Tom and Jess are names printed in the mind of every person about my age and probably in the minds of all my generation’s parents and siblings as well – in Denmark that is. The actors Tom and Jess, a.k.a. Tom McEwan and Jess Ingerslev, made some terrific children’s television on Danish national TV in the 1980s. The shows were made in collaboration with the writer Søren Kragh-Jacobsen who managed to write some really funny texts always with subtle analyses of the age – explaining all sorts of silly adult things – like why any one would rent horror movies, watch the news every night or be obsessed with a healthy lifestyle. All those things that are everyday occurrences for adults but utter mysteries to children.
The shows always had great songs and luckily both Tom and Jess were and are skilled musicians and singers apart from being great actors. I know most of the songs by heart and listening to them again is one big trip down memory lane. Here is one where the brothers Omsen & Momsen sing about how boring it is to be shut up in your room when the adults party. Tom is the younger brother Momsen in the diaper and Jess is the elder brother Omsen. This was first aired in 1987 when I was eight:
Here is the more abstract song about the elephant and the mosquito who were friends and went on a bike trip on the savannah. The elephant always wanted to be in charge overruling the more intelligent mosquito. They use various kitchen utensils like a coffee pot impersonating the elephant and the whole thing refers to Omsen & Momsen’s dad who behaves like the elephant shouting and wanting to decide everything even when he is obviously wrong.
I could go on – all the songs are wonderful. But I’ll just let you see Tom & Jess without the diaper and the pajamas on a boat singing about all the stuff kids are not allowed to do – like farting, drawing on the walls, and screaming for more cookies. No no no that’s not allowed!