If you weren’t into girls, you’d be gay

Icetralia is a stand up comedy show that features Australian gay comedian Jono Duffy and Icelandic comedian and cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson. They have worked together for a few months now, most often performing at Cafe Rosenberg in Reykjavík and this weekend they‘re taking the show to Copenhagen where neither of them has performed before – well execpt in a bedroom.

"I perform in broken English with a strong Icelandic accent, it‘s a kind of Björk language," explains Hugleikur.
“I perform in broken English with a strong Icelandic accent, it‘s a kind of Björk language,” explains Hugleikur.

Jono is late, he is on the set of a new music video of the Icelandic diva Hera Björk and can‘t get away. Me and Hugleikur have a beer at Café Rosenberg, where their show Icetralia is showing tonight, and start chatting while we wait.

Hugleikur says that when he first saw Jono perform he realized instantly that this was a professional comedian and when Jono suggested, a few months back, that they put up a show together he jumped at the chance and they have been performing together ever since. Each has his own routine, they don‘t perform together, so it‘s actually two shows in one night.

As Jono performs in English, obviously, Hugleikur does too, and he says it is quite a challenge to perform in a foreign language. “I perform in broken English with a strong Icelandic accent, it‘s a kind of Björk language, and I think it gives my old stuff new perspective. Many of the jokes I tell in this show are old and I don‘t perform them in my Icelandic shows anymore, but the audience that doesn’t speak Icelandic doesn’t know them. And when I tell them in English it‘s like there is this whole new character performing and the jokes sound fresh anew, which is great fun.”

„I‘m more obscene and dark in my cartoons than on stage… it‘s harder to pull of jokes about domestic violence, rape and child abuse when you are standing on stage. Jokes about bodily fluids, poop, semen and piss, are easier to pull off …“

Most of Hugleikur‘s cartoons come with English texts so why hasn‘t he performed in English before? “I have performed in English before, when I went to Finland with my stand up routine, but I have not performed in any other non Icelandic speaking country so there has never been any need.”

After a short pause Hugleikur corrects himself and says that every Monday night there is an open mike night at Gaukurinn, which he often participates in and there all the performances are in English. But being as famous as he is, does he need to be performing at an open mike? “The boring thing about being a comedian is that you can‘t practice alone in a garage, you have to try out the jokes in front of an audience to see if they work. If the crowd is responsive the jokes get a life and often they develop into new ones while you are performing on stage.”

Hugleikur is known for taking his jokes to extremes, particularly in his cartoons, and many find his humor offensive. Does he go as far into obscenity on stage as he does in his books?

"Sweden? We got a tweet today asking if we would bring the show there, but they would probably hang us for being so politically incorrect, so we might not do that,“ says Jono.
“Sweden? We got a tweet today asking if we would bring the show there, but they would probably hang us for being so politically incorrect,“ says Jono.

“In my opinion I‘m more obscene and dark in my cartoons than on stage, my subjects in the cartoons are often very dark, but it‘s harder to pull of jokes about domestic violence, rape and child abuse when you are standing on stage. Jokes about bodily fluids, poop, semen and piss, are easier to pull off on stage. The darker side of my stand up performance is often more political and touches on things that are happening in society. Stand up is a direct response to the audience each time and if the crowd is not laughing after 30 seconds of my performance I start to get worried and try to change the game. When you‘re drawing you are not able to hear the response so you allow yourself to go further.”

Offensive jokes have been in the spotlight lately, especially after the Charlie Hebdo massacre last year, and I ask Hugleikur where the line is drawn. Can jokes go too far? “In the Charlie Hebdo case it was not that the jokes went too far, they just offended the moral code of mad people,” Hugleikur says. “Of course there is a fair bit of subjects that you don‘t make jokes about without thinking, but I think I have covered them all in my books. I use the jokes as a way to deal with all the horrible things that go on in the world and if people get offended I think that is a good thing. People get offended for the right reasons; in their world you don‘t joke about these things. Which is the right way to look at it. The thing about political correctness is that it is correct, but it‘s the role of the comedian to dance on that line and sometimes step over it to see the reaction and keep the discussion about right and wrong and freedom of speech alive.”

As Hugleikur is speaking Jono comes running into the Café, literally, and asks what we are talking about. Being told that the subject is political correctness, he nods his head and says: “Oh, and Sweden? We got a tweet today asking if we would bring the show there, but they would probably hang us for being so politically incorrect, so we might not do that.”

„I do openly talk about my sex life on stage which is probably why I‘m not having a lot of it.“

It‘s a short distance between Denmark and Sweden, geographically, and asked if they don‘t fear the same reaction in Copenhagen this weekend they shake their heads in unison. “No, I think Danish humor is very similar to Icelandic humor, so I‘m not worried,” Hugleikur says. “I‘ve never performed there, actually, but I think it will be fun.”

