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Puppet comedy "Spitting Image" on Sky: "WAP" parody and Hitler as a political advisor


No joke is too bad: The pay TV channel Sky sends satirical dolls into the German election campaign: The funny Armin, a Scholz smurf and organic trader Baerbock have to pass Heidi Klum. And that's really good.

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»Spitting Image« doll by Annalena Baerbock: organic shop entrepreneur with ambitions


MARK HARRISON / Avalon / Sky

Ronald Reagan wakes up from a nightmare and instead of calling the nurse, he presses the red atomic bomb button: This is how the German audience got to know »Spitting Image« in 1986 - in the music video for »Land of Confusion« by Genesis. The dolls had been known on British television for two years, the counterparts of Gaddafi, Thatcher and Princess Diana wiggled there week after week through biting skits about the happenings in politics and entertainment.

In this respect, it is fitting that 35 years after the "Land of Confusion" clip (in which Helmut Kohl had a mini-appearance), the "Spitting Image" episode, in which German celebrities are the focus for the first time, is a music video parody The highlight: "German women in the house" whispers the Markus Söder doll and opens the door to the Chancellery, which from the inside looks like the brothel from the video for "WAP", the duet by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion - except that Annalena Baerbock and Angela Merkel can be seen in the role of rappers.

The “Wet Ass Pussy” of the US original becomes “Oh my God, there is no stop for a bitch on top” in the German chorus text.

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Heidi Klum doll for "Spitting Image: The Krauts' Edition"

Photo: MARK HARRISON / Avalon / Sky

This sets the tone for "Spitting Image: The Krauts' Edition", as the show is now called, which starts on Sky Comedy on Thursday evening during the hot phase of the federal election campaign.

Nine episodes and a best-of episode are planned.

In addition to figures from politics, show greats such as Barbara Schöneberger, Joko and Klaas, Capital Bra, Jan Böhmermann, Jorge Gonzales, Markus Lanz, as well as athletes such as Thomas Müller or Lothar Matthäus will appear as puppets.

But at the beginning, the political staff is at the center of the action - for example with a top politician election organized by Heidi Klum, in which Armin Laschet bursts out laughing again and again and is only called "the funny Armin", or Olaf Scholz as diversity - Hope appears with a blue Smurf head.

Subtlety has never been the strong point of British puppet satire.

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Scholz as Smurf

Photo: MARK HARRISON / Avalon / Sky

Even when there was a puppet comedy on German television between 1989 and 1991 with »Hurra Deutschland«, the humor was rather brutal.

In the memory it almost always seemed to be about Helmut Kohl, as the interpreter of the music titles that were published for the show, Kohl & die Gang traded.

At the time, SPIEGEL was not very impressed: "Snappy like a gummy bear, funny like an autopsy and tangy like an oil spill on the Dead Sea," said critic Peter Stolle.

Fortunately, the new "Spitting Image" series shows that a lot has happened in German television humor since then.

The team of authors has experience from the “Today Show” or from Harald Schmidt's programs, led by Elmar Freels (“Knallerfrauen”).

At least in the opening sequence, the Adolf Hitler doll is used several times.

The visit of the Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock to Hitler's office with a view of the Reichstag was particularly successful - from its point of view disguised by a cheese dome.

Hitler is now in the political consulting business, but he does not really get through with his proposals to save the campaign at Baerbock.

Light the Reichstag?

Bad for the CO2 balance.

Would you rather write a cookbook?

"My munch or what?"

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Böhmermann doll for "Spitting Image"

Photo: MARK HARRISON / Avalon / Sky

The dolls, which are made by the British »Spitting Image« makers, function as caricatures of German celebrities, especially the facial expressions of the Scholz Smurf and the prepotent wiggling of the Söder figure.

Others like Jan Böhmermann or Alice Weidel can only be recognized at second glance.

The "Bild" newspaper tried to stir up the expectation of controversy before the broadcast started: Alice Weidel had threatened to seek legal advice.

Sky does not want to provide any information on legal matters, but points out as a precaution that "also polarizing and exaggerated representations" are covered by the freedom of satire.

The sprinkles from the international program, which has been restored for a British streaming service since 2020, are completely uncontroversial, but very enjoyable.

Under the title "The Santa Barbarians", Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are trying to gain a foothold in the celebrity biotope Santa Barbara - very nasty, as, for example, Ellen DeGeneres is both spiteful and considers herself extremely nice.

The Abba comeback and the Texan abortion law occur, weekly contributions are also planned for the German area.

And hopefully more music video parodies.

"Spitting Image: The Krauts' Edition": Sky Comedy, 1st episode: Thursday, September 16, 8:15 pm

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-09-16

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