Schmidt is host of the German Late Night Show Harald Schmidt Show, comparable to Late Night with Conan O'Brien or David Letterman's Late Night. The show features stand up comedy as well as famous, national and international guests.
The self proclaimed hypochondriac is popular for his cynical jokes and intellectual wit. He models himself after people like Johnny Carson and Conan O'Brien, but adds important factors and qualities to his show that neither of these models has. He engages in long, seemingly boring conversations with his editor in chief Manuel Andrack, who sits at a desk next to Schmidt's, and, like David Letterman, also includes his staff into the show - for instance, his band leader Helmut Zerlett[?] or his production manager Suzana.
Schmidt is sometimes criticised for making fun of minorities like foreigners or gays, but that does not prevent him from being one of the most popular German TV figures ever.
Awards include the viewers choice award Bambi, the most prestigious German TV award Grimme, the Golden Camera and the Golden Lion as best showmaster.
Schmidt was born on August 18, 1957 in Neu-Ulm[?], Germany, and spent his youth in Nürtingen[?], where he went to grammar school. He committed time to the catholic church, became choirmaster and played the organ.
At the age of 21, he went to Stuttgart to attend drama school, where he stayed for three years. After that, Schmidt gained on-stage experience at the Städtische Bühne Augsburg; his first role was that of the 2nd Mamaluke in Lessing's Nathan the Wise. In 1984, he became a text write for the cabaret Kommödchen in Düsseldorf, and two years later, in 1986, Schmidt was honoured as Best Newcomer cabaret artist and toured through Germany with his own show.
It did not take long before TV noticed the talented young comedian, and in 1988, Schmidt began to host his first TV show MAZ ab. Shows like Psst! and Schmidteinander followed, but the biggest boost to his career occurred in 1992, when he became host of the popular Saturday night show called Verstehen Sie Spaß, which features people being filmed with hidden cameras in embarrassing and funny situations. At this time Schmidt, was awarded the most important German TV award, the Grimme award[?], but it would not be his last one - only one year later, he was honoured as Entertainer of the year and awarded the famous Bambi[?] and the Golden Camera[?].
In 1995, Schmidt took another important step in his career when he changed from the TV station ARD (under public law) to the privately-owned channel Sat 1. In December, he started his own Harald Schmidt Show[?], a Late Night Show which was first brought on television by Thomas Koschwitz[?]. The show is now in its 8th year and still very successful.
On June 3rd, 2003, he announced that from June 30th the show will be broadcastet five days a week, including monday evening.
Harald Schmidt lives in Cologne with his girlfriend and two children.