Ivan Mládek (born 7 February 1942) is a Czech songwriter, composer, and comedian.
Ivan Mládek was born in Prague, where he spent most of his childhood. His father, a lawyer and painter, taught him to paint, but he preferred music and started his now-famous Banjo Band. The Banjo Band first performed in 1966. In 1968 Mládek emigrated to France to pursue his music career in Paris. He soon returned to Czechoslovakia and became famous as a musician in the second half of the 1970s; he has written over 400 songs as of 2007. He became known as a comedian in the 1980s. Mladek's first humorous story was published in 1980 in the magazine Mladý Svět. Many of the stories that followed may be found in the eight books that Mládek wrote. Mládek has a wife named Eva and son named Štěpán.
Mládek is credited with designing the Guitariano, a guitar-shaped synthesizer. In place of strings, keys are arranged on the fretboard of the instrument, their pitch corresponding to the pitch of a string depressed at the same fret, and there are controls for automatic accompaniment on the body of the instrument.
Ivan Mládek has been a widely known comedian since the 1980s. His shows "The Country Estrada" and "ČundrCountryShow" were on Czech television for many years. Eventually "ČundrCountryShow" was cancelled. "Country Estrada" was on TV NOVA until 2005 when it was abruptly canceled. A new similar comedy show (called Evergreen Show) aired on NOVA but was short-lived. Mládek himself has since claimed that he has no plans for another show, and that no station will finance this type of show anymore Re-runs of Mládek's older show are still regularly aired on ČT (Česká televize). His comedy routines include standup, skits, and wordless skits accompanied only by the humorous lyrics of one of his songs.
Ivan Mládek has had a limited acting career, his roles being mostly minor. He has played in the Czech films "Ještě větší blbec, než jsme doufali" and himself in "Na druhé koleji". His new projects are sitcoms Cyranův Ostrov (2009), Cyranův poloostrov (2010) and later Noha 22 (2011)
Composer and notable songs:
Ivan Mládek has authored at least 233 songs. He writes the lyrics and music to most of his songs, which are primarily country-style songs with traces of dixieland and often contain humorous lines and puns. Many of his songs have become cultural icons in the Czech Republic. Some of them are:
Zkratky -- a song written almost solely with abbreviations.,
Jožin z bažin -- possibly Mládek's best known song, which he even called the "National Anthem" of his country show. In January 2008, the song became popular in Poland and Hungary, winning several radio hitparades, and later on also in Russia. In 2011 this song was made popular in Catalonia, thanks to a TV show called APM? (Alguna Pregunta Més?).The song is a surreal tale of a mysterious man-eating monster (Jožin z bažin - Joey from the Swamps) living in the swamps, who could be defeated only with use of a cropduster.,