FiL, cartoonist and comedian from Berlin, during the “Fil-Show – Best of Fil: 20 Years”. Kreuzberg, Berlin. Germany.
© Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.
“I still think success is something for losers. You gotta do what you enjoy, not what’s most appropriate to suck up to your fellow citizens’ soft hearts.” – FiL
“Erfolg ist was für Flaschen, das finde ich nach wie vor. Man soll machen, was einem Spaß macht, nicht womit man sich am besten in die weichen Herzen seiner Mitbürger schleimen kann.” – FiL
Anyone who ever attended a show of FiL will realise that the commonly held stereotype that Germans got no humour is a misconception. Some of the topics in Fil’s stage show include punk, parenting, the gentrification of Berlin’s blue-collar borough Prenzlauer Berg, the influx of Swabians in Berlin, or the almighty BVG, Berlin’s public transport company, and its trademark rude staff.
FiL (born Philip Tägert, 1966) was once known as the ‘Shy Phil’ or the ‘Fit FiL’. He is an original Berliner and an ex-punk who grew up living in Märkisches Viertel, a large social housing estate in the borough of Reinickendorf in Berlin.
When he was only ten years old, FiL won a writing contest of the Berliner Morgenpost, a local newspaper, and in 1980, he published his first cartoons in Berlin’s city magazine Zitty. Ever since, the bi-weekly magazine presents the adventures of his heroes Didi & Stulle. After abandoning art school, he mainly focused on his work as a cartoonist, but since 1992, he is at least equally successful as an entertainer and singer. His stage career was already on the horizon when he was the frontman of the punk band Kollektiv Antiserum. His constant companion is the hand puppet Sharkey.
Following the successful one-pager at Zitty, he published an extensive oeuvre of other cartoons, such as the Always Ultra series or Devils and Pistols, a cult series of small booklets published at Berlin Comix. The publisher Reprodukt published ten volumes of Didi & Stulle’s adventures in process-color print mode.
FiL also published two albums, Drum & Bass and Live Against Death, and since 2009, there’s also a DVD available, titled The Fil & Sharkey Show, a live recording of the show by the same name, filmed at the Wohnzimmertheater in Cologne.
— Translated from FiL’s website.