This Is What Going Insane Must Feel Like

It’s 2:15 in the morning and I am lying in bed looking at the ceiling unable to sleep because something is bothering me. Not world peace, starving people, politics, the nuclear clock. No. None of that.

What is keeping me awake is what exactly was the Swedish chef saying on the muppets? WTF did bork, bork, bork mean?

There are days when I feel like my whole existence is a parody of a Marc Maron podcast.

42 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    Børk, stoopid.

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    It means he was predicting that Democrats would usher in a new era of partisanship by refusing to confirm the most esteemed Constitutional scholar of our era.

  3. 3
    scav says:

    It’s the secret ingredient in Janssons frestelse. There. Off you pop.

  4. 4
    Ripley says:

    It’s the sound the chicken makes when you keep fucking it.

  5. 5
    Fred says:

    Hej John-

    The Swedish Chef always sounds to me like he is saying, “Mork, mork, mork”. It translates to “Dark, dark dark.”

    On the morning show in Stockholm there used to be an old chef who did a cooking segment and was the spitting image of The Swedish Chef, hat and all. He even sounded kinda like him. But I never heard him say, “Mork mork.” but maybe I missed that recipe.

    Now you can go back to bed John.

    God natt,
    Your friend, Fred

  6. 6

    Yumpin’ Yiminy, it’s the sound a cat makes when you shave its netherbits.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    It’s only understandable in the original Swedish.

    But then I could never understand Dylan except for this song.

  8. 8
    J.Ty says:

    Parody of Swedish. It meant “bork bork bork.” Still does, actually–according to noted jurist Antonin Scalia, “Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.” One of the most hilariously inaccurate things ever said, but.

    It means “bork bork bork”, they’re funny noises.

    Other mister J.Ty had a “minor” cancer scare earlier today too, so let’s all flip off mortality for a second. He’s probably fine but.

  9. 9
    EvolutionaryDesign says:

    Dammit Doug, ya beat me to it!

  10. 10
    Wally Ballou says:

    @DougJ: I’ve been laughing at that for a solid ten minutes. Good job.

  11. 11
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    I like the song, but I really, really love the video. It gets so much from so little, and while it’s easier than easy to figure out how it was shot, it still amazes me.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    I also can’t sleep. I wish it were thoughts of muppets keeping me awake.

  13. 13
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:


    And before I clicked on your link, I figured it would be this one. For Doug, or something.

  14. 14
    SectionH says:

    Because Shit?

    Remember: You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

  15. 15
    Arclite says:

    I’m pretty sure “bork” means “fuck” in Swedish…

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    There are days when I feel like my whole existence is a parody of a Marc Maron podcast.

    And the truth shall set you free.

    Perhaps it’s not really “bork” but “nork” – a subtle pseudo-Scandinavian homage to the character Norton Nork portrayed by the the late Sandy Becker on some of his multitudinous kids’ shows.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:


    Well, if you’ve ever watched a Swedish film, the closing word on the screen is Slut. ([The] End in Swedish.)

  18. 18
    Joel Hanes says:

    Damnit. Cole made me go read the Wikipedia entry.

    Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) does the voice and the hands

    The Wikipedia entry cites alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork, as is only right and proper; this eventually produced alt.adjective.noun.verb.verb.verb, and its renowned FAQ

    near the bottom:

    Bork, Bork, Bork! Mozilla Firefox add-on – Translate pages to Bork and bork (block) unwanted things.
    Google “Bork! Bork! Bork!” interface
    Svedeesh Chef Calculator iOS App


    In the German dubbed version of The Muppet Show, the Swedish Chef is Danish and his song is “Smørrebrød, Smørrebrød røm, pøm, pøm, pøm”. However, in the Swedish version, he is still “Swedish”.

  19. 19
    Bruce K says:

    Now you’ve got me wondering what would come out if the archives of this site were run through an Encheferizer.

  20. 20
    corkbouy says:

    after the Habs/NY game he is obviously saying:
    Bourque, Bourque, Bourque, Bourque,

    Note:liberated from this tweet

  21. 21
    Rich (In Name Only) in Reno says:

    I can’t sleep either; brain won’t shut down for the night, and it’s all disjointed nonsense keeping me awake; a mix of woulda-coulda-shoulda moments and scenes and images from assorted art/literary projects that will never see the light of day. I tried reading a recently acquired copy of of Curt Riess’ “Underground Europe,” it’s a 1942 book on anti-Nazi resistance movements (I’m a small time book dealer and my apartment is full of used books,) but no go. I’m off to watch a Public Domain mystery movie on YouTube.

