Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic

Playful national stereotyping nudges up against some more outlandish humour

With a name that translates pretty spectacularly as 'Eagle Fire Iron', this ex-flight attendant has swooped in from his homeland of Iceland to deliver some Scandi humour. Ari Eldjárn is a cheery sort, eyes burning bright with enthusiasm as he begins rattling through some stereotypes about his country, the nation so often mistaken for a frozen-food selling supermarket. Iceland's financial crash, football victories and Eurovision entries all get a look in too, before he moves onto some traits about his health-conscious Danish and emotion-bottling Finnish neighbours.

Although the material will be well-pitched for a chunk of international visitors to Edinburgh (he has many stories about lost-in-translation moments) the family-friendly gags remain mostly middle of the road, only occasionally straying into weirder or more original material.

The character Eldjárn imagines behind the mumbly voice over the airplane Tannoy, tenderly kissing his own sculpted guns, for example, is a treat, as is his much less sexy Danish version of Bond's 007, with both sections showing off his knack for accents. Once he's got past the introductions, and is trading less on his Icelandic-ness, it seems there could be more interesting stuff going on beneath the surface.

Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, until 27 Aug (not 9, 23), 1.40pm, £5 (£3) or Pay What You Want.

Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic

  • 3 stars

Heroes of Fringe / PWYW Ari Eldjárn is Iceland’s biggest stand-up comedian. Born and raised in Reykjavík, he debuted as a stand up comic in 2009 with his local comedy group Mið-Ísland, which is the highest selling stand-up act of all time in Iceland. He has done numerous TV specials, performed with the Icelandic Symphony…