Urbanus, artist's name of Urbain Joseph Servranckx (Dilbeek, June 7, 1949) is a Belgian 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 (1993). 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 1982, Urbanus and Willy Linthout began writing a comic book series about Urbanus: Urbanus, with an adolescent version of himself as the main character. As of 2007, more than 121 such comic books have been published. He's also the 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.
Urbanus is script writer of a comics series about a childlike version of himself, Urbanus, which debuted in 1982. The series is drawn by Willy Linthout and from the third story on, Urbanus started providing the scenarios. The comic strip managed to become the longest-running series in the celebrity-inspired genre and new albums are still published to this day. The comics sell also in the Netherlands.
Urbanus also writes the gags for the satirical comic De Geverniste Vernepelingskes (1998), which pokes fun at several Flemish celebrities. It was first drawn by Jan Bosschaert, then Dirk Stallaert and finally Steven Dupré. Urbanus also writes gags for the children's comics Plankgas en Plastronneke (2004-2008) and Mieleke Melleke Mol (since 2003), both drawn by Dirk Stallaert.
Urbanus has also drawn some gag comics himself, most of them only published exclusively magazines. He also illustrated many of his own album covers.
Urbanus produced and appeared in several movies:Hector (1988)
Koko Flanel (1990)
Les Sept péchés capitaux (1992)
De Zevende Hemel (1993)
Suske en Wiske: De duistere diamant (2004)
K3 en het IJsprinsesje (2007)
Urbanus did voices for the following movies:March of the Penguins (2005) - narration for the Dutch version
Cars (2006) - voice of Mater for the Flemish version