NRK comedy sketch not quite getting it…

Norway’s Constitution is coming up for its bicentennial, and all of Norway is gearing up to great festivities and a bit of somber reflection what it means to have a liberal Constitution. Touted as the most enlightened constitution of its time, it had one severely disfiguring and illiberal, if not to say unenlightened, feature: A clause banning Jews and Jesuits from the Kingdom of Norway. The clause was repealed in 1851, after tireless efforts by one of Norway’s most beloved poets, Henrik Wergeland, who sadly passed away before he could see the fruits of his hard-won battles. In the run up to the great celebrations in May, there is a great focus on how the constitution came into being and the personalities behind it. The NRK naturally has an important role here, as the national broadcaster, it can more than any other institution provide insights, challenge common conceptions we have about this fundament for our modern state through humor, irony, philosophy, debate. But if going for the humoristic, say ironic angle, it might be a good idea to test whether people outside the studio share the laughter. In particular since Norway’s previous attempts at joking with difficult topics, such as the Holocaust has blown badly up, we remember with horror the failed effect of TV2 comedian Otto Jespersen’s apology to the “billions of lice and fleas that had perished in the Holocaust”

The sketch got widespread Norwegian coverage on Sunday but has now spread around the world and earned a dishonorable mention in Jerusalem Post, with furious talk backs from disgusted people. Norwegian commenters get it in the neck and might, perhaps, start to reflect on how repeated attacks on Israel and central aspects of Judaism from Norwegian ministers, humanitarian workers, school kids, authors and doctors, have undermined our standing in this part of the world.

As they say, what goes around, comes around.

lifted form

Comedy sketch satirizes Norway’s old ‘Jewish clause’


02/19/2014 14:26
Entertainment director of government-owned broadcaster says sketch was meant to ridicule founding fathers who wrote clause banning Jews from country, not Jews.

AN IDYLLIC scene in downtown Bergen, Norway.

AN IDYLLIC scene in downtown Bergen, Norway. Photo: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

A comedy sketch on Norway public television satirized the banning of Jews by the county’s first constitution.

The sketch broadcast Sunday on NRK, the Norwegian government-owned radio and television broadcaster, was part of celebrations to mark the constitution’s 200th year. The clause banning Jews from entering Norway was part of the constitution enacted in 1814 and was lifted in 1851.

Charlo Halvorsen, entertainment editor for NRK, told TheLocal that the sketch was meant to ridicule the founding fathers who wrote the Jewish clause, not Jews.


6 comments for “NRK comedy sketch not quite getting it…

  1. de Bacle
    February 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    The essence of the joke is that one person suggests that perhaps one should allow Jews to come to Norway “They aren’t that bad (?)”. His two friends laugh at this, thinking his comment was a joke.

    This sketch suffers from much the same problem as that of Otto Jespersen. That sketch was judged anti-Semitic by the Media supervisory board (PFU) of Norway. and was an embarassment to NRK, and Norway, world wide.

    The problem with the present sketch is that it generates an unanswered query “Where is this view of the Jew coming from ?” and trains the susceptible anti-Semite in how to pursue harassment with the joke as an alibi. The casual dismissal by the NRK editor Halvorsen is not credible considering his awarnesss of the previous widespread denouncements of NRK,

    It is interesting also that Charlo Halvorsen is an old “mate” of Otto Jespersens, they go back to the 80’s when they jointly launched a five year running NRK radio talk-show together.

    This cannot be a random chance coincidence.

    It is also difficult to oversee that Charlo Halvorsen is the husband of Kristin Halvorsen, the previous infamous socialist left (SV) party leader who led the Israel bashing of her party to new heights when she, new in the socialist government, called for a boycott of Israel merchandise. and who posed with anti-Semitic posters at a rally in Oslo.

  2. : )
    February 21, 2014 at 1:13 am

    de Bacle tanks for telling the joak, I missed this show 100%.

    To be emotinal and let out bad memo from Norway: when one has been called the devil child and mobbed by a teacher from the age 7 until 10. Mobbed by BDS at the University as a agent for Mossad. Mobbed with Nazi salute at work, being told one should just be glad to be a live. Asked often are you Norwegian? Yes. Oh are you mental ill then? You are not like the rest of them you see. Its just to respond name, phone number plx, have a lovely day you to please make joakes about Jews as well, its not more one expect from scumbag trolls like you!
    McG is it like this Israelis behave against the Palestine?

  3. : )
    February 21, 2014 at 6:37 am


    then its Shabbat finally : )

    According to Ervin Kohn less and less Jews in Norway don’t do Shabbat. Folks its time now to remember the one we are, clean the house make the bread with the children, meet around the table and be together, not just running around and impress everyone. To me Shabbat web and telly, is nothing that walk hand in hand, best to turn it off and conect to the one that is close to your heart and live life!

    Know its off topic McG, just wanted Martin to know where I’m.

    Behave nice folks : )

    McG hope you get a good glass of red vine when you come home today ; )

  4. martin
    February 22, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Yu know Norwegians, it would be so humane and so decent of the Fakestinians in particular and Arabs in general, and for that matter Norwegians, too, if they were able to treat Israel and the Jews, the same way the latter treat the former.

    What is quite inexplicable is the fact that such a beautiful country has a hateful ugliness beneath the exterior. This is Norway

    I am sure Prof, being in Israel on Shabbat in particular, you are having a happy……
    Thanks to de Bacle putting the local scene in such perspective. I suppose the only real question to answer is whether there is any chance of Norway being the decent country to all in the manner it supposedly sees itself?????

  5. : )
    February 23, 2014 at 1:53 am

    : ) Martin : )

    hope you had a good Shabbat. We learnt a lot about non European Jewish tradition :) Its fun I told my folks when I was a kid, I will find the one that went the other way than us, I just know I will meet them when I get big. My grandfather always sad: have you been day dreaming again now? What have I told you about the clouts? Keep to what you can prove kid!
    Just as fun that you ran into a old friend Martin just what McG wrote : )

    Good news from VD:

    de Bacle has a lot of good info and I hope he continue to write in an informative way. And most of all I hope he can see that its Jews in Norway that are very diffrent from him that has a lot of things they want to do.

    Now I’m looking forward to read the “long” analysis to Eric R. its probably 10 words about postmodern people ; ) Eric R. are you modern or postmodern?

    Have a cool day all ; ) And work well this week : )

  6. : )
    February 23, 2014 at 5:09 am


    I keept away from the computer on the Shabbat and it was really good. Now I get the Shabbat joak I was cluless about:

    What a laugh 100%. McG I had no idea what I wanted to be on Purim now I know ; )
    God it will be so much more fun that a suicide bomber as I had plans to be ; )
    Alltid beredt ; )

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