“RTL Saturday Night” marks the return

Esther Schweins and Wigald Boening were among the stars of the cult show “RTL Saturday Night”. Now the comedy show is coming back. © photo alliance / dpa

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Retro? Hugo Egon Balder is shocked. You notice that immediately and despite his hidden insolence, no matter what kind of attitude that can sometimes hide some feelings. Retro “in the narrow sense” is not what he and his colleagues are showing on Saturday, he says. What does it mean? “RTL Saturday Night” in 2022 will not be the same as “RTL Saturday Night” which ran from 1993 to 1998. Balder explains it this way. “We tried to remember the old times without duplicating the old times.”

You can see if that’s true on Saturday night (October 29, 8.15pm) on RTL. The broadcaster will then air the highly anticipated format, “RTL Saturday Night – The Reunion.” Anyone allowed to preview (the show is already recorded) must agree with Balder in part. The show is more like a class reunion. You admit you are old. You play the best running gags again. And this is also part of the truth. one mourns the first losses.

It will be recalled that “RTL Saturday Night” was broadcast on RTL in the 90s, was based on the American show “Saturday Night Live” and today has the aura of a cult show. Balder, who had recently gained a reputation as a “breast master” as the host of the Tutti Frutti nudity show, was the producer and was extremely good at his job. He found a nearly perfect ensemble for Saturday Night’s mix of live comedy, sketches and parodies.

Mirko Nontshev is absent. tribute on air

The core of the group consisted of Olli Dietrich, Wigald Bönning, Stefan Jürgens, Tanya Schumann, Esther Schweins, Mirko Nontschev and Tommy Krapweiss. Hardly anyone knew him before, everyone after that. The doyen of the venerable show, Rudy Carell, is said to have written to RTL head Helmut Thoma at the time, asking him if he even knew what “jewel” he had there. “Saturday Night Live” was less political, more gossipy and pretty wild.

Nearly 25 years later, it was actually possible to bring the comedians back together for a revival. “I called them all and told them what we were doing,” says Balder. “And everyone said yes, but we have to sit down beforehand and think about how we’re going to go. And so we did.”

Mirko Nontshev should have been an exception. The comedian, who with her edgy Gaga humor was perhaps never better suited to a show than Saturday Night Live, was found dead in her Berlin apartment in December 2021. There were concerns about whether a comeback show was possible under these conditions, says Balder. “But everyone decided to do it.” Nonchev now has a big role in the show with some of his best sketches. His colleagues also remember him. Tears flow too.

Classic rubrics from back in the day that have been reproduced

In stark but not unpleasant contrast, RTL Saturday Night does exactly what it was then. Dietrich, Bönning, Jürgens, Schumann, Schweins and Krappweiss produce wonderful nonsense in which they repeat the classical rubric of the time.

Dietrich and Boehning, for example, would speak in a “Two Chairs, One Opinion” conversation format, Jurgens would say “Kentucky screams fac,” in which he swapped the consonants, again “lucky moss” and “tits” for “Bheek.” Dietrich single-handedly hosts Gaga’s sports show from “News Spocht” and speaks eloquently about “bird football” (“Then Peli-Kahn was prematurely removed from the sparrow by a rude peacock and swallowed at the age of sixteen with a yellow-red black bird. card”)

It might make you want more. Also there, Balder is instantly shocked. “Once is enough,” he says. “I’m just emphasizing that.”


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