Anyone who follows the German television landscape knows William Cohn primarily from his appearances as a sidekick to Jan Böhmermann. In the format “Neo Magazin” (later “Neo Magazin Royale”) he appeared regularly until 2016 and became a cult figure, after which he was seen again and again in clips, including in the series “Callin’ Mr. Brain”. With his concise bass voice, he also acted as an announcer on the show. The death of William Cohn on June 30, 2022 in Basel was described by his management as “sudden and unexpected” according to consistent media reports.
On the Twitter page of ZDF Magazin Royale, the follow-up show to the original formats, the team commemorated their deceased colleague:
William Cohn, who was born Markus Kühne in Colombia in 1957, should not only be known to many television viewers with his face, but also with his distinctive voice. Cohn worked as a voice actor and lent his voice to the “Simpsons” character Kent Brockman for six years.
He took over this role beginning in episode 12 of season 27, after the Yellow Reporter’s previous spokesman from Springfield, Donald Arthur, passed away. In the original, Kent Brockman is voiced by Harry Shearer. Here you can hear William Cohn in an excerpt from “The Simpsons”:
William Cohn was not only active as an actor on television and theater (for example in the musical “Ludwig²”) and as a voice actor, but also as a radio play speaker, singer, author and moderator and commentator. In the talk format “Roche & Böhmermann”, for example, he introduced the guests and made the program announcement, for the reality show “Wild Girls – Auf High Heels durch Afrika” on RTL he provided the off-voice. He was also seen on TV in two episodes of “Circus HalliGalli” and in 2016 in a guest role in “Lindenstraße”.
Jan Böhmermann also said goodbye to William Cohn on Twitter, calling him an “impressive stage person”.