Entertainer: Why does Stefan Raab still drive so many people crazy?

Entertainer: Why does Stefan Raab still drive so many people crazy?

Since the end of 2015, Stefan Raab was considered a television phantom: he still existed, but he was no longer seen. Now an announcement for a new show boxing match is driving half of TV Germany crazy. What does that tell us?

In 2015, when Stefan Raab’s farewell from the television screen had long been certain, the “Raabinator” once again delivered the whole big show. He was awarded an honorary award at the German Comedy Prize – but as is often the case with Raab, the occasion was relatively secondary to what followed.

“König Lustig” hijacked the stage, joked, trilled – and sang a few lines from the song “Kölsche Jung”, which was drenched in melancholy and longing and which Willy Millowitsch, a local saint from Raab’s hometown of Cologne, had already sung. One could say: He set the tone for the following years. Because with every day that Raab was away, his fans’ longing for a return seemed to grow greater.

He comes back

Perhaps this explains what happened over the Easter holidays almost ten years later. After videos appeared on Raab’s social media channel – long dormant – that hinted at a return, something erupted. Between the eggnog and chocolate bunnies, you could hardly get past the clips if you just glanced online. Some suspected it was an April Fool’s joke, others the long-awaited sign of life from the TV savior.

It has now become concrete: on September 14th there will be a show fight in Düsseldorf, it is said – between Raab and the ex-professional boxer Regina Halmich. The two have already dueled twice. The first time in 2001. “He is the master of the show, of the staging. I believe that something really big is coming,” Halmich told dpa.

Nostalgic hype?

Raab catapults his audience back in time to a time of which they will have very warm memories. Around the turn of the millennium, the former butcher’s apprentice from Cologne-Sülz was considered the ultimate innovator of TV entertainment with his anarchic style. Teenagers stayed up longer for his broadcasts – while their parents didn’t understand what Raab was doing. Or wrinkled their noses.

However, Raab is now 57 years old and times – especially in entertainment – have changed. Streaming, social media, new players, sometimes different demands on the attitude with which fun is created. Why is Raab still so longed for in parts? When he linked a return in a first video with the mark of 9 million followers, there weren’t quite as many – but there are now more than 2.8 million. Is it all nostalgia?

Marcus S. Kleiner, Professor of Media Studies at the SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences, is also fascinated by this question. “I find the hype surrounding Raab quite astonishing. Because from my point of view it is not a given,” he says. “If Harald Schmidt were to announce a comeback as a presenter, the hype would certainly not be so big. But the TV nation is obviously hungry for Raab.”

Targeted at classic TV audiences

For Kleiner, this also represents a “clash of cultures”. Because: People who were born after the year 2000 will no longer have noticed that much of Raab’s work. In 2015 he said goodbye to the screen and from then on worked behind the scenes. In 2018 he appeared with a stage program, which was not broadcast on television and therefore did not reach a mass audience.

“My students don’t care at all about Raab,” reports Kleiner, who is also an author. Raab now clearly addresses an older audience. “Apparently a TV nostalgia society meets a streaming generation,” says Kleiner. “And the hype shows that the classic TV audience is apparently still very powerful and important.”

Raab is representative of “the old TV fun society” that we know from around the turn of the millennium. And which some people believed was a thing of the past. “But it seems that in times of crisis like the one we are currently having, people long for a savior,” says Kleiner. Otherwise some comments would be difficult to understand. “One had the impression that Raab could bring peace to the world’s wars.”

When Raab sang his song at the German Comedy Prize in 2015, he also languished this line, here translated into High German: “I’m a Cologne boy, what do you want to do? I’m a Cologne boy and I like to laugh.”

Maybe that’s almost the whole secret.

Source: Stern

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