Musical comedy
Educational television
Created byMagnús Scheving
Based onÁfram Latibær!
by Magnús Scheving
Written byMark Valenti
StarringJulianna Rose Mauriello
Chloe Lang
Magnús Scheving
Stefán Karl Stefánsson
Guðmundur Þór Kárason
Sarah Burgess
Kobie Powell
Jodi Eichelberger
David Matthew Feldman
Julie Westwood
Opening theme"Welcome to LazyTown", performed by Jón Jósep Snæbjörnsson
Ending theme"Bing Bang"
ComposerMáni Svavarsson
Country of originIceland
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes104[a] (list of episodes)
Executive producersMagnús Scheving
Ragnheiður Melsteð
Raymond P. Le Gué
Mark Read
Brown Johnson
Kay Wilson Stallings
Running time24 minutes
Production companiesLazyTown Entertainment
Truenorth Production
Les Enterprises Le Gué
Original release
NetworkNickelodeon (international)
RÚV, Stöð 2 (Iceland)
Release16 August 2004 (2004-08-16) –
13 October 2014 (2014-10-13)

LazyTown is an Icelandic children's educational musical comedy program with a cast and crew from Iceland, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is based upon a children's book from 1991 titled Áfram Latibær! and was created by Magnús Scheving, a gymnastics champion who also plays the character Sportacus.

The series was commissioned by Nickelodeon in 2003, following the production of two stage plays and a test pilot. Originally performed in American English, the show has been dubbed into more than thirty languages (including Icelandic) and aired in over 180 countries. The show combines live-action, puppetry and CGI animation.[1]

52 episodes were produced from 2004 to 2007, for the first and second seasons. It originally aired on Viacom's Nickelodeon channel in the United States and internationally. Turner Broadcasting System Europe acquired LazyTown Entertainment in 2011[2] and commissioned third and fourth seasons[3][4] for a total of 13 new episodes, which premiered in 2013 on Turner's Cartoonito and later on Viacom's Channel 5.

Multiple spin-off projects were created, including stage productions and a short-format television program for younger children titled LazyTown Extra.

History and production

LazyTown began as a storybook published in 1991 titled Áfram Latibær! ("Go, Go, LazyTown!").[5] In 1996, a stage adaptation of the book toured Iceland. It featured Stephanie as an out-of-shape dancer and Sportacus as an energetic elf. The puppet characters seen in the television series also appeared in human form, but Robbie Rotten did not yet exist. A second stage show titled Glanni Glæpur í Latabæ ("Robbie Rotten in LazyTown") debuted in 1999. It introduced Stefán Karl Stefánsson as Robbie and featured more finalized versions of the other characters. Nickelodeon Australia reported that by the time the second play finished touring, LazyTown had become a household name in Iceland.[6] A variety of tie-in products and media were created in the country before Scheving decided to develop LazyTown into a television program; these included bottled water, toy figures, and a radio station.[7]

In most episodes, the only characters played by live actors are Stephanie, Sportacus, and Robbie Rotten. The rest of the characters are depicted as puppets, made by the Neal Scanlan Studio and Wit Puppets. The show was filmed and produced at 380 Studios, a purpose-built studio near Reykjavík equipped with high-end HDTV production facilities and one of the largest green screens in the world. The production floor area is 1,800 square meters.[8][9] The budget for each episode was approximately ISK 70,000,000 (US$1 million), about five times the average cost for a children's television programme at the time, making it "the most expensive children's show in the world" according to Scheving.[10][11]

Its virtual sets were generated with an Unreal Engine 3-based framework, created by Raymond P. Le Gué and known as XRGen4. According to Le Gué, "We start with the live actors and puppets on a physical set with a green screen behind them as a backdrop. The green screen is replaced in real time with the sets created in XRGen4 using UE3. As we move the camera and actors around the physical set, the backdrop scene also moves in real time in complete synchronization with the movements of the real camera. All of this is recorded, and the director can watch the resulting composition in real time."[12] Seasons 3 and 4 of LazyTown were filmed as usual in the LazyTown Studios in Iceland, but the special effects were created this time round by Turner Studios in Atlanta.[13]


The series focuses on eight-year-old Stephanie, the newest resident of the LazyTown community. She has moved to LazyTown to live with her uncle, Mayor Meanswell, and is surprised to learn that all of her neighbors lead inactive lifestyles. With the help of an above-average superhero named Sportacus, she helps teach the other residents how to partake in more athletic pastimes. Her attempts are often nearly thwarted by Robbie Rotten, who prefers to lead a sluggish life and is agitated by the sudden boom of physical activity. On a regular basis, Robbie devises ill-judged schemes to make LazyTown lazy once again. However, his plans are never foolproof and always end with him losing.

