Note: Leonard Cohen Tells Sexologist About His Dog, His Mother, His Impermanence, Seduction, Men As Cocker Spaniels, and Rules Between Men & Women was originally posted here June 27, 2011 and quickly became one of the most popular entries on this site. The videos to which the post linked were, however, soon removed, causing wailing and gnashing of teeth. Their reappearance was celebrated by a Nov 28, 2012 post, but again this recording dissipated into the internet ether. Now, one of the two parts of the original video has again been found.
Leonard Cohen Interviewed By Sexologist-Social Worker On Swedish TV
On April 29, 1988, Malena Ivarsson interviewed Leonard Cohen for SVT’s1 Fancy Friday.
The interview took place on a bed.
Some background might be useful. Malena Ivarsson is a social worker with a degree from the School of Social Work in Lund, a sexologist with certification from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, an author, and a television personality.2 After becoming known in the 1980s as the sex expert on SVT’s Lovely Sunday (a program described as a women’s magazine in TV format), Ms Ivarsson went on to host her own show, Fancy Friday, accounted as Sweden’s first sex program with a set design featuring “kissing mouths and phalluses in silk.”3 Despite sky-high ratings, the program was shut down after only six episodes,4 running from April 8 – May 13, 1988.5
Thank goodness the Leonard Cohen interview was one of those six shows.
Leonard Cohen: “I don’t think anybody … has ever seduced a woman”
Despite the boudoir milieu and Malena Ivarsson’s provocative posturing, Cohen is good-natured but straightforward in talking about his childhood pet, his fondness for his mother, his inability to develop a long-lasting, close relationship, and how men and women connect, including a discourse on seduction as a myth. Best Leonard Cohen soundbite from this interview: “I don’t want to let the facts get in the way of the truth.”
Alas, the second portion of this two-part, which contained the discussion of the most substantive of these topics, cannot be accessed. Still, the first portion is entertaining, and Cohen’s discourse on the notion of seduction is alone enough to warrant viewing.
Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Malena Ivarsson: April 29, 1988)