Weird and Wonderful JOHN DILLERMAND

Years ago when my kids were very small, I had a strictly controlled TV watch list. The television was normally turned off but when it was on, I rationed it to limited doses of Barney (the purple dinosaur) and Blues Clues (a blue dog). Recently on CBC Radio I heard about a new Danish children’s show creating quite a stir. It’s about John Dillermand who has an un-naturally long and uncontrollable magic penis which gets him into all kinds of trouble.

My initial reaction was “That’s a joke. Maybe a parody of a soon to be ex- president.” But no, a quick search found several other articles about the show.

Denmark’s flagship broadcaster (DR) has suffered blowback over its newest children’s TV program, “John Dillermand” — an animation starring a man with a penis so massive and flexible it can save children from danger, fetch objects from a river and operate as a pogo stick.

Denmark debuts new children’s TV show about a man with a huge and uncontrollable penis. By Rob Picheta, CNN. January 7, 2021

Defending the show, however, is Morten Skov Hansen, head of DR’s children’s department, who insists the series isn’t about genitals but “about being true to one’s self — including your flaws.” He says the show also “acknowledges children’s growing curiosity about the body: both the things that are embarrassing, and the things that are fun.”

Danish Broadcaster Defends Kids Show About Man With Superhuman Penis: ‘It’s as Desexualized as It Can Possibly Get’ By Elsa Keslassy. Variety. January 8, 2021
Danish TV network DR has caused quite the stir with its new animated children’s series called John Dillermand

Watching this video made me slightly uncomfortable. But you know what? I watched a re-run of Barney and Friends and that made me uncomfortable too. There’s something creepy about a man in a purple suit playing with kids.

Maybe John Dillermand is not such a horrible concept. He’s a person who’s body does outrageous things but once he accepts his difference, he learns how to use his magic for good.

Still. I wonder what the female equivalent would look like.

I won’t be adding this show to my kids TV watch list, even if it is twenty five years later.

Not in Denmark. January 2021

10 Comments

  1. I find this bizarre. In a way I want to like it (as an ex-children’s librarian I’ve had in the past to stick up for books that tried to normalise the differences between people’s appearances, for instance) but it nevertheless sounds a bit distasteful to me, as though there’s an element of eagerness to shock. We need to accept that children like to giggle about ‘naughty bits’ but building a whole TV series around that, and trying to justify it as educating them about acceptance of difference, seems a bit gratuitous. I’ll have to see what my Danish friend thinks of it!

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  2. I feel quite old and controlling when I see things like this. I want to be open and see the good in it, but it just seems perverse and I think, would be confusing for kids. As kids imitate so much of what they see in TV, I can only imagine negative things emanating from pre-schoolers or 3 year old who watch this. I don’t think their heads are mature enough to see the subtle and altruistic themes about acceptance. Goodness me, if they wanted to talk about acceptance of differences, make it about the stigma of kids who have congenital facial deformities and the terrible pain they endure daily – and how magic could overcome that, for goodness sake. What a waste of money and resources.

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    1. Although my adult self found this absurdly funny, I too had some misgivings with the concept.

      As the CBC Radio interviewer says – how did this idea ever get past the pitch stage? I could see this idea being thrown out in a brainstorming session (probably in a local bar, after some drinks) but later .. someone must have sobered up, you’d think.

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      1. The Danes can be precious about such things. Freedom of speech etc but to my mind, the potential negatives outweigh the alleged positives. The Danes claim to have interest from other countries to buy the program. I imagine that might be Iceland or other Scandi countries. They understand the language. Unfortunately Iceland also has high rates of incestual abuse and this concept normalizes conversations celebrating the “power” of male genitals which I feel could be subverted by nefarious interests. I will ask my Danish friends what they think.
        Am I being too prudish?

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