maschek. – The other side

MASCHEK: THE OTHER SIDE
By Kerstin Schuetz-Mueller

Maschek isn’t a name, it’s a Viennese term for „otherness,“ the „Maschekseite“ being the „Maschek-side,“ and thus the „other side.“ There is no fitting term to describe who maschek are, so for lack of an alternative, „Austrian comedy trio“ will have to suffice. What began in 1999 as a hobby for Peter Hörmanseder, Ulrich Salamun, and Robert Stachel has since evolved into an Austrian cult classic that has even spilled over the borders into Germany and Switzerland. Thanks to the Internet, and especially the advent of YouTube, maschekian comedy has become ubiquitous.

Years ago, the trio started to buy up old photographic slide collections and super-8 films at flea markets and then made up stories based on this found material. They took it a step further and began to perform bitingly satirical live voiceovers for video material they found in the archives of Austria’s national broadcaster ORF. In 2006, maschek were embraced by that same institution and given a slot on the TV show Dorfer’s Donnerstalk. This is what finally made them a household name.
The „other side“ that maschek inhabit is like a bizarre parallel universe, one in which they remake the rules and rewrite history. A debate between candidates for the last Austrian presidential campaign is dubbed as a televised coin toss to determine the winner of the election. A children’s television puppet show becomes a reality show about a trash-talking dysfunctional family of bears, and Barack Obama ends up delivering his speech in Germany – in German.

In their performances, maschek display total irreverence in taking on politicians, celebrities, television personalities, etc. Their observations are canny and very much to the point, putting their finger on controversial aspects and sore spots of (Austrian) politics and society. What’s more, Hörmanseder, Salamun, and Stachel are sophisticated performers who can switch between characters, inflections, and accents in a split second without losing their timing.

Now, for the first time, maschek will be bringing their unique and exhilarating brand of comedy to the United States, with two performances at the ACFNY this May.
WEDNESDAY MAY 27, 7:30 PM
COMEDY
MASCHEK.REDET.DRÜBER
(German version)
A GREAT TELEVISION SWINDLE
ACFNY

THURSDAY MAY 28, 7:30 PM
COMEDY
MASCHEK.TALKS.IT.OVER
(English version)
A GREAT TELEVISION SWINDLE
ACFNY