Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The great Heinz Erhardt: In the end he could only say five words - the last letter is heartfelt

The two-time Betty MacDonald Memorial Award winner Wolfgang Hampel - author of the globally successful book 'Satire is my favorite animal' - is considered by many readers to be Heinz Erhardt's successor. Attached is a very interesting article about the unforgettable Heinz Erhardt.------ Kind regards, Astrid Lund -------------------- EXPRESS The great Heinz Erhardt: In the end he could only say five words - the last letter is heartfelt by Stefanie Monien (smo) • 19 hours. He spoke about “The Maggot” behind a tree bark with exactly the same precision and fervor as he sang “Rain Songs”, acted on the theater stage and made people laugh again in many films, especially in the years after the war: Heinz Erhardt (1909 -1979). Manager Horst Klemmer also played a part in ensuring that the man with the horn-rimmed glasses and the mischievous smile is immortal. The 87-year-old remembers his protégé very personally. Heinz Erhardt: This is how the great humorist ticked privately In an interview with, Klemmer describes Heinz Erhardt as a “very simple, fine person.” For him, the master of verbal acrobatics, who was able to “improvise brilliantly”, is “the artist to whom I am most attached”. And Klemmer, who founded the “Miss Germany Corporation” in 1985, had many artists under contract: from Dieter Thomas Heck to Heinz Schenk. And Erhardt. He wrote a very personal book in his memory: “Heinz Erhard – Behind the Scenes” (Lappan Verlag, 18 euros). In 1962, Horst Klemmer accepted Erhardt's offer to be exclusively responsible for his management (his wife Gilda had previously done this). They both stayed together throughout their lives. “I was more than 25 years younger,” says Klemmer, who describes Heinz Erhard as “always correct, extremely conscientious, a bit over-organized,” and in his private life he experienced a “rather quiet and withdrawn person.” “By the way, we never had an argument in all that time!” Heinz Erhardt only wrote in green ink The master of the word game collected newspaper articles, programs and photos in 19 albums, and made notes on them in green (!) ink. He also used it to sign contracts; green ribbon was tied into his typewriter. What Erhardt, whom entertainer Chris Howland once aptly dubbed the “philosopher of kindness,” couldn’t stand was when people misunderstood him as a “joke teller.” “He gave everything to his audience,” says Klemmer, “he showed them the greatest respect and put himself under a lot of pressure because it was a catastrophe for him to disappoint the guests or even have to cancel an event.” Heinz Erhardt: His greatest fear became reality How moving are Erhardt's words to his “Impresario” from 1979: “'If I can't walk anymore, then close the curtain, put me an armchair, a desk, a floor lamp. The main thing is that I can speak.’ That’s what the man said to me three months before his stroke.” And then, shortly before Wolfgang Rademann ("Black Forest Clinic", "The Dream Ship") wanted to produce a TV series with Erhardt, the great humorist Erhardt suffered a stroke on December 10, 1971, from which he never recovered. “When he was sick, I visited him once a month,” says Horst Klemmer in an interview with “He stood in the door and waved and was happy. He could no longer speak, only 'yes', 'no', 'thank you', 'sun' and - I beg your pardon - the word 'shit'. On my birthday I got a call at 9 a.m. sharp. That was Mrs. Erhardt, who handed over to her husband. He said: 'Congratulations, congratulations', his wife had practiced that with him for two hours beforehand!”