Hugo Egon Balder: “Ingenious next to it” is “everything improvised”

Hugo Egon Balder: “Ingenious next to it” is “everything improvised”

Hugo Egon Balder and Hella von Sinnen are part of “Ingenious next to it” again. Has the show changed after the channel change?

Hugo Egon Balder (73) and Hella von Sinnen (64) are back! They switched from Sat.1 to RTLzwei with the show “Genial daneben”. The first episode airs May 4 at 8:15 p.m. In the format, Balder asks his prominent colleagues viewer questions that they have to answer. In addition to the two, Wigald Boning (56) is also part of the regular cast.

In an interview, Balder reveals that some people still don’t believe that everything on the show, which first aired in 2003, is improvised. Today he is proud that the concept of the show works and that many formats do the same.

They have been working together for a long time and seem to be a real dream team. To what extent can you now finish each other’s sentences?

Hella von Sinnen: I can speak everything that the old man would actually speak. If he had vocal cord inflammation, I could put my hand in his head. He would then only have to move his lips and I would say everything he usually says.

Hugo Egon Balder: Exactly.

They always affectionately call him the old man. Did you get a nickname from him then?

Hella von Sinnen: I’m the fat snail. But I’m only the fat slug when he’s the anorexic ferret. In principle, I used to be just the fat aunt, now I’m the old fat aunt.

Hugo Egon Balder: But she’s not that fat anymore.

And they say you two became famous together. To what extent did you bring each other down to earth back then, or was it never necessary?

Hella von Sinnen: Mr. Balder was already more famous because he was also a pop singer. At that time I was at most a local bigwig in the small art scene in Cologne. He never tried to bring me back down to earth. Maybe he would have preferred to do it, because at some point I got pretty shitty. Mr. Balder is characterized by this insane tolerance. That’s great. That’s why he doesn’t interfere at all. I just hope he had enough trust because he knew human nature and because he knew that fat aunt would eventually come down to earth on her own.

You moved from Sat.1 to RTLzwei with “Genial aside”. Has the format changed?

Hugo Egon Balder: No. Nothing at all. Not at all.

Hella von Sinnen: It’s almost more in the original than in the last few weeks on Sat.1. Through the daily quiz show, we’ve gotten into the habit of putting a person on the panel with Hugo (Egon Balder) and finding out what exciting things he’s done in life. Luckily that’s completely flat now. That means we’re now completely back to basics.

Hugo Egon Balder: In principle, it’s now “greatly off the mark” like it was in 2003. Instead of Mr. Hoëcker, Mr. Boning is sitting there. Otherwise it’s the same as before.

And has a question stuck in your mind over the years?

Hugo Egon Balder: There are so many questions. I don’t even know them all anymore. You have to remember that the show isn’t about answering questions, it’s about inventing answers. Someone can also tell the story of the horse. We have experienced it so often that suddenly it was no longer about the questions. What we do is entertainment and we want people to laugh.

But now it’s not 2003, it’s 2023. How important is it for you, in the industry, to be represented on the Internet? Especially on Instagram?

Hella von Sinnen: Not important at all for me. I’m so slippery I have 13,000 followers on Facebook. I like that. Then sometimes I post what I do. I neglect Instagram criminally. I’m not interested in anything. I don’t read any comments, I don’t know any influencers and I don’t know what other people are doing either.

Hugo Egon Balder: I do both Instagram and Facebook.

Hella von Sinnen: You don’t do that, your dear wife does it.

Hugo Egon Balder: Exactly. My wife does all of that. I do nothing.

You have many interesting guests like Oliver Pocher, Dieter Nuhr and Janine Kunze on the show. Which guest would you both like to have with you while solving the puzzle?

Hugo Egon Balder: It always has to be people who can improvise. Most of the humorists we know can all do that. With some people we know: If they come, it’s a bank. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try one or the other new thing. If we should continue the show, we will see which guests we will still get.

Hella von Sinnen: I see it the same way. But I also like to say a few names of colleagues who really have always been a bank. It was always Anke Engelke, Barbara Schöneberger, Helene Bockhorst, Pierre M. Krause, Torsten Sträter and Bastian Pastewka. Guido Cantz is someone who is particularly useful. He knows a lot, is fast and incredibly ambitious. You always have a good chance with him.

How much longer do you see yourself doing the show?

Hugo Egon Balder: Decades. It should also be mentioned that many people still don’t believe us that the whole thing is improvised. Nothing happens beforehand. We meet, we eat together and then we go to the studio. It’s all improvised, from start to finish. At the time nobody believed me that it worked. I’m now discovering more and more programs on television that do the same thing. I think that’s really nice when we can say that we’re the original.

Source: Stern

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