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Milan Markovič returns to STV

Milan Markovič, a famous Slovak television humorist banned by former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, is back on Slovak public television for the first time in four years.
Markovič staged a triumphant return of the popular 60 minute television variety show "An Evening with Milan Markovič" on January 9. Flanked by Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and humorist Milan Lasica, Markovič poked fun at former government politicians in his accustomed ironic style. "You shouldn't be so cheeky, even if you have been four years in quarantine," said Dzurinda in response to Markovič's needling.


Funny man Milan Markovič is back on STV.
photo: Peter Mayer

Milan Markovič, a famous Slovak television humorist banned by former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, is back on Slovak public television for the first time in four years.

Markovič staged a triumphant return of the popular 60 minute television variety show "An Evening with Milan Markovič" on January 9. Flanked by Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and humorist Milan Lasica, Markovič poked fun at former government politicians in his accustomed ironic style. "You shouldn't be so cheeky, even if you have been four years in quarantine," said Dzurinda in response to Markovič's needling.

"The idea behind such an evening programme, now as before, occured spontaneously, almost as if at the request of Slovak society," said Jozef Paczelt, producer of the programme, for The Slovak Spectator. "Our aim was to create a cabaret programme focusing on real life in Slovakia and the Czech Republic," continued Paczelt, who has produced Markovič's programme since January 1993.

Paczelt said that STV had cancelled the Markovič cabaret after only 26 extremely successful episodes, during which the Mečiar government was broadly satirised. "The government blamed Markovič for the polarisation of Slovak society and for weak ratings, which was absurd," added Paczelt.

After being exiled from STV, Markovič began appearing regularly in 1995 on the Czech public television satire "The Double-Edged Sword." Every installment of the Czech version, which was widely available in Slovakia, finished with a short commentary on Slovak society and politics.

The new STV Markovič series will make use of two Bratislava musicians, Peter Niňaj and Robert Puškai, both of whom play at Nová Scéna Theatre. Former musical guest Peter Breiner will be missed, however. Breiner, an outspoken pianist and conductor, currently lives in Toronto and contributes a weekly column - 'The Maple Leaf' - to the weekly journal Domino Fórum.

Markovič could have returned earlier to Slovak television to appear on the private TV Markíza before 1998 elections, but according to Paczelt, "such a programme belongs on state television as it is not a commercial programme. It is screened live, and we simply do not use a structured script."

"An Evening with Milan Markovič" appears on the second Saturday of every month at 20:00 on the STV 1 television channel on February 6.

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