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Comedian Till Reiners: "I can understand that people are starting to count the tanks here"

Till Reiners, new host of the “Happy Hour” on 3sat, on funny TV programs during the Ukraine war, his dismay at armament fantasies and Chancellor Scholz as a cabaret case.

Mr. Reiners, on Sunday, “Pufpaff’s Happy Hour” will become “Till Reiners’ Happy Hour”. What is changing besides the name?

The moderator.

And otherwise?

I think I bring a slightly different style with me. And I’m trying to invite more young people, especially from the Berlin stand-up scene.

They compete against the “crime scene”.

This is an equal opponent. (Laughs.)

Internet encyclopedias list you as a comedian, not as a cabaret artist. Is that okay?

Yes, that’s fine, I love being called a comedian.


Cabaret artists always have to be political, state-supporting, comedians can be anything, that suits me much better and reflects what I do much better. I would also wish that these categories would finally be dissolved. That’s a very German specialty to say: he has humor, but he also thinks. Then I think to myself: There is good and bad humor. Finished.

Now there is a war in Ukraine, and comedy is on German television. How does it make you feel?

You have to think about it. And make it clear to the audience that you are not a crazy clown who just unwinds his program. Means to him that it’s all horrible, but there’s a three-quarter hour distraction here. That’s an offer people can take. Or say: “I’m not in the mood for that now.”

“Create peace without weapons” is currently a bit out for many. What do you think that now even the Greens are for rearmament?

I’m always skeptical when everyone wants the same thing. I would like to say: Can we talk about that for a moment? I can understand that when you see that Ukraine is burning, you start counting the tanks here. But I am amazed that such a round sum is mentioned.

You mean the 100 billion euros?

To person

Till Reiners, born in Duisburg in 1985, studied political science in Trier and has lived in Berlin since 2009. He first became known for his appearances at poetry slams, and his stage programs then included evenings such as “There remains only the anger”, “Auktion Mensch” and – since 2021 – “Flamingos am Kotti”. He embodies “in an outstanding way the modern humor of a young, metropolitan population,” judged the jury of the German cabaret prize.

On television , Reiner is a regular guest on satirical programs such as “Die Anstalt” and “heute show” (both ZDF). On Sunday, 8:15 p.m., he will present the 3sat format “Happy Hour” for the first time, which he takes over from Sebastian Pufpaff. Guests on the first show: Torsten Sträter, Max Uthoff, Kirsten Fuchs and the band Tocotronic.

Yes. That’s a fantasy number. Shouldn’t you first think about what you need and then add up what it costs? It’s a bit cheeky that in two or three days you decide to spend so much money while people in the clinics have been fighting for two years to be paid decently in a pandemic.

What else keeps you busy in politics?

I’m excited to see where things are headed in terms of climate protection. Whether people in Berlin really think: Okay, we’ll try! Perhaps the sanctions against Russia will have a positive effect. I find it exciting to see how the traffic light is developing. Is this now a left-wing government, a business-as-usual government? What kind of government is this? They seem to be still very much in the self-discovery phase. overshadowed by this war.

War as an opportunity for a change in climate policy?

Yes. I believe the reality is cynical. I’m not, I’m just realizing it.

It was once said that Kohl was a chancellor for cabaret, later that was said about Schröder, then about Merkel. What about Scholz?

If you feel like dealing with people, he is definitely a chancellor for cabaret. I was amazed at how much I deal with Scholz myself because he upsets me so much with his lack of ambition to answer questions. Otherwise, I’m not one of those who imitate him. I can’t do it. When I talk about politics, I want to explain how it works. Classify things. However, I haven’t seen a good Scholz imitation yet.

If you look inside yourself: are you someone who likes to get excited – or do you keep your cool?

No, I get upset every now and then. I’m also glad that I can channel that on stage. I can’t and don’t want to always be above things like that.

Cabaret artists can also get caught up in a shitstorm. Has this ever happened to you?

Luckily not yet. But that will come.

Now, with the moderation of the “Happy Hour”?

Basically! The longer you’re there, the greater the likelihood. At some point you will get one. That’s part of the job.

Has Germany become a country through social networks where people get terribly upset about nothing?

Yes, also because of that. Sometimes people lose their standards. I recently made a contribution to the “heute show” about how to sanction Putin’s war, for example by turning down the heating or driving at 130 km/h. And then someone wrote on Instagram: “This satire scares me, you really want the speed limit!” And I thought: If that’s the biggest fear for you right now, that you have to drive 130 km/h, then congratulations!

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