“We are sex offenders”: Gerhard Polt does not know what humor is

“We are sex offenders”
Gerhard Polt doesn’t know what humor is

He subtly knows how to turn people’s intimacy outward. And this for several decades – just as amiable as with biting Bavarian irony. Gerhard Polt celebrates his 80th birthday today.

What humor is – Gerhard Polt should know. For nearly half a century, he’s been making his fans laugh – who both enjoy getting stuck in their throats and kind of hiccup between dismay and amusement. Gerhard Polt observes the human abyss very finely and enters it with innocent malice.

But when asked what exactly humor is, he only says, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask someone else.” Of course not. Saturday, May 7, the cabaret artist, filmmaker, author and winner of dozens of awards will be 80 years old.

Reaching retirement age, quitting smoking is not a problem. “Dieter Hildebrandt always said, ‘We are sex offenders.'” He just likes to go on. So Polt is always on stage, on the microphone, in front of the camera.

He likes the “small space”

He just implemented a bizarre idea of ​​his son Martin for Servus TV: Gerhard Polt, Gisela Schneeberger and others dubbed the Japanese soap opera “Hanbun, Aoi” in an idiosyncratic rendition – in Bavarian and other dialects, under the title “Die Vroni aus Kawasaki”. .

From May he will be on tour with the Well brothers from the extended family of musicians who once caused a stir as Biermösl Blosn in Bavaria. Rehearsals at the Kammerspiele will start in December – details not yet available. It’s a difficult subject, he said. “It’s basically a very sad and dreary thing, try to tell it in a way that’s bearable.” Presumably with its own irony, which always allows us to look deep into the human soul.

New books have also been published, one with his decades-old interviews, in another Polt makes fun of a privateer from Tegernsee. More recent Polts followers can be found on his website. On the garden fence in front of a country setting, it presents the gossip of the small world at home – and reflects the big one there. Gerhard Polt loves “small spaces”, as he once called them. The big picture emerges.

“Almost like in real life”

Polt’s characters, it is the common thing, are not inventions: there is the broker, the father of the family, Saint Nicholas – and the pope. Anni, Erwin. You meet them on the street, in the supermarket – and also when you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Often rude in his choice of words and peppered with Bavarian profanity, Polt subtly turns people’s innermost beings outward.

“Almost like in real life” – this means: like in real life. Just a little sharp. The broadcast of the twelve-part ARD series of the same name with Schneeberger and Hanns Christian Müller brought Polt to prominence in the 1980s.

Born in Munich, he grew up – baptized as a Protestant and then confirmed as a Catholic – sometimes in strictly Catholic Altötting. After graduating from high school, he studied in Munich and later in Gothenburg and lived in Sweden for a few years. Back in Munich, Polt worked as a translator, teacher and interpreter.

Polt is unpredictable

In 1976 he performed for the first time in Munich with a cabaret program. This was followed by appearances in Berlin and in Dieter Hildebrandt’s TV “windshield wiper”. For a biting satire on the controversial construction of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, which upset the CSU’s “superfather”, Franz Josef Strauss, he was awarded the silver Grimme Prize.

Sometimes a long silence instead of a speech of thanks like during the German cabaret award ceremony in 1980, sometimes a disgusting story about lung mucus floating in the beer mug during the official presentation of the mug of the Oktoberfest: Polt is unpredictable. It also skillfully lays bare a breach of convention.

He is still playing at 80.

(Picture: picture alliance / Sven Hoppe/dpa)

Married since 1971, Polt lives in Schliersee in Upper Bavaria – and partly in Italy. He has an adult son and is now a grandfather.

birthday on stage

Back to the question of humor. Of course, he takes care of it. For four years they have been trying to establish a “Comedy Forum” to promote the subject. The capacity for irony is one of the weakest characteristics in man. Humor can be a “glue to society” – “if it’s there.” “Humor is something deeply political.”. It can also help, comfort and distract in difficult situations. “When the humor stops, we are not far from brutality or barbarism.”

Polt will spend his birthday on stage. “The Munich Kammerspiele invited us. He ‘went on stage’ and ‘did something’.

Leave a Comment