AKA the court jester

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German title AKA the court jester
original title AKA the Jester
production country United Kingdom
original language English
year 1985
Cosgrove Hall Films
length 10 mins
episodes 13 in 1 season ( list )
genre Children's series , cartoon , fantasy
theme music Alias ​​the Jester by Keith Hopwood & Malcolm Rowe
directing Chris Randall, John Hembley
production Tony Garth, Chris Randall, Brian Trueman
music Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker
first airing 13th November 1985 on the ITV Network
German language
June 21, 1988 on Das Erste

Alias ​​the Jester is the name of a 1985 British children 's animated television series from 1985. It was produced by Cosgrove Hall Film Studios and first aired on 13 November 1985 on the ITV Network . In Germany , the series appeared in 1988 in the first and was then part of the children 's program Fun on Tuesday until 1991 . Alias ​​der Hofjester is about a good-natured extraterrestrial who lands on earth in the middle ages of the 15th century and poses ascourt jester spends.

Series Description

Alias ​​der Hofjester comprises 13 episodes, each 10 minutes long, the original English titles have been retained without translation. It is not exactly known why the series was so relatively short. Alias ​​the Court Jester largely parodies the famous Arthurian saga, including familiar dragon myths . But myths and legends from other peoples, such as the Vikings , are also taken up. The episode Amaranth and the Beast is a nod to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast .


It tells the story of Alias , who has strayed too far from his home planet Zogma and is now wandering the galaxy in his capsule-shaped spaceship . He is accompanied by his loyal and clever pooch, Boswell . One day he comes too close to the Earth's magnetic field, whereupon the drive, controls and radio fail and Alias ​​has to make an emergency landing on Earth. He discovers that he is in the middle ages of the 15th century and has landed in a kingdom called Houghton Bottoms . He meets the court magician Meredith , who immediately advises Alias ​​not to show himself to the residents in his original form. He shouldn't flaunt his supernatural powers either, because in the 15th century that kind of thing was considered witchcraft and would result in severe penalties. So Alias ​​disguises himself as a court jester. He introduces himself to the incumbent King Arthur and his wife Edith and actually finds a job at court. Alias ​​quickly befriends the clever princess Amaranth and the clumsy but snooty knight Sir Pinkly .

Alias ​​goes to great lengths to hide his true identity. He notices how clueless and awkward King Arthur's subjects are and wants to help them. When several villains show up and threaten the kingdom with all sorts of intrigues , war machines and monsters , Alias ​​decides to intervene. He quickly changes into his original uniform , which grants him superpowers and the ability to fly, and braves the enemies. However, his exploits and adventures are regularly jeopardized by two specific weaknesses on Alias' part: first, he doesn't know what a joke is (which is detrimental to his charade as a court jester), and second, he overestimates the powers he needs to save what he can wanted to destroy himself (and it is not uncommon for the king's possessions to be destroyed). That's why he gets rid of the villains, but also regularly his job. His companion, the court wizard, is usually dismissed with him.


  • Alias is the protagonist of the series and is an alien. He comes from a planet called Zogma. In his original form, he wears a bright red and gold skin-tight uniform heavily modeled after that of comic book hero The Flash . When wearing them, Alias ​​can fly and move and lift objects that a normal human could never carry. His disguise is a classic red and green plaid patchwork dress ("court jester costume") with a jester 's cap .
  • Boswell is Alias' faithful companion in the form of a small, light green puppy with a purple nose and golden wings instead of ears. Boswell is very smart and observant. His trademark is his language, which consists of cute squeaks and horns, but which Alias ​​always understands.
  • King Arthur is the reigning regent of Houghton Bottom and a parody of the mythical character King Arthur. The series Arthur is clumsy, naive and short-tempered, but still in bondage to his wife. A running joke of the series is that Arthur suffers a fit of rage at the end of each episode and Alias ​​is dismissed without notice ("Court jester? You're fired!").
  • Meredith is the court wizard and a clear reference to the fabled wizard Merlin . Meredith is tall, lanky, with long, white-grey hair and a slight limp. When Alias ​​makes an emergency landing with his spaceship, he is still wearing his red uniform and Meredith mistakes him for a legendary red knight that he actually wanted to summon. Throughout the series, Alias ​​fails to convince Meredith of his error.
  • The Vikings are a group of brutish Vikings with Erik the Stupid as their leader. Alias ​​encounters them in at least two episodes ( The Viking Airship and Monster of the Lake ), in which the Vikings appear as brutalized, uncultured, and violent savages with horned helmets, thick beards, and (at least in the original English version) dialect -laden speech. Both times they try to kidnap the Princess Amaranth and Alias ​​is successful in driving off the Vikings and freeing the Princess.

