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Karl Dall is dead. Image: dpa / Jörg Carstensen

Karl Dall is dead: comedian died at the age of 79

The comedian and actor Karl Dall is dead. He died on Monday at the age of 79, as his family announced to the German press agency. Dall had not recovered from a stroke he suffered twelve days ago. "Despite the use of all technological and intensive care measures, he fell asleep peacefully today, without having regained consciousness beforehand. He is leaving behind a wife, daughter and granddaughter," said the family's letter. "He was not only a popular comedian and entertainer, but above all an exceptionally lovable and nice person."

Dall had taken on the role of old rock star Richie Sky in the daily ARD series "Rote Rosen" since the beginning of November. In Lüneburg, where the telenovela is being filmed, he suffered a stroke with cerebral haemorrhage on November 11th.

A drooping eyelid, a big mouth and always a punch ready: Dall had conquered the show world with a weird sense of humor. "Close eye and through" is what he called his autobiography - and that is exactly what the prominent guests of his talk shows like "Dall-As" often said to themselves when the TV humorist provoked them again snottily and handed them out properly. At first he was ignored, later panned and finally declared a cult, he summed it up himself once. "Everyone wanted to sit at the table with Dall and let themselves be fooled - if you weren't there, you didn't belong in the show industry."

Karl Dall in earlier times Image: imago images / APress

After his colleague Otto Waalkes - like he was born in Emden - the most famous East Frisian comedian celebrated success on stage and on television. For a long time, it didn't look like such a career for him. The parents wanted to turn him into a civil servant, the teacher's child saw himself as a photographer or cameraman. After the screwed up school leaving - he dropped out in the tenth grade - parental and personal dreams burst. For this he was known as a class clown: "I didn't think I was funny, but everyone laughed at me," he later said.

Teased as a child

He, who was teased as a child for his weak eyelid muscles, made the best of it - and became a professional comedian. After an apprenticeship as typesetter and doing odd jobs, he met singer-songwriter Ingo Insterburg. 1967 saw the birth of the humorous-anarchist group Insterburg & Co ("I loved a girl"), which quickly became an insider tip in the student scene.

Before the stupid bunch broke up in the late 1970s, Dall had made contact with television. He brought the "music store" with him to the screen, assisted with Rudi Carrell's "Churning" and played in "Do you understand fun?" Phone pranks.

Karl Dall 1973 Image: imago images / imago stock & people

Dall liked to provoke and polarize

Dall even made it into the charts with stupid hits ("This disc is a hit", "Millions of women love me"). As an actor, he has appeared in front of the camera in numerous productions, including many comedies. The erotic comedy "Sunshine Reggae on Ibiza" (1983), for example, in which he played the leading role, received devastating reviews. Dall tried out many things in his unusual career, liked to provoke and polarize. The stupid bard got his career going, especially in the mid-80s, when he joined the newly founded private broadcaster RTL.

In 1992, his spectacular move to Sat.1 ("Jux und Dallerei") made television history - until then the most prominent personality in the competition between the two private broadcasters.

"Jux und Dallerei" in 1992: Uwe Ochsenknecht with moderator Karl Dall. Image: imago images / United Archives

"I earned my spurs at RTL and the mice at Sat.1," he later summed up. But in 1995 Dall returned to RTL, moderating "Karls Kneipe" and starring in Rudi Carrell's show "7 Days - 7 Heads". Later he was rarely seen on the screen, most recently on Tele 5 in "OGOT - Old Guys On Tour".

"I no longer believe in a new TV career, but I would like to show what I can do again," he said shortly before his 76th birthday.

"It's just that, apart from Dieter Hallervorden, who enviable made it out of the stupid corner, hardly any of us old comedians get this chance."

Karl Dall

Karl Dall had meanwhile also said goodbye to the tour stage, where he was previously with the program "The old man wants more". And finally he was back in front of the camera: It wasn't until the beginning of November that he took on a role for the ARD series "Rote Rosen" - but only after a few days did he suffer the stroke.

Jungle camp offer rejected: "I'd rather clean toilets"

He himself had received offers for "Celebrity Big Brother" and the TV jungle camp - "in the hope that I would let my pants down there," said Dall a few years ago. "But even if I was offered a crazy amount of money for it, I would rather clean toilets. Last but not least, my wife threatened to leave me should I ever take part in something like this." The couple married in 1971 and had daughter Janina, who caused a stir as a stunt woman.

Karl Dall and his wife Barbara in 2016 Image: imago images / APress

In show business he misses bulky guys, said Dall before his stage premiere as "The Grandpa" (2012), he prefers them to "these adjusted, ever slimy people who just want to make a good impression". The always polarizing humorist himself was far from that.

"I'm proud of how lucky I was to be able to assert myself in this industry," said the comedian ma, who was honored with the German Comedy Prize for his life's workl. "I'm less proud of my failing school-leaving certificates - I'm not a role model in that. But you can't have everything." And even if he stopped touring after 50 years - he didn't want to retire, he wrote on his homepage. "A farewell? No, no end in sight!"

(hau / dpa)

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