Leon Schuster

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Leon Schuster
Leon Schuster2.jpg
Schuster (circa 2001)
Born (1951-05-21) 21 May 1951 (age 69)
CitizenshipSouth African
Education
  • Hoërskool Jim Fouché
  • University of Orange Free State
Occupation
  • Actor
  • Comedian
  • presenter
  • filmmaker
  • singer
Years active1975–present
Net worth$3 million
Spouse(s)Lalie Schuster (div 1999)

Leon Ernest "Schuks" Schuster (born 21 May 1951) is a South African filmmaker,[1] comedian, actor, presenter and singer.

Early life[edit]

Schuster was drawn to the filmmaking process at an early age. As a child he and his brother would play practical jokes on his family and film these. He explained, in a 2010 interview about his early life in Bloemfontein, “I remember running down the isle of the Ritz Theatre, playing cowboys & crooks, which was all the rage at the time. I also remember loving Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and the Three Stooges. I was always acting things out, and pulling pranks. I used to fool my grandma into thinking I’d shot myself in the foot with my pellet gun… tomato sauce everywhere, me squealing like a wild pig. Pranking is just in my nature, but I’d never thought I’d become a movie star… no, I’m not a movie star, I’m just a local outjie that likes to entertain people.[2]

Schuster went to Hoërskool Jim Fouché[3] in Bloemfontein, and then studied for a BA degree at the University of the Orange Free State, where he played rugby for the first team.[4]He returned to Jim Fouché as a teacher for two years.[5]

Career[edit]

Schuster began working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. During his time at the SABC, he created the Afrikaans radio series Vrypostige[6] Mikrofoon[7] with Fanus Rautenbach – which involved disguising his voice[8] and playing phone pranks on unsuspecting victims.[4]

Music[edit]

In 1982, Schuster was approached by Decibel Records to compile a series of sports songs which resulted in his first record entitled, Leon Schuster, having sold 10,000 units. His second album, Broekskeur ('trouser-tearing'), sold in excess of 40,000 units. This was then followed by Briekdans and Leon Schuster – 20 Treffers, which sold more than 270,000 copies.

His hit CD Hier Kom Die Bokke ('Here Come The Bucks') garnered an FNB Sama Music Award for Biggest Selling CD of 1995.[9] His following CD, Gatvol in Paradise,[10] sold in more than 125,000 units and gave rise to the unofficial Gauteng anthem, "Gautengeleng". Hey Bokke! was re-released in 2019 - an adaptation of the 1960s song Hey Baby in the hope that lightning might strike twice. South Africa won the World Cup.[11] The prolific South African songwriter, Don Clarke, co-wrote the lyrics.

Film[edit]

Schuster's first feature, You Must Be Joking!,[12] produced in collaboration with Johan Scholtz and Elmo de Witt, became popular with South African audiences and gave rise to the sequel You Must be Joking! Too.[13]

These films were candid camera sketches and Schuster made many more of these films as well as slap-stick films, including Mr Bones, his most successful film, which earned more than R33 million at the South African box office.

On 16 September 2011 it was reported that Schuster's next movie, Mad Buddies, would be partly financed by the Walt Disney Company, which would also handle the distribution and marketing of the film.[14] The film was released in 2012 and starred Schuster opposite funnyman Kenneth Nkosi. It received poor reviews, and garnered R4.5 million in the opening weekend from a budget of R20 million.[15]

Controversy[edit]

Six Leon Schuster films were targeted for racial sensitivity issues.[16]

Comedic style and blackface[edit]

