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Biography

The Swedish Chef is a Muppet that appeared on The Muppet Show. He was operated by Jim Henson and Frank Oz simultaneously and is now puppeteered by Bill Barretta.

A parody of television chefs, the Swedish Chef wears a toque blanche and has bushy eyebrows that completely obscure his eyes. He was one of the few Muppets to employ an actual puppeteer's hands, originally Oz's, in the designs – that is, they were visible to the audience through his sleeves and facilitated handling food and utensils.

Nearly all Swedish Chef sketches begin with him in a kitchen, waving some utensils while singing his signature song in his typical mock Swedish – a semi-comprehensible gibberish which parodies the characteristic vowel sounds of Swedish. The song's lyrics vary slightly from one episode to the next, but always end with "Bork, bork, bork!" as the Chef throws the utensils aside.

After this introduction, the Chef begins to prepare a recipe while giving a gibberish explanation of what he is doing. His commentary is spiced with the occasional English word to clue in the viewer to what he is attempting; for example, "Aweenda shmure da froog's legs." These hints are necessary as he frequently uses unorthodox culinary equipment (firearms, tennis racquets, etc.) to prepare his dishes. The sketch typically degenerates into a slapstick finale where the ingredients or equipment get the better of him.

In one sketch, a misaimed explosive charge slightly damaged the face of the puppet. The Chef's face remained scarred through the rest of the season.

The Chef is referred to by name in one episode, in which Danny Kaye plays his uncle. Kaye reels off a very long name but adds, "But we call him Tom" – much to the Chef's amusement

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