Each of the children that Stephanie befriends embodies negative characteristics. Ziggy, who is kindhearted and wants to be a superhero when he grows up, has an unbalanced diet void of fruits and vegetables. Trixie is a troublemaker with little respect for rules and other people. Pixel is an inventor who displays anti-social behavior and spends too much time on his computer. Stingy has a self-centered attitude and is possessive of nearly everything in town. As the series progresses, the characters become less lazy in favor of a healthier way of living.

The program features a predominantly Europop soundtrack.[5] Each episode features at least one original song and concludes with a different performance of "Bing Bang," which is sung by Stephanie. Many tracks are reworked versions of songs from the Icelandic plays.





Main article: List of LazyTown episodes

Fifty-two episodes were produced for the first two seasons of LazyTown between 2004 and 2007. The final two seasons, consisting of thirteen episodes each, aired from 2013 to 2014.

Series Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
Pilot Unaired (produced in 2002) Unaired (produced in 2002)
1 34 August 16, 2004 (2004-08-16) May 18, 2006 (2006-05-18)
2 18 September 25, 2006 (2006-09-25) October 15, 2007 (2007-10-15)
3 12 March 13, 2013 (2013-03-13) December 12, 2013 (2013-12-12)
4 13 January 10, 2014 (2014-01-10) October 13, 2014 (2014-10-13)


In the United States, the show debuted on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block on 16 August 2004.[16] The second season debuted in the United States on Nick Jr. in 2006.[17][18] It also aired in the United States on CBS as part of the Nickelodeon on CBS Saturday morning block from 18 September 2004 to 9 September 2006. The series would continue to air daily on the Nick Jr. channel until 17 July 2010.[19] On 19 April 2011, Sprout acquired the US TV rights to LazyTown and started airing the series on 5 September 2011.[20] It aired daily on the channel until 2 October 2016.

The series has been broadcast on a variety of networks internationally, many of which belong to Viacom Media Networks. Nickelodeon Southeast Asia has carried the program in eleven territories.[21] In Australia and New Zealand, it is shown on Nickelodeon Australia.[6] In the United Kingdom, it was aired on Nick Jr. UK, Noggin, and CBeebies.[22][23] The series arrived in the UK in September 2005, making a simultaneous debut on both Nickelodeon and CBeebies.[24][25] After the series was revived for seasons three and four, Turner's Cartoonito in the UK premiered episodes from 2013–2014. Viacom's Channel 5 also aired the newer episodes as part of its Milkshake! block until 2016.[26][27] Channel 5's Demand 5 service carried episodes of the British version in 2015.[28]

In 2008, a Spanish-dubbed version of LazyTown debuted on V-me, a television network created for the Hispanic market in the US.[29] NBC began airing it every Saturday on 7 July 2012, as part of the new Saturday morning NBC Kids pre-school block until early 2016.[citation needed] The Spanish-dubbed version also airs on Telemundo (a sister station to NBC) as part of the new weekend pre-school morning block MiTelemundo.[citation needed]

In Brazil, the program was first broadcast on SBT, with subsequent airings on Discovery Kids, Boomerang and Cartoon Network.

A Serbian-dubbed version called Lenji Grad was broadcast in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro on Ultra TV and several other networks.

A Croatian-dubbed version called Lijeni Grad was broadcast in Croatia on HRT 2.

The series has been dubbed into thirty-two languages.


In February 2005, Nickelodeon unveiled a collection of LazyTown products at the American International Toy Fair. Fisher-Price partnered with Viacom's consumer product division to produce the merchandise, all of which was designed to encourage physical activity.[30]



The week of LazyTown's debut on Nickelodeon in the United States was the channel's highest-rated premiere week in three years.[30] A broadcast of the hour-long primetime episode "LazyTown's New Superhero" in August 2005 drew three million total viewers, ranking number-one in its time period among all broadcast and cable television with the 2–5, 2–11, and 6–11 demographics.[31] The episode garnered double-digit increases over the last Nick Jr. primetime special to air before it, which was an episode of the network's then-highest-rated series Dora the Explorer.[31]

