One of the most talented and most controversial figures of current German TV.

Schmidt is a show host, a comic, an actor, an impersonator, and, what is often ignored, a pretty good musician, too. After several other ventures, mainly the cult comedy show Schmidteinander, Schmidt was to host the first (and so far is the only) German late night show in the spirit of David Letterman or Jay Leno. His dry wit and absolutely limitless, utterly politically incorrect irony has caused numerous little scandals such as guests walking out on him on the show.

Currently, he is being a bit less offensive (but he still is). His latest idea is to have unmotivated cultural intermezzi in his show, such as taking singing lessons, discussing Thomas Bernhard's diaries with one of his friends or reading poetry aloud, all in front of the studio audience. This has made him the darling of the German intelligentsia which is still trying to figure out whether he is truly going to be the messiah of culture in a nation menaced by horrors such as the afternoon talk show circuit or the Big Brother show, or if all he's doing is just some kind of enormous, very elaborate joke.

As of May 2001, the next literary feat on his show will be a recital of part of Martin Walser's latest, yet-unpublished novel.

Harald Schmidt, hypochondriac, Bach admirer and Germany's most famous cynic, was born in 1957 in Neu-Ulm, Swabia. To quote him, when he was young, he had lots of pimples and flunked one year in school.

After this, he passed an examination on church music in Rottenburg and studied Drama in Stuttgart.

Since 1981, he has worked as a professional actor in theaters in Augsburg, Duesseldorf and, lately, in Bochum, where he acted as Lucky in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting For Godot".

Since 1985, he has toured with several cabaret programs, the first called "Ich hab schon wieder ueberzogen" (I exceeded the time limit again), the, as far as I know, last one named "Schmidgift" (in German, "Mitgift" means "dowry").

Being a real multi-talent, he also acts as author ("Traenen im Aquarium", tears in the aquarium) has a column in a big German tv magazine and is regularly interviewed by the famous independent German magazine "Der Spiegel".

He also played in some German movies (1994 "Nich' mit Leo!", 1999 "Late Show"), but he is best known for his several tv shows, 1988 "MAZ ab", 1990 "Schmidteinander" ("miteinander" means "together"), and from 1992 on "Verstehen Sie Spaß?".

In 1995, he started his famous "Harald Schmidt Show", based on David Letterman's Late Show. It started with some introductions, sketches and other insertions and continued with the main part, interviews with more or less known German and international guests. But as time passed, the concept changed to having 15 minutes interviews and performances at a maximum, and spending the rest of the hour by any other thing, to the joy of the hard core of Schmidt viewers and no matter whether or not the mainstream audience and his own tv station approved of it.

As the show, by now, comes out 5 times a week and has been aired for quite a number of episodes, I'll just list a number of things he and his crew did on the show:

He took a grab at coquettish Samantha Fox's silicone after she offered so.

During soccer World Championships in France, he did a whole show in French, most of the time acting as Eric Rohmer sipping black coffee.

He re-enacted Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" with playmobil figures, a little fake plastic beetle and a real apple.

He and his band leader Helmut Zerlett elected a girl Helmut taught golf (most of the show).

He installed a camera in the supermarket German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder buys his milk in and spent weeks chatting with the cashier.

For several months, he and team member Manuel Andrack are doing the show together, testing a new beer sort every day, discussing Bach, washing spectators' cars in the studio or installing a new bulb on the parking lot outside. During War on Iraq 2003 they elected the best dressed German Bagdad correspondent.

In fact, Harald Schmidt is the only German intellectual who has managed to do a great comedy show for years and those who don't like him either can't stand his cynicism, are bored too quickly or simply don't understand that there's a difference between saying something and meaning something.

... Prophylaxis, Asceticism and Migraine, the three most important figures of Greek Mythology.. please don't mix up with mycology, concerning lower fungi!

... This story reminded me of Psoriasis who was thrown onto sickbed by a iambus septic, and when his trochee began to suppurate and his dactyl started dropping, the scales fell from his eyes and he knew his end was near, so he called his two daughters, Acne and Migraine... 1

He'll continue explaining the different migraine theories, tell you a little anecdote about the urologist he's friends with and elucidate why his orthopedist simply can't stand his urologist, or just show you where the pain in his spine is localised, which medicaments he takes... but as long as he puts this into his show (and doesn't fall off the chair in his show), he can take as much Esberitox as he likes. Harald Schmidt is my favourite hypochondriac.

1Quotations taken from the disc "Schmidtgift", recorded january 1995 in Duesseldorf, Germany, published by WortArt, Cologne, Germany, 1995 (translated into English).

Some of these informations were taken from The Internet Movie Database ( and from

Thanks to Heisenberg for some hints.

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