Friday, April 10, 2009

Simplisties Verbond

Too long and too far away from my roots in the Netherlands, I had to be reminded by my old friend Bert Schilte about van Kooten en De Bie. Shame on me and thanks to you, Bert! 

Two of the few Dutch civilians under the age of 65 who wore a beret in public (in the 1970's, that is). 

Van Kooten en De Bie were a Dutch comedy duo formed by Kees van Kooten and Wim de Bie.

The two cooperated for years, before they started to work for the public broadcasting organization VPRO, where they first performed for radio broadcasting, and later took to making shows for television. Their first television appearance was in 1972 with the program Het Simplisties Verbond (The Simplistik [sic] League), with a carpet-beater as their symbol. The show mainly featured sketches whose returning intricate characters and running gags quickly became very well known in The Netherlands. In 1980 they changed the name of their weekly programme to Koot en Bie, a year later renamed Van Kooten en De Bie. In 1989 the show took a turn to focus more on current events, and was therefore renamed Keek op de week (View on the Week). They had then become such a household name that many people just referred to their show and work as "Koot en Bie".

They were mostly known for the incredible accuracy of their hilarious stereotypical characters and their critical view of Dutch society and politics. In the course of years they performed many characters, fictional and non-fictional.

Their final TV-appearance as "Koot en Bie", took place on 16 November 2003 in the VPRO-program Terugkeek van Van Kooten en De Bie'.

Van Kooten and De Bie were very important for the Dutch culture from the seventies until the nineties, and their intelligent political criticism still resonates today. A lot of typical Koot en Bie expressions made it into the Dutch language.


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