What Do Swedes Think of the Swedish Chef?

Swedish Chef

Zee Svedeesh Cheff frum zee Mooppet Shoo speeks a geebberish furm ooff Ingleesh--nut Svedeesh. Vhet du neteefe-a Svedeesh speekers theenk ooff heem? Slete's Jeremy Stehl infesteegeted. Bork Bork Bork!

I know this because it was one of the first questions I asked my Swedish wife when we were introduced. “I don’t see how it’s funny,” she responded in a tone that I took at the time to be an endearingly sarcastic deadpan, but would soon learn was actually an endearingly sincere deadpan.

The Swedish Chef does not speak any known language, and the fact that his nonsense words are so widely interpreted as Swedish-sounding is bewildering and annoying to Swedes.

“What has always struck me is that the Chef is probably based on a Norwegiansing-songish accent rather than a Swedish one,” Maaret Koskinen, a film studies professor at Stockholm University, wrote in an email when I asked her about the Swedish Chef’s cultural influence in Sweden.

Link | Photo: Disney


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I don't know about nowadays, but about 12 years ago when I was living in Sweden, people really liked the Swedish Chef. Perhaps it depends of the region (I was living in the south next to Malmo). I still love him fondly for his great chocolate moose recipe :)
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A guy at Fark asked his Swedish girlfriend about it and she was shocked to hear the chef was supposed to be a Swedish man. She thought he was called that because he tried to cook Swedish food, and did it badly.
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Really? This was one of the first questions I asked our Swedish engineer roommate when he moved in a few years ago. He sort of shrugged and smiled and said: "We don't harbour him any ill-will." Which I suppose left unsaid, "We don't exactly LIKE him, either."
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After reading that article my only thought is that Swedes & the author need to lighten up a bit. I thought Germans were the ones who aren't supposed to have a sense of humor.
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