According to Schuster, his appeal to the public stems from him making "them used to a certain style of comedy that they seem to like. They like trouble, and they know when Schuster is there, there is trouble. They also like me to rip off the topical stuff be risky and take chances.....and get 'moered!'". In 2018, the comedian was "unapologetic about playing on every racial stereotype in his films", but openly admitted that he "does have some regrets about having profited from blackface". He further stated: "I'm so sorry that I can't make Mama Jack 2. If I had a dream come true, my next movie would be Mama Jack 2. But especially on Twitter they said stay away from the blackface, it's not on. It was black people talking to me and you've got to listen. I can't do it because I'll be heavily criticised. In the olden days it troubled nobody. But I won't go blackface now, I can't do it. There's not one actor in the world that will. It's just racist".[17]

Showmax film removals[edit]

On 19 June 2020, South African streaming service Showmax removed over six of Schuster's films,[18] citing his content as being "racially insensitive", consideing he has used blackface in many of his films for "comedic effect". This came during the heightened Black Lives Matter protests. Schuster reacted, saying he was "shocked" and "can't believe that the content of his films does any harm". He said his work is "innocent" and just him "pranking people".[17]

Frank and Fearless (2018) was returned to the circuit after review.[19]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Gross Soundtrack Music
1986 You Must Be Joking![12] Schucks
1987 You Must Be Joking! Too[13] Schucks R43 Million
1989 Oh Schucks...It's Schuster![20] Schucks
1990 Oh Shucks! Here Comes UNTAG[21] AKA Kwagga Strikes Back[22] Kwagga Robertse
1991 Sweet 'n Short [23] Sweet Coetzee Clarke/Bremer Performed by Adult Art[24]
1993 There's a Zulu On My Stoep[25] AKA Yankee Zulu Rhino Labuschagne
1996 Panic Mechanic[26] Schucks
1999 Millennium Menace[27] Schucks R40 million In Love With You sang by Dana Winner[28]
2001 Mr Bones[29] Bones R33 million
2004 Oh Schuks... I'm Gatvol[30] Schucks
2005 Mama Jack[31] Jack Theron
Mama Bolo
Donald
$4.4 million
2008 Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past[32] Bones R35 million Theme song music & performed by Don Clarke[33]
2010 Schuks Tshabalala's Survival Guide to South Africa[34] Schuks Tshabalala Schuster/Clarke[35] Performed by Crutchmullets
2012 Mad Buddies[36] Boetie
2013 Schuks! Your Country Needs You[37] Schucks Don Clarke[38]
2015 Schuks! Pay Back The Money[39] Schucks Don Clarke[40]
2018 Frank And Fearless[41] Frank Nic Paton and Don Clarke

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Wat Kan Lekkerder Wees - Vinyl album with Cora Marie[42]
  • Leon Schuster (1982) [43]Re-released on CD in 1993
  • Broekskeur (1983)[44]
  • Waar En Wolhaar (1983)[45] Re-released 2009 EMI Music South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Briekdans (1984)[46]
  • Rugby (1985)[47] Including songwriters C Pops (Daisyblom), L. Carstens (Doring Van Despatch-co-write), B. Louw (Bokbusters-co-write), Symile, Delancray (Ekke Boo co-write), H. Bierman (Lekker In Suid-Afrika co-write), B. Louw (Rugbyklanke co-write)
  • You Must Be Joking! (1986)[48]
  • Dasiefoutie (1988)[49]
  • "Shakin" Schuster En Sy Opkikkers (1992)[50]
  • Hie' Kommie Bokke (1995)[51]
  • Gautvol in Paradise (1997)[10]
  • Die Vrypostige Mikrofoon, Volume 1 (1998)[52]
  • Die Vrypostige Mikrofoon, Volume 2 (1998)[53]
  • Baas Funny Plaas (1999)[54]
  • Springbok Rugby Hits - Bring it Home (1999)[55]
  • My Beste Jare (2001)[56] Including songs by Steve Hofmeyr, David Kramer, Patricia Lewis, The Bats, Zoon Stander and PJ Powers
  • My Mates – Die Bokke[57](2001)
  • Groen, Goud En White (2002)[58] Compilation album with Steve Hofmeyr, Johnny Clegg, Claire Johnston, Jeff Maluleke, Zoon Stander, Pieter Smith, Patricia Lewis, Guillaume, Pieter Koen, Mandoza and Boet Pretorius
  • Catchup Song And Every Cricket Hit [59](2003) CD released 2005
  • Oh Schuks... I'm Gatvol[60] (2004)[61] Feat Dig a Little Deeper (Don Clarke) re-released in 2015 for Musicians Against Xenophobia[62]
  • Op Dun Eish (2006) Feat songs written by Don Clarke[63] and Mike Valentine[64]
  • Hie' Kommie Bokke 2! [65](2007)
  • Dra Die Bok [66](2008)

