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Samvirke

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Sam the Eagle, a trustworthy and misunderstood character.

Samvirke is a Danish monthly magazine published by the company FDB, which focuses on articles on consumers, culture and family life.

In issue number 9 (1979), there was an article writen by Ellen Bick Meier warning Danes about the dangers of importing American fast food culture, and The Muppet Show. The first part of the article covers the opening of the second Burger King in Copenhagen, and the author's thoughts about American fast food and Danish fast food.

The second part covers the meaningless violence of American shows on Danish television and the mass produced merchandise based on TV shows, using The Muppet Show as the main example.

The article describes Jim Henson as a cool and serious businessman. He started his career in puppetry earning money with meaningless violence performed by two puppets in coffee commercials, which earned him so much money that he could afford a Rolls Royce.

The article brings up many examples of violence on the show, including Muppets that blow each other up, just to be on again in the next scene, Lobsters shooting at the Swedish Chef, Gonzo's exploding trumpet, and Dr. Bob laughing and telling jokes while his patients are dying. The article says that violence is as American as apple pie, and in that case The Muppet Show is a big slice of apple pie.

The article also mentions that Sam the Eagle is one of the must trustworthy characters on the show, and that for some reason, he's the one that's made most fun of.

On the other hand, the author says, there are also some harmless things on the show -- songs from the 50s, duets from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and a lot of innocent fun. But viewers should be prepared that everything is not so harmless.

Compared to Danish children's television, the Muppets are violent and noisy, and the explanation to this has to be found in the hard competition in the American television market, that the producers think they can earn more by using violence.

The author ends up concluding that Danes should be careful of how much of the American mass-produced culture they choose to embrace.

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