German Film: Michael Bully Herbig

Learn German, German Films

michael bully herbig

This month’s featured German filmmaker is Michael Bully Herbig. Today the Munich born Herbig is writing, directing, producing and starring in many of the comedy films and television shows he makes. But in the early 1990s he got his start in radio with his particular sense of humor. His career has since skyrocketed and even gotten a family oriented twist. Herbig has done the voice-over work in the German versions of several animated films. Herbig took over for Robin Williams’ Fender in the German release of Robots and he also replaced the late voice-over actor Peer Augustinski as Tom Hanks’ Woody in Toy Story 3. Get ready to laugh and be entertained with this month’s German film recommendations for Michael Bully Herbig of Zettl, Der Schuh des Manitu and Wickie und die starken Männer.


Michael Bully Herbig as Zettl

2012’s Zettl unexpectedly ended up being beloved German director Helmut Dietl’s final film. The director co-wrote the film with Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, a personal favorite of mine. The film follows Max Zettl, a chauffeur (portrayed by Herbig) who accidentally becomes editor of an online tabloid newspaper that gets involved in some questionable situations.

Der Schuh des Manitu

Der Schuh des Manitu starring Michael Bully Herbig

Der Schuh des Manitu, or Manitou’s Shoe in English, is a parody of Westerns and Winnetou, a popular Native American fictional character created by Karl May in his German language novels. In the film, Abahachi, an Apache chief portrayed by Herbig, and his “blood brother” Ranger are inseparable. Together, they begin a journey to help Abahachi acquire the money his tribe needs to open a new saloon. Extreme silliness ensues. Herbig directed, produced, wrote and starred in this film from 2001.

Wickie und die starken Männer

michael bully herbig's wickie und die starken maenner

While Herbig does not star in Wickie und die starken Männer, he did write and direct this wildly popular adaptation of the animated series of the same name. However, Herbig does have a small acting role in the film. The film follows a young Viking boy who travels with his village on different adventures. If you do enjoy the film, you’re in luck! A sequel titled Wickie auf großer Fahrt was filmed and released in 2011 although Herbig was not involved with the project.

Practice practice practice! Discover other great German language actors and actresses previously featured.

Top photo by Paul Ripke, third photo copyright herbX film. All photos used courtesy of Michael Bully Herbig’s official website.

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