    I’ve got to work tomorrow (but it’s the 2-6 shift.)

  22. 22
    raven says:

    You’d say I’m putting you on
    But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
    You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
    You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
    You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
    For a little peace of mind

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mork Mork Mork Mork Mork Mork… Hey, where’s Mindy?

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    How do you even discover something like that? I kept expecting John Cleese and and Terry Gilliam to pop out of the dancers or a giant foot slam down & crush them.

  25. 25
    FridayNext says:

    As all true Muppet geeks know the Swedish Chef doesn’t speak Swedish, he speaks Mock Swedish. Which, isn’t really his native language, Mock Japanese is. I have no idea what “Børk” means in Mock Japanese.

  26. 26
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    He was making music thinking of his favorite Icelandic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir.

  27. 27
    Keith G says:

    Well Cole, even in parody a Marc Maron podcast is at an elevated level of achievement.

    Be happy that on those days you don’t feel like your whole existence is a parody of a Glen Beck podcast.

    Speaking of podcasts (like Maron’s) that should be on most folk’s download list, Mike Pesca’s the Gist is a week daily podcast that drops in the late afternoon and is a news, views and culture wrap up. Here is Tuesday’s episode..

  28. 28
    AxelFoley says:



  29. 29
    Mike E says:

    @raven: “Paul is dead, miss him miss him miss him.”

  30. 30
    Robert says:

    My favorite bit about insomnia:

  31. 31
    Rob says:

    Easy its Swedish for Mahna Mahna

  32. 32
    PaulW says:

    Doo dooo de doo do.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Since it was the Muppets I assume it was a lot more subversive than one would think.

  34. 34
    maya says:

    The Svenska Chef was actively involved with the not-so subliminal promotion of a certain SCOTUS nominee.

  35. 35
    someofparts says:

    I don’t believe that thinking about Muppets is ever a waste of time.

    Also, I’ve found that a little bowl of pasta and a glass of milk put me right to sleep every time, although your mileage may vary.

  36. 36
    JoyceH says:

    One night, my middle of the night musings resulted in this – Peter Piper could NOT have picked a peck of pickled peppers! Oh, maybe he picked a peck of peppers and then pickled them. But peppers don’t grow pre-pickled.

  37. 37
    JimV says:

    Maybe he is a tennis fan and chants, “Borg, Borg, Borg” for inspiration.

  38. 38
    Ramalama says:

    I actually did a wee bit of research on this a while back for @profblue. Jim Henson listened to Swedish language tapes in his car and came up with the pretend Swedish chef lingo. You know like Tolkein, only in felt and for broadcast. Apparently the Swedish chef is a source of irritation to a lot of actual Swedes in Sweden.

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ramalama: Yeah. I had a swede ask me if I thought Swedes really sounded like that. I said, no, but truth be told, after a few glasses of akvavit, they kind of do sound like that.

  40. 40
    Ramalama says:

    @Suffern ACE: I’m not sure I actually heard Swedish spoken, though I’m named after a great aunt who came from Sweden. She was mostly deaf so she sounded off anyway. And I was a kid. And the Muppet Show eclipsed everything. In sum, akvavit, yes, but also Jewel generic iced tea or kool-aid.

  41. 41
    kbuttle says:


    It’s possible you’re conflating the nursery rhyme with the Run DMC song. It happens to the best of us.

  42. 42
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    [And, via here –

    Thees Is Vhet Gueeng Insune-a Moost Feel Leeke-a
    Pusted by Juhn (MCCERTHY) Cule-a et 2:38 em Mey 282014

    It’s 2:15 in zee murneeng und I em lyeeng in bed luukeeng et zee ceeeling uneble-a tu sleep becoose-a sumetheeng is buzeereeng me-a. Nut vurld peece-a, sterfeeng peuple-a, puleetics, zee noocleer cluck. Nu. Nune-a ooff thet. Bork Bork Bork!

    Vhet is keepeeng me-a eveke-a is vhet ixectly ves zee Svedeesh cheff seyeeng oon zee mooppets? VTF deed bork, bork, bork meun? Bork Bork Bork!

    Zeere-a ere-a deys vhee I feel leeke-a my vhule-a ixeestence-a is a perudy ooff a Merc Merun pudcest. Bork Bork Bork!

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