Bernd Stelter: 60 and a bit wise

Happy through the last third of life: comedian, carnival performer, TV comedian, presenter, singer and bestselling author Bernd Stelter describes how it works in his new novel “Who gets older needs fun in life” (Lübbe).

And in the AZ interview, the 60-year-old reveals how you keep your sense of humor despite everything, why he ended up back with the RTL comedy “7 days, 7 heads” and how he’s been laughing his way through life with his wife Anke for 30 years.

AZ: Hello Mr. Stelter, already a book about old age? You are young at heart!
Bernd Stelter: Thank you! But 60 is already a milestone, the last third of life begins, you start to ponder – and then books like this come out. I felt a need to write this book, I couldn’t perform and had time. And it has become an optimistic book. The stress is gone. And of course you stay young longer these days.

60 is the new 40, or even the new 30, they say…
…the advertising suggests a lot! I have dealt with the topic because I don’t want to become a bitter old man! Keeping your emotions under control – you can learn that, too. The psychotherapist Manfred Lütz, whom I met for the interview, helped me a lot. He says it’s a conscious decision not to become bitter, aggressive or jealous as you grow older, but to be loving!

The musician and writer Florian Weber on a country outing.

Writing drummer Weber in an interview: flowery truths


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Bernd Stelter lost almost 30 kilos during the pandemic

A lot of people gained weight during the lockdowns, but you lost it.
26 kilos are down, more is not possible, because my body tells me: Now it stays that way! I’m able to maintain my weight because I’ve realized there’s a fundamental difference between walking and jogging. When you go jogging, you have to squeeze your fat little thighs into colorful, tight pants, you sweat, you get sore muscles, the next morning your weaker self says: “No, not today!” So I’ve been walking my daily steps, one hour a day, in a relaxed manner for almost two years. And since then I’ve been fit all over, my condition is good, walking hardens me.

Which brings us back to the new freedom. So does getting older mean letting go?
That’s the way it is! It’s getting quieter – I don’t want to stop, my role model is the cabaret artist Dieter Hildebrandt, he died at the age of 86 and still had performances for the whole year in his schedule. I can also say “no” sometimes, a very important word is “let go”. Incidentally, the whole thing doesn’t just apply to material things, but also to people: if you don’t do yourself any good, you can leave, privately and professionally. What is of course also very important: You have to keep your sense of humor and laugh a lot and loudly! Without a sense of humor, the rigors of aging are hard to bear.

That’s how it works with Mrs. Anke

Do you also laugh with your wife Anke?
For more than 30 years we have been laughing our way through life, about ourselves, about films, while reading or in cabaret. We are a content, humorous couple. The pandemic welded us together even more, it was also new for us that we were constantly on each other’s skin, I was usually on the road a lot. We not only managed that, we mastered it.

Your quick wit is your capital; From 1997 to 2005 you were part of the regular cast of the satirical RTL talk show “7 days, 7 heads”, you are currently back, how did that come about?
If you had asked me half a year ago if I wanted to take part again, I would have declined! Then Guido Cantz called and asked: “Do you feel like it again?” and I said “yes” very quickly. The format is still dripping with good humor. Mine is I hope never hurtful and very often is on my own account, I like to laugh at myself! And if you can make jokes about yourself, then I think you can make jokes about others.

David Süss (Association of Munich Cultural Organizers), Markus Blume, Katrin Habenschaden and Anton Biebl

Cultural organizers in dialogue: celebrations for freedom


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Your summary for the third third of your life?
Keeping a sense of humor, staying mentally and physically mobile, being kind to yourself, maintaining your circle of friends or looking for new friends. Thanks to my life experience, I now recognize connections better. And at some point I’ll be old, then I’ll adorn myself with my favorite saying: “If you don’t see 1,000 trees anymore, but the forest, then you’ve made it, then you’re finally old.”

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