Karen Koren: Funny things happening in Norway

Al Murray The Pub Landlord. Pic: Comp

Al Murray The Pub Landlord. Pic: Comp

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WITH the exception of the relentless rain, I had a lovely weekend in Norway at the Bergen Humorfest, which is the Bergen Comedy Festival.

It rained and it rained and then it rained some more, which doesn’t make it conducive to looking around the very pretty city.

Fringe supremo Kath Mainland and I held our talk (see last week’s column) and it went very well.

I think we persuaded everyone to come to the Fringe in August. Kath spoke about the history of the Fringe and the support the organisation gives participants. She explained it is an open Festival where anyone can take part.

I followed up, explaining how a venue curates the content. There were a few comedians there and also the Norwegian press, who were very interested to hear that one of there most popular comedians is coming to try out material at the Gilded Balloon this summer.

The headline act at the Festival was Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, who seemed to be neglecting his duties as political candidate for his Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP) against Nigel Farage. Maybe he thought he might pick up some supporters in Bergen.

I was also roped in to judge their comedy competition E Du Vittig!, which translates as Are you Witty! This idea came about from our competition So You Think You’re Funny? There were two shows, with six comics in each and I am very pleased to say that a girl from the north of Norway won.

She was the funniest of them and I kept thinking how her jokes would go down in English, as the winner got a place in the Heat of So You Think You’re Funny?

Norwegian comedy is pretty different to our humour. When we had the presentation ceremony, the girl, Mariell Køste, was so taken aback, she jumped up and down hugging me and kept saying she couldn’t believe it! It was very heartwarming. Now all she has to do is translate her set and get ready to perform this August.