Danke, Thomas!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank you, Thomas! (Danke, Thomas!) Saturday marked the last Summer open-air "Wetten Das?" with Thomas Gottschalk as the host and so his nearly 25 years as host of one of the Saturday television shows in Europe is drawing to an end.

The show was origingally hosted by Frank Elstner, who hosted it from 1981 to 1987. Thomas Gottschalk took over the reins in 1987. The show has been normally broadcast live from various cities within Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, with a Summer open-air show that has been done live from Mallorca a few times as well as Disneyland Paris, and Turkey (to name a few). The show inspired the British show "You Bet!" and other international versions around the world. Ordinary people attempt to do various unusual and sometimes very difficult tasks. Celebrity guests then would "bet" on the outcome of these challenges. The celebrities that lose their "bets" often have to do some embarassing, humiliating, and often times entertaining activity as a result. I've been amazed by the number of well-know American and British actors, singers, and bands have appeared on the show.

It wasn't long after I moved to Germany that I discovered the show. While I haven't seen every show since I've been here, I've seen quite a few and haven't missed many. So Thomas Gottschalk and "Wetten Das?" have been a big part of my German experience. Like, much of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria; I was watching the show on December 4, 2010, when the 23 year old man wishing to launch his career as a stuntman had that terrible accident while trying to jump 5 moving cars while wearing spring-loaded shoes/boots. They momentarily stopped the live broadcast of the show while doctors looked at the stundman's injuries and eventually cancelled the rest of the show. I sat glued waiting to hear that he would be alright, bud sadly the young man ended up being paralyzed. This heavily influenced Thomas Gottschalk's decison to leave the show in 2011. While the young stuntman did probably know about the risks of the stunt he planned, the thought that he'd end up being paralyzed probably didn't seem like such a huge risk, how could he have known? He might have thought that he might get a bruise or a broken bone or two, but not paralysis! Nobody knows where this young man's life will take him and how bright his future will be, I cetainly hope that he can make the best of his situation. I wish him the best.

The show started with Status Quo doing a medly of their hits. Cameron Diaz (actress) , Jennifer Lopez (singer and actress), Kevin James (actor), Heidi Klum (famous German model), Sebastian Vettel (famous German Forumla One driver), and Dieter Bohlen were all guests this past Saturday. In one of the oddest things I've ever seen, a man removed the shell off coconuts with his teeth (the video at the top of this post). When Kevin James came on the stage he was "shelling" what looked like oranges. The other bets included two cranes playing tennis, the man who threw 5 kg barrels of beer into a basketball hoop, another man who did handstands while trying to shoot baskets with his feet, and another man jumpted his bike from bikestop to bikestop. J-Lo performed "On the Floor", Peidro and Sarah (the 2011 DSDS finalists) sang "I Miss You" (their new duet), and three young Italian tennors sang a crowd pleasing "O Sole Mio". In the final song of the evening, Status Quo performed "Rocking All Over The World", you could see that Thomas was having a blast, this was after all his evening, and he had rocked all over the world.

Like the Prinzen said is their song "Deutschland"...
Natürlich hat ein Deutscher "Wetten, dass" erfunden
Vielen Dank für die schönen Stunden"
(translated as Naturally, a German created/discovered 'Wetten Das?', many thanks for all those wonderful hours). Thomas, I'm glaod to have spent all those Saturday evenings with you! I wish you all the best with your future projects.

Here are some other links that you might be interested in....

-Wetten Das on ZDF
-Wetten Das @Wikipedia
-Wetten Das YouTube Channel
-Wetten Das on Facebook
-"Rad" bet
-"Basketball" bet
-"Crane Tennis" bet
-"Handstand" bet
-Status Quo - Rockin All Over The World - 2011 - Gottschalk's "Wetten Dass" Farewell
-Status Quo - Medley (LIVE @ Wetten Dass? Mallorca, 18.06.11) (HQ 16:9)
-Jennifer Lopez- On the Floor (LIVE on Wetten, dass ...) (June18th, 2011)
-Peidro and Sarah- I Miss You
-ZDF Video Status Quo "Rockin All Over The World