Critical reception

While early reception was mixed, it would receive critical acclaim in later years. The Hollywood Reporter's Marilyn Moss praised the show’s intentions to encourage exercise, calling it "great fun for the very young set, not to mention educational, maybe even life-changing."[32] Justin New of The Washington Times called LazyTown "a great show" and stated that he admired the Sportacus character.[33] Common Sense Media's Joly Herman gave the show a more mixed review, stating that the characters' healthy choices are "sometimes lost in the show's chaotic nature."[34] Pete Vonder Haar of the Houston Press called LazyTown "pretty much the creepiest show on TV since Twin Peaks," citing the "off-putting" mix of live-action and puppetry.[35]

The program has been noted for its appeal towards multiple age groups. In 2005, The Boston Globe stated that the program "has sparked a cult of healthy living among a certain preschool set [and] has a grown-up following, too."[36] Lynne Heffley of the Los Angeles Times stated that LazyTown "has zany appeal, even to viewers who are no longer 'junior.'"[37]

LazyTown Extra

Main article: LazyTown Extra

On 15 September 2008, a spin-off television series called LazyTown Extra debuted in the United Kingdom on CBeebies.[38] A "magazine format style show" for 3- to 6-year-olds, it features characters from LazyTown in an assortment of short sketches.[39] 26 episodes of LazyTown Extra were produced, each between 11 and 15 minutes in duration.[40][41]

Promotional events

The 2007–08 LazyTown Live show at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

From June to August 2005, LazyTown's Stephanie hosted the "Nick Jr. Power Play Summer" event, which involved a series of television spots that replaced the channel's standard on-air continuity. Similarly to the live performances and the program itself, this campaign was an experiment designed by the network to increase awareness of exercise and nutrition in its preschool audience.[42]

Nickelodeon produced a stage show titled LazyTown Live! in 2005. It debuted at Nickelodeon Suites Resort on 6 August.[43] A modified version toured the United Kingdom and Ireland between October 2007 and August 2008. It introduced a new cast to the United Kingdom, including Julian Essex-Spurrier as Sportacus.[10][44][45]

A Spanish-speaking version of the live show premiered in Mexico in 2008, followed by Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. As of 2009 it was scheduled to tour the United States in 2010.[46][47]

From 28 January to 29 November 2009, a live stage production entitled LazyTown Live! The Pirate Adventure toured the United Kingdom and Ireland. It featured characters and songs from LazyTown, performed by a new cast.[48][49]

New productions of LazyTown Live had their premieres in November 2009 in Portugal and in March 2010 in Spain by producers Lemon Entertainment.

A live show LazyTown in Schools premièred in Australia in 2012, touring schools to promote healthy eating and fitness for children.[50]

Pop culture

The song "We Are Number One" was named "Dank Meme of the Year" in 2016 on the Reddit subreddit /r/dankmemes, a popular subreddit for memes.[51] The Robbie Rotten memes began in October that year when Stefán Karl Stefánsson, the actor who plays Robbie Rotten, announced that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was going to have surgery. A GoFundMe page was established by LazyTown head writer Mark Valenti to help the actor as he endured his illness. "We Are Number One" and many other LazyTown videos were used by meme fans as a way to promote the fundraising effort, which eventually surpassed its $100,000 goal. The campaign was popularized by the YouTube channel SiIvaGunner uploading a "We Are Number One" video.[52][53] To thank his supporters, Stefánsson celebrated by uploading a video of that song performed with his former cast members and LazyTown's composer.[54] On 13 August 2017, Stefánsson was declared cancer free after a successful surgery.[55]


Year Presenter Award/Category Nominee Status Ref.
2004 Nordic Council Nordic Public Health Prize Magnús Scheving Won [56]
2005 Edduverðlaunin Best Art Direction – Puppet Design Magnús Scheving
Guðmundur Þór Kárason
Neal Scanlan
Won [57]
Best Art Direction – Costume Design Mary Ólafsdóttir
Guðrún Lárusdóttir
Best Cinematography and Editing – Timer Tómas Örn Tómasson Nominated
Best Fiction Television Magnús Scheving
Jonathan Judge
Mark Velenti
Best Screenwriting Nominated
2006 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series Julianna Rose Mauriello Nominated [58]
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best International Children's Programme Magnús Scheving
Raymond P. Le Gué
Jonathan Judge
Won [59]
2007 34th Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition Máni Svavarsson Nominated [60]
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best International Children's Programme Magnús Scheving
Raymond P. Le Gué
Jonathan Judge
Nominated [61]
2008 Edduverðlaunin Best Fiction Television Magnús Scheving Nominated [62]
Best Art Direction – Makeup Ásta Hafþórsdóttir Nominated
Best Art Direction – Costume Design Mary Ólafsdóttir Nominated
Best Sound Editing Nicolas Liebing
Björn Victorsson
Best Set Design Snorri Freyr Hilmarsson Nominated
2016 Reddit Meme of the Year We are Number One Won [63]

See also


  1. ^ This count includes 78 episodes produced for the main series and 26 LazyTown Extra segments.


