Last Friday the Killers’ frontman, Mormon and personality vacuum Brendon Flowers appeared on Norwegian chat show Skavlan to promote his band’s upcoming new album Battle Born. There is nothing particularly interesting in an American popstar plugging his shitty record in Scandinavia. In fact, perhaps it was the numbing prospect of interviewing the dullest man in music about his dull music that prompted the production team into making an editorial masterstroke of ruthlessly cruel genius. They added Richard Hawkins to the panel and teed up a debate on Mormonism. Oh and for some reason Ulrika Johnson was there too. Yes, Richard Dawkins, Brandon Flowers and Ulrika Johnson. The results were predictably gruesome. Warning though, viewing is not for the faint hearted and yet more distressingly, as impossible as it might sound, you may find yourself sympathising with Brendon Flowers (Dawkins enters and the good stuff begins on 8.20m).
Personally, I just like to imagine the producers conversation beforehand:
A. This is a fucking boring interview we have lined up here.
B. Yes. Brandon Flowers makes Justin Bieber look like Pussy Riot. How could we make this interview more exciting?
A.Why don`t we get the world’s most aggressive atheist on the panel as well?!
B. Richard Dawkins! Yes that would put the shit up him
A. And Ulrika Johnson?!
B. Why do you always suggest Ulrika Johnson – Yes okay, but never again.
A. YESSS! (Producer A has been a long term fan of Ulrika Johnson since way back in her Gladiator days)
If you can’t view the video it is summarised below.
About 2 minutes in, Fredrik Skavlan the interviewer begins to gently ask Flowers about his Mormon faith, warming him up with puff questions like “Can you please explain the beauty of faith to the audience?”. Flowers clearly uncomfortable obliges but struggles to retain his trademark placidity as the line of questioning continue. At one point, clearly peeved at being asked yet another question about his faith he answered “It’s difficult, because I am here to promote this band and then I get questions a lot about being a Mormon”.
In retrospect, Flowers probably considers that a highpoint. A few moments later Skavlen introduces Richard Dawkins to the panel and all pretense of civility is removed as the editors master plan in its full glory is revealed.
Immediately quizzed about his thoughts on Mormons, Dawkins pulls no punches and declared the book of Mormonism “an obvious fake” and the founder “a convicted charlatan, a convicted con man”. To which Flowers, struggling to hold back his tears, retorts with the unintentionally brilliant line ” These are all falses, you should do your research”. Dawkins then continues to insult Mormonism some more before the mismatch is mercifully brought to an end when Skavlan interrupts the “debate” to inform Flowers that “We have to throw you out… because the band would like you to get ready with them”. Yes, to play their god awful song; all Flowers had wanted to all along.