Al Pitcher is a funny man. Constantly.
As we were walking through Stockholm to film the segment (below), we came across a TV production where a young girl was dragging heavy bags up a hill.
“You can blame Reinfeldt for this, what’s happening to this country!?” he shouts to the crew, with a sly wink.
Luckily, New Zealander Al Pitcher, 40, has used this razor sharp wit and his observational humour to its full advantage and can now lay claim to the title of Sweden’s 2011 comedian of the year.
He has taken his current “Fika tour” across the country and released a new book “Begravda Elefanter” (‘Buried Elephants’) this week.
“It blows my mind, I can’t believe I’ve got a book published in Sweden – in Swedish!” he tells The Local.
However, it’s little wonder that all of Sweden want a piece of Pitcher.
With the current tour selling out nationwide and another tour in the offing for 2013 – as well as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August – it’s fair to say he’s hit the big-time.
But it’s the publication of the book that has Pitcher beaming.
“It’s a bit of a cliché, but if you’d mentioned this to me five years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he says.
“I’m really proud of this book – I like to call it an on-the-toilet book, perfect for light reading. In fact, it was just a side project to begin with, but it’s really taken off.”
Pitcher says that his view of Sweden from an outsider’s perspective is like being “a kid in a toy shop”, something Swedish people love to hear.
However, the self-proclaimed “word-of-mouth comedian” claims that despite having no TV-show like some other comedians, Swedes and foreigners are flocking to his shows and keeping a close eye on his online activity.
One of his stand-up YouTube clips has even attracted over 100,000 views.
The book was inspired by Pitcher’s award-winning Picture Show.
The book’s title, which translates to “Buried Elephants”, comes from a particularly well-received picture of the Swedish ventilation shafts which bear an eerie resemblance to elephant trunks.
However, despite the book, the tour, and the new Local Lockdown, Pitcher claims that he’s not performing comedy for the fame.
“Being a comedian is like jumping on a bull. It’s a crazy ride, you’ve got to wear the occasional silly hat sometimes, but when people come up to me on the street and tell me they’ve enjoyed my work, it’s the greatest reward.”
Pitcher’s Fika tour runs until November, and he will appear in Edinburgh with his show “Tiny Triumphs” from August 1-26.