Monday, January 22, 2007

Ve haf vays of knowing your name

My thoughts on the Oscar nominations coming soon. But first...

If you're ever in Germany, be sure to catch CHEERS.


Anonymous said...

LOL. I live in Germany, but I`ve never seen this one. I didn`t even know that there ever was German lyrics version. All the reruns are with the original one.

Anonymous said...

marc's right.

I never saw Cheers with a german opening song. Sounds like a fake, anyway.

We may have crappy translations and a (so it seems) very limited number of voice actors. I also break cold sweat whenever I stumble across a german episode of LOST. But this... this... acustic abomination has not stained our beloved TV-Speakers.

Trust us.
We HAVE taste, we just don't know how to show it.

Justin said...

Hey, I liked the video. I don't know the language n have never visited Germany. But liked the over all concept.

Have a look at this too celebrity dog owners

Anonymous said...

I laughed.

Anonymous said...

It's about as genuine as this one

Anonymous said...

i travel all the time through Germany, and have seen Cheers (double-bill usually, very early a.m hours) and I never heard the theme song in German either. Then again, at that hour you sometimes just hear the theme music and think you are hearing the same old thing, so who knows, I mean, who would fake that?

Alex Epstein said...

Wow, 60 seconds long credits sequence! That sure takes a bite out of your 22 minutes!

Anonymous said...

I noticed while watching some first season "Cheers" that the theme had not yet included the background harmonies, only the solo singer, and as someone who wonders how these things get decided, I am forced to ask this (possibly dopey) question. Who made the decision to re-do the theme, and why? Did someone -- the composer, the producers, whomever -- listen to the theme and think "y'know, this sucker needs background vocals"? How do these sort of decisions get made, and by whom?

It's probably a very small matter, but I am interested in how these things work.

Warren Fleece said...

And they say Germans don't have a sense of humour.

Carla = Schaedenfrau

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,
I just discovered your blog today (via Defamer) but this post has me wondering about something, and since you appear to have some experience making people laugh, maybe you can help. Why is just the sound of the German language so funny to us North Americans? (N.B.: It’s not just Americans, I'm Canadian and their guttural tones make me titter as well.)

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

If I watch this clip does that mean I'll end up being labeled as a "Poofter-man" as Frasier so succinctly defined it in the "An Old-fashioned Wedding" episode? (To wit: I'll never have to worry about receiving a letter from the German draft board...)

Anonymous said...

Why does it sound like the Swedish Chef covering TV theme songs of the 80's?

Anonymous said...

My other half is Viennese and annoyingly multi-lingual. She giggled non-stop at that. Her literal translation of the final verse was "with trusted boundaries where one may drink." She also says she'd never heard that theme redubbed into Deutsch back in the Old Country.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what "Cheers was dubbed before a live studio audience" sounds like in German.

Anonymous said...

Ha! America and Germany have a lot of cheeses in common.

In the final still, that drunken guy on the left, raising his glass and with his hat at an arrogant tilt, has always stood out. Surely he's WASP, not Oirish?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it isn't "fake". Germany does that with American series.
I was once in The Netherlands, had a German channel on in the hotel room as I did other stuff, and they ran "Married With Children" and it dawned slowly on me god, they even redid the LAUGH TRACK. Honestly! You could tell (somehow) that is was not Americans laughing, it was Germans.

I was amazed.

Unknown said...

Most likely this wasn't a fake. People (like me) who thought Cheers was never shown with a german opening sequence didn't know that the station it ran on wasn't the one which was the first one to air it.

The first TV station in germany to air cheers, according to "" ("wishlist") was the second german government run broadcasting station (network with multiple broadcasting towers but the same program for 64 million germans everywhere in germany with no special local informations). It's called ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen - which translates to "Second German Television"). Because ZDF usually never airs english title sequence, most likely this was the opening when Cheers ran on ZDF. It only ran for two and a half months in 1985.

The next station/network, privately owned Pro7 (the sixth TV station after government owned first, second and third program and the first two privately owned and UHF-transmitted stations RTL and Sat.1 which were widely broadcast from 1986 on), to run Cheers seems to have picked up the ZDF version and ran it in 1991, again only two and a half months, every Thursday evening. During that time almost nobody would have been able to get this because Pro7 wasn't available to a lot of people - just a few had cable and there was no satellite TV (yet, or not that common, you needed a 6 foot dish back then IIRC). Pro 7 wasn't transmitted via UHF like RTL and Sat.1 (which, oviously, was also transmitted via satellite).

The version everybody seems to know in germany was broadcast on RTL from 1995 on - that's the version I fell in love with while attending my 12th and 13th years of school (13 years is, up until now, the norm here and it's called "Sekundarstufe II" instead of Highschool and you finish it with a degree which is called "Abitur" compared to a highschool diploma). Cheers was broacast every night at 0:30am, the early years only one episode followed by the german version of Golden Girls or Mad About You or Home Improvement, in later years even series like Suddenly Susan IIRC. They even started airing back to back episodes for a full hour at one time when they got closer to finishing the dubbing on all 11 seasons. I must've seen every episode at least two or three times.

Reruns have been on another private channel at 3am with two or three episodes every night from 2005 to early this year. At the moment you can only get cheers on pay-tv.

Here's the wunschliste link

Hope you like the info. Oh and if anyone comes across another version of the video on youtube please tell me because it isn't available anymore.

I have found Ken's Blog just a week ago and am in the process of reading everything back to when he started. Did this on a couple of blogs now and _always_ found it to be useful :-)

Great Blog Ken. Hope you come across this post and enjoy it a bit :-)

Unknown said...

Oh and about the "Married with children" laughtrack: you HAVE to re-do the laughtrack because everything was recorded in mono back then with the us-laughtrack and background noises together with the original voices.

The only way to get a good dub done was to just scrub everything and have a sound artist work in sound effects later on as well.

That's why I started watching US-television - it simply sounds more real because all the sounds are original.

Oh and we germans think that english sounds way cooler. You should listen to some BS people who don't really understand the lyrics of songs are saying - they know enough english but don't understand it. I had a classmate once sind "I've got children, me and you" over and over until I asked her what the hell she was singing. And don't get me started on rap. I had classmates sing the most obscene sexual behaviors without even knowing. They were lucky their parents didn't understand anything either.

English just sounds way cooler than the complicated german language. Everything is shorter and hipper in english.