Singles[edit]

  • Hou Jou Bek (Dolce/Schuster) / Ek Was Op Jou Troue (Robinson/Schuster/Rautenbach) (1981)[67]
  • She Sells Sea Shells / Dis Lekker Innie Army (1982) [68] 7" single on vinyl
  • Hey, Bokke! [69](2019) With Don Clarke, performed with Drakondale Girls' Choir and Michaelhouse Choir[70] Digital

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leon Schuster". IMDb. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  2. ^ "A perfect prankster | Get It Online Bloemfontein". 16 March 2016. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Do You Remember This Actor Mr Bones - His Current Photos - Opera News". gh.opera.news. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Powers, Angus (2012). "The End of my Rugby Career". Rugby in Our Blood. Cape Town: Tafelberg. ISBN 9780624048763.
  5. ^ "10 Things You Didn't Know About Leon Schuster". M-Net - 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Leon Schuster. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Die Vrypostige Mikrofoon - Vol.1 — Leon Schuster". Last.fm. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Leon Schuster - Vrypostige Mikrofoon Vol.1 [CD]". echosrecordbar.co.za. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  8. ^ Drum, 2002, p. 52.
  9. ^ SAPeople (8 March 2019). "WATCH These Leon Schuster Movies Online". SAPeople - Your Worldwide South African Community. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  10. ^ a b Gautvol in Paradise - Leon Schuster | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 3 August 2020
  11. ^ "Schuster adds Vocals to Bok Anthem". The Witness. 3 September 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b You Must Be Joking!, retrieved 3 August 2020
  13. ^ a b You Must Be Joking Too!, retrieved 3 August 2020
  14. ^ "Watch: Leon Schuster's Mad Buddies trailer". Channel. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  15. ^ IMDB: Mad Buddies
  16. ^ "Leon Schuster films removed from Showmax". www.capetownetc.com. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b Eloff, Herman (19 June 2020). "Leon Schuster movies removed as Showmax reviews all content for racial insensitivity". Channel 24. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  18. ^ Eloff, Herman. "Leon Schuster: 'I don't want us to laugh at each other, I want us to laugh with each other'". Channel. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  19. ^ Eloff, Herman. "Showmax removing 7 titles from its platform after concluding review of racially insensitive content". Channel. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  20. ^ Oh Schucks ..... It's Schuster!, retrieved 3 August 2020
  21. ^ Kwagga Strikes Back, retrieved 3 August 2020
  22. ^ "Oh Schucks, Here Comes U.N.T.A.G. (1990)". BFI. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  23. ^ "SWEET 'N sHORT 1993". IMDB. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Sweet 'n Short". IMDB. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Yankee Zulu 1993". IMDB. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  26. ^ Panic Mechanic, retrieved 3 August 2020
  27. ^ The Millennium Menace, retrieved 3 August 2020
  28. ^ The Millennium Menace (1999) - IMDb, retrieved 3 August 2020
  29. ^ Mr. Bones, retrieved 3 August 2020
  30. ^ "Oh Schuks, I'm Gatvol". Channel. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  31. ^ Mama Jack, retrieved 3 August 2020
  32. ^ Mr. Bones 2: Back from the Past, retrieved 3 August 2020
  33. ^ "Don Clarke". IMDb. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  34. ^ Schuks Tshabalala's Survival Guide to South Africa, retrieved 3 August 2020
  35. ^ "Leon Schusster". muhaz.org. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  36. ^ Mad Buddies, retrieved 3 August 2020
