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This is my old blog, which I no longer update. Feel free to browse around old posts and such, but the much more recent version of my ramblings are to be found at MarilynAnneCampbell.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006


When my roommate first explained this show to me I was baffled by his enthusiasm. Then I saw it and soon found myself on the other side, gleefully trying to explain the concept to my politely bemused friends. ‘Lazy Town’ is a children’s show from Iceland that promotes healthy living through good food and lots of running around. There are three live actors, a gaggle of puppets, and a town that is mostly layered in after the fact thanks to green screen technology. It’s strange, and strangely addictive.

The basic premise is that Stephanie (Julianna Rose Mauriello) has come to LazyTown to live with her uncle, the Mayor. There she meets a group of kids who each have a personality trait that inclines them towards unhealthy living. With the help of Sportacus (Magnús Scheving), a hero who lives in a peddle-powered blimp, she keeps the kids singing and dancing and eating sports candy (Sportacus’ term for fruit and vegetables). The real clincher though is Robbie Rotten (Stefán Karl Stefánsson), supposedly the laziest man in LazyTown who expends ten times the energy of the kids trying to trick them into being lazy. It’s always a wacky display involving elaborate costumes and general scene stealing (his background as a theatre actor in Iceland may have something to do with the latter).

One thing that’s fascinating about this particular kids show is how and why it came to exist. An accomplished athlete, Magnús Scheving began speaking on healthy living and kept hearing questions from parents about how to get healthy messages through to their children. He developed the LazyTown premise first as a book, then as a stage play (with Stefánsson playing Robbie), then finally as this series that has become a sensation in numerous countries. According to his various web biographies floating around out there he’s already won several awards for his entrepreneurial acumen.1 If anyone out there is trying to find a marketing man to model themselves after (or a university essay topic) Scheving would be hard to beat.

‘LazyTown’ is all bright colours and chipper themes and extreme athletic displays by Scheving and Mauriello, which are elements that in most cases would have annoyed me. But it’s all so wonderfully odd and delightfully silly I have to say I’m looking forward to the new episodes that have just been announced. I haven’t been watching the reruns lately and, I hate to admit it, but since then my sports candy consumption has actually been slipping. Apparently, Scheving’s message worked on me, too.

1 From his IMDB biography

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