The Timeless Popularity of Bassie and Adriaan: Nostalgia and Phenomenon

All memaggies and drommels, drommels, and more drommels: Bassie and Adriaan and their famous sayings remain a phenomenon. Last week they returned to the cinema with a documentary. But how timeless are the famous clown and acrobat really?

“The simplicity of Bassie and Adriaan has contributed to its popularity,” says Peter Nikken, lecturer at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and expert in the field of youth and media. “The series contains stereotypes and characteristic characters. The recognizable characters are so clearly good, bad, smart or stupid that as a child you don’t actually realize that they are being played by actors.”

So when Bassie slips on a banana peel, (almost) no one thinks: oh, that’s Bas van Toor making a blunder. “The humor and jokes – a kind of Laurel and Hardy-esque slapstick – you can see coming from a mile away as an adult,” says Nikken. “But it does work with children. As long as it ends well at the end.”

The magic of Bassie and Adriaan is difficult to define, says Bas Agterberg, who works as a curator at the media institute Beeld & Geluid. “It is quite clumsily made, quite simple. And played in a very caricatured manner. But somehow they still struck a chord. This is due to the recognisability of the lame jokes, the repetition and the fact that you know in advance that things will go well. What is special is that they are also popular with several generations.”

People in their forties and fifties know the cheeky duo from their youth, but people in their twenties or even the current children’s generation probably also have them regularly Bassie and Adriaan seen. So the feeling of nostalgia is great. “Your very first memory is the strongest. Your first cinema film, for example,” Agterberg explains.

“What you experience in childhood is much more intense than what you consume as an adult.” And that also works for Bassie and Adriaan. “The program itself is not timeless, but it does evoke enormous nostalgia. That is its power.”

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Watch the trailer of the documentary about Bassie and Adriaan

‘It doesn’t have to be so exuberant for children’

This also applies to many other children’s television that was made years ago, says Nikken. Shows like The Care Bears in Spongebob might as well evoke such a nostalgic feeling. “There are always new generations for whom the offer is unknown. That is why it is easy for stations to offer older productions: there is always a next audience.”

According to the media expert, it does not matter that Bassie and Adriaan seem a bit old-fashioned. “Children up to the age of six or seven do not pay attention to outdated technology or clumsiness. They are mainly concerned with the story. It must be recognizable and exciting.”

In fact, many children don’t care about all the modern gadgets of today’s children’s TV. “Sometimes you see that the makers have gone a bit too far,” says Nikken. “For children, it doesn’t have to be so exuberant. Think of Disney films, where all sorts of things are added to spice it up. For children, that distracts from the story or it becomes far too exciting.”

Not only has everything become faster and more modern, there is also much more choice. There are thousands of cartoons and children’s series on YouTube alone. “In the time of Bassie and Adriaan there were two public channels and children’s TV was only available on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons,” says Agterberg. “From the 1990s, with the arrival of commercial broadcasting time, this increased enormously and there was children’s TV almost every day.”

Bassie and Adriaan were not only on TV, but also in the theater. Photo: ANP

‘Bassie and Adriaan were really a product’

Since the early 2000s, this range has become much larger thanks to the Internet. “As a result, that nostalgic feeling has diminished,” says Nikken, “because there is much more choice. There will probably be children who get warm feelings from Dylan Haegens’ videos, but not as collectively as with Bassie and Adriaan. Even if you didn’t like them that much, you will have some memory of them. There was little else, so you watched it anyway.”

Agterberg emphasizes that there was something special about it Bassie and Adriaan, which meant that almost no one could get around them. “It really became a product, even outside of television. There was a circus, all kinds of products were made around them (such as Bassie and Adriaan-worst, red.).”

An idea from Joop van den Ende, who produced the series, the media curator explains. “That was it Bassie and Adriaan more commercial in nature than other TV programs, unique at the time. The program had no pretensions, but it did have a business model. It fit well into the trend of commercial broadcasting, which was on the rise at the time. In that respect it was Bassie and Adriaan quite a trendsetter.”

2023-12-02 13:41:00
#Bassie #Adriaan #cinema #timeless #famous #duo #Media

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