A life without the stage is probably unthinkable for Jürgen von der Lippe. He even performs in Berlin on his 75th birthday.
TV presenter, comedian, author, musician, entertainer, actor, audio book speaker: Jürgen von der Lippe’s career list is long. Today, June 8, the Berliner by choice turns 75 and can look back on a busy life. The man with the colorful Hawaiian shirts is celebrating his 50th stage anniversary this year. Even on his special day, he doesn’t allow himself a break: In the evening in the Berlin cabaret he reads “Die Wühlmäuse” from his book “Sex ist wie Mehl”. The busy show expert obviously doesn’t want to know anything about retirement for a long time and is already planning many appearances by the end of 2024. On his birthday, WDR television dedicated the anniversary show “Von der Lippe is 75 and just wants to play” (June 10, 8:15 p.m.). On the radio station WDR 5, the “Liederlounge” deals with his songs like “Good morning, dear worries” (June 11, 2023, 10:04 p.m.).
“Made the right career choice”
In 2019 von der Lippe received the television award for his life’s work. “I take it as confirmation that I made the right career choice,” he said in an interview with the news agency spot on news at the time. But initially, after graduating from high school in Aachen, he headed in a completely different direction: he trained to become a lieutenant in the Bundeswehr and then began studying to become a teacher.
During his time in the Bundeswehr he learned to play the guitar and from 1973 appeared as a musician and with stage programs. In 1980 he came to television and, together with Marijke Amado (69) and Frank Laufenberg (78), presented the live show “WWF Club” on WDR. Four years later he received his first own show from the station: “So isses”. He became known nationwide in 1986 with his ARD show “Donnerlippchen – Spiele ohnegarantie”. From 1989 to 2001 he presented the Saturday evening show “Money or Love” on the first – the highlight of his career. In 1994 he received the Grimme Prize for the program he helped develop. He received the second Grimme Prize 13 years later as director of the ProSieben show “Extreme Activity”. In addition to his show career, he also made films, toured with stage programs and published a number of books and songs.
Stage instead of TV show
In recent years, von der Lippe, whose real name is Hans-Jürgen Hubert Dohrenkamp and chose his stage name after his home town of Lippe, has only rarely been seen on TV. “Big TV shows, i.e. mainstream, are no longer my thing, no broadcaster wants that either, so it needs young people who are compatible with their mother-in-law,” he said in 2019. Instead, he started a YouTube channel in 2017, for which he produces the book program “Lippes Leselust”. . With his book “Sex ist wie Mehl”, which was published in 2022, he has many reading appointments, until November 10, 2024 there are still 70 evenings to come. The stage is von der Lippes’ great passion: “When I write a book, I always look forward to the readings.” On August 26th his new stage program “Voll Fett” starts. 60 dates are on the calendar until October 3, 2024. Even in old age, von der Lippe stays busy. He revealed four years ago that he had never thought about retiring. He also does everything he can to stay fit: “Statistically speaking, moderate alcohol consumption and being slightly overweight allow you to live longer than asceticism and an ideal weight. A reasonably balanced diet and regular, light exercise are not wrong either.”
His trademarks are colorful Hawaiian shirts and a slippery sense of humor, which has brought him some criticism. That’s how his work on the radio show “Entertainment at the Weekend” ended because the editor in charge didn’t like his frequent sexual jokes. But he “can’t really be accused of sexism,” says von der Lippe. “After all, the men always get a beating from me.” He is a feminist and thinks it’s great “what women have achieved in the last 70 years and without gendering at all”.
He hates gender
Gender-appropriate language is a thorn in the side of the studied Germanist, who taught German as a tutor for a while. Last year he said in an interview with “t-online” that gender “spoils and messes up the language”. He gets an earache when he hears presenters on TV or radio gender. “Of course I’m for the same pay for men and women, but the language will not solve this problem,” says the entertainer. “On the contrary: the majority turns away, feels patronized. I also feel personally attacked when my language is deliberately and deliberately messed up.” For him it is “a scandal that universities demand that work be gendered by students and thus be submitted in the wrong German”.
Von der Lippe doesn’t like to go with the flow and doesn’t keep his opinions to himself. “Public broadcasters refuse to recognize that entertainment is the number one public mandate when you look at polls,” he criticized his former employers in 2007. “The public primarily expects entertainment, then they want information and only a small percentage also education.” When he played the leading role of Pastor Erdmann in the RTL comedy series “Der Heiland auf dem Eiland” in 2004/2005, he complained that a “humor-free editor” had rejected the “better scripts”. He was also publicly annoyed about the early cancellation of the excellent “Extreme Activity” show.
His personal life is also different from the crowd
Lippe’s private life was also somewhat different from the “mainstream” he often criticized. He has been happy with his wife Anne Dohrenkamp for more than 40 years – but in between he married another woman. From 1986 to 1988 he was married to presenter Margarethe Schreinemakers (64). He then got back together with his ex, but doesn’t live with him. In January 2022 he explained his unusual marriage: “The separate apartments are actually the secret recipe. Well, that’s also an economic question now, that’s clear. But every psychiatrist says the minimum requirement is: separate bedrooms.” In a relationship you also need a place of retreat. In addition, he and his wife have different preferences. He is a city person, she loves nature. “It was never an issue whether we moved in together. We visit each other. And that’s how it has remained to this day.” Even offspring is not part of the life model of the entertainer. Both marriages remained childless.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.