It is the 6th of June. Sweden's national holiday. (FOR EPISODE CLICK HERE!)
The perfect day to interview Danish comedian and tv host, Jonatan Spang. Very famous in Denmark, Jonatan was pretty much unheard of in Sweden up until a few months ago when one of his comedy sketches – parodying the relationship between Sweden and Denmark – went viral in Sweden.
In Denmark he has been a face in comedy for more than twenty years and his TV show on Danish State Television has been compared to Jon Stewarts Daily Show. In other words he has a half hour television program that does political satire or satirizes the news.
Besides, and apart, from that he has done several standup-shows, theatre, film, and TV.
Sweden and Denmark – once bitter rivals for the kingship of the north – made friends in the early 18 hundreds and the rivalry has long forgotten. At least the violent rivalry. Most of the time our two countries seem to ignore each other but in Jonatans show about the situation in Sweden one could discern a genuinely worried tone.
The sketch made Jonatan so big that our biggest debate show on Swedish state television invited him to explain himself. What happened was they put him on via skype at the very end of the show where he was cut off by “technical difficulties” and then the credits rolled so he was unable to do what he had come to do. Offer help to us swedes in our confused state of mind. Offer some Danish directness or as Jonatan called it “comedic Marshall help”!
And what better day to publish a talk about the Swedish-Danish relationship than:
Swedes celebrate their National Day on 6 June in honour of two historical events: Gustav Vasa being elected king (6 June 1523) and the adoption of a new constitution (6 June 1809). This day offers a rare chance to see Swedes waving the flag.”
You would think that we swedes have been celebrating on this day for hundreds of years! And if you thought that you would be wrong! It was instituted as our national holiday only a few years ago. In reality most swedes quietly think that the real national holiday is midsummers. But because of it’s old heathen roots it was probably deemed politically incorrect or exclusionary to none Norse pantheon adherents or something? And now, instead, we have the sixth of June, which no one has any relationship to what so ever.
If you see anybody waving flags its probably a confused immigrant who hasn’t quite grasped that in Sweden we deny our nationality in absurdum out of fear that someone will remember its real roots.
I also want to warn you that I didn’t really know how to approach this interview. I didn’t know if I went as a comedian to another comedian – and thus should attempt to be funny – or if I should go as a serious person and just ask a comedian – a political satirist – what he finds so easy about making fun of my country? Not that I don’t know. And see – that’s the problem right there!
That I’m trying to that job right here in Sweden – were it is a tad bit harder because of consensus culture and mob mentality. What is easy to see clearly from Denmark seems impossible to discern even the outline of in the foggy intellectual climate of Sweden.
Thank you for supporting me. And DECONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM so that I could fly down to Copenhagen to interview, Denmark’s own Jon Stewart, an extremely funny, as well as thoughtful guy, Jonatan Spang!