Although Germany has always had a wide range of German TV series, films and quiz shows, Late Night Shows are a relatively new phenomenon, starting in the 90s with Harald Schmidt’s show Schmidteinander. Today, the most popular Late Night Show is probably Jan Böhmermann’s Neo Magazin Royale (see below), but there are a number of others we will introduce you to on this page.
Neo Magazin Royale
The German talkshow Neo Magazin Royal, hosted by German satirist and comedian Jan Böhmermann, is one of the few Late Night Talk Shows aimed at younger people and deals with current affairs, pop- and internet culture in a humorous and satirical way. In every show, Böhmermann interviews actors, presenters, authors and other people from the German public life, plays interactive games and has sections such as “prism is a dancer”, where he picks out clueless people in the audience and unveils the traces they left on the internet, such as old youtube videos or facebook posts. Böhmermann is known for his provocative nature and his insulting satirical poem about Turkey’s president Erdoğan, who then filed criminal charges against the comedian.
Late Night Berlin
Klaas Heufer-Umlauf is better known for his show Circus Halligalli with his collegue Joko Winterscheidt, but since March 2018 he has his own weekly Late Night Show on the channel ProSieben. The show is a typical Late Night Show with interviews, stand up, a band and and musical numbers and is becoming more and more popular.
The Heute Show is a satirical late night show that is presenting current news in a satirical manner. It is inspired by the US American daily show with Trevor Noah. Presenter Oliver Welke and his team comment on relevant social developments and political debates in Germany, introducing different characters, such as sarcastic correspondents, reporters or hate preachers. Politicans are often the target of the satire in the Heute Show and just like in the Neo Magazin Royale, there have been complaints and lawsuits because of the show’s provocative manner.
Inas Nacht with presenter Ina Müller is a Late Night Show produced and filmed for the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) in Hamburg. It is recorded at a typical maritime North German pub, “Zum Schellfischposten”- a rather small location, which is why there is usually only room for 14 to 16 people in the audience, plus a shanty choir. Ina fills her show with interviews with German musicians, actors, authors and other public figures and is known for getting her guests very drunk. After the interviews, she occasionally performs songs with her guests and also invites the audience to ask her guest questions.
Circus Halligalli was a popular German Late Night Show presented by Klaas Heufer-Umlauf and Joko Winterscheidt, running from 2013 to 2017 on channel ProSieben. The show was known for its sections such as interviews under certain circumstances, role reversals of the two presenters, different games, and the participation of many German celebrities. Joko and Klaas were especially celebrated for their numerous transgressions and individuality.
Die Harald Schmidt Show
Harald Schmidt is the founding father of German Late Night television; although his show – the Harald Schmidt Show– is not airing anymore, it used to be one of the most popular Late Night Shows in Germany between 1995 and 2003. After pausing the show between 2003 and 2007, Schmidt switched from commercial channel Sat1 to public television (Das Erste), where his show was airing between 2004 and 2007 as well as from 2009 to 2011. The Harald Schmidt Show was based on the American Late Show with David Letterman, and the whole studio as well as the structure was copied from the US show. Schmidt’s show won several awards, such as the German TV award, the Goldene Kamera, and the German-French Award for Journalism. In 2014, after being broadcasted by the private channel Sky for two years, Schmidt presented the last episode of his show.
TV Total by popular TV host and entertainer Stefan Raab aired four times a week between 1999 and 2015 and was thus the longest lasting talk show in German television. It was a late night show with different segments (games with guests in the audience, daring activities, fail video compilations) and also interviews with international stars such as Rihanna or Justin Bieber. Raab is considered one of the most successful and influencial German entertainers; not only was TV total very popular, he was also a producer, who made German stars like Lena Meyer-Landrut with her song Satellite win the Eurovision Song Contest famous. Apart from TV total, he produced and hosted a number of other shows, such as the game show Schlag den Raab (beat Raab), where guests had to try to beat him in different tasks and disciplines.