  1. ^ "LazyTown on air in 103 countries". LazyTown Entertainment. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2009. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ Turner, Mimi (8 September 2011). "'LazyTown' Founder Sells To Turner Broadcasting For $25 Million". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "C21Media". C21Media.
  4. ^ "Turner's 'LazyTown' Returns for Season 4". Animation World Network. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Leimbach, Dulcie (15 August 2004). "Warming Up With a Health-Conscious Hero From Iceland". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.
  6. ^ a b "About LazyTown". Nickelodeon Australia. Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007.
  7. ^ Mills, Simon (24 November 2006). "Simon Mills talks to LazyTown's Magnús Scheving aka 'Sportacus'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group.
  8. ^ "380 Studios – About Us". Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  9. ^ "Icelandic Eurovision song's video 'Is it true' filmed in the LazyTown studios". 18 May 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Action man: The world of Sportacus". London: The Independent. 3 July 2007. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2009. ((cite news)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  11. ^ Moran, Caitlin (4 November 2006). "Mr Motivator". London: Times Online. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  12. ^ "Unreal Engine 3 Powers Critical and Commercial Success LazyTown". Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  13. ^ Season 3 Press Release.
  14. ^ "LazyTown Characters". Nick Jr. Australia. Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007.
  15. ^ "About the LazyTown Property: Pixel". LazyTown Entertainment. Archived from the original on 27 August 2006.
  16. ^ "LazyTown wows the US as it debuts on Nick Jr. to very healthy ratings". 20 September 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Join Sportacus and Stephanie for a week of new, high-energy adventures on Nick Jr's hit series LazyTown, beginning Monday, September 25 at 12:00 p.m." 14 September 2006. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010.
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  29. ^ "LazyTown Arrives on V-me". 3 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010.
  30. ^ a b "Nickelodeon Comes to Toy Fair with a Brand-New Line of Playthings for Nick Jr.'s Newest Hit Show, LazyTown". PR Newswire. Cision Inc. 17 February 2005.
  31. ^ a b "Nick Jr.'s LazyTown One-Hour Special, 'LazyTown's New Superhero,' Energizes Kids". PR Newswire. Cision Inc. 17 August 2005.
  32. ^ Moss, Marilyn (16 August 2004). "Hollywood Reporter Reviews: LazyTown". The Hollywood Reporter. Guggenheim Partners. Archived from the original on 10 October 2004.
  33. ^ New, Justin (1 October 2005). "Robbie Rotten Plans to Spoil 'LazyTown'". The Washington Times – via HighBeam. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (|url-access= suggested) (help)
  34. ^ "LazyTown TV Review". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on 1 March 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  35. ^ Vonder Haar, Pete (23 June 2011). "Pop Rocks: The Worst Part of Parenting? The TV Shows". Houston Press. Voice Media Group.
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  37. ^ Heffley, Lynne (14 August 2005). "Sporting its own special energy". The Los Angeles Times. Tronc.
  38. ^ Zaccagnini, Guillermo (3 November 2009). "El defensor de la vida saludable". Argentina: Clarín. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
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  45. ^ Dyball, Richard (14 July 2007). "Yes, I'm the real Sportacus". London: Times Online. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  46. ^ ""LazyTown Live! En Español Coming to U.S."".[permanent dead link]
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  49. ^ "Facebook – LazyTown Live! The Pirate Adventure". Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  50. ^ "LazyTown Live in Schools 2015".
  51. ^ "A meme you've never heard of was named Reddit's Meme of the Year". 4 January 2017.
  52. ^ "'We Are Number One' Meme: Why Do People Keep Remixing A Children's Show Song?". 17 December 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  53. ^ SiIvaGunner (13 September 2016), We Are Number One – LazyTown: The Video Game, retrieved 11 February 2017
  54. ^ "Stefan Karl's Year of Healing". Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  55. ^ "Robbie Rotten actor Stefan Karl Stefánsson is cancer-free for now". The Daily Dot. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  56. ^ "Entertainment wins health prize". Nordic Council. 18 August 2004.
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  63. ^ "It's official! Robbie Rotten wins Meme of the Year for 2016!! Congratulations Robbie and HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Lets make 2017 even danker! • r/dankmemes". reddit.