"Klaas is political, likes trash television and knows about it, but has no idea about soccer." – These are three important pieces of information that 30-year-old Jan Horst needed for his job as a TV writer at Late Night Berlin must know. Because his job is "to make it as easy as possible for Klaas to deliver a great show." Instead, he thinks up suitable jokes for the show and for host Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, writes texts, works with trades and gives stage directions.
Jan Horst completed his bachelor’s degree in media studies at the University of Tubingen in 2016. However, it wasn’t clear to him from the start that he was right for the media industry. Coming to the University of Tubingen in 2011, at first he didn’t know at all what he wanted to do. Through his love of music – he played the guitar himself – it was clear to him that creativity was slumbering in him, but he did not know how to channel it. He then initially decided to study rhetoric, mainly because it "sounds kind of good" and there was no NC, he notes with a laugh. However, his lack of Latin, which is a prerequisite for studying rhetoric, became his undoing after a year: "I wasn’t lazy, but I put all my power into other things than Latin.". After this year, he changed to media science: "By chance and a lot of luck I slipped in there", because Jan Horst was first on the waiting list after his application: on place 230. He speaks in this context of "fate", through which he then still got a place at university. Only then, through his studies, did he find out what his strengths were. Through the many opportunities in college to try things out, like producing a broadcast, writing for commercials or television, and also through his internship at SWR Late Night and his cooperation with Cross-country, he realized that he could write and, above all, that in the profession of a writer for comedy formats, writing can be combined with humor.
So it was also clear to Jan Horst that he did not want to follow up with a master’s degree after his bachelor’s degree, because an academic career was and is not for him: he wants to work, be creative and go his own way. A master’s degree would only have "wasted his time".
"Kissed by Luck": Editor at ZDF
In February 2016, at the age of 26, Jan Horst had his bachelor’s degree in his hand and was initially at a loss as to what to do with it. However, he had an interview just two weeks later and had moved to Mainz four weeks after that.
At this point ARD and ZDF a new offer, namely RADIO, started: "That ZDF Was looking for someone who is comedyaffin and would like to work with a young production company for a sketch format ". For Jan Horst, it was clear that he really wanted to get this job. Although the normal application period was already over, he still managed to get an interview as a latecomer: "I felt like I was in court because so many people were there and I was the one who had to report". Jan Horst received an acceptance letter: "It was an incredible opportunity for me to be part of something like this, right from the start. But I just stumbled into it: well, then I am now a ZDF editor."
As editor, Jan Horst was responsible for the Sketch Channel Good Work Originals responsible. In the process, he checked the texts of the authors of the bildundtonfabrik on its content and whether it met the ZDF specifications. "In a way, I was always the seal of quality and had the responsibility to make sure that the content was good enough." It took self-confidence and courage to push through a good idea – as opposed to a slightly worse one. However, Jan Horst was not able to use his talent for creative and humorous writing in this job – and he lacked it.