Characters: Wolfgang, Bernd
Word count: 501
Summary: Wolfgang and Bernd watch an old TV show.
Author’s notes: Thanks go out to my beta, Kat, for pinking this for me.
Author’s notes 2: According to my research, Hogan’s Heroes(which aired in the States from 1965 to 1974) was dubbed into German & shown in Germany after it went into syndication over here in the States. At first it wasn’t popular cuz it was dubbed practically word for word and if anyone is familiar with it, the German officers in it were parodies of how they were viewed in the war. The show was redubbed in the 90’s with new dialogue, including an off screen love interest for Col. Klink, and the new dialogue really played up the parody aspect and it was a surprising hit. Something else I found interesting was that several German officers (Klink, Shultz, Burkhalter) were German Jews & fled Nazi Germany before the start of the war & Robert Clary, who played LeBeau, spent the war as a child in a concentration camp.
Wolfgang sat on the sofa and switched on the TV. He clicked on the guide and ran through the channels, looking for something to watch, when he spotted it. A simple click and he was on the right channel. Seconds later, a stirring march began to play as the TV show started.
He sat there, enjoying the show, an old comedy from the mid sixties about a POW camp located in Germany during WWII. Wolfgang could not help laughing at the inept commandant of the camp as he reminded him of his great uncle, who was a pompous idiot too. As a boy, he loved the stories the man told of his “greatness” as his grandfather would sit there and quietly explain what a Dummkopf the man was and the shouting matches that followed between the two old men. Wolfgang was sure the prisoners he was supposed to be guarding were up to just as much nonsense as the POWs on the TV show.
Bernd, drawn by the sound of his father’s laughter, came over and sat down. “Hey, Vati, what’s so funny?” he asked during a commercial break.
Wolfgang chuckled. “The man on the show is a Dummkopf like my Onkel Werner. When I was a little boy and they told war stories, my Onkel was always the hero. Of course my Opa always pointed out how wrong he was and then the shouting would begin.” He grinned.
“Yeah? But doesn’t it make fun of Germans?” Bernd was amazed that his father actually liked the show.
“It does, but everyone either knew someone like Klink or Shultz, or had a family member who served in the war like them. They may be stereotypes, but they’re funny because they’re….” He paused as he tried to put it into words. “Because they’re so exaggerated and yet there’s… enough familiarity to feel good.” He tapped his chest over his heart.
Bernd looked at him like he suddenly sprouted another head. “Oh-kay…”
“Just watch with me, Bernd, and you’ll see how funny it is.”
Bernd stayed put and watched to the end of the episode. He chuckled a bit in spots and spent just as much time watching his father laugh as he did the show. As luck would have it, they aired another episode immediately following the one he came in on. By the end of it, he was laughing as much as his father had. “I can’t believe they got away with that!” he laughed. “They walked out of camp, went to work in a Biergarten, what’s his name, Hogan, impersonated a German officer, and they all got caught by the Kommandant!” Bernd laughed at the stupidity of it as they never would have gotten away with it in real life.
“You see?” Wolfgang said. “I told you it was funny.”
“Yeah!” Bernd grinned. “Is it on again tomorrow?”
“Let’s look.” Wolfgang checked the guide on the TV. “It looks like it.”
“I knew you’d like it.”
Wolfgang nodded. “Ja.”