Saturday, February 12, 2011

Belgian of the week: Jonas Geirnaert

Jonas Geirnaert (b. 1982) is an animator and comedian from Wachtebeke in East Flanders. In May 2004 he won the Short Film Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival with this brilliant animated short: Flatlife.

While producing the expertly crafted, true-to-form Flatline, Geirnaert created a more free-flowing comic titled Kabouter Wesley ("Gnome Wesley"). Starting in 2008, it ran in the HUMO magazine for 27 episodes. In 2009 the furious gnome reappeared in a popular series of animated shorts featured on the Eén show Man Bijt Hond ("Man Bites Dog"). These shorts are arguably Geirnaert's most popular work within Belgium and the Netherlands.

Here's an episode of Wesley wanting to smack a mushroom in the face. (Subtitled in English)

Since 2002 Geirnaert has been a member of Neveneffecten ("Side Effects"), a comedy quartet which consists of Geirnaert, Jelle De Beule, Lieven Scheire, and Koen De Poorter. Their most recent effort is Basta (2011), a satirical show. (Picture Michael Moore's The Awful Truth presented by four young Belgian men.) The second episode of the series caused every Belgian TV network to immediately cancel their quiz channels after the quartet revealed their dubious practices.

Neveneffecten. Left to right: Jelle De Beule, Jonas Geirnaert,
Lieven Scheire, Koen De Poorter. (Source)

I'll send you off with a clip from Basta where the guys (illegally) leave a container on the parking lot belonging to the headquarters of Mobistar, one of Belgium's main phone operators. When a representative of the company calls them to have the container removed, they subject him to a "customer service hell" almost as bad as the one you get from Mobistar itself. A brilliant touch to the plan is the fact that the guys are, in fact, hidden inside the container the whole time. (No English subtitles, sorry.)

Finally: if you speak even a little bit of Dutch, I recommend you to try and catch the final episode of Basta on Eén at 9 o'clock on Monday evening.


  1. Haha brilliant! Go go go baby! ^_^

  2. Jonas Geirnaert really ups the quality of my blog. Belgium needs more people like him ;)