The Joulukalenteri - Netflix
The Joulukalenteri is a Finnish humoristic 24-part christmas calendar program.
Runtime: 15 minutes
The Joulukalenteri - The Julekalender - Netflix
The Julekalender (The Christmas Calendar) was a julekalender that ran at Christmas 1991 (a Norwegian version was made in 1994, and a Finnish version appeared in 1997). It was written and performed almost entirely by a trio of Danish comedy musicians called De Nattergale with financial and technical assistance from TV2, a Danish television company. It was hugely successful at the time, causing many invented phrases from the series to enter popular culture and was later released on VHS, and recently, DVD. It had 24 episodes (one for each day of December until Christmas Eve), as has been typical of other TV “calendars” before and since The Julekalender.
The Joulukalenteri - Plot - Netflix
The premise of the show is fairly simple: long, long ago, the race of Nisser lived happily in Denmark getting up to mischief with the humans, drinking, and making merry. Then the “Nå-såere” came - evil, vampire-esque creatures with an unhealthy obsession for money and counting - and almost eradicated the Nisser. A few Nisser survived and escaped to America, among them good old Gammelnok (literally, “old enough”, the one character not to be played by a member of De Nattergale), who is now on the brink of death, as the music box that plays his life tune needs to be wound up. Gammelnok gathers three of the remaining Nisser (Hansi, Günther, and Fritz (all distinctly German-sounding names)) and sends them off to Denmark, to find the old Nisse cave where the key to wind up the music box is. He gives them The Big Book to take with them, an ancient tome that contains the answer to any and all questions, warning them to take great care that it does not fall into the hands of a Nå-såer. If this were to happen, all would be lost. They are also warned to take care, as the Nå-såere nowadays have taken the appearance of normal humans, but when they consume alcohol, they regain their original appearance, with fangs, and thick-rimmed glasses. The three merrily set off, and this is where the first episode begins. One of the quirks of the series, and one which made up a good share of its appeal, is the strange language that the Nisser speak. They themselves call it English, but it is an odd mixture of both Danish and English vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, leading to some very humorous phrases and structures (at least, to anyone who speaks both English and Danish). This was likely a good-natured jest at the heavy Danish accent that many Danes speak with, and the (back then) fairly low level of English proficiency of Danes, especially outside of large cities. Examples of particularly interesting, odd, or funny phrases are listed here (without an understanding of Danish, the humour will likely be lost): “He who first gets to the mill is he who first gets painted” “Think you da lige a little about” “Let us straks try to smake it!” “That is der simpelthen overhead not noget to do with” Additionally, key characters, events, or items are also called by odd hybrid names: the music box, for example, is a play dåse, Father Christmas is the Christmas man and the act of wood-carving is called “snitting”. Since De Nattergale are actually musicians (albeit comedy musicians), the Nisser often burst into song, or find excuses to work music into each episode. Another large part of the appeal are the highly stereotypical Danes that the same three actors also play: Oluf and Gertrud Sand, a country bumpkin couple that live and work on a potato farm in Jutland, and Benny Jensen, a travelling salesman (or so he claims) from Copenhagen (who turns out to be a Nå-såer). Oluf and Gertrud speak with a broad country dialect, often leading to Benny misunderstanding what they say. There is also a large clash between the two different ways of life (as Benny comes to move in with Oluf and Gertrud in an early episode, as his car runs out of petrol, punctures, breaks down completely, and then gets stolen, supposedly by the “Polish Mafia”). Benny also thinks Oluf's father's name, Anders Sand, is funny, because it closely resembles Anders And, the Danish name for Donald Duck.