27 January 2006

Mock Swedish

I haven't seen The Muppet Show since I was a kid. One bit from it that I remember was the episode in which Madeline Kahn was the guest star. It turns out that she can talk to the Swedish Chef, which astonishes the other muppets, who are totally unable to communcate with him. “I rarely get a chance to speak Mock Swedish,” explains Kahn. “I had to learn it for a film rôle years ago, but hardly anyone speaks it.”

I recounted this to a friend a while ago, who thought that was terribly funny, because it turns out that Madeline Kahn really did do a film in Mock Swedish! De Düva is a very funny parody of Ingmar Bergman's films, done in Mock Swedish with English subtitles.

I thought that this was a time-release joke that took me twenty years to get, but it turns out that it's actually a weird stroke of luck in my flawed memory, because the Madeline Kahn gag with the Chef apparently never happened. My memory seems to actually be a mangled recollection of Jean Stapleton's appearance on the show, in which she reveals that she learned Mock Swedish through a correspondence course.

What can I say? It's a joke they should have made.

Update: More Bergman films: from SCTV, from Mystery Science Theatre 3000, from actor Jacques Villeret, from the Muppets, and the superhero film En Fläsh. Plus, of course, Twister with Death.

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