Jerry Seinfeld coming to Grand Rire on June 14th

Jerry Seinfeld coming to Grand Rire on June 14th


Ask 100 people to name a world-famous stand-up comedian, and we’d wager at least half would answer “Jerry Seinfeld”.  Over his career, Seinfeld has reinvented the sitcom and given birth to a whole new style of stand-up comedy.  For fans of his “what’s-the-deal-with” observational humour style, this year’s Grand Rire will host an Eastern-Canada exclusive show of the man himself.

We had a quick chat with Sylvain Parent-Bédard, president of QuébéComm, the Grand Rire’s parent company, about the upcoming event and what it means for the future of the Grand Rire.  He’s obviously quite enthusiastic – and with good reason.  “The Grand Rire will be celebrating its 15th anniversary, and having international artists of this type in languages other than French began a few years ago with Roberto Benigni.  This gave us international credibility.”  QuébéComm has since invited John Malkovich, Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, and now Jerry Seinfeld to join the Grand Rire in offering “international” humour to the comedy festival.

And just how does one bring such comedic heavy-hitters to Québec