There are many different reasons why people visit Iceland, like the nature, Björk, Eyjafjallajökull, the Blue Lagoon or puffin dolls. But not before I met Chris Crow had I heard of anyone coming to Iceland because of the kids TV show Lazy Town.
Crow is a 26-year old IT technician from Denver and he wears the badge of biggest Lazy Town fan in the world proudly. “If there was a bigger one out there I would know about him,” he says.
It was through being the show’s biggest fan that he learned about Iceland. He first came here in 2014, and instead of driving the Golden Circle, climbing the steps of Hallgrímskirkja or searching out a secret hot pool to bathe in, he used all of his time following post production of the fourth and last season of Lazy Town.
“Before Lazy Town, I knew what Iceland was, but nothing substantial. I knew who Björk was or whatever, the standard stuff,” Crow says. “So the show was absolutely the main purpose for my first visit. I wanted to find paraphernalia I couldn’t find online and hang out in Iceland as a Lazy Town fan.”
Passion for a kids show
Lazy Town began as a storybook published in 1991, by aerobic gymnast Magnús Scheving. It then went on to become several stage shows before it was made into a TV series–which ran from 2004 to 2014.
“For years I’ve been asked about where my interest in Lazy Town comes from and I have yet to come up with a good answer,” Crow says. “I found it in 2008 through related videos on Youtube and immediately I was fascinated by how colourful and energetic it was. There was this pink girl and weird looking blue guy and I thought “what the hell is this?”
For whatever reason, Crow was mesmerised and hooked. He needed more Lazy Town and started digging deeper into the mythos of this Icelandic kids show. Soon he discovered that beyond the TV show there were 15 years of stuff he could look into, and the more he consumed, the more new found passion grew.
“I’m a pretty normal guy outside of Lazy Town, but when I come home, instead of fixing up a car or whatever, I do Lazy Town projects.”
Not into the wholesome values
Lazy Town was always presented as a show that was meant to encourage kids to be active, exercise and live a healthy lifestyle. But that is not how Crow experiences the show.
“I don’t actually see Lazy Town as a health show. I see it more as a slice of life of these characters in this crazy town,” he says. “The health stuff is always more in the background, but I’m note sure if it was supposed to be the other way around.”
Not a brony
An obvious comparison to make with Crow’s Lazy Town love is the Brony movement—the adult fans of My Little Pony. The group came to public prominence following the 2012 documentary “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”. With annual Brony conventions being held in the US. But Crow does not like that comparison, as he was there first.
“I guess there are similarities. I’ve never watched My Little Pony, but I assume it’s a pretty high quality show in terms of writing and animation,” he says. “I understand the comparison, but I don’t like it. And for the record, I was around way before Bronies, so I’m a little bit of a hipster.”
The reactions of strangers
Crow comes across as an incredibly affable and nice guy, but it is probably understandable that some people might have questions about a man in his twenties being this passionate about a show intended for children. But he has a very “fuck it” sort of attitude towards other people’s ideas.
“I’m not shy about it, but I usually don’t go too deep into how far my passion actually goes,” he says. “I guess I don’t know what people are internally thinking. Whether they are going: “What’s with this guy? Is he a creep?” It doesn’t really matter–I don’t care what they believe. But I think most people are really interested or happy to hear that there is something that I’m this passionate about—that something matters to me.”
Creating his own fan content
Through his love for Lazy Town, Crow became good friends with Máni Svavarsson, who composed the music for the show. When in Iceland he stays with Máni and the main reason for his current visit is to record an unofficial Lazy Town song—entitled Lazy Town Forever–with the composer.
“We have actress Chloe lang, who portrayed Stephanie in seasons 3-4 doing vocals, so despite it being unofficial it is totally legit.”
Another part for his stay is searching for long lost Lazy Town treasures in the flee markets of Reykjavík. He is a large collector of everything Lazy and recently dug up some valuables in Kolaportið.
“There were two things I really wanted that I’ve been unable to find, which is ok,” he says. “But I found a lot of other great things. For example I found a cookbook from 2001—I haven’t seen anyone else who owns that–and it cost me just $10 (1000 króna), I mean that is something else.”
Crow claims that it is hard to find Lazy Town paraphernalia online, so he would really appreciate all the help he can get. So reach out to the Grapevine if you have some good stuff.
A comeback would mean everything
To the horror of Crow and other Lazy Town fans around the world, the show was cancelled in 2014. As of yet, there are no plans to revive the show, but he is not shy about how important a revival would mean to him.
“A lot of my life revolves around Lazy Town, as silly as that may sound. So it coming back would be a new chapter in my life,” he says. “I would have all this new stuff to analyse. Think about how I really like this line or that song. I think it’s foolish of the property holders not to bring it back as a cartoon. Maybe it should always have been a cartoon.”
We sure hope that the property holders stop being lazy and grant Crow his wish.