Gerhardt Hapsburg, or Gerhardt Messerschmit Rammstein Von Hap, played by Paul Reubens, was a disabled prince of Austria, duke of Thuringia and earl of Westphalia. He was the last of the Hapsburg royal line, which had ruled Austria-Hungary. Gerhardt's 25th birthday is the focus of the episode Black Tie, where Gerhardt falls in love with Jenna. He invites Jenna to sit next to him, compliments her beauty and later tells her he loves her. Jenna, though not attracted to Gerhardt, feigns a love for him so she might be able to marry into a royal family.
Condition[edit | edit source]
Due to an incestuous family background, Gerhardt was hideously deformed and his character is used for gross-out humour. Among other things, he was at risk of infection, one of his eyebrows fell off his face, he shouted at inappropriate times, he could not dance, and has a tiny lame left hand. At the end of Black Tie he commits suicide by drinking champagne, as he is unable to metabolize grapes.
Real life[edit | edit source]
Gerhardt is a fictional character. In reality Austria is currently a republic, and there still are living Hapsburgs, who are no longer inbred due to the collapse of their empire allowing family members to marry and have children for love rather than to maintain family blood purity. The Hapsburgs were at the head of a large medieval patchwork of territories that survived throughout the 19th century as the Austrian Empire and, from 1867, as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was dissolved at the end of World War I.