Van Oekel's Discohoek (1974–1975)

TV Series
8.8
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Title: Van Oekel's Discohoek (1974–1975)

Van Oekel's Discohoek (1974–1975) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Episodes

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1  
1975   1974  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dolf Brouwers ...
 Sjef van Oekel (12 episodes, 1974-1975)
Jaap Bar ...
 Ir. Evert van der Pik (12 episodes, 1974-1975)
IJf Blokker ...
 Barend Servet (10 episodes, 1974-1975)
Gerard Schiering ...
 Ds. Bongers / ... (5 episodes, 1974-1975)
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Release Date:

30 May 1974 (Netherlands)  »

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Trivia

Singer Robert Long filmed a performance for an early episode, which was never broadcast. Apparently because of objections from his management or record company. All that remains from is appearance are several behind the scenes pictures that are visible on the DVD boxed set and it's accompanying booklet. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Van Oekel special (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite intentionally awful - in a good way
13 June 2009 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having first appeared as Sjef van Oekel in "De Fred Haché Show" and gotten more exposure in it's follow up "Barend Is Weer Bezig!", 62 year old Dolf Brouwers took the character to a whole new level with a lot of help from writer/creator Wim T. Schippers & Wim van der Linden in Van Oekel's Discohoek. A music program modeled after Top of the Pops Dutch' counterpart Toppop. This Disco corner is basically a self-parody which enjoys pointing out that the artist are all miming to their own records. One can only hope the musical acts were all in on the joke.

The two Wim's already had some experience in presenting current musical acts on television with the groundbreaking and controversial late sixties youth magazine "Hoepla". They then went on to perfect their particular style of anti-comedy shows with the aforementioned Fred Haché and Barend Servet shows in which anything and everything would go wrong, leaving the viewers at home unsure if the technical difficulties shown on screen were actually happening or planned in advance. A controversial Christmas special starring Haché, Servet and Van Oekel called 'Waar Heb Dat Nou Voor Nodig' lead straight into Van Oekel's Disco Hoek and, surprise surprise, each of the 12 shows featured a plug for the long playing record with songs from said special.

Van Oekel's Discohoek was if possible even more chaotic: the set would collapse around presenter Van Oekel (Brouwers) and his accounting assistant Van Der Pik (Jaap Bar) at least once every show. The two of them would usually interrupt or go about their business during the musical acts, who were all shown to be lip-syncing as Van Der Pik put on their records and Oekel would occasionally bump into the record player to have it skip a groove. On one memorable occasion, Van der Pik found himself tripping over some sound cables which caused the audio to cut off. Another time Van Oekel took over the directors booth and accidentally switched to the other side where the news was being broadcast.

The set was comprised of two different elements that purposely clashed with each other: a brightly colored abstract stage for the artist to perform on and a dusty little office space section for Van O and VD P. This did not stop the cameramen from framing very peculiar shots - with people's head popping up at the bottom of the screen and microphones and lights clearly visible on top. There were weird jump cuts and occasionally scenes were repeated twice for no good reason. In short it was all very experimental and looked as if it was slapped together by a bunch of amateurs - mind you, this is was exactly how it was supposed to look. It's no wonder there end credits were usually omitted - the crew must have been too embarrassed. Another recurring character was youth pastor Dominee Bongers (played by ???) who kept returning despite Van Oekel's objections.

Barend Servet (IJf Blokker) would usually show up during the show to promote the Discohoek's stage appearance all around the country (which were probably even more of a mess). Fred Haché (Harry Touw) returned in time for the 1974 Christmas episode which saw the introduction of Cees Schouwenaar as Otto Kolkvet (later to be known as Henk Pal) (here playing a drunken Santa). This particular show ended with Van Oekel puking into Van Der Pik's bicycle bag. This caused Henk van der Meijden to lobby for the show to be taken off the air. Instead, the late bloomer Brouwers (or more precise the Van Oekel character) became so popular he was voted most popular TV personality by Muziek Expres magazine.

It may take a while for people to warm up to this Discohoek. A lot of people will see it simply as an immensely crude and childish show featuring some middle aged men acting like teenagers amongst a lot of very good Seventies music. But if you get the joke, it proves to be a fascinating and completely unpredictable watch - even more now that it has become a musical time capsule. Here are some more of the show's wonderful idiosyncrasies I forgot to mention before: Van Oekel was always obviously reading his lines from a piece of paper, constant plugs for the VPRO membership and Schippers and regular composer Clous Van Mechelen began recording crazy jingles for every possible opportunity (an art form they would perfect in their radio program Ronflonflon avec Jacques Plafond).

In the last episode, Van Oekel is predicting his return to television in another Wim & Wim (and Ellen Jens) production, which would turn out to be 'Waldolala', in which Dolf Brouwers went by the name of Waldo van Dungen. Before that however, Sjef van Oekel would become a comic strip character (written by Wim T. Schippers with art by Theo van den Boogaard. This would eventually lead to a dispute between Brouwers and Schippers because not only did the former not get any compensation for the use of his likeness, he also began objecting to the increasingly crass and borderline pornographic situations depicted in the strip.

Dolf Brouwers passed away in 1997 and 7 years later a stage play called "Dolf Brouwers, Ben Ik Dat?" premiered based on his life.

9 out of 10


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