episode list

No. German title original title First release UK German-language first publication (D)
1 AKA the Jester AKA the Jester 11/13/1985 06/21/1988
2 the rings the rings 11/20/1985 06/21/1988
3 The Amazing Dancing Bear The Amazing Dancing Bear 11/27/1985 06/28/1988
4 The Viking Airship The Viking Airship 12/04/1985 06/28/1988
5 Ready When You Are, King Arthur! Ready When You Are, King Arthur! 12/11/1985 07/05/1988
6 The Giant's Visit The Giant's Visit 12/18/1985 07/05/1988
7 The Walking Island The Walking Island 01/10/1986 07/12/1988
8th Monsters of the Lake Monsters of the Lake 01/17/1986 07/12/1988
9 Magic Metal Magic Metal 01/24/1986 07/19/1988
10 The Lost Ark The Lost Ark 01/31/1986 07/19/1988
11 Revenge of the Najjer Revenge of the Najjer 02/06/1986 07/26/1988
12 Fiery Fred Fiery Fred 02/13/1986 07/26/1988
13 Amaranth and the Beast Amaranth and the Beast 02/20/1986 08/02/1988

music and dubbing

The lead singer of the original Alias ​​the Jester theme song , Keith Hopwood, was the guitarist and backing vocalist for the hugely popular UK beat band Herman's Hermits . The following are named as German voice actors: Ekkehardt Belle , Klaus Höhne , Benno Hoffmann , Anita Höfer , Jochen Busse and Michaele Amler. However, the credits do not reveal who spoke whose role, and the singers of the German-language title song are not mentioned either.

awards and media

In 1986, the series won the British Academy Television Award in the Short Animation category . The series was also published in 1986 as a 4-volume book series and as a coloring book . Alias ​​the Jester was released in English on VHS that same year and on DVD in March 2006 .


  • Kevin J. Harty: The Vikings on Film: Essays on Depictions of the Nordic Middle Ages . McFarland, Jefferson 2011, ISBN 9780786486380 .
  • Michael N. Salda: Arthurian Animation: A Study of Cartoon Camelots on Film and Television . McFarland, Jefferson 2013, ISBN 9780786474684 .

web links


  1. Alias ​​the Jester. In: Toonhound. Retrieved December 18, 2021 (English).
  2. cf. the ARD episode list, which lists the episode titles untranslated.
  3. Michael N. Salda: Arthurian Animation… , 2013, pp. 104 & 158.
  4. a b c Kevin J. Harty: The Vikings on Film… , 2011, p. 188.
  5. Mentioned on televisionheaven.co.uk (English)
  6. cf. the full episode 8 on YouTube . The name of the episode was translated here by YouTube in the video title, but the episode shows the original English title. The names of the German voice actors are listed in the credits.
  7. BAFTA, Television in 1986. British Academy of Film and Television Arts, accessed 18 December 2021 .
  8. Brian Trueman: Alias ​​the jester, Vols. 1-4 . Macdonald Purnell, London 1986, ISBN 9780361071277 .
  9. Brian Trueman: AKA The Jester Coloring Book . Macdonald Purnell, London 1986, ISBN 9780361071833 .
  10. Alias ​​the Jester on VHS at video-collection-international.fandom.com
  11. Alias ​​the Jester Episode Collection on DVD at toonhound.com