Forget Claudia Schiffer, Boris Becker and Marlene Dietrich, Germany has a new star. His name is Bernd and he is a loaf of bread.
Bernd (center) has won Germany's Emmy equivalent.
He may be small, rectangular and baked golden brown, but that hasn't hurt the career of Bernd the Bread, or Bernd das Brot, as he's know to thousands of German fans. Appearing on the children's television station KiKa for the past three years, the puppet has won the hearts of kids and adults alike with his curmudgeonly yet lovable disposition.
In the age of reality TV where anyone can go to a casting and become a star, Bernd -- besides being a talking loaf of bread -- is unique. He was neither cast, nor does he even want to be on television. In fact, there's nothing that would suit him better than to never again appear on the small screen.
Forced by creator and director Tommy Krappweis to perform with a loquacious sheep named Chili and a chirpy bush called Briegel, Bernd is often depressed and grumpy. His comments quoted in the Berliner Zeitung pretty much sum up his sentiment most of the time: "Can I go now? I'd like to go home and stare at the wall." But it's that laconic delivery that has made him such a hit. This week Bernd even managed to win an award from the Adolf Grimme Institute -- Germany's equivalent to the top U.S. television prize, the Emmy. Most likely the jury realized just how subversive Bernd das Brot's attitude is when many human beings these days are willing to do almost anything to achieve fame and fortune on TV. Fortunately, success isn't likely to go to Bernd's head. In his words, television is a "dirty business."