One of the more popular characters in German television comedy, Horst Schlämmer is the brainchild of actor, writer, and -- obviously -- humorist Hans Peter Wilhelm Kerkeling. Born in Recklinghausen in 1961, Kerkeling got his start on the comedy series Kanguru in 1984. Kerkeling scored his own show (Total Normal) in 1989, which led to a long-running career, establishing him as one of his country's top comedic pranksters. The most popular character of Kerkeling's, that of Horst Schlämmer, is a journalist for a nonexistent newspaper, the Grevenbroicher Tagblatt. The schtick is that Schlämmer asks real people real questions regarding current events, but does it in a way that flouts normal social rules for strangers, such as using familiar pronouns, and calling people "sweetheart." A single, "Schaetzelein," was released in 2006, and the character even scored a video game role a year later.
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