Barend is weer bezig

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Barend is weer bezig
Country of origin Netherlands
Original language(s) Dutch
Original channel VPRO

Barend is weer bezig is a Dutch television show written and directed by Wim T. Schippers with Wim van der Linden, Gied Jaspars, and Ruud van Hemert and broadcast by the VPRO in 1972-1973.[1] The show was produced by Ellen Jens. Four regular episodes and a Christmas special were made, and caused considerable controversy, particularly because of a scene in which Queen Juliana of the Netherlands was mocked.

Genesis and content[edit]

The show was built around the character of Barend Servet, played by IJf Blokker, who had first appeared in the 1971 TV show De Fred Haché Show. Other characters who returned from the Hachéshow were Sjef van Oekel (played by Dolf Brouwers) and Fred Haché (played by Harry Touw). In typical Schippers fashion the show, like its predecessor, derived its comedy from low-brow humor involving silly costumes, dog turds, nudity, and chaos; it combined the trivial and banal with controversial content.[2] There were four episodes plus a Christmas special, Waar heb dat nou voor nodig.[3] The Christmas special was notable also for two songs written by Schippers and van Mechelen for Dolf Brouwers, "Vette jus" and "Juliana onze vorstin".[4]

Controversy and praise[edit]

The show provoked national controversy with a skit in which Barend Servet interviewed Juliana of the Netherlands (played by "Ria", one "RiMiCo ladies"); the queen drank sherry, and cleaned Brussels sprouts in order to pretend to feel close to the Dutch people, before throwing them in the trash or donating them to a children's home.[5] Questions were asked in parliament about the depiction of her majesty, and the VPRO was censured by the minister of culture, narrowly escaping having its broadcasting hours cut.[6][7]

While there were plenty of negative reviews, one notable supporter of De Fred Haché Show and Barend is weer bezig was Frans Haks, an art historian and critic who in 1978 became the director of the Groninger Museum (where he became known and controversial for his appreciation of avant-garde art). In the Museumjournaal, a well-established magazine for art and art history, he praised the show and said that its apparent clumsiness and triviality in "een geprofileerd and consistent kunstbegrip", "a well-shaped and consistent conception of art". His article also provoked strong reactions: the issue sold out quickly, at the same time that some readers canceled their subscriptions.[2]

Main cast[edit]

DVD release[edit]

The four episodes and the Christmas special were released on DVD as part 3 of Wim T. Schippers' Televisiepraktijken - sinds 1962; bonus material includes and the television plays De ondergang van de Onan (April 1976) and Echo's uit het Alpendal (August 1976).[1]



  1. ^ a b "Barend is weer bezig! – DVD/Blu ray" (in Dutch). VPRO. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Schumacher 247.
  3. ^ Schippers et al. Het Barend Servet effect, 6.
  4. ^ Schippers et al. Het Barend Servet effect, 203.
  5. ^ "'Televisiepraktijken sinds 1962': Wim T. Schippers". HUMO (in Dutch). 10 November 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Bosgraaf, Mirjam (30 September 2011). "Tel rel". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Juliana was een hoer: Majesteitsschennis in beeld en geluid" (in Dutch). Geschiedenis 24. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2013.