Glücksritter (1996, Endemol, RTL, Germany)

Right, we have yet to work out the easy way to do umlauts, so you’re just going to have to imagine to little dots above the ‘u’ in the feature. Professional, I know. Anyway, here’s another big Endemol Saturday night show that probably went on during Die 100,000 Mark Show‘s off season. It’s even got the same host!

Alright then, as you can see, Glucksritter translates to ‘Lucky Knights’, because of course the knight is the international symbol of luck, or something.

More interestingly, the theme tune is a rawked up version of the theme from Please Sir. Now, you may remember Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush using the original to introduce some of its features, and just like that show, the audience tends to get up and dance to it here (with pom-poms!). There’s a strong possibility DFYT is a big influence on this show in more ways than one.

And if you’re wondering where the English subtitles come from, it looks like the tape came straight from Endemol.

Ulla Kock am Brink (for it is she!) makes her entrance through the male cheerleading team (The Pom-Poms).

Glucksritter is the show that likes a bit of a gamble and wants to do it until they break the bank. It’s also a show about wish fulfillment, but you must work to attain your dreams.

For our quicky opening, a contestant is picked at random from the audience by virtue of a spotlight and invited to come down.

He is shown two cards and is asked which he prefers out of the King and Queen. Ulla shuffles them up, and if he picks the one he prefers (the King, in this case) then he wins 500 DM, which he does. Simple!

The main element of the show involves three people with dreams that cost between 100-150k DM (at the time, the conversion rate would have been about £1 = 3DM, as a guide). For example, this gentleman wants to complete his collection of model cars, but to do so will cost about 120,000 DM. Yes, really. One of the other contestants wants a camper van, the other one wants a grand piano.

They’re going to begin by playing the selection game. Each contestant has a bath filled with coins and a currency counter. In thirty seconds, they must try and get as close to 5,000 DM on the scale as possible.

The viewers are shown the value, but not the contestant. If they think they’ve not got enough, Ulla allows them to put a bit more in, but they can’t take away.

The two who are closest move on to the next round set in a massive piggy bank shop. Each contestant will get their own set of over 2000 pigs.

The object is to smash as many as they can against a wall in an hour. They all have differing amounts of cash and notes inside (there is no correlation between size of pig and amount of currency). This is collected from the tray and counted. The idea, obviously is to collect as much as possible.

But it’s not quite over for our third player. They will pick a sealed envelope, each envelope containing the name of one of the other contestants. Then they will sit in the VIP room for the hour. If they’ve picked the contestant who scores the lowest, then they get to take their place in the semi-final. All that work for nothing!

Whilst that’s going on, the audience get involved in a number of games. The woman on the sofa hasn’t seen her friend for years and years because she moved to Surinam. But Glucksritter have flown her over!

But! That’s not the end of it. The studio contestant will be asked five questions which her friend has already answered about herself. If three answers match, then they’re going to drive her straight from the airport to the studio. If not, her friend has to take the first flight back home – we’re shown the ticket. Happily, there is a happy ending here.

This guy here wants 11,000 DM worth of climbing equipment, and to win it he’s going to play a game of observation.

First of all, world-reknowned cigarette eater Tom Mullica comes on and performs his routine. The contestant is then asked three quite tough observation questions (does he smoke with filters? How many cigerettes were on his lapel pin? Which hand does he wear a ring? So not really about the act as such). He’s a winner!

It’s bonus round time at the piggy bank slaughterhouse. One contestant gets a few minutes off whilst the other gets a chance to win some bonus money (the other contestant will get his go later).

She’s asked three questions about pigs. Everytime she gets one right, she gets to smash up one of the five giant clay pigs in front of her, each one containing between zero and 5,000 DM.

These are added to the score immediately, and she’s got a sizable lead.

Next game. This gentleman thinks his brother has taken his car somewhere else for the afternoon, but oh-ho! Unbeknownest to him, he’s driven it to the studio!

He’s now going to be given the opportunity to gamble his car for a better brand new one. If he loses, he’ll get a car that’s slightly older and with more miles on the clock, but it works and is under guarantee. He doesn’t have to take the gamble, but he does so and has to sign the old car away.

There are two containers. All the guy has to do is pick A or B and hope it’s the correct one.

But before that… three cars on set is one too many. Happily, there’s a guy in the audience who has no car because he sold it to go on a world trip. Ulla gives him a chance to win the newly signed away car in a game of heads or tails.

Unfortunately he loses, so the car is given to charity instead.

Happily for the first guy, the gamble pays off and he gets to drive a brand new car. Container B is opened to show the less desireably car.

Ulla goes into the audience to ask what people would do with 10,000 DM. She asks if anyone else knows the wish, and if so, phones them up. If they can confirm what it is without prompt then the audience member gets the money. If not, she moves to another person.

This lady wants 6,000 DM for a year’s worth of singing lessons. To win it, she’s going to try and crack the code. It’s Mastermind, basically. She’s got one minute, although because she took a bit of time the money was reduced from 6,000 to 4,000.

Touching friends reunited moment.

These two girls play Connect 4 for a new motorbike.

Whilst this is happening, a gong goes off to signify the end of the pig slaughtering hour. The two contestants are rushed back to the studio, and Margeritte in the VIP room comes and joins them.

The totals are totted up…Gudrun has done very well, Jorg managed just shy of 70,000. This means that Jorg is in the danger zone.

This means that if the envelope Margritte picked randomly before the game began has Jorg’s name in it, she will take his place in the game and he has to go home. The reaction here suggests that yes, she’s been lucky!

The two semi-finalists move over to the slime bath.

They will be asked questions alternately beginning with Gudrun who won her place there by right. Each question is multiple choice. If they answer correctly, Ulla will tell them which of the two stepping stones (heads or tails) is safe. If they answer incorrectly, they’re just going to have to guess. Stand on the wrong one and you get dunked in the slime.

Also because she won, Gudrun has a ‘joker’ – rather than take a guess if she answers wrong, she can elect to stay where she is, but she can only do this once.

To go on to the end game, one person must make it across to the other side. If one person falls in, the other person must still play the rest of the round out.

Unfortunately Gudrun got her tactics wrong and lost the race. However, she is given the chance to win some money – in the pool is a four-leaved clover. If she can find it within 30 seconds she’ll be given 10,000 DM. She doesn’t have to play but as you can see she does.

But our winner Margritte moves on to the finale, the Knight’s Wheel!

And this is what she’s playing for – double the amount won in the pig slaughtering game. That’s enough for a very good camper van!

The wheel has lots of sections valued from 0-100 (a bit like the wheel from The Price is Right). Before she spins for the first time, she must make a decision as to whether she will spin 4 or 5 times.

These knights keep track of the score. To win the money, her total must be between more than 100 and less than 200 after her final spin. Too little and it will appear on the knight on the left, too much and it will appear on the right, but a winning total appears in the middle.

If her total is 100 or more, she can elect to subtract the value of the next spin, but she must declare this before the spin.

Overhead shot of the wheel in action.

It slows down and eventually lands on 100 for her first spin.

The plus or minus in the corner shows what is going to happen to the score.

Unfortunately her luck disappears and she ends up with a final score of 90. She apparently doesn’t get anything.

But at least she didn’t have to work up a sweat to get that far. Join us next time!

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