Varan-TV was a television show by Swedish comedy troupe Varanteatern which ran between 1997 and 1998. note
The humor in Varan-TV more or less defies description, but it's very much a product of its time, poking fun at all sorts of contemporary cultural, political and media-related goings-on. Had quite a big verse of characters who have shown up in other projects by Varanteatern.
INSANELY quotable. Picking a page quote was not easy, trust me on that one.
Essentially a sketch comedy show, some of the most popular segments on Varan-TV included:
- Kreml High. The misadventures of a bunch of highschoolers in a decrepit Soviet republic, along with the American exchange student Johnny Tex. Received its own Spin-Off. The "Russian" spoken in these segments was actually just disembodied lines of dialogue, ripped from random Russian movies, much to the amusement and/or horror of any actual Russian person watching.
- Romeo Olsson and Tord Yvel. Two perverted and mildly unstable Scanian poets and their daily lives.
- Ted Borg: An even more perverted and unstable archaeologist, given to confusing research with his weird fetishes.
- Peter Kvist. A hip movie director on a quest to give every character in Astrid Lindgren's bibliography a Gritty Reboot.
- The Evil Paper. A sentient, evil, serial-killing paper and its search for more victims.
In september of 2020, the group announced a reunion, and created a Kickstarter for a new series of sketches. The Kickstarter hit its first goal of 300000 SEK in less than two hours. The Kickstarter eventually gathered pledges of over 4 million SEK, and a third series of Varan-TV is, in October of 2020, in early stages of production, and will be released to backers in a format as yet undecided.
This series provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: The Swedish Synth-Pop fandom whole-heartedly embraced "Tyskarna Från Lund", an Affectionate Parody of Kraftwerk. This was in part due to the synth-pop fandom understanding exactly what was parodied, and the band, for all it's jokiness, actually having a decent level of skill and good production values. Varanteatern actually toured as "Tyskarna Från Lund" long after the TV-series went off-air, and produced at least one album of non-parody music under the name.
- Africa Is a Country: Played for laughs in the episode actually called "Africa", which starts off by spouting blatantly untrue "facts" about Africa.Africa is the world's largest country. Many languages and cultures share an area the size of Greenland. Congo is the capital city of Africa.
- The Alcoholic: Everyone in Kreml High. Hey, they're Russians.
Tantrum, Playing around on a cable wheel in a predictably miserable looking playground.: "Damn, I'm bored. I need to get wasted!" does so, immediately projectile vomits all over himself: "O,h how stupid. I would recommend this sort of behaviour to no one."
- Special mentions goes to Tantrum Tabulev:
- Americans Are Cowboys: Johnny Tex.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking "Do you carry repressed anger within you and plan to release it? Then don't forget that coming January 1st the punishments will become more severe for the following crimes: assault, speeding and masturbation."
- Black Bug Room: In Kreml High and Psycho-news, whenever someone was angsting really hard, they would be bombarded with surrealist imagery while "Die Eier Von Satan" by tool played in the background.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Parodied by "Front Mot Lämmeltåg", a group dedicated to proving that lemming mass migrations don't exist.
- Crapsaccharine World: "Uncle Watermelon", a children's puppet show, which is anything other than kid-friendly. It features such characters as the molestation-happy "Uncle Overcooked Cauliflower" and "Uncle Rotten Banana from Africa."Uncle Watermelon: Hi kids, I'm Uncle Watermelon! And now I'm gonna sit down on my blanket! And if you wanna calculate the area of the blanket you add up the sides plus the sides, hee hee, yes that's what you do! But if you want to have the area of me, you have to ask for help from my friend Pi! Hi, Pi!Pi: What's up Uncle Watermelon? By the way, you don't really need my help. We can just put you in a bucket of water, and the water that spills out, equals your volume!Uncle Watermelon: Yes, but I want to use Pi now, so if we'll take my radius through the base and the height, we'll get my area!Auntie Carrot: Hi boys, what are you doing?Uncle Watermelon: We're calculating my area, Auntie Carrot.Pi: How do we calculate the area of you, Auntie Carrot?Auntie Carrot: Well, you see, then we'll just take Pi times my length times three.Uncle Watermelon: Really? I thought we had to split you up into small segments, calculate their area and then add it all up?Auntie Carrot: No, you are mistaken.Uncle Watermelon: Oh, I'm so stupid. Completely lost!Uncle Watermelon: What?! I don't understand a thing?!Auntie Carrot: He's probably got both syphilis and the clap, the way he's been fucking around in the vegetable patch!Uncle Watermelon: Wow, really. Syphilis? Well, goodbye children!
- Dirty Old Man: Ted Borg, a so called "historian" with the bad habit of confusing his own sexual fantasies with his historical research.Ted Borg: I have a theory, that the Egyptians kept pornographic movies wrapped in papyrus. You can only assume that they had titles like "Cleopatra is fucking a cumming Sarcophagus. "Tutan-khummin" is another classic. I think. And The Seventh Seal. Or how about "I'm gonna fuck you in the ass, you old Egyptian." Exactly that kind of... smut!''
- Formula-Breaking Episode: Episode 36 of Kreml High, "There's something gross in the water." Filmed like a Dogme '95 movie, with Danish narration, shaky camera and a Jazz soundtrack.
- Keet: Tantrum Tabulev. "WE'VE GOTTA BAND-PRACTICE!"
- Lethal Chef: Chris De Kök. "Oh no, they're putting SHIT in the food!"
- McNinja: Kalle, the schoolboy who was forced to drop out from school by his dad, so he could train Ninjitsu all day, instead.Kalle: Ninja is a lot of mental training... 'cause it means... like a calm brain, ya know? Peace... peace of the mind, or whatever. ''
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Polpotkin's father is only known as The Executioner. He works as a lifeguard. Though the fact that he was willing to literally Shoot the Shaggy Dog for leaving a turd in the pool...
- Next Sunday A.D.: "The Boston University Of The Future Today" a University dedicated to study of "the future" as it were. They've actually managed to encapsule a tiny portion of the future, but it managed to escape. Fortunately it could be apprehended 20 minutes later "when it was spotted, hanging around a bit shiftlessly, outside of a shopping mall."
- Ridiculously Loud Commercial: The product-shilling Granddad on TV in Kreml High.Granddad: IN A FIGHT? GOT NO WEAPON? THEN BUY A "KNIFE!". KNIFE, KNIFE, KNIFE! PERFECT WHEN YOU WANT TO HURT SOMEONE! IT'S SMALL, BUT IT DOES THE TRICK! EVERYONE WHO'S IN A FIGHT HAS A KNIFE! EXCEPT YOU! KNIFE, KNIFE, KNIFE! THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULD GET A KNIFE! IT'S SHARP AND SUPER DANGEROUS! KNIFE!''
- Scenery Gorn: Everything involving Kreml High.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: "Kalle made it to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Algiers, but got eaten by a cannibal in the first round."