I ask Jono if he has ever performed in Denmark and his response is very typical of his humor. “Not on stage, but in a bedroom, yes,” he deadpans. “That was an interesting experience. He was more of a performer than I was.”

Speaking of political correctness I ask if being gay gives Jono the right to make jokes about gays that would offend if Hugleikur told them.“Definitely,” Jono says. “I have said some pretty colorful things in the past about being gay.”

Hugleikur Dagsson is a relatively talented Icelandic cartoonist who turned to stand up comedy to avoid real work. This has brought him local fame, some money and a couple of diseases. His comedy is like himself; filthy, friendly and slightly autistic.
Hugleikur Dagsson is a relatively talented Icelandic cartoonist who turned to stand up comedy to avoid real work. This has brought him local fame, some money and a couple of diseases. His comedy is like himself; filthy, friendly and slightly autistic.

“It‘s like that with every minority,“ Hugleikur adds. “If you‘ are a comedian of that minority you have that licence. I‘m allowed to joke about men in their thirties with glasses and beard, the losers, cause I‘m one of them.”

“Yeah,” Jono agrees. “That‘s how we break down barriers, show people it‘s OK to laugh at all kinds of stuff. I make fun of  Icelanders in my routine, but it‘s kind of making fun of your family; they‘re retards, but they are my retards.”

Jono has said in an interview that the reason he moved to Iceland was that he wanted to fuck Páll Óskar, the Icelandic pop star, has that dream come true? “Yeah I said that. I mean who would not want to fuck him? He‘s the queen of Iceland. I joke about that in my performance, yeah, and I‘ve actually told that joke with Páll Óskar in the audience and he loved it.”

But did he take you up on it? “Woah, let‘s leave some mystery here. Who knows,” Jono says and blinks. “But I do openly talk about my sex life on stage which is probably why I‘m not having a lot of it.”

Speaking of that, Hugleikur interrupts and puts in a question of his own. “You think that is a factor in getting laid,” he says. “I mean I talk a lot about penises and balls and poop and everything, does that maybe make me slightly less attractive to the women in the audience?”

“It might be a factor, yes,” Jono answers. “A lot of people have the perception that if you are a stand up comedian people will want to have sex with you because you‘re funny, but I don‘t find that is the case. I think many people are afraid to end up as one of my jokes if they have sex with me.”

„If it were not for the fact that you prefer sex with women, you‘re pretty much a gay man.“

Jono has made sketches on Youtube about the life of gay guys in Iceland where he makes fun of the small community where everyone has already slept with everyone and there are lots of complications. Has he already gone through the whole community of gays in Iceland himself? “Well, there are some members of the gay community that would probably have you believe that, but it‘s not a fact. Being the only openly gay comedian on the Icelandic scene I‘ve become quite known and I see people watching me when I‘m out clubbing. It makes me uncomfortable and I become very cautious.

Jono Duffy is an Australian born comedian and cabaret performer who recently moved to Iceland to avoid poisonous spiders and ex husbands. His comedy is like himself; gay, Australian and a bit desperate.
Jono Duffy is an Australian born comedian and cabaret performer who recently moved to Iceland to avoid poisonous spiders and ex husbands. His comedy is like himself; gay, Australian and a bit desperate.

The sad truth about my sex life is that I make out with people but I never take them home. I just could not be bothered. Part of the reason I moved here was that I didn‘t want to be at that stage in life where my every feeling was dictated by someone else. I just wanted to be in a place where I could focus on my career and learn how to love myself.”

Asked if they are altering the show for their Danish performance this weekend, they both agree that their humor is universal and they have no worries on that account. “I have one Danish joke,” Hugleikur says. “They will get that, but otherwise I think this show would work anywhere.”

“Except in Sweden,“ Jono pipes in and they both have a massive laugh.

“It would work in Sweden,” Hugleikur says. “You just would have to drop the midget jokes.”

In the Danish press the show has been introduced as „a homo stand up“ where does that leave Hugleikur? “He‘s kind of gay,” Jono says. “If it were not for the fact that you prefer sex with women, you‘re pretty much a gay man. You‘re pretty poofy.”

 Icetralia is an international comedy event featuring two different comedians from two different islands. Duffy and Dagsson bring you everything you want in a comedy show; observations, obscenities and musical numbers.
Icetralia will be shown at Café Rosenberg at 21 o‘clock tonight and at the Nordatlantens brygge in Copenhagen at 21 o‘clock Saturday the 23rd of April.

Photos: Courtesy of Hugleikur Dagsson and Jonathan Duffy.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Núðluskálin
          - noodle bar

          Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

          All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
          We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
          Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

          Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

          Seatours
          - adventure cruise

          Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
          and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

          The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

          600x400-seatours-tasting

          This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

          600x400-seatours

          The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

          Birds, possible to spot:
          -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
          -eider ducks
          -shags
          -kittiwakes
          -fulmars
          -white-tailed eagle

          The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
          Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

          Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

          Contact Us


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