ZDF beats ARD: Böhmermann’s triumph

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Von: David Segler

Jan Böhmermann leafs through the dubious Guinness Book of World Records. © Screenshot ZDF

The ZDF Magazin Royale deals with the corruptibility of Guinness World Records, the ARD fails with its new format “Comedy saves the world”.

With its two “brands” ZDF Magazin Royale and Today Show, ZDF dominates the late Friday evening entertainment of public broadcasting. While the “Today Show” with Oliver Welke also deals with political events, but mostly oscillates between jokes and political criticism, Jan Böhmermann’s show has become more and more humorously charged in recent years – especially since it switched to the ZDF main program developed an investigative show (at least the main part, the opening pieces are mostly silly and negligible).

This is quite a task, because as the number of successful searches increases, so does the expectation that it has to be delivered once a week. “Die Anstalt” from ZDF is 15 minutes longer and mostly presents well-researched political theater, but (unfortunately) only takes place eight times a year.

ZDF Magazin Royale: Current program about Guinness World Records

Of course, at ZDF Magazin, programs don’t have the appeal of issues such as the one about Fynn Kliemann’s fraud. This also applies to the current program, which deals with the Guinness World Records brand. Only towards the end does it briefly become interesting and relevant, when the team works out that the world record collection – many children probably grew up with the thick books – is a profit-oriented company that is available for almost anything if there is enough willingness to pay.

Böhmermann’s ZDF Magazin contacted World Records (London headquarters) as part of a self-experiment. For a rather less spectacular world record you would have to pay almost 28,000 euros, you should only use the brand name of World Records for four months – and that only in Germany. The unscrupulous Canadian businessman Jim Pattinson, who – unsurprisingly – was also a Trump supporter, has been responsible for this since 2008.

ZDF Magazine Royale

Current program from March 17, 2023, 11 p.m., available in the ZDF Mediathek

Jan Böhmermann reports on ZDF about entries in the Guinness Book

The most interesting part of the show is surely the story of Ferdinand Marcos, the former Philippine dictator who received the inglorious entry as “The Biggest Theft by a Government” by Guinness World Records after embezzling an estimated $10 billion during his tenure. However, this entry can no longer be found on the website. This was ensured by Ferdinand Marcos’ son, called “Bongbong”, who of course didn’t like this “record” because of his political ambitions.

The GWR cites flimsy arguments as justification for the deletion of the entry. A rogue who thinks evil of it. ZDF proves the corruptibility of the world record sellers with a specially founded fake PR agency from North Korea, which wants to have the negative records that are entered for North Korea in the GWR deleted. Instead of canceling immediately, the company managed by Pattinson replied that it had to be checked comprehensively. As is almost always the case: money rules the world (records).

Comedy saves the world

From now on Fridays at 21:45 in the ARD and in the media library available

Neo Magazin Royale: ZDF beats ARD

This magazine issue may be a bit thin, but it is still far better than the new format of ARD, which now wants to focus on comedy instead of crime scene repetitions on Friday evenings. With “Comedy saves the world” she fails with a crash due to a strange mix of “Nuhr im Erste” and “Kroymann”. The stage situation is similar to Nuhr’s but (at least) less politically questionable, the recorded sketches try more or fewer socio-politically relevant topics but are hardly funny and not nearly as clever and pointedly written as in “Kroymann”. Who the ARD wants to pick up with it, they probably don’t know exactly who the ARD wants to pick up. This kind of comedy certainly won’t save the Friday evening in the first. (David Segler)


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