Factfile: Famous German Humourist

Name: Vicco von Bülow (Loriot)
Date of birth: 12 November 1923
Profession: comedian, film director, actor and writer

Vicco von Bülow, more commonly known under the pseudonym Loriot, was one of Germany's most popular comedians and humourists. He was also famous as a cartoonist, film director, actor and writer. Von Bülow was born in 1923 in a small town called Brandenburg an der Havel near Berlin. With his death on 22 August 2011, Germany lost one of its great icons.

After his Graphic Design and Art Studies in Hamburg, he worked, among other things, for the popular German weekly news magazine Stern and presented a TV show called Cartoon.

In 1971, von Bülow created a cartoon dog named Wum, which he voice-acted himself. The cartoon dog became the mascot of the German humanitarian organization "Aktion Sorgenkind" and appeared in some very popluar German TV shows at the time. Furthermore, Wum remained in the top position of the German pop charts with its very own song "Ich wünsch' mir 'ne kleine Mietzekatze" (I wish I had a little kittycat)! Wum was accompanied by elephant Wendelin and later by Blauer Klaus (Blue Klaus).

But what made von Bülow most famous and popular in Germany was a TV series he produced in 1976 called Loriot. In only six episodes, he presented sketches and showed cartoons, drawn by himself. He usually played the protagonist himself alongside Evelyn Hamann, a well-known German actress. He also directed 2 films: Ödipussi (1988) and Pappa ante Portas (1991).

Loriot was primarily interested in portraing problems of communication between individuals, which lead to absurd situations and undignified behaviour. The difficulties between men and women were one of his favorite subjects. For example, one of his most popular sketches named "Das Ei ist hart" (The egg is boiled) shows a married couple arguing about hard-boiled eggs. Another famous one is called "Ein Klavier, Ein Klavier" (A piano, a piano) in which Loriot portrays a very pedantic man who despairs of the delivery of his mother's piano!

Due to his accurate language skills and his high sense of comedy, a large number of quotations from the serie's sketches have been adopted into German everyday speech. For instance: "Bitte sagen Sie jetzt nichts…" (Please, don't talk right now…) and "Früher war mehr Lametta" (There used to be more tinsel).

Dieter Wedel, famous German film director said about Loriot: "The Germans don't have any sense of humor - the Germans have Loriot!"

Did you know ...

… one of Loriot's most famous characters called Blauer Klaus ("Blue Klaus") was an alien hovering in with his flying saucer?