Helge Schneider

Helge Schneider

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Bauten, Musik, Sonstiges
*30.08.1955 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Biography

Helge Schneider was born in Mühlheim an der Ruhr on August 30th 1955. He started playing the piano early, and later also took up Cello lessons.

In 1971, Helge Schneider left school and started an apprenticeship as an architectural draftsman. A year later he successfully passed an audition for the exceptionally gifted and enrolled at the Duisburg conservatory, where he studied piano. In order to support himself, Schneider took up numerous jobs, including stints as an office hand, road sweeper and assembly line worker. In 1973, he began another apprenticeship, this time as a landscaper.

From 1977 on, Helge Schneider worked as a professional musician and went on tour with several bands. His own groups at that time included the Schneider Weiss Duo a.k.a. "El Snyder & Charly McWhite" and Art of Swing. In addition to that, he recorded for television and radio programmes and accompanied screenings of silent movies on the piano. In 1983, he was awarded the "Förderpreis des Ruhrkreises für Kunst und Wissenschaft der Stadt Mühlheim an der Ruhr".

Starting in 1984, he headlined his own shows, in which he presented his unique blend of music and comedy. Also because he wanted to set himself apart from the standard stand-up comedians, Schneider referred to himself as "the singing gentlemen's cake".

As a composer and arranger of soundtracks, Schneider had already worked for directors like Werner Nekes and Christoph Schlingensief, and in the 1980s he also stepped in front of the camera: He played the title role in Nekes' absurd comedy "Johnny Flash", which chronicles a shy electrician's attempts at becoming a singer, and also starred in Schlingensief's "Mutters Maske".

In 1989, Schneider released his first studio album, which was ironically titled "Seine größten Erfolge" ("His Greatest Hits"). Over the following years, apart from the recordings he did with his regular backing band "Hardcore" – consisting of musicians Buddy Casino and Peter Thoms –, Schneider also put out several radio plays and Jazz records, the latter conveying his musical virtuosity and thereby consciously subverting his popular image as an entertaining dilettante.

In 1993, after already having established himself as a musician and stage comedian, Schneider presented his first feature film in the form of the Western spoof "Texas". Especially thanks to the multi-talented artist's ever-growing and fiercely loyal following, the deliberately senseless film succeeded at the box-office. Shortly afterwards, Schneider's ultimate commercial breakthrough arrived with the unexpected hit single "Katzeklo", and he has remained in the spotlight ever since.

In 1994, Schneider published the crime novel "Zieh Dich aus, Du alte Hippe", which featured his inimitable idiom and was to be followed by several more books over the coming years. The feature film "00 Schneider – Jagd auf Nihil Baxter" was released the same year, and successfully transferred Schneider's literary preference for bizarre thriller scenarios onto the screen.

Despite his busy touring and recording schedule, Schneider returned to the cinemas only two years later with "Praxis Dr. Hasenbein", in which he plays a physician specializing in weird treatments.

After his first play "Mendy – Das Wusical" premiered at the Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2003, his next film as author, director and star was the surprisingly subdued "Jazzclub – Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm", which emphatically portrays the musical ambitions of a fishmonger and therefore offered Schneider many opportunities to show his knack for improvisational Jazz.

In 2005 Schneider finished a successful run of his one-man show "Füttern verboten", only to immediately go back on the road after the publication of his travelogue "Globus Dei – vom Nordpol bis Patagonien". On the occasion of his 50th birthday in August 2005, the WDR network produced a TV special for which Schneider granted the journalists access to his private archive.

In 2007, Schneider again defied all expectations as he played the role of Adolf Hitler in Dani Levy's comedy "Mein Führer" ("My Führer – The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler") and got rave reviews for his performance.

Schneider then returned to the stage with the concert tours "Akopalüze Nau!!!" and  "Komm, hier haste 'ne Mark!".

In 2012, he was awarded the Karl-Valentin-Preis and hosted his own, albeit short-lived TV talk show "Helge hat Zeit – Menschen, Quatsch und Philosophen bei Helge Schneider". The same year, he started production on his next feature film "00 Schneider – Im Wendekreis der Eidechse", for which he reprised the role of oddball police detective Schneider. After releasing the album "Sommer, Sonne, Kaktus!", he embarked on a concert tour titled "Pretty Joe und die Dorfschönheiten".

In 2015, Helge Schneider was the subject of the award-winning documentary "Mülheim - Texas. Helge Schneider hier und dort" ("Mülheim - Texas. Helge Schneider Here & There"), directed by Andrea Roggon.

Helge Schneider, who has four children, still lives in his hometown Mühlheim an der Ruhr.

Filmography

2016/2017 Werner Nekes - Das Leben zwischen den Bildern
Participation
 
2016 Töne bedeuten mir mehr als Worte
Participation
 
2015 Lass knacken, HELGE! HELGE, der Film! HELGE, Life!
Participation
 
2012/2013 00 Schneider - Im Wendekreis der Eidechse
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Music, Casting
 
2012-2014 Mülheim - Texas. Helge Schneider hier und dort
Participation
 
2010-2013 Ohne Gnade
Cast
 
2009 Die Partei
Participation
 
2009 Beinahe wären wir Römer geworden
Cast
 
2009 Früchte des Vertrauens
Participation
 
2008/2009 Chaostage - We are Punks!
Cast
 
2008 Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike - Marx/Eisenstein/Das Kapital
Participation
 
2007 Das Fahrzeug ist die zweite Haut
Cast
 
2007 Der Abschrecker
Cast
 
2006/2007 Mein Führer - Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitler
Cast
 
2005/2006 7 Zwerge - Der Wald ist nicht genug
Cast
 
2004-2006 Das kleine Arschloch und der alte Sack - Sterben ist Scheisse
Voice, Music
 
2003/2004 Jazzclub - Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Production design, Music
 
2003/2004 7 Zwerge - Männer allein im Wald
Cast
 
2003 Don't get stuck
Cast, Music
 
2002 Sterne, die nie untergehen - Atlantic Affairs
Cast
 
1999 Käpt'n Blaubär - Der Film
Voice, Music
 
1996/1997 Die 120 Tage von Bottrop
Music
 
1996/1997 Praxis Dr. Hasenbein
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Music
 
1996/1997 Kleines Arschloch
Voice, Lyrics
 
1994 00 Schneider - Jagd auf Nihil Baxter
Cast, Director, Music
 
1993/1994 Felidae
Voice
 
1993 Texas - Doc Snyder hält die Welt in Atem
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Music, Music performer
 
1992/1993 Ebbies Bluff
Cast
 
1991 Manta - Der Film
Cast, Music (other)
 
1988 Drei D
Cast
 
1987/1988 Mutters Maske
Cast, Music
 
1986 Die Schlacht der Idioten
Music
 
1986 Egomania - Insel ohne Hoffnung
Music
 
1986 Johnny Flash
Cast, Music, Vocals
 
1985/1986 Menu Total
Cast
 
1983 Der Hut. Im Lichte neuester Forschung
Music
 
1982 Stern des Méliès
Music
 
1980-1982 Uliisses
Music