When was the last time you laughed tears? Not as an emoji, but in real life? Been a while? The old cinema in Ebersberg has once again proven that it is worth encouraging friends to buy tickets and then get off the sofa – despite all possible pandemic concerns. There you can always experience surprises, broaden your horizons, share joy with friends and of course: laugh tears.
That’s what happened on Wednesday evening, Michael Mittermeier was there on the renowned cabaret stage with a “try-out” – a try-out evening that, despite all the provisional nature, made a sensational start to the autumn season of the old cinema. Also because the auditorium was full, older and younger had left the couch. Stars like Mittermeier still fill halls – in contrast to many other artists, unfortunately – even under today’s circumstances.
Yes, Mittermeier is an entertainment professional. Even equipped with cheat sheets, the 56-year-old from Pullach, who grew up in Dorfen, has his audience wrapped around his finger in no time. What is particularly impressive is his timing, his dynamics: the way he keeps accelerating, punching out the punch lines every second, and then braking again at exactly the right moment to give his brains and diaphragms a break, that shows great skill. The material is actually fresh as a dew: In the first part, Mittermeier rehearses a “special” for an upcoming TV appearance, after the break the Ebersbergers are served “#13”, the new program.
It is the absurd reality that Mittermeier, himself amazed, tries to illuminate
In terms of content, the evening goes right through the vegetable patch, but a few major topics can be crystallized: The very topical part one is about Corona, Russia, the Queen and the “weird” security needs of the Germans, part two is social media and the church on Mittermeier’s test stand. In short: It is the absurd reality that he, himself amazed, tries to illuminate. “Who writes this script? Are they playing up there, Allah, Buddha and the good Lord, about LOL? Whoever laughs first gets kicked out?” After all, even a comedian couldn’t come up with a script like this any better.
Of course, Michael Mittermeier, comedy giant of the 90s, has also gotten older. The spiked hairstyle glows white, facial expressions and gestures are somewhat reduced. That means he doesn’t fidget as much as he used to, but that might not be the worst thing. Especially since there is nothing to be missed in this respect, Mittermeier still underscores his stories with plenty of grimaces and his very own expressive dance, if necessary mimics an entire ensemble alone. And yes, he will probably remain a professional youth into old age, the child in the man, it breaks ground again and again.
“Walking is like dying, just slower,” said the daughter
Mittermeier leads Corona and all his mutants ad absurdum on the street with thieving joy, describes the Covid test as a “brain reflection” in which a thought accidentally leaves the skull, or imagines the Taliban in the home office: ” Puff, puff, puff – everyone left the meeting.” This sentence, borrowed from the young daughter’s mouth, is also worth considering: “Walking is like dying, only more slowly.”
But the evening also makes it clear: These are difficult times for cabaret artists. Where can you still find truth in the face of Corona, war and the climate crisis, where are the limits of humor? And so even with Mittermeier, who describes himself as politically left and green, many a thought is more implied than expressed. “Oh, I have no idea either,” he admits at the end of the evening. “I just like you. That’s all there is to say.”
Especially when it comes to church, the comedian gets really angry
In between, however, the comedian finds surprisingly clear words. Mittermeier, for example, openly describes a pop singer and corona denier as a “full-body dick”, and he can also get angry with a view to the football World Cup this winter in Qatar: “Final on the fourth Sunday in Advent? And then? Public churching?” Sure, you could hang the canvas on the cross where the two nails stick out. “Fifa is taking Christmas away from us, not the Muslims!” When it comes to the church, Mittermeier gets really angry: why is it against abortion? “They always need supplies for the abuse.” bang There’s probably a lot of viewers who spit away for a moment.
But Mittermeier, who was raised strictly Catholic, did not renounce the faith completely. “I like Jesus – despite his father.” The cabaret artist skilfully contrasts the message of charity – “like your neighbor as yourself” – with today’s ubiquitous “basic aggression”, be it in a very similar way when looking for a parking space or, of course, on the Internet. He himself is also insulted a lot online, with the “system wanker” taking first place among the insults. But this word is so illogical – “I don’t have a system, except for a certain speed” – that he no longer reacts to it. In any case, he can withstand a lot of headwind: “You won’t get my heart dark!”
Of course, Star Trek, Aquaman and Co. are also there again
His bridges to film are typical of Mittermeier, his very first program “Zapped” already played with the collective memory of past TV pleasures. This time there are: “Star Trek”, where, thanks to Mittermeier himself, the seat belt was finally introduced, the comic adaptation “Aquaman”, the main actor of which almost caused a marriage crisis in the Mittermeier house because of his many muscles, and the “Lord of the Rings” – as Metaphor for the current situation: “We’re just at the end of part two,” says the cabaret artist. “A great battle has already been won, but it’s not over until Karl has thrown the ring into the fire.” The reference to a cinematic dystopia from 1973 with the actually not invented title “Year 2022 … who want to survive” should also give hope. In this story about humanity on the edge, there are only green chips that are processed with human flesh, and not always voluntarily. “Compared to that, we’re not in such a bad position!”
Finally, Mittermeier’s openness is particularly astonishing: He keeps talking about himself – and often not to his advantage. Be it physical inadequacies such as the inability to withstand the psychological “pressure” of standing up, the shitstorm on a supposedly harmless #joie de vivre post or unsuccessful attempts to communicate, for example with the 14-year-old daughter, for whom he would love to be a superhero: The 56-year-old can give the nakedness without batting an eyelid.
At the end, Mittermeier even gives the audience a very personal revelation
And so it gets really serious and personal in the end: Mittermeier tells of four miscarriages that he and his wife had to experience – and again takes a sharp stance on the church. Because they were not baptized, the first two children could only have been buried in a “mass grave” with the prospect of “limbo” – “a concept that I simply do not understand”. Only later was this regulation lifted, and it no longer applied to the other two children. “I wish that all four of you could meet over there.”
One can clearly feel that Mittermeier was concerned to integrate his lost children and the struggle with this loss into the new program. If only because of the need “not to be alone”. Hats off to so much honesty – although the subject of miscarriages is probably the last thing guests expect from a show like this. Breaking a taboo? Maybe yes. But that is precisely why such a revelation is so valuable.