Freek de Jonge

Freek de Jonge

Freek de Jonge was born in Westernieland, the Netherlands in 1944. He had his first stage experience when he was 11. After finishing secondary school he studied cultural anthropology in Amsterdam. During his student days he met Bram Vermeulen, which led to the creation of Neerlands Hoop. With this show they gave the Dutch cabaret a whole new impulse. The speed at which Freek fired his jokes to the crowd, was unprecedented. Also, a pianist who was not limited to just guiding, but to actively participating to the show, was not seen before. The effect was overwhelming. Neerlands Hoop was seen as the forefront of the political left movement in the Netherlands. Especially because the show took a clear point of view against alleged abuses in society, and thereby rebelled against all entertainment which was meaningless and displaced real problems.

In 1979, when Neerlands Hoop ended, Freek began his solo career. He was the first comedian to put in a recurring theme in his story. Typical of Freek is also the running gag, a joke referred to several times. Freek brought several successful programmes on stage, including several New Year’s conferences.

In addition to his work as a comedian, Freek wrote novels, including Zaansch Veem (1987), Neerlands Bloed (1991) en Opa's Wijsvinger (1993). He also presented television shows and acted in two films, De Illusionist (1983) and De Komediant (1986). In the summer of 1997 he achieved the first place in the Dutch charts with the song Leven na de dood. Freek also wrote a short daily column on the front page of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool from 1997 until 2000.

In 1999, he began a new cabaret experiment. Under the name De Grens he made 10 shows in a year, which covered all forms of cabaret, from conferences filled with a critical view to society to conferences just for entertainment. He received the Groenman-taalprijs during a congress of the society Genootschap Onze Taal in 2005.

Freek turned into a new direction in 2008 with a theater show that was not meant for the general public, but for those ‘willing to work for it’. That year, he received the Vereniging van Schouwburg- en Concertgebouwdirecties oeuvreprijs, an achievement award for his complete work.

Freek is married to Hella de Jonge-Asser, a Dutch artist. Together, they established the Hella & Freek de Jonge Fund, which contributes to educational activities for children in art (Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum), science (University of Amsterdam) , ballet (NDT, Nationaal Ballet) and music (Leerorkest, Concertgebouw).