American Swedes fish for Colbert


(Image: Flickr, ChicagoGeek)

Sweden has been conducting an experiment with its national Twitter account. Every week, a different Swede is put in charge of it. The program is called Curators of Sweden. It’s meant to demonstrate Swedish values.

And South Carolina native and Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert wants in.

How do we know?

“I want control of Sweden’s Twitter account next,” Colbert said.

Unfortunately for Colbert, a spokesman for “the woodsy socialist utopia that’s pretty much Scandinavia’s Canada” denied him.

There may be another option.

People of Swedish descent have long been active in Minneapolis, serving coffee and pickled cucumbers in the basement of the old Turnblad Mansion on Park Avenue in Minneapolis. That’s the headquarters of the American Swedish Institute.

The American Swedish Institute is celebrating the opening of their shiny new addition at the end of the month (which is not surprisingly called the Nelson Cultural Center).

So, they’ve offered Colbert, who has 3.5 million followers, the opportunity to run the institute’s Twitter account, which has 953 followers as of Wednesday night.

Will Stephen Colbert crumble under American-Swedish pressure like a ginger thin?

See the Colbert Report here.

The complete letter from the American Swedish Institute’s Facebook page is below:

Dear Mr. Colbert,

It has come to our attention that you’ve been angling to take over the official Twitter account for the country of Sweden for a week. We also understand your efforts up to this point have been unsuccessful. We surely wish you luck as you continue to pursue this worthy goal.

In the meantime, the American Swedish Institute, one of the largest Swedish-American organizations in the U.S., would like to offer you control of our American Swedish Twitter feed for one day this week or next. We know this isn’t quite the same as tweeting for an entire nation, but as a major hub of American-Swedish relations, we hope you will find it an acceptable short-term substitute. Who knows, maybe the actual Sweden will see the work you’ve been doing for us, and reconsider.

You can tweet in English, Swedish, or in some hilarious, fakey mix of the two. We leave the comedy up to you, sir.

For us, the timing couldn’t be better – the American Swedish Institute is hosting a “Grand Öpening” of our newly expanded facility in Minneapolis on Sat., June 30. The Swedish Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Jonas Hafström, will also be in attendance. Just sayin’.

We offer you the tweeting responsibilities for sometime during Grand Öpening week, or some other time that would be more convenient for you. Like today.

Yours in Swedishness,

(the American kind)

Bruce Karstadt

President and CEO

American Swedish Institute

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