Follow TV Tropes


Series / Der Clown

Go To

Der Clown is a German superhero action series broadcast by RTL that aired from 1998 to 2001, with a film sequel, The Clown: Payday, released in 2005. The series stars Sven Martinek, Diana Frank, Thomas Anzenholfer, and Volkmar Kleinert.

The series centers on Max Zander (Martinek), an agent of the World Intelligence Police Agency. When one of his colleagues is killed by a car bomb, he decides to fake his own death and fight crime as the Clown, assisted by journalist Claudia Diehl (Frank), pilot Tobias "Dobbs" Steiger (Anzenhofer), and lawyer Josef Ludowski (Kleinert).

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Casting Gag: In Payday, the heroine Leah is played by Eva Habermann, while the villain's henchwoman Mona is played by Xenia Seeberg, who succeeded Habermann in the role of Zev/Xev Bellringer on Lexx after the former left the series due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Chopper on Standby: Once an Episode, Max goes to Dobbs and flies to the highway in the latter's helicopter, to drop on the bad guys' getaway truck.
  • The Gunslinger: Mona in Payday seems to always carry a machine gun with her. And yes, she can shoot it better than any SWAT member. Subverted by Leah who tries and first fails to shoot the same type of gun. She even asks for a manual after she picked it up.
  • Impressive Pyrotechnics: The explosion of the aircraft at the end of Payday suggests that the plane was filled with fuel from wingtip to wingtip, including the entire fuselage behind the rear cockpit wall, so the fireball is unsurprisingly massive.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Dobbs is an improbably skilled helicopter pilot. Payday takes his badass-ness to the max as he flies multiple loops with his helicopter only a few hundred feet above ground while successfully evading heat-seeking missiles.
  • Misguided Missile: Payday shows Dobbs as he sends a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile chasing his helicopter back into the SAM which is so glowing hot that it must emit more heat than the helicopter's gas turbines.
  • Monster Clown: Totally subverted. The clown isn't a villain but rather the protagonist's secret identity; he is a vigilante wearing a clown mask to fight crime.
  • Outside Ride: Once per Episode, Max jumps on the enemy's getaway car/truck on the highway from a helicopter. Even in the self-parodic time travel episode.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This show loves spectacular explosions, a trend which is taken to the max in Payday, which features an Autobahn being blown up over its entire width with hand grenades, sending police cars flying, and an aircraft bombed with gold bars so it turns into one big giant fireball.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • How do the heroes defeat the remaining two villains in Payday? Bomb the two-engined cargo plane they're in with gold bars until it explodes in a huge fireball.
    • In the pilot of the series, they're shooting bazookas at people during one shootout.