Physical comedy transcends language, and can be found anywhere in the world. Today I discovered Gunnar Papphammar from Sweden. When I find a great physical comedian I’ve never seen before, it’s like a jewel I get to add to my treasure chest, and share with you. I wish I could tell you more about him, but nearly everything available is in Swedish. He did both verbal and non verbal comedy, and I will share some great examples of his silent work.
This first video really had me laughing. It’s pure awkwardness, but the important thing is that it goes on for a long time. If it were just a few falls, it would be mildly amusing, but to keep struggling for a couple minutes allows the comedy to take hold and build. Also, notice how stiff he is, the straight lines in his arms and legs. If a cartoony animator added rubberiness to get a lot of arcs, it would lose that. Real people have bones!
This next one also includes traveling on wheels, but it gets a little deeper into character. I love how he is embarrassed to even have a skateboard when the cool kids are riding by. We are all beginners at one time, and when we see it in him, we can relate. We find it endearing. That is the kind of thing animators could put to use in their work.
Det Ringer 1 is the first of a series. It’s a long set up for a fast punchline.
This final clip comes off like a Monty Python skit, but it takes it one NSFW step further.
If it were directing that one, I probably would have had him cross the road differently. I think he should have stopped the looking around while crossing. He could run across really fast, then come to a complete stop and look around again. Or just walk across straight and casual, without any looking around. It should be about getting it over with quickly.
Anyway, I hope to learn more about Papphammar, and perhaps get some more clips to share.
1 thought on “Swedish comedian Gunnar Papphammar”
Hello. I found your post by mistake. But I am from Sweden and I can till you that the actor’s name was Gösta Ekman. He’s kind of a comedy legend here in Sweden. Sadly he passed away in 2017. He is really missed by the swedes.