Áramótaskaupið is an annual Icelandic television comedy special that is broadcast on the public television network Sjónvarpið, the national broadcaster. It has been shown annually since Sjónvarpið started broadcasting in 1966. The show is an important part of Icelandic New Year's celebration for most Icelandic families. It focuses on the recent year from a satirical standpoint and shows little mercy toward its victims, especially politicians, artists, prominent businesspeople, and activists. The show is a compound word composed of "ára" (year's) + "móta" (ending) + "skaupið" (a word with no direct English translation, but generally interpreted as "comedy," "lampoon," "satire" or "ridicule").
The show's ratings on Sjónvarpið are among the highest in the world. In 2006, 93.3% of the population watched the show. In 2002, the show set a record when 95.5% of the population tuned in. Páll Magnússon, CEO of RÚV, the national broadcasting service, stated in an interview that this was most likely a record in the Western world.
In 2009, the show featured a sketch about the protests following the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis, in which Jón Gnarr played a strait-laced middle-aged protester shouting "Helvítis fokking fokk!!". The phrase swiftly became widely used in Iceland in relation to the crisis.
Due to high ratings, the commercials during Skaupið are among the most expensive on Icelandic television. In 2007 it was decided to sell commercials during the middle of the show, which stirred up a lot of controversy. The show ends a short time before midnight, and those Icelanders who shoot off fireworks usually do so when Skaupið is over.
- Youtube clip of Áramótaskaup sketch; 'Helvítis fokking fokk á forsíðu Hrunsins', Vísir, 5 June 2009, http://www.visir.is/helvitis-fokking-fokk-a-forsidu-hrunsins/article/2009112316069.
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