Comedian Ari Eldjárn Receives Icelandic Optimism Award

President of Iceland GUðni Th. Jóhannesson, Ari Eldjárn, ISAL Director Rannveig Rist

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.


Icelandic Comedian Ari Eldjárn Releases Netflix Special

Stand-up comedian Ari Eldjárn

Pardon My Icelandic is the title of comedian Ari Eldjárn’s Netflix special, which premiered yesterday, December 2. Ari referred to the special as a dream come true. In the programme, Ari pokes fun at Iceland and its claims of greatness “per capita,” as well as making light of the differences between Icelanders and their Nordic neighbours.

Comedian Ari Eldjárn, 39, has been performing standup for some 11 years. He has worked as a writer on Icelandic TV programmes and has performed in the UK and Australia.

Iceland Review interviewed Ari Eldjárn about his career in comedy and translating jokes between cultures.

“Comedy is My Only Plan”

Stand-up comedian Ari Eldjárn

For a few days at the end of December, the most popular event in Reykjavík was Ari Eldjárn’s Áramótaskop. The year-in-review stand-up comedy show was a hit with audiences, and despite the limited time frame, a few days between Christmas and the New Year, Ari put on several sold-out shows in one of the biggest […]

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