Tünnes and Schäl

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Tünnes and Schäl (Colognian (Kölsch) pronunciation: [ˈtʏnəs ʊn ˈɕɛˑɫ]) are two figures from Hänneschen-Theater, the puppet theater of Cologne.

The name Tünnes is the Rheinish form of Anthony or Antonius. Tünnes is good natured and has a rural, farmer-type of common sense and cleverness.

Schäl can refer to the squint-eyes of the two figures or also a term meaning two-faced or iniquitous in the Kölsch dialect. Schäl is skinnier than Tünnes and wears a tailcoat.



Christoph Winters, the founder of the first Cologne Hänneschen puppet theater, introduced Tünnes to the ensemble in 1803. Schäl was introduced in 1847 in a competing theater run by Franz Millewitsch, an ancestor of actor Willy Millowitsch. Millewitsch placed the sly figure of Schäl with the good-natured Tünnes, clearly a nudge against his clever competitor Winters.


The two characters are embedded in the culture and humor of the city, apparently personifying many traits of people from Cologne, and there are many jokes referencing the figures.

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