Jim Henson has inadvertently ruined all of Swedish culture. I recently tried watching Ingmar Bergman’s film, “The Seventh Seal,” but I couldn’t stop laughing for a minute because it sounded exactly like the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.
This is one of the most seminal pieces of existentialism in post-World War II cinema, yet all I can think of is, “Borken, de-borken borken, sheeber, borgin borger, deborkin bork.”
Swedish cinema doesn’t have a chance. As long as they opt for subtitles over dubbing, no matter how deep the film is, all you’ll be able to think about is a haphazard chef and his unsuccessful attempts to make spaghetti that keeps crawling away.
Although now that I think about it, what’s more existential than the Swedish Chef? Is it possible that the Muppets character is more of an influence on existentialism than all of Bergman’s work?
Sure Bergman uses alegorical symbolism to create a metaphorical imprint on his films. But the Swedish Chef is a felt puppet hosting his own cooking show where we watch his futile attempts to cook felt foods in the powerlessness and despair with which we lead our own careers. I’d argue that this is a more honestly depressing – and realistic depiction – of life than Bergman ever achieved.