Herman José

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Herman José
Herman José (Krippahl).jpg
Birth nameHermann Joseph von Krippahl
Born (1954-03-19) March 19, 1954 (age 65)
Lisbon, Portugal
MediumTalk show host, television, actor, musician, comedian
Years active1975-present
Notable works and rolesSr. Feliz e Sr. Contente
O Tal Canal
Com a Verdade m'Enganas
Herman Enciclopédia
Herman 98
Hora H
Chamar a Música
Nasci p'ra Cantar
Herman 2010

Hermann Joseph von Krippahl ComM, known as Herman José (born 19 March 1954 in Lisbon, Portugal), is a well-known Portugal-based German comedian, though virtually unknown abroad. His career has focused on television.

His mother is Portuguese and his father was German. He is in fact a German citizen: he never acquired dual citizenship, first so he could avoid conscription and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–74) and secondly because he said “he was not interested”. He went to Lisbon's German school Deutsche Schule Lissabon for all his schooling and is fluent in Portuguese, German, English and French. He lives in Azeitão, Setúbal, and keeps houses in Lisbon and Vilamoura, Algarve.

Television career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Herman José's professional career started in 1973–4 doing studio choruses (mostly on protest songs spun by the Carnation Revolution of April 1974) and acting in revues. His first leap to national fame was in 1975, invited by comedian Nicolau Breyner on to his TV show "Nicolau no País das Maravilhas", where he performed opposite the host in a weekly skit called "Sr. Feliz e Sr. Contente" ("Mr. Happy and Mr. Content"). His first big success as an author and performer was with O Tal Canal ("That Channel"), where he played several characters appearing on a fictitious TV channel. With this show, Herman José was attempting to shape the sense of humour of the Portuguese in the wake of the revolution that had ended almost fifty years of totalitarianism under the Estado Novo regime.

Hermanias continued his huge success, but the state channel RTP cancelled Humor de Perdição, the next show, after a sketch based on Saint Elizabeth of Portugal caused public outrage. He then turned mainly to daily gameshows like Wheel of Fortune[1] and Com a Verdade m'Enganas ("You Fool Me With the Truth"), and the talk/game show Parabéns ("Happy Birthday"). These shows had straight formats that he used for comedy. He returned with comedy in the 1990s: with Herman Enciclopédia and Herman 98, he was still a top comedian, although for the first time the shows were mainly written by other people, from the company Produções Fictícias.

Later career[edit]

In 2000, Herman José moved from RTP to the private channel SIC for a reported 1.5 million euros a year, to host a late-night show called HermanSic.[1] Its sexual innuendo and X-rated acts resulted in low ratings. An attempt to go family-friendly in 2006 was also a failure. In 2007 he presented a new sketch show called Hora H ("The Eleventh Hour"),[1] and in 2008 he began a new game show called Chamar a Música, which was a success. Then, in September, he began a new series of Wheel of Fortune, once again on SIC.[1] From July to September 2009 he presented Nasci p'ra Cantar ("Born to Sing"), this time on TVI.

In 2009 he received the Top Choice Award for Top International Television Personality of Portugal.[2]

After hosting late-night talk shows on the Portuguese television network RTP1 from 2010 to 2013, and the afternoon talk show Há Tarde (translating literally as "There is afternoon", but serving also as a pun on à tarde, or "in the afternoon"), alongside Vanessa Oliveira,[3] Herman returned to comedy, premiering the sitcom Nelo e Idália on RTP1 in October 2015.

In 2018, he played the character David Attenburger (a pun on David Attenborough) in two filmed skits during the intervals of the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Lisbon. As Attenburger, he parodied Portugal and its habits in the style of Attenborough's TV series Planet Earth, titled Planet Portugal.

Outside television[edit]

Herman José was a singer as a popular one-man-show in the late 1970s and early 1980s, travelling through Portugal and abroad, entertaining groups of Portuguese emigrants. His discs "Saca o Saca-Rolhas" ("Screw the Corkscrew", 1977) and "Canção do Beijinho" ("The Kiss Song", 1980) both reached gold record status.

He used to own Café Café and Bastidores, two popular bar/restaurants in Alcântara, Lisbon, where he performed stand-up comedy once a week. He is also a partner in the seafood restaurant Jardim do Marisco and the Tivoli Theatre, both also in Lisbon. His expensive tastes include high-end automobiles and motorbikes. He currently owns two Bentleys, a BMW Z4, a BMW Z8, a BMW 7 Series 760, and a Rolls Royce and keeps a large Azimute 55 yacht at the Vilamoura marina.

He is known for destroying scenery and props. On the last broadcast of Wheel of Fortune, in 1993, he fired a shotgun live at the scenery and at a TV set. He later justified the act as "just wanting to see what it looks like on the inside".

Casa Pia scandal[edit]

On December 29, 2003, Herman José was accused of various child sexual abuse offences connected with the Casa Pia scandal.[4] In May 2003 he was summoned to appear before the Criminal Court, accused of abusing an adolescent. However, he was able to prove that he was working for the SIC television channel in Brazil at the time. The judge, Ana Teixeira e Silva, dismissed the case.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Herman na TVI ('Herman on TVI')". Jornal de Notícias (in Portuguese). Controlinveste. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Top International Television Personality of Portugal". Top Choice Awards. November 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  3. ^ http://media.rtp.pt/blogs/hatarde/ Há Tarde website
  4. ^ "O processo Casa Pia passo a passo". i. 31 May 2004. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  5. ^ Rosa Ramos (15 August 2009). "Escândalos da Democracia: pedofilia na Casa Pia". Público. Retrieved 2 March 2010.