Urbanus, artist's name of Urbain Joseph Servranckx (Dilbeek, June 7, 1949) is a Flemish comedian, singer, guitarist, author of comic books and actor. Originally he used the artist name: Urbanus van Anus. Anus was the name of his former backing group.
In Flanders and the Netherlands Urbanus is well-known and very popular since 1974. Although he's most famous as comedian, some of his songs became famous and were massively played. Such as Bakske vol met stro (1979), Madammen met een bontjas (1980) and Hittentit (1982).
Until 2008 there were three films in which he played the leading role, Hector (1987), Koko Flanel (1990) and Seventh Heaven. The two first films were the leaders in the Flemish box offices for many years. His first movie Hector (directed by Stijn Coninx) won the 1988 international comedy film festival in Chamrousse, France. He also was named best actor by Radio France and Dauphiné Libéré. Seventh Heaven was a box office bomb.
More recently, Urbanus lend his voice for the Flemish versions of the Pixar movies, Cars and Cars 2, where he was the voice of the character Mater.
In 1984, Urbanus and Willy Linthout began writing comic books with an adolescent version of Urbanus himself as the main character. As of 2007, more than 121 such comic books have been published. He's also productive scenarist of the series De Geverniste Vernepelingskes, Plankgas en Plastronneke and Mieleke Melleke Mol.
For his political comments during the 2007 Belgian government formation crisis, he received the Prize of Liberty, an annual award delivered by the think tank Nova Civitas, in January 2008.
His humoristic style can be described as absurd, folksy, subversive, anarchic, childish, morbid, sometimes vulgar and populist.
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“It is a great many years since at the outset of my career I had to think seriously what life had to offer that was worth having. I came to the conclusion that the chief good for me was freedom to learn, think, and say what I pleased, when I pleased. I have acted on that conviction... and though strongly, and perhaps wisely, warned that I should probably come to grief, I am entirely satisfied with the results of the line of action I have adopted.”
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“He was at a starting point which makes many a mans career a fine subject for betting, if there were any gentlemen given to that amusement who could appreciate the complicated probabilities of an arduous purpose, with all the possible thwartings and furtherings of circumstance, all the niceties of inward balance, by which a man swings and makes his point or else is carried headlong.”
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“Ive been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.”
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