Portrait of the German artist Otto Waalkes

Otto Waalkes

He is the even more famous East Frisian than the East Frisian national drink the black tea with cream. He was already doing comedy when many celebrities of today's popular comedy scene were not even born. Otto Waalkes is the father figure of this genre in Germany.

Already in the 1970s and 1980s, Otto sold out huge venues, achieved unimaginable ratings with his legendary TV shows and was regularly represented in the top ten of the (music!) charts with his LP’s. His first movie in 1985 is still considered the most successful cinema movie in Germany since the beginning of audience recording. And if you were to line up his awards one after the other, it would probably result in a perceived distance between the biggest cities in his homeland East Frisia from Emden to Aurich. Already three times, he has received the German Comedy Award, including one for his life's work, when he was just 50 years old.

Otto's popularity has not waned to this day. He continues to tour with great success. Moreover, he has worked as an actor and dubbing artist on many major cinema hits in recent years and thus, has now conquered the third, if not fourth, generation of audiences.

Otto and the "Ottifant":
Not the Indian elephant, nor the African elephant, but the East Frisian elephant is probably the most popular in Germany. Since 1972, the Ottifant has accompanied Otto Waalkes' work. First as a logo for his record company, then as a caricature on his record covers and finally as a cartoon feature in his big TV shows. The Ottifant belongs to Otto like Otto belongs to East Frisia.

Over the course of time, the pachyderm has developed an amazing life of its own. It has become a comic figure, had its own TV series and a feature-length film, was the star of a video game and a series of computer games, and finally even the mascot of the East Frisian football club BSV Kickers in Otto's homeland of Emden. And when Otto set up the "Otto Huus" museum in 1987 in Emden, with exhibits from his long career, it was clear what kind of "art on a building" they had to install... Since then, a larger-than-life Ottifant, breaking through the brick museum wall to the outside and has been peering over the residents and tourists while they shop.