Johan Buziau

Date of birth
Date deceased


John Buziau, born into a family of artists, began in 1894 with a group act in the variety theatre Victoria, where he met his later employer Henri ter Hall. A few years later, he was taken under the wing of impresario Frits van Haarlem with a comedy act that went on tour abroad. During this period, he developed the character ‘Professor Rikiri’.

When the First World War erupted and international tours became impossible, Buziau became the replacement for comedian Piet Köhler (who had been called into military service) in the revue of Henri ter Hall, who had since become a theatre producer. The collaboration with Ter Hall lasted until 1928. In 1927, Ter Hall’s company waged such a fierce competition with the newly created Bouwmeester-Revue that people called it the ‘revue war’. Ter Hall eventually gave up, and Buziau moved to the Bouwmeester-Revue, where he performed with all the well-known comedians of the day.

In the 1930s, Willy Walden and Piet Muyselaar also began their careers with the Bouwmeester-Revue. In 1933, Buziau received what was then an unusual decoration for a comedian: he was appointed a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Buziau always refused offers to have his acts filmed, as he was afraid that his theatrical performances would then play to empty halls.

But the scarcity of filmed footage that remains of Buziau has more to do with the fact that the handful of films in which he acted have been lost, except for the comic one-act A Helping Hand. But radio recordings of Buziau’s performances for the Bouwmeester-Revue have been preserved. Buziau’s completely apolitical stance did not prevent him from being locked up in Haaren in 1942 with several hundred other Dutch prisoners, who were held hostage by the Germans in case of any resistance actions.

After the war, he no longer performed very often, which resulted in his work taking on an ever-more legendary character in the public imagination.



  1. 1910
    Person (on screen)
  2. 1912
    Actor, Person (on screen)
  3. 1912
  4. 1912
  5. 1912
  6. 1918
  7. 1919
  8. 1958
    Person (on screen)

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