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 has now revealed that. The mouse itself cannot speak – not even when it is almost 50 years old.
A real revelation in the anniversary year: The famous mouse from the “Sendung mit der Maus” (Sendung with the Mouse) had competition from a hippopotamus at the beginning of its steep career. Co-inventor Armin Maiwald revealed this on Tuesday on the occasion of the upcoming 50th birthday of the TV animal from children’s television. “At that time there was also a discussion in the editorial office: Should we take the hippopotamus? Or should we take the mouse? ”Reported the 80-year-old. Then they decided on the mouse. “Otherwise the show today would be called” The show with the hippopotamus “”, “said Maiwald. The templates were then submitted picture stories.
“The Mouse” – an unexpectedly long-lasting success
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 characters, and there is now, for example, a mouse program for listening and an app. “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 mail. The then editor Gert K. Müntefering then said: “It’s very simple: Everyone is talking about the mouse. We simply call it “The program 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 offers. On March 7th – exactly 50 years after the first “laughing and factual 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.
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 garbage disposal or the police should draw attention to the anniversary of the children’s program. The mouse will also welcome a helicopter landing pad in Bonn.
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. “The circumference of the mouse is always the same – such a comfortable circumference. She doesn’t speak, we haven’t changed that either. She does non-verbal communication, ”Buhrow enumerated.
Astronaut Alexander Gerst (44) also said he was 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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