• Sweden edition
 
'Swedish crowds are too polite': Stockholm comic

'Swedish crowds are too polite': Stockholm comic

Published: 24 Oct 2012 14:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Oct 2012 14:04 GMT+02:00

Organizers of "Ha Ha Stockholm" Erik Bamberg and Yemi Afolabi are from Toronto and New York respectively, two cities where the stand-up scene is “much more developed” than in Sweden, according to Bamberg.

After the first few weeks of their competition yielded good turnouts and a great level of comics, they are keen to continue pushing the Stockholm comedy scene with a concept that’s proved popular abroad but, according to them, has never been tried in the Swedish capital.

The Local found out more.

So what exactly is the show?

Erik Bamberg:The idea for Haha Stockholm is a comedy show with comedians competing against each other and the audience voting for which comics go through. Competitions like this are common in North America and in the UK, but it hasn’t been done around here yet. It’s really good concept for a show.

How does it work?

EB: Anyone can come and participate. Some of the people who have signed up are people who are completely new to stand-up, some people have been doing it for a while but are not yet pros. It's a really beautiful mix of people, the youngest contestant so far is 16 years old and the oldest is 82!

How did the idea for the show come about and why are you doing it?

EB:We're both comics who have been living and working in cities where comedy is everywhere: New York and Toronto. As a comedian, you can perform several times a night there, whereas in Sweden the scene is much smaller.

The scene has gotten bigger and better here over the years though. But you have to remember that stand-up is still pretty young in Stockholm - the scene is only really two decades old.

With this competition we wanted to start something new on the Stockholm comedy scene. If there had been a competition like this before we would have probably been in it, but there wasn’t, so we just decided to just start one ourselves.

How do you find Swedes react to comedy?

EB:The crowds are great. In general, people are very interested and give the performers their attention. That's actually also one of the drawbacks: the crowds are actually almost too polite. I don't think one of us has ever really been heckled in Sweden.

As weird as it might sound, I think crowds in Sweden should heckle comedians way more. Heckling, at certain points, isn't bad for comics. Knowing that it might happen makes you stay alert and ready.

What does the winner get besides 5,000 kronor ($750)?

EB:It's going to be a great thing to put on your comedy resumé, you can say to bookers and others that "Hey, I won this thing". The winner also gets everlasting glory and a chance to meet Fredrik Reinfeldt (not the prime minister, but we met a guy who was also named Fredrik Reinfeldt and he agreed to say hello to the winner).

The competition takes place every Wednesday at 8pm at the Skål bar in Hornstull. Acts in both Swedish and English. Entry costs 60 kronor.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

21:41 October 24, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Fly me to Sweden and I will sit there in the audience and heckle for you-no problem!!
01:15 October 25, 2012 by Hisingen
Stand-up comedy in Sweden is pretty poor stuff, and hardly worth heckling, other than to get the 'comedian' off the stage.
10:27 October 25, 2012 by StockholmSam
As one who has done a bit of stand-up, I can say that hecklers are not a welcome part of the formula. Instead, they are a factor that needs to be considered, but certainly not encouraged. The audience is there to be entertained by a skillfully wrought performance. When hecklers hijack the performance and take the performer out of his or her space, they destroy the moment for everyone. True, comedians must prepare for hecklers, but it takes great skill and mental fortitude to think on your feet while on stage and trying to make people laugh. And it should be noted that hecklers are usually quite drunk to the point of aggression. Nobody should encourage that, least of all these jokers who are in the article.

And Hisingen beat me to it. The quality of Swedish stand-up is too poor to elicit much of an emotional response. Besides, hecklers usually respond to humor built on controversial subjects, which you do not see much around here. I remember a Jewish friend doing some stand-up and his routine was about Israel and Arabs. He was the only jew there and the audience (in Stockholm) was filled with Arabs. Man, it was brutal. Some of his skit was pretty funny, but not from the perspective of the audience. Nobody laughed and he got boo'd off the stage. Those are the topics that get hecklers shouting. He decided to avoid the political humor after that.
Today's headlines
Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

710
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se