The mouse turns 50 !: The cult program almost got completely different | Regional


Cologne – The mouse is now a superstar on children’s television. But at the beginning there were definitely weighty opponents for the job in television. Co-inventor Armin Maiwald (80) has now revealed that. The mouse itself cannot speak – not even when it is almost 50 years old.

The famous rodent from “Sendung mit der Maus” had competition from a hippopotamus at the beginning of his steep career! Armin Maiwald said this on the occasion of the upcoming 50th birthday of the TV animal. “At that time there was also a discussion in the editorial office: Should we take the hippopotamus? Or should we take the mouse? ”Reported Maiwald.

A team for 50 years: Armin Maiwald and the mouse

Foto: picture alliance / AAPimages / Lueders

Then they decided on the mouse. “Otherwise the show today might be called ‘The Show with the Hippopotamus’,” said Maiwald. The templates were then submitted picture stories.

Looking back, we can say that the makers made a wise decision back then. Today, the mouse is one of the most famous children’s figures of all, meanwhile there is also a mouse program for hearing and an app, for example. “When we started, nobody dared to think that it would ever be such a long-running show,” said Maiwald.

The title was also created at that time “veritable in the hallway”. The trigger was initial reactions by post. The then editor Gert K. Müntefering then said: “It’s very simple: Everyone is talking about the mouse. We just call it ‘The Show with the Mouse’. “

The “Lach- und Sachgeschichten” had their television premiere on March 7, 1971. The WDR is celebrating the anniversary this year with numerous special promotions. On March 7th – exactly 50 years after the first “laughing and non-fictional stories” on television – Erste and the children’s channel (KiKa) will show “The birthday program with the mouse” under the motto “Hello Future”.

The makers behind the mouse want to find out what there is to experience in the next 50 years. Children sent in ideas about the world of tomorrow.

Teaser picture

Friedrich Streich, draftsman of the TV mouse (left), Armin Maiwald (behind) and Christoph Biemann (right) and of course: the mouse

Foto: picture-alliance / dpa

The evening before (March 6th) the first shows “Ask the mouse – the big birthday show” with host Eckart von Hirschhausen (53) and the “best memories from five mouse decades”.

Well-wishers include presenter Barbara Schöneberger (46), presenter Günther Jauch (64) and musician Mark Forster (38). Other actions are also planned. Logos on vehicles, such as the garbage disposal or the police, celebrate the anniversary.

The mouse is timeless, but still moves with the times, said WDR director Tom Buhrow about the performance of the TV rodent in half a century. This includes that it does not change fundamentally.

Buhrow: “The circumference of the mouse is always the same – such a comfortable circumference. She doesn’t speak, we haven’t changed that either. She makes non-verbal communication. “

Astronaut Alexander Gerst (44) is also a big mouse fan. His favorite story was the one about nuclear fission – with hundreds of mousetraps in one room. He has to think about it again and again when it comes to explaining complex scientific relationships. “It was so impressive that it might have played a role for me too – you never know, of course. Then I studied physics and geophysics. “

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