Comedy and variety shows
Laughter and rhythm
Québec has successfully created an inclusive culture that is appreciated and enthusiastically supported by the general public, thanks to the many hit shows enjoyed by Québec audiences - and even international audiences too. The field of comedy and variety shows particularly stands out due to its continuing and lasting success, which has allowed many artists to become popular figures who are known by the wider public.
The world of comedy
Québec’s affection for comedians is a time-honoured trait of Québec culture: Figures like Olivier Guimond, Marc Favreau (Sol the clown), Gilles Latulippe, Jean Lapointe, Dominique Michel, Yvon Deschamps, Rock et Belles Oreilles or Ding et Dong (Serge Thériault and Claude Meunier) have continued to enjoy popularity since the mid 20th century. But the last twenty years or so have really given the careers of Québec comedians a boost. Box office sales for many of them number in the hundreds of thousands for tours that continue to add more shows.
Their success is supported in particular by the large, very popular festivals that have caught on abroad:
- Juste pour rire/Just For Laughs, the first-ever festival to be entirely dedicated to comedy since its creation in 1983 and still the largest festival of its kind 3 decades later, now broadcasts in France, England, Toronto and Chicago, and has a production company that continues to puts on shows around the world.
- Le Grand Rire, founded in Quebec City in 1999, has made expanded internationally in the last few years, thanks in particular to the Paris fait sa comédie festival.
The size of the industry even led to the creation of the École nationale de l’humour, a one-of-a-kind institution that has trained 300 authors and comedians, including some of the most popular in Québec.