ARCHIV - 02.04.2022, Berlin: Barbara Schöneberger moderiert ihre erste ARD-Show "Verstehen Sie Spaß?". (zu dpa "Schöneberger hat früher Menschen im Bus mit dem Schal festgebunden") Foto: Joerg Carstensen/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Is there a crash to speak of? Was Barbara Schöneberger able to make her debut as the new presenter of “Do you understand fun?” At the beginning of April, four and a half million people were still attracted, so on this Saturday evening there were still 2.29 million viewers. The previous low for the format was undercut by more than half a million, as reported by the industry service

Anyone who followed the show on ARD had to feel transported back decades. Back when the prank with the hidden camera still had something slightly indecent, outrageous. This one doesn’t do that. Always harmless and laughed at by those being teased, the question “Do you understand fun?” provoked the question. the simple answer: Yes, it has to be.

Guido Cantz gave up the moderation voluntarily and the TV all-purpose weapon Barbara Schöneberger took over. Loud, almost shrill, with jokes at hand, which are also at her own expense, she tries to breathe new life into the traditional format. The guests, who included show dinosaur Frank Elstner and actor Elyas M’Barek on Saturday, also do everything they can to ensure that the audience doesn’t nod off ahead of time.

The new media state treaty will dictate that the entertainment of ARD and ZDF must adapt to the public service profile. Is this the eternal sequel to “Do you understand fun?” meant? Sure, it doesn’t hurt anyone, the child’s well-being is not endangered, but the basic law of entertainment is grossly violated: Don’t be bored. At the Südwestrundfunk show you can hear the clock ticking on the studio wall. The longer the attempt at revitalization lasts, the more urgently the question arises as to whether the U editors in the southwest can’t do better or don’t want to do better. For decades they have been pushing one show onto the TV ramp, accompanied by the anxious hope that it will somehow go well.

Isn’t it possible: “Do you understand fun?” has long since fallen out of time, the audience doesn’t take a joke. If Südwestrundfunk wants to be the most old-fashioned broadcaster on ARD, fine, but does it have to show it on Erste Deutsche Fernsehen?

Speaking of entertainment with a public profile. ZDF, the market leader among German broadcasters, has also given up, but at least found a way out: a quiz with Johannes B. Kerner. The “Quiz Champion” won the day with 3.45 million viewers.

The numbers show that most people didn’t want to end the sunny summer day with television. Understandable. But that doesn’t relieve Südwestrundfunk of the challenge: Should “Do you understand fun?” be pushed into the television museum? The medium still has enough tasks ready for a Barbara Schöneberger. It’s no shame, the last presenter of “Do you understand fun?” to have been. There is no doubt about her commitment, but she has to prove her skills in a format that only depends to a small extent on the moderator. It only gets embarrassing when the station and its presenter don’t want to recognize the signs of the times. The principle “The show must go on” can also be fundamentally misunderstood.