Martin Sonneborn (born 15 May 1965 in Göttingen, West Germany) is a German satirist and Member of the European Parliament. He was editor-in-chief of the satiricial magazine Titanic from 2000 to 2005 and works for Spiegel Online and ZDF.
Early life and career
Sonneborn went to school in Osnabrück and studied Communication, German and Politics in Münster, Vienna and Berlin. His master thesis covered the satirical magazine Titanic "and the range of effectivity of satire".
After undertaking an internship at satirical magazine Eulenspiegel in 1995, Sonneborn started writing for Titanic, whose editor-in-chief he became in 2000. He was superseded by Thomas Gsella in October 2005, but remained column writer until April 2012. He has been co-editor of Titanic since 2006.
In August 2004, Sonneborn founded the satirical political party Die PARTEI, one of whose aims is to rebuild the Berlin Wall around Germany. He has been its chairman since 2004 and was top candidate in Berlin state election, 2011. Along with director Andreas Coerper, Sonneborn filmed a documentary about the party's development and activities from foundation until 2009.
Sonneborn is staff leader of satirical column SPAM at Spiegel Online since November 2006 and reporter for the satirical TV programme heute-show on ZDF since May 2009.
He regularly holds readings both discretely and as part of the trio Titanic Boygroup, together with Thomas Gsella and Oliver Maria Schmitt who preceded Sonneborn as editor-in-chief.
In September 2011 he was criticized by UK media for a blackface Obama billboard "Ick bin ein Obama." (I am an Obama.) in the Berlin election campaign, a satirical reference to a speech by John F. Kennedy.
- Ich tat es für mein Land. Wie TITANIC einmal die Fußball-WM 2006 nach Deutschland holte: Protokoll einer erfolgreichen Bestechung. Bombus, München 2005, ISBN 978-3-936261-37-0.
- Das Partei-Buch: Wie man in Deutschland eine Partei gründet und die Macht übernimmt. Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Köln 2009, ISBN 978-3-462-04090-6.
- Heimatkunde: Eine Expedition in die Zone. Ullstein Hc, 29. September 2010, ISBN 978-3-550-08791-2.
- Ich will auch mal Kanzler werden. Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Köln 2011, ISBN 978-34-620-4257-3.
- China wirft deutschen Medien vulgäre Berichterstattung vor, Spiegel.de, 22 December 2009. (German)
- Nachspiel zur Frankfurter Buchmesse: Der „Fall Sonneborn“, de-cn.net, November 2009. (German)
- Outrage at German comedian's blackface Obama billboard, dailymail.co.uk, 17 September 2011.
- Controversy: Obama in Blackface? Mr. Sonneborn, Tear Down This Billboard, hypervocal.com. 16 September 2011
- German Comedian / Party Leader Creates Billboard Of Himself Dressed As Obama… In Blackface, mediatie.com, 16 September 2011.
- Satire is the best Taskmaster – How to Launch a Political Party and Gain Power, goethe.de, July 2009.
- Heimatkunde at the Internet Movie Database
- Die Partei at the Internet Movie Database
- The Final Fax at the Internet Movie Database