Leon Ernest “Schuks” Schuster (born 21 May, 1951) is a South African filmmaker, comedian, actor, presenter and singer.
Schuster was drawn to the filmmaking process at an early age. As child he and his brother Ottoh L would play practical jokes on his family and film these.
Schuster went to Hoërskool Jim Fouché in Bloemfontein, then studied for a BA degree at the University of the Orange Free State, where he played rugby for the first team. He returned to Jim Fouché as a teacher for two years.
Schuster began working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation. During his time at the SABC, he created the Afrikaans radio series Vrypostige Mikrofoon with Fanus Rautenbach – which involved disguising his voice and playing phone pranks on unsuspecting victims.
In 1982, he was approached by Decibel Records to compile a series of sports songs and his first record, Leon Schuster, sold 10,000 units. His second album, Broekskeur, sold in excess of 40,000 units and this was followed by Briekdans and Leon Schuster – 20 Treffers, which sold more than 270,000 copies.
His hit CD Hier Kom Die Bokke garnered an FNB Sama Music Award for Biggest Selling CD of 1995. His following CD, Gatvol in Paradise, sold in more than 125,000 units and gave rise to the unofficial Gauteng anthem, “Gautengeling”.
Schuster’s first feature, You Must Be Joking!, produced in collaboration with Johan Scholtz and Elmo de Witt, became popular with South African audiences and it gave rise to the sequel You Must be Joking! Too.
These films were candid camera sketches and Schuster made many more of these films as well as slap-stick films, including Mr Bones, his most successful film, which earned more than R33 million at the South African box office.
On 16 September 2011 it was reported that Schuster’s next movie would be partly financed by the Walt Disney Company, which would also handle distribution and marketing.