Today, most Norwegians born in the 1960s and 70s still have nightmares about one special TV-program from their childhood. The black and white puppet show Pompel og Pilt is considered the only surrealistic television program that has frightened an entire generation. But to make it clear, that was not the creators’ intentions.
Pompel and Pilt are the two characters from the Norwegian children’s TV show called “Reparatørene” (English: The Repairmen). It was created in 1969 by Arne and Bjørg Mykle in cooperation with Ebbe Ording for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).
It stars Pompel and Pilt, two rather incompetent repairmen, Gorgon Vaktmester, a janitor which responds to Pompel and Pilt’s requests for things to repair with long streams of words rhyming with “repair” and chases after them when they try to escape, the Moffedille (which look like a mop, eats keys, and communicates through howling sounds and cartoon-style balloons), and Migrantene, small creatures that resembles bicycle pumps wearing wigs and hats.
The protagonists Pompel and Pilt are two confused repairmen who are not able to fix anything. Their boss, Gorgon Vaktmester (the Janitor) is a patient man, and he never gets angry at the two silly repairmen.
In every episode Pompel and Pilt are about to fix something, but never gets it right – and everything end in total chaos.
The TV show first aired in 1969, and again in 1973, 1976, 1979, 1985, and 1994.
It is a surreal puppet show, and has met a lot of criticism from child psychologists, teachers and others, mainly because it lacks logic and pedagogic content. The reason for the almost ten year intermission, from 1985 to 1994, was that NRK found the TV show to be unsuitable for children.
Just for fun: Try mentioning Pompel og Pilt to a Norwegian friend, colleague or relative, and let them tell you about their own experience – or you can see clip from Pompel og Pilt below and decide for yourself.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photo: Spirituell Film