January 30, 2023

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That's what The Julekalender gang is doing today

That’s what The Julekalender gang is doing today

Julekalender was shown on TV 2 as a Christmas calendar for the first time in 1994 and, despite its somewhat unconventional Christmas calendar, was a huge hit and To be shown on TV 2 run and TV 2 Zebra again this year.

– It never goes out of style – It’s timeless, says Erling Mileus, the man behind the roles of Penny and Fritz, to TV2.

In the Christmas calendar we meet the elves Fritz, Hansi and Ginter played by Tore Johansen (74), Ivar Javseth (72) and Erling Milius (73). The three also play additional characters in the series, potato farmers Gertrude and Olaf Sand, and the vampire-like creature Penny.

To this day, the “Shoes Dance” to the folk song “Stovel Dance” is still danced by actors to people all over Norway.

Gertrude Sand and Hanse

 Photo: All rights reserved, EIR-J.BUE 2022

Gertrude: Tore Johansen played the gossip farmer’s wife, Gertrude Sand, and the imp Hansi. Image: Sachs Film & TV / Eir-Jørgen Bue

After the success of The Christmas Almanac, Tore Johansen (74) took part in many shows and musicals at the Trøndelag Teater, and did many different musical assignments.

In recent years he has also been part of Melhuslista, a local list running for elections in Johansen’s home commune, Melhus, in Sør Trondelag.

– I wasn’t very active, but I think the culture should get better conditions.

Together with Ivar Gafseth and Erling Mylius, he is still doing shows, despite the fact that it has been nearly 30 years since The Julekalender appeared on TV.

– It’s really crazy, if you ask me, Johansen laughed, and continued:

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— for nearly 30 years, so we’re struggling to sound like goblins, so to speak, but when Ivar opens his mouth and says “yeah, it’s kinda delicious,” people laugh to death.

Olaf Sand and Ginter

 Photo: All rights reserved, EIR-J.BUE 2022

Olaf: Ivar Javseth played potato farmer Olaf Sand and the elf Ginter. Image: Sachs Film & TV / Eir-Jørgen Bue

Ivar Gafseth (72) has long been a musical director and actor at Trøndelag Theatre, but after 40 years in the theater bubble, Gafseth left in 2017.

In addition to music and theater, the actor also owns two farms on which he spends his time.

– I’m a farmer like Olaf Sand. The farm is called Nøysomhet, just as it is in the Christmas calendar.

Even though Gafsa is of retirement age, that didn’t stop him from staying active all year round – both in terms of work and also physical activity.

– Now I go out and cycle five miles, he says, and continues:

– You’re in good shape even if you’re in your mid-70s. I have no choice – I have to dance the “shoe dance” at every performance.

Benny Jensen and Fritz

 Photo: All rights reserved, EIR-J.BUE 2022

Penny: Erling Mylius played a vampire-like creature, Benny Jensen and Goblin Fritz. Image: Sachs Film & TV / Eir-Jørgen Bue

When Erling Mailius (73) was contacted by TV2, he was sitting in his architect’s office, in downtown Trondheim. He lives and works here.

The Adresse newspaper called it “The Two-Face House”. I live with a view of the Nidelven River, says Mylius, who designed the house himself, and has an architect’s office facing the street.

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– Now I’m sitting in my office. If I walked in the house I would have a view of the river and the cathedral – absolutely perfect.

Ever since the Christmas calendar has been shown on television, he has stood with one foot on stage and one foot in the architect’s office.

– I was a “yes please, both” person. I tend to say that I am an architect in boom times and a musician in boom times. In times of prosperity, people want to create and build, and in times of decline, people want to rest.

TRAVELIN´ STRAWBERRIES: Today, the boys from The Julekalender remain in close contact and still play at various events.  (TV) Erling Milius, Ivar Javseth and Tore Johansen.  Photo: Eir-Jørgen Bue

TRAVELIN´ STRAWBERRIES: Today, the boys from The Julekalender remain in close contact and still play at various events. (TV) Erling Milius, Ivar Javseth and Tore Johansen. Photo: Eir-Jørgen Bue

Strawberry travellini

The gang has remained close together since 1966, when they started the rock band Difference. This also led to the recording of the Christmas Almanac, theatrical performances, and performances.

– We managed the art of staying friends – I’m glad about that, says Johansen.

All three band members express no doubt that their careers are being shelved.

– We already have plans for next Christmas, and we’ve booked four jobs that I can quickly bring up. We also played three jobs over the weekend, says Johansen.