Cabaret artist: Gerhard Polt turns 80

In between, he strikes serious tones. He was recently one of the German celebrities who appealed in an open letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) not to deliver more heavy weapons to Ukraine.

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

Polt’s characters, that’s the common thing, aren’t inventions: there’s the broker, the father of a family, St. Nicholas – and the pope. Anni, Erwin. You meet them on the street, in the supermarket – and also when you look in the mirror in the bathroom. Often coarse in his choice of words and peppered with Bavarian expletives, Polt subtly turns people’s innermost beings outwards.

“Almost like in real life” – that means: like in real life. Just a little pointed. The broadcast of the twelve-part ARD series of the same name with Schneeberger and Hanns Christian Müller made Polt famous in the 1980s.

Born in Munich, he grew up – baptized as a Protestant and later confirmed as a Catholic – at times in the 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.

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

Sometimes a long silence instead of an acceptance speech like at the presentation of the German cabaret prize in 1980, sometimes a disgusting story about the lung mucus floating in the beer mug at the official presentation of the Oktoberfest mug: Polt is unpredictable. He skilfully “blows” with a breach of convention.

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

Back to the question of humor. Of course he deals with it. For four years they have been trying to establish a “Humour Forum” to promote the topic. The ability to irony is one of the weakest characteristics in humans. Humor can be a “glue to society” – “if it’s there.” “Humor is something deeply political.”. He can also help, comfort and distract in difficult situations. “When the humor stops, it’s not far to brutalization or barbarism.”

Polt will spend his birthday on stage. “The Munich Kammerspiele invited us. He would “go on stage” and “do something”.