Danish Delectation Revisits 1988 First We Take Manhattan German TV Template
A new (at least to me) rendition of The Future by Leonard Cohen was uploaded in the past 24 hours.1 Now, there are a number of moving, dramatic, and even disturbing videos of Leonard Cohen performing this song about the forthcoming apocalypse. This, however, is the first funny version of it I’ve seen.
The YouTube blurb follows:
Tongue-in-cheek playback performance, from a Danish talkshow. Picture and sound slightly out of sync. But then, who isn’t.
The Diamonds in the Mine site is helpful in dating this episode in support of the then recently released The Future album as taking place probably in late 1992:
November 1992 – Promotional Interviews
Leonard hit the promotion trail again for The Future. Known TV spots include … 19 November 1992 – Canada a.m. Then it was off to Europe with appearances on Norwegian, Danish, French and Swedish programmes – usually miming to a track from the new album – Closing Time or The Future.
1988 First We Take Manhattan German TV Template
The most striking aspect, however, of this Danish TV version of The Future is its impressive mirroring of the 1988 German TV First We Take Manhattan performance that earlier this year was named the #1 Funniest Leonard Cohen Video.2 Both videos are set in a newsroom in which Cohen and two women (all four women are dressed and made up in similar styles) who he appears to be meeting for the first time mime the words and sway to the music of the song being promoted.
Although it lacks the high drama and low comedy of the 1988 spot, which features choreography, a less benign decor, and a three-handed arm wrestling session (Leonard Cohen defeats the two women) and Cohen himself breaks character (this may be the only video of Cohen smiling broadly while singing The Future), this Danish TV performance is indeed fun to watch.
For comparison, I’ve embedded below the February 1993 Leonard Cohen live performance of The Future on Canadian TV. The 1988 German TV First We Take Manhattan performance can be viewed at the link._____________________