  37. ^ "Schuks! Your Country Needs You". Amazon. ASIN B00NHQWB1U. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  38. ^ Schuks! Your Country Needs You (2013) - IMDb, retrieved 27 July 2020
  39. ^ Schuks! Pay Back the Money!, retrieved 28 July 2020
  40. ^ Schuks! Pay Back the Money! (2015) - IMDb, retrieved 28 July 2020
  41. ^ Frank & Fearless, retrieved 27 July 2020
  42. ^ "Cora Marie, Leon Schuster - Wat Kan Lekkerder Wees". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  43. ^ Leon Schuster, EMI SOUTH AFRICA, 21 June 1993, retrieved 3 August 2020
  44. ^ "Leon Schuster - Broekskeur - Vinyl LP Record - Opened - Very-Good- Quality (VG-)". C-Plan Audio. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  45. ^ "Leon Schuster: Waar En Wolhaar - Music on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  46. ^ "Leon Schuster - Briekdans (LP) Vinyl Records". bidorbuy.co.za. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  47. ^ Vinyl Album: Leon Schuster - Rugby (1985), retrieved 3 August 2020
  48. ^ "Leon Schuster - You Must Be Joking! (LP)". bidorbuy.co.za. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  49. ^ "Leon Schuster - Dasie Foutie - Vinyl LP Record - Opened - Very-Good Quality (VG)". C-Plan Audio. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  50. ^ "Shakin" Schuster en sy opkikkers, South Africa: Decibel Music, 1992, OCLC 870551304, retrieved 3 August 2020
  51. ^ "Hie' Kommie Bokke! by Leon Schuster on Amazon Music - Amazon.co.uk". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  52. ^ "Release "Die Vrypostige Mikrofoon - Vol.1" by Leon Schuster - MusicBrainz". musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  53. ^ "Release "Die vrypostige mikrofoon, vol. 2" by Leon Schuster - MusicBrainz". musicbrainz.org. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  54. ^ "Leon Schuster, Baas funny Plaas - 1h 14m 18s - Music CDs and CD Cover Arts @ Online Music CD Database". www.tagtuner.com. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  55. ^ Bring It Home '99 : Springbok Rugby Hits : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive, retrieved 27 July 2020
  56. ^ My Beste Jare, EMI SOUTH AFRICA, 26 November 2001, retrieved 3 August 2020
  57. ^ "My Mates Die Bokke (CD)". Loot. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  58. ^ "Groen, Goud En White (CD)". Loot. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  59. ^ "Leon Schuster - Catchup Song & Every Cricket Hit (CD)". bidorbuy.co.za. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  60. ^ "Oh Schuks I'm Gatvol • Leon Schuster • cdtrrracks". cdtrrracks.com. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  61. ^ "Soundtrack - Oh Schuks I'M Gatvol [CD]". echosrecordbar.co.za. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  62. ^ "Durban musicians unite against Xenophobia - Dig a Little Deeper". Durban ICC - Events and Entertainment Venue. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  63. ^ "Welcome to the Dodgy Mind of Don Clarke". Don Clrke. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  64. ^ "Album Op Dun Eish!". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  65. ^ Hie Kommie' Bokke, Vol. 2 - Leon Schuster | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 3 August 2020
  66. ^ "Dra Die Bok by Leon Schuster on Amazon Music - Amazon.co.uk". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  67. ^ Leon Schuster - Hou Jou Bek, retrieved 28 July 2020
  68. ^ Leon Schuster - She Sells Sea Shells, retrieved 28 July 2020
  69. ^ "Hey Bokke! – Leon Schuster's new song". RugbyRocks. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  70. ^ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.

External links[edit]