The German Daily Show

No, but really. It’s called Der Heute Show. It’s one of many international versions of The Daily Show, and I recently watched a clip to see what it’s like. My German is not up to a level where I can understand everything going on, but in general, you can tell there is a different, softer feel to the whole show. The set is sort of the same, but less shiny. The intro is quieter. The audience claps politely, but stops when they’re supposed to. Everything is just a little bit more restrained. The globe still spins in the wrong direction, though.

The clip below, I think, translates well even if you don’t speak German, and in a roundabout way gets to the heart of why Der Heute Show doesn’t capture the same feeling as The Daily Show. The short answer? It’s way easier to mock what people say and do in the U.S. than in Germany, because we do some pretty nutty stuff. Multiple articles mention that without a German equivalent to Fox News, there’s a lot less to effectively make fun of. Besides that, everything in U.S. politics is drama: black and white, now or never, go big or go home.

This clip covers the recent presidential election in the U.S. It features people screaming for Obama, Chuck Norris and his wife prognosticating the end of days if Obama is re-elected (no, but really), and touching on the fact that Romney was still in the running despite the fact that he did, as they reference, do pretty much everything wrong (alles falsch gemacht). At the end, the field reporter even asks the host which he finds more exciting: a stadium of people screaming “Obama!” or Angela Merkel holding a quiet and reasoned discussion.

A recent case in point: I can’t imagine something as ridiculous as any one of the comments highlighted here on The Daily Show coming up on German television.

*Since exploring my blog’s search terms, I’m wondering what kind of hits this post is going to get.

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3 responses to “The German Daily Show

    • It definitely feels a little uncomfortable. I liked the clip about the election fine enough, since I could understand it all. Other things I tried to watch were less rewarding. I’m not sure what the ratings are like, but it’s definitely not a cultural touchstone like TDS is in the US.

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