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Founded by Şinasi Dikmen and Muhsin Omurcu in Ulm in 1985, Knobi-Bonbon is widely recognized as the first Turkish German cabaret in the Federal Republic. Dikmen and Omurcu focused on ethnic stereotypes, integration, and coexistence in their early programs, with an emphasis on the German misunderstanding of integration as cultural assimilation (Boran 202, 219). With a run of successful performances, Knobi-Bonbon established a momentum that has carried through to the present day, making Turkish German comedy a fixture on the German stage. Responding to the wave of nationalism and xenophobia that followed in the wake of unification, Knobi-Bonbon’s shows became more confrontational and critical in tone. In defiance of post-wall German nationalism, Dikmen and Omurcu emphasized their right to both a Turkish and a German identity. After Knobi-Bonbon disbanded in 1997, both artists went on to have successful solo careers with provocatively titled programs such as “Wenn der Türke zweimal klingelt,” “Islam für Anfänger,” and “Integriert und intrigiert!” (Dikmen) and “Tagebuch eines Skinheads,” “Kanäkman,” and “Die EUmanen kommen” (Omurcu). Never at a loss for material in the ebb and flow of German integration and identity debates, Dikmen and Omurcu also paved the way for a younger generation of performers who have increased the range and reach of Turkish German comedy.

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Copyright © 2012, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. Article first published online: 1 MAY 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1756-1183.2012.00145.x

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Full citation:

Bower, Kathrin. "Serdar Somuncu: Reframing Integration through a Transnational Politics of Satire." The German Quarterly 85, no. 2 (2012): 193-213. doi:10.1111/j.1756-1183.2012.00145.x.