Comedian and Mayor Jon Gnarr Runs Iceland’s Best Party, Loves The Wire


Elections in Reykjavik, Iceland resulted with 34.7% of the vote going to a group called the Best Party — really — founded only in December. Its promises? “A polar bear display for the zoo. Free towels at public swimming pools. A ‘drug-free Parliament by 2020.'” On the strength of these policies and many more seemingly hilarious non sequiturs — and after a catastrophic financial collapse — the Best Party, headed by comedian Jon Gnarr, is taking charge. Literally. He’s the mayor of 320,000 people and, according to the New York Times, he’s the man.

In Gnarr’s acceptance speech, he explained:

“No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”

Previously, he promised a group of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport. All of this and more is true, and in the newspaper’s Saturday Profile, which is jam packed with hilarious anecdotes about Gnarr’s rise to power. The paper turns to a political scientist to explain how this could happen, but any semi-astute reader already knows: “It’s a protest vote.”

In other words, people are fed up with the status quo in a very serious way. A celebrity with jokes is a breath of fresh air, and he also sends a message, from the Best Party’s punk rock party members to its serious moral standings. Still, it’s playful and Gnarr introduced himself on the political scene thusly:

But perhaps most importantly, the man loves good American television:

With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”

Omar comin’ to Iceland.