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Comedian, director,
writer and producer

Interview by Thierry ATTARD (December 2004, revised November 2005)
Special thanks to Ilona HUTTERSEN and Stephan PEYERL

Comedian Michael Herbig - better known as « Bully » - is the number one superstar in Germany, where he is the equivalent of Mike Myers, Alain Chabat and Mel Brooks in one single person. His TV comedy shows are very popular and his blockbuster movies smash historical records of the german box office. Manitou’s shoe and Dreamship Surprise - Period 1, respectively parodies of the Winnetou movies and of the Star Trek universe, are two monuments of the comedy genre on film.

D.RObjectif Cinéma : Michael Herbig, younger, you wanted to study at the Münchener Filmhochschule. Did you want to become a filmmaker ?

Michael Herbig : Unfortunately I was rejected from the Münchener Filmhochschule. So I am a perfect autodidact and have been for over 24 years. I started making films at the age of 12. You could say I invented « Dogma » back then : no light, no sound and a shaky camera.

Objectif Cinéma : What are your favorite movies and your favorite directors ? Why ?

Michael Herbig : In principle, when I pay for my movie ticket, I want to be entertained. I love the old Hitchcock films. When I watched Psycho and The Birds, I wanted to become a director from that moment on. I also admire Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis. E.T. and Forrest Gump definitely belong to my all-time-favourites.

Objectif Cinéma : Your career started with a morning show, Langemann und die Morgencrew, on a local radio station in Munich. Could you tell us a few words about your work on this show ?

Michael Herbig : After my rejection from film school, I landed in the radio business, but as I neither saw a presenter, nor a journalist in myself, I started developing my first comedy-series. In 1991 I started in the morning show as a comedy-sidekick and produced the show until 1995.

Objectif Cinéma : Is radio a good training for aquiring the feeling of timing and situation necessary for comedy ?

Michael Herbig : For me the daily radioshow was an ideal training for timing and the development of characters - sort of « movies for the ears » !