, you made a career out of it!’ The foundation of our house is on television and Co. Of course you have to be careful what hits the children. But for me it is great to watch things with my daughter, who is now 13, that I saw 20 years ago. Or something new appears that we are both waiting for. For example, we watch all the ‘Avengers’ films. When I was on tour, my wife and daughter watched ‘Black Widow’ without me – I wasn’t sure whether I should come home afterwards or whether it would be too dangerous for me. Joking aside, we are all three insane Avengers fans. You don’t just have to look at Arte things with Cyrillic subtitles, it can also be ‘Game of Thrones’.
This is Michael Mittermeier:
- Michael Fritz Mittermeier was born on April 3, 1966 in Dorfen, Upper Bavaria
- He studied political science and American studies in Munich and wrote his thesis on American stand-up comedy
- He had his first television appearance on ZDF. He was seen together with his brother on the program “Scooter”
- His breakthrough came with his program “Zapped” (1996)
- In it he parodies, among other things, commercials of well-known brands or TV series such as “MacGyver” or “Game of Thrones”
- Classic cabaret elements mix with modern stand-up comedy in his program
- His wife is the singer Gudrun Allwang. Their daughter was born in 2008
Are you a big Game of Thrones fan?
Yes. There is only one powerful German series that can compete with ‘Game of Thrones’ – which is on par with GOT. And that is ‘The Black Forest Clinic’! Game of Bones, as I like to call it. The Black Forest Clinic had 28 million viewers at the peak at that time – only in Germany. The last episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ had 19 million across the United States. At the Black Forest Clinic they also had a dwarf, head nurse Hildegard. And there was a lot of shagging. The two series go hand in hand.
Interesting thesis, but ‘Game of Thrones’ is a difficult topic for me – I’m in favor of a remake of the entire 8th season because it was so disappointing. I suggest: someone wakes up, it turns out it was all a dream, and then the real action starts!
We do the Bobby Ewing [fiktionaler Charakter der Serie ‚Dallas‘, dessen Serientod nach seinem Comeback als Traumsequenz verkauft wurde] – of course that’s a good idea. But the last episode would be enough for me. The fight with the zombies – what should I talk about the Night King, he looks like Ed von Schleck anyway – was great.
Your style, which was once your trademark to a certain extent, has changed a lot in recent years. Can we get used to the current sight or are you reinventing yourself soon?
I don’t think I had a particular trademark. Except for the clothes that I haven’t worn since 1995. For the past 15 or 20 years I’ve just put on what was just coming. And of course I’m not responsible for everything that nature has changed. Greetings from George Clooney – a god to me, by the way. At some point you ask yourself: ‘Should I really dye, or do I just honestly show what’s going on?’ I haven’t been approached about my hair once in the 51 years my hair wasn’t gray, and I’ve been getting a lot of compliments for a few years now. And my daughter always says to me: ‘Dad, you look so much better than in pictures from before!’ So everything is fine! I don’t need more!
If you had to name a moment or gag of which you said ‘that was the funniest thing I ever brought, said, made’, would you think of something?
There certainly isn’t the funniest one, because of course there are so many different things from different decades, but there are gags where you know, ‘Wow, lick my ass, I made up a household word.’ In ‘Zapped’, for example, with the obsession advertisement with the model Kate Moss, who looks slightly disturbed into the camera and breathes’ between love and madness lies obsession ‘and I say,’ I always understood ‘where to eat’ [in bayrischem Akzent] and now that’s a household word, then that’s great.
What are you particularly proud of about ‘Zapped’?
That many young people sit in the audience and laugh just like their parents. When 16 to 25 year olds beat themselves off about a gag that is 25 years old because it has uncovered a mechanism or because a comedy mechanism works, then that’s awesome. Even the OB advertising from back then – you can still laugh about it. Although someone recently said to me that I couldn’t play that, they knew it from someone else. I laugh and say, you may have heard that somewhere, but I did that 25 years ago – the number is mine. Much of what I did at Zapped has been copied.
By the way, you should actually have to adapt your OB number to menstrual cups, they are now very popular.
The mug is popular and so is the Pinky Glove * laughs *, that pink glove, that’s actually a man’s thing.
You can’t compare – the cup is very well received, the gloves were an insolence for many women …
I haven’t tried them yet, but that sort of thing was made up by men. And we wouldn’t even buy it, we think much more one-dimensionally. We wouldn’t buy an OB, we would buy red pants. Jack Wolfskin menstrual pants made of Gore-tex and then the saying would be: ‘Take the rule and stop the rule where it happens’.
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ZDF star Dunja Hayali can hardly believe it: “Just fall over with joy”
Then we can say that it is good that we women menstruate, otherwise everything would get completely out of hand …
Yes anyway! The question is also why so many priests wear red velvet cloaks at mass. My thought: Is that also some kind of pinky velvet glove? There are many questions that arise and we will answer them: With ‘Zapped 25’!
The ideal final word! Thank you for the nice conversation!
Because many appointments had to be postponed due to the corona pandemic, Michael Mittermeier says “ZAPPED! A TV junkie is back – 25 years special “on stage until November 7th, 2022.