50 years of Otto on stage – and RTL destroys everything: A carelessly cobbled together best of the career of the super Friesian degrades the exceptional comedian to a bad joke. And that’s not funny.

The 1980s were the best decade ever – at least for anyone who was young in the 80s. Our hairstyles back then were either voluminously blow-dried or short in the front and long in the back. Our iPod was called a Walkman, our phone was on a long cord, and we wore roller skates to the disco. Our jackets made our shoulders broad and our cuffs warm ankles.

And laughed? It was about a leptosome young man from East Friesland in the north-west, who drew cuddly elephants, hopped forward and uttered a lot of nonsensical things in staccato: “Are humans descended from apes? Does the child become blunt when gaping? Does the woman limp when working? How long is a giraffe’s grave? Where are the decanters running out? Does the Pope get rid of the priests? Do you put down your weapons in bed? What do I do if I’ve got a limp?”

Otto Waalkes, stupid bard of hearts. The ambassador of East Friesland, whose thinning hair was said to have been blown into shape by the headwind in the morning. Who ended every second sentence with a yodelled whoop and can play the guitar really well, but then only plays the same three chords on the plucking cello on stage. Ah, Otto.

For the 50th stage anniversary of the Super Friesian, RTL promised to really let it rip. According to the broadcaster, “Otto Total” at prime time on Saturday evening is a “clip show created with loving attention to detail” and at the same time a multi-hour homage to the now 73-year-old Ostfriesenwitz on two very thin legs. But what came out despite these full-bodied announcements is a joke. And unfortunately not a good one.

Based on “TV Total”, Otto zaps aimlessly through his own past: here a scene from “Otto – The Film”, there a scene from “Otto – The New Film”. A little stage program, in between a few scenes from “Catweazle” and from the “7 Dwarfs”. Plus lots of puns from the Ottiversum: “Greasy hair is given to you, let it stick with quark!”

Heidi Klum logs in from her bed in Los Angeles and with little more than a bikini that shows a lot of Hans and Franz and Heidi’s belly. “Can you imagine being married to me?” Otto asks rather incoherently. “Should I be honest?” Heidi asks back. To then be neither honest nor dishonest, but to say goodbye quickly with a “Bye, Otto”, because Tom Kaulitz apparently wakes up. You can find it funny, but you don’t have to.

As a concession to Generation Z, a fairly disinterested Mark Forster and then Lena Meyer-Landrut asked Otto for cooking tips. Both have nothing to do with Otto, but who cares about RTL. Mario Barth is also connected via video call, who incoherently asks about Otto’s favorite animal. Unsurprisingly: Otto likes Ottifanten. And sloths, which are said to have existed since the Ice Age.

Ear to eye: Do you also see what I hear? Eye to cerebrum: Ear and I just have to notice how RTL makes Otto a bad joke. Brain to all: get ready to annoy!

No common thread: we are used to that from Otto; his stage programs and films were always just a series of sketches that were more or less meaningfully held together by a thematic bracket. However, if the films and stage programs are taken out of their loose context, broken down into even smaller snippets and put together completely detached from space and time, the result is an over-the-top and under-funny Otto goulash. And that is anything but a pleasure.

The Walkman of yesteryear is now called Spotify, the disco has mutated into a club and nobody needs the phone anymore because WhatsApp is available. The kids wear hoodies and bare ankles even when it’s below zero. Because frankly, the 80s were only good in the 80s. But if you leave it to RTL, the broadcaster itself destroys the memories of it.

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