|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
Pan Tau (in Czech means "Mr. Tau") is a character created for a children's television series. There were 33 episodes made in Czechoslovakia in cooperation with German TV network WDR from 1967 on. The project ended with a feature film in 1988. Pan Tau, who generally didn't speak, was played by Otto Šimánek (1925–1992 in Prague). The series was written by Ota Hofman and directed by Jindřich Polák. The stories were generally funny, but contained some kind of problem for a child, and here Pan Tau found the way to solve the problem.
Pan Tau was famous for his magic bowler hat. By tapping on his hat, Pan Tau was able to change his appearance into a puppet, to conjure up miscellaneous objects or to do other magic. His most characteristical behaviour is that he would help children who were experiencing some sort of difficulty, like finding a place for skiing, settling family problems on Christmas, and even give a boy a good time at a fair when he is supposed to have piano lessons. Although Czechoslovakia was under communistic regime, this never was very obvious for the viewers. And Pan Tau was a popular children program also in several countries that were not behind "the Iron Curtain" (f.i. in West-Germany and the Scandinavian countries) which also applied to the adult parents in a certain degree.
He was also featured in Nena's music video for Du bist überall ("You Are Everywhere").
Theodor Pištěk designed the costumes for the series.
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