Stefan Raab is back: The aging entertainer is set to dust off linear TV this year – and risks disappointing a lot of people. Better not to come back, our author thinks.

No, it wasn't just a nice April Fool's joke, it's really back: Stefan Raab wants to celebrate his big comeback in the fall with a fight against Regina Halmich. He wants to step into the ring against the former world champion for the third time and make his now swollen nose shine again.

Really now? The man who was hailed as TV's savior at Easter should be luring TV audiences back in droves – and resurrecting the ailing linear TV? Please don't!

Stefan Raab made TV history – it was a long time ago

Stefan Raab – In the 1990s and early 2000s, no one could miss this name. There's no doubt about it: this man changed television—for good. He is credited with “TV total” in “Pfuikelle” and “Pulleralarm”, wisecracks like “Wadde hadde dudde da?” (5th place at ESC 2000), Wok World Cup, TV total high diving, “Schlag den Star” and much more. Not only did Raab make an entire generation giggle, he also pushed the boundaries with his legendary cheeky tricks. And made television history.

Since 2015, at least, he has not been seen on the TV screen. But there was no sign of an early retirement: behind the scenes, he continued to work on the shows – sometimes with greater, sometimes less success. He was also behind the shows “Thing of the Year” and “Fame Maker” (both canceled in 2020). Then, in early 2024, he founded a new company with former ProSieben boss Daniel Rosemann: Raab Entertainment. This year, they want to really get down to it – and they're even pulling Raab out of his TV balls to do it.

Stefan Raab returns? Times have changed

But the aging entertainer should rather enjoy his retirement with dignity – and continue casting fishing lines by the lake. Another sad attempt to revive TV shows like “Dalli Dalli”, “Geh aufs Whole”, “Wetten, dass…?” or, most recently, “Big Brother” does not make linear television more fresh.

Because one thing is clear: television is not easy right now. An aging population in Germany, combined with declining television usage, is a serious challenge for private broadcasters. They have been under heavy pressure for years from streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Co.

Not that the legend would eventually become a laughing stock

Stefan Raab, who goes for the third time? No, it probably won't bring new wind there either. Fresh ideas look different.

And not only that, there is a risk that German viewers will be quite disappointed: in the last decade, a kind of TV show has emerged around the entertainer, whose fans especially remember the good old days of “TV total”. Many “nipple” clips from that time still have cult status today.

But there is a good chance that Raab's return to the TV cameras will spoil that aura. And that the legend becomes a laughing stock – and not a good one at that. That would be a real shame – or, in the words of one of Raab's nipples, “It's not possible!”

by Martin Gätke

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