21 June 1946|
|Died||16 November 2007
Trond Georg Kirkvaag (21 June 1946 – 16 November 2007) was a Norwegian comedian, actor, impressionist, screenwriter, author, director and television host. During his 39 years at the Norwegian TV network, NRK, he produced numerous comedy television series. After his death he was widely hailed by his colleagues as possibly the greatest Norwegian TV-comedian in history. He was the son of NRK journalist and television host Rolf Kirkvaag.
Trond Kirkvaag appeared on television for the first time in 1968 in an NRK 1 program titled “Smil til det skjulte kamera” (Smile to the hidden camera), which was originally broadcast on 7 October 1967. This was the first step into a long-standing professional relationship with NRK, and Trond Kirkvaag became a firm fixture in the national TV and radio corporation's identity.
Trond Kirkvaag was best known for his work with Knut Lystad and Lars Mjøen as part of the comedy trio KLM, which was inspired by such diverse influences as the absurd humour of Monty Python; the nonsensical, wordy Blackadder; Not the Nine O'Clock News; the childlike mime-esque Mr. Bean, made famous by Rowan Atkinson; and even the slapstick of the silent movie era and the quick-fire wise-cracking of the Marx Brothers. Kirkvaag and his fellow comedians won the “Gullrute” (Golden Pane) television award in 2004. The award is given by fellow members of the acting profession, and is an indication of how well-respected he was among his colleagues.
KLM won another Gullrute in 2007; however, only Lystad and Mjøen were able to receive the award, as Kirkvaag was too ill to attend. Lystad paid an emotional tribute to his long-time friend during his acceptance speech.
He began working at NRK in 1968. One of his first successes was “Buffalo Bløffs internasjonale vegg-til-vegg-show” (The Buffalo Bluff Wall-to-Wall International Tour) in 1973, made with partner Jon Skolmen. It won the Chaplin Award in Montreux. In 1976, he and Skolmen won the Golden Rose of Montreux, the Chaplin Award and the Press Award in Montreux for “The Nor-way to Broadcasting”, a humorous program about the history of broadcasting in Norway. He began his collaboration with Lystad and Mjøen in 1976 with the satirical news program, “Nynytt” (Newnews). In 1979 the three-man team wrote and starred in the first of four series about “Brødrene Dal” (The Dal Brothers), which continued to be produced until 2005. They also created a live show: “Brødrene Dal - Vikingsverdets forbannelse” (The Brothers Dal - Curse of the Viking Sword) in 1997 and released an LP album featuring songs from the show.
A Fifth series of “Brødrene Dal” was planned, but it was abandoned after Kirkvaag's death.
Other programs included “MRK Fjærsynet” (MRK TeeVee) - an ironic play on NRK's title, with the acronym being an abbreviation of “Morsk Rikskringkasting” (Hard and Fast National Broadcasting Corporation). Fjærsyn is a colloquial pronunciation of “fjernsyn” (TV), Skai TV - imitert fjernsyn” (Skai Ⓡ TV  — An Imitated Television (Channel), 1988), “KLMs Nachspiel” (KLM's After Play, 1992) and “KLMs Vorspiel” (KLM's Prelude), the Montreux live contributions, “Diplomatix” (1985) and “The Rise and Fall of an Olympic Village” (1994), as well as the film “Noe Helt Annet” (Something Completely Different, sometimes titled “Oppskrift på jubileumskake” — Jubilee Cake Recipe), a Monty Python tag line.
In 1996, Kirkvaag created the program “Trotto Libre” on NRK 1's “Alltid Moro” (Always Fun), with fellow comedian Otto Jespersen, in which he played the famous characters ‘Skræmmer'n’ (the Frightener) and ‘Jacob Winche-Lanche’. After the collaboration with Jespersen ended, he starred in a skit series “Showtalk”, with short satirical sketches on a TV2 talk show.
His final TV appearance was on “Luftens Helter”, which he co-wrote with Knut Lystad. The final episode was aired the day after his death.
Kirkvaag wrote two books: the crime novel “Kongen” (The King), and the autobiography “Kom ikke nærmere. Jeg og far” (Come no closer. Me and Dad), in which he described what it was like growing up in the 1950s in Majorstuen (a part of the Frogner borough in Oslo), in the shadow of his father, the most famous Norwegian TV entertainer of his time, then nicknamed Sjonkel Rolf by the children who watched his shows.
In Come no closer, Kirkvaag describes his father as being a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both at home and at work, prone to severely punishing his children when they broke his rules, sometimes beating them, though their sister was always spared from such harsh treatment. Kirkvaag wrote that he and his brother were so frightened they used to call him The stranger. Kirkvaag's uncle, Tor Kirkvaag (born 1929; Rolf Kirkvaag Sr's younger brother) denied these and other allegations. Trond Kirkvaag's younger brother Rolf Jr. (born 1948) was as adamant as his uncle; he firmly denied the things his brother wrote; however, he admitted on the same day that he and his elder brother were in fact mistreated by their father. Trond claimed that he tried to reconcile his differences with his father before he died in 2003, without success.
- NRK Nett TV: «Nekrolog over Trond Kirkvaag ved Lisa Strindberg» (Obituary of T. Kirkvaag, by L. Strindberg) — video report.
- on YouTube (KLM: Trond Kirkvaag parodying [fellow] Dan Børge Akerø).
- Dagbladet, 6 June 2007: «Trond Kirkvaag alvorlig kreftsyk» (Trond Kirkvaag seriously ill with cancer).
- IMDb: Trond Kirkvaag's Filmography.
- Not to be confused with the Greek Skai TV (ΣΚΑΪ Τηλεόραση) channel, set up five years later…
- Dagbladet, 5 October 1996: «Morsomt» (Funny).
- NRK, 29 August 2002: «Ubetalelig morsomme klipp» (Priceless humorous clips).
- NRK: «Trond Kirkvaag ble bisatt fredag» (Trond Kirkvaag cremated Friday)
- Dagsavisen, 14 August 2007: «Alt om hans far» (All about his father).
- NRK, 17 November 2007: «Trond Kirkvaag er død» (Trond Kirkvaag died).
- “Kom ikke nærmere” (Published by NRK aktivum Forlag, 2007, 270 pages, ISBN 978-82-8178-238-9).
- Aftenposten, 1 August 2007: «Minner uten filter» (Memories without filter).
- VG, 18 July 2007: «Slått av far han fryktet» (Beaten by the father he feared).
- Se og Hør, 18 July 2007: «Kirkvaag slått av far» (Kirkvaag beaten by his father).
- Se og Hør, 19 July 2007: «Lillebror Kirkvaag raser» (Lil' brother Kirkvaag enraged).
- Se og Hør, 18 July 2007: «- Kirkvaag var en god far» («Kirkgaard was a good father»).
- VG, 18 July 2007: «- Jeg valgte ris på rumpa framfor husarrest» («I chose to be spanked rather than be prohibited from going out).
- Trond Kirkvaag at the Internet Movie Database
- KLM Fan Club (Norwegian)
- on YouTube — Video sketch (Norwegian)