06 June 2008

Norwegian Political Humor

Today I found a wonderful parody on YouTube of two of Norway's most prominent politicians, former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and the current prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. It reminded me of the political humor in the skits presented on Saturday Night Live when comedians imitate American politicians. Below is some background information on Harlem Brundtland and Stoltenberg as well as a video of each giving a speech.

Gro Harlem Brundtland
Gro Harlem Brundtland was educated and worked as a physician early in her career before moving on to become one of the most well-respected and prominent politicians in Norwegian history. She was the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party for many years, and she was Norway's first and only female prime minister, serving three different periods: 1981, 1986 to 1989, and 1990 to 1996. In 1998, she became the Director General of the World Health Organization, and she is currently serving as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations. Harlem Brundtland was born in 1939.

Gro Harlem Brundtland giving a speech
at the annual meeting for the Labour Party

Jens Stoltenberg
Educated as an economist and born in 1959, Jens Stoltenberg served as the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Finance before becoming the prime minister for the first time in 2000-2001. He has been the leader of the Labour party since 2002 and is currently serving his second stint as prime minister as part of a coalition government comprised of the Labour Party, the Center Party, and the Socialist Left Party.

Jens Stoltenberg giving a speech on March 8, International Women's Day. In his speech, he gives credit to Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was a role model for many Norwegian women as well as men.

Parody of Gro and Jens

At the Gullfisken awards ceremony in 2007, Morten Grøtnes and Rigmor Galtung did a parody of the current prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. The man who played Jens was good, but the woman who imitated Gro was hilarious. My favorite line was "Det er typisk Gro å være norsk," a play on the the statement she made many years ago, "Det er typisk norsk å være god."

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