“Zapped! A TV Junkie Returns”
As if it were yesterday: Michael Mittermeier takes us on a journey through time to the 90s
Many TV phenomena of the 90s are returning – he’s still there: With “Zapped! A TV junkie is returning” Michael Mittermeier recalls his beginnings as a comedian – to be seen tonight on RTL.
While the motif of the legendary “Winnetou” films from the 1960s resounds, Michael Mittermeier enters the stage at the Capitol Theater in Offenbach. The choice of music immediately signals to the viewers what to expect in the next 90 minutes: it’s about television – with a good portion of nostalgia.
The view runs like a red thread through the evening: “Zapped” – that was the name of the program with which the Bavarian comedian became known in 1996. On the occasion of his 25th stage anniversary, he looks back at his early days and gives his formula for success at the time – jokes about television – an update. A lot has changed in the media landscape since then: streaming services and series like “Game of Thrones” have fundamentally changed viewing habits.
Michael Mittermeier draws parallels to the present
In “Zapped! A TV Junkie Returns” (Friday, August 12, 10:30 p.m. on RTL) Mittermeier reviews some of these developments. Again and again the comedian draws parallels between then and the present. It sounds like this: “In the 90s it was like Corona: Every real boxing match was with a mask.” If you are too young to have witnessed the gentleman boxer Henry Maske, you certainly have nothing to laugh about here. But most of the viewers in the audience are of the appropriate age.
How many of the jokes are aimed at people who consciously experienced television in the 90s, i.e. who have a broader horizon. With this knowledge, which is assumed to be shared, the comedian amuses himself about many of the current developments. About the retro madness that has hit the television stations: “Imagine if someone fell into a coma in the mid-90s,” says Mittermeier. “He’ll wake up again in 2022. And then you give him a TV program: ‘Everything’s still going on.'”
The deeper point is: Mittermeier is still running. Sometimes it’s even the old jokes that still work. For example, when he talks about commercials from health insurance companies, credit card providers or sanitary napkins. Or once again the subject of the renaming of Raider to Twix, which was apparently perceived as traumatic by many older generations.
The old jokes still work
But even if some of the gags seem all too familiar, most viewers laugh about them. Because it’s not just the old jokes that still work – Mittermeier hasn’t lost any of the energy that characterized him from the start. He scurries across the stage like a hyperactive dervish, his voice still effortlessly climbs the high registers and that alone provides amusement.
Michael Mittermeier thus provides the perfect feel-good program for the people who discovered him in the 90s and aged with him. He will not necessarily appeal to new viewers – but Mittermeier is smart enough to incorporate this insight into his program. For example, when he talks about how he watches “Star Wars” with his daughter – and fails to convey the appeal of this space classic to her.
The situation could be similar for fathers and mothers who are now trying to get their offspring enthusiastic about Mittermaier. That will not always work either. That doesn’t have to mean anything bad for Mittermeier – because like “Star Wars” it has long since achieved the status of a classic. And they are known to be indestructible.
So the good news for all fans from the very beginning: Michael Mittermeier is still there – and he brings back the good feeling and the memories of his own youth.
“Michael Mittermeier live! – Zapped! A TV junkie returns” can be seen on RTL on Friday, August 12, from 10:30 p.m.