Comedian Ari Eldjárn received the Icelandic Optimism Award 2020 at the presidential residence Bessastaðir during the weekend. President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson presented him with the award, which has been awarded annually since 1981.
Ari Eldjárn studied scriptwriting at London Film School and since 2009, stand up comedy has been his main occupation. He has performed solo, with his comedy troupe Mið-Ísland, and accompanied by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. His latest cap feather is the Netflix Stand-up Special Pardon My Icelandic. The judging committee’s comment state that Ari has a remarkable sense of humour regarding himself, the nation, and human existence. He is a modern-day storyteller and a great representative of Icelandic culture.
The optimism award was founded by Danish businessman Peter Bröste in 1981 but in 2000, when Bröste called on Icelandic companies to take over the award, aluminium company ISAL took over. The award consists of a trophy of Icelandic aluminium and a million ISK ($7,840, € 6,375). Former award holders include Björk, artist Ragnar Kjartansson, Director of San Francisco Ballet Helgi Tómasson, Nordic Council Literature award-winning author Einar Már Guðmundsson, and last year’s winner, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, and Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Truly honoured to be the 2020 recipient of the Icelandic Optimist Award. Like me, the award dates back to 1981, the greatest year in history. I’m full of optimism and think that 2021 will be a fantastic year. Shout-out to my daughter for photobombing the President of Iceland. pic.twitter.com/pOlcyVF3xv
— Ari Eldjárn (@arieldjarn) January 2, 2021