@Sweden’s Real Swedish Chef Is Tired of Your Muppet Show Jokes

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 29 2012 12:35 PM

Stop Asking This Real Swedish Chef About the Swedish Chef

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Left: The Swedish Chef. Right: Swedish chef Björn Frantzén.

Left: Courtesy the Jim Henson Company. Right: Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images.

Yesterday in Slate, I wrote about how one of the most popular questions asked of travelling Swedes is what they think of the Swedish Chef. Most commonly Swedes will answer that they think he sounds Norwegian—and that they wish you’d stop asking.

Ironically, the operator of the @Sweden Twitter account this week happens to be a real Swedish chef. You see, Sweden’s tourism board hands off the country’s official Twitter handle to a different random Swede each week as part of a very cool, very successful social experiment.

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This week’s @Sweden is renowned chef Björn Frantzén, and in the just over 24 hours since my article has been published, he has been bombarded with Swedish Chef jokes and questions about the article. At least nine people have Tweeted at him with some variation of the word “bork”—and @Sweden is growing increasingly irritated.

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When I reached out to Frantzén for comment for my original article, he emailed back that he had no interest in the topic. “I'm sorry to say that I have missed the whole thing about the Swedish chef,” he wrote. “So, I'm sorry but I can't help you out.”

At the very least, his tweets seem to confirm that we Americans might want to come up with another topic of conversation for our chats with Swedish people. My suggestion: Jens Lekman.

Previously
The Swedish Chef, “Translated” by Swedes
1! 1 Supercut for the Count

Jeremy Stahl is a Slate senior editor. You can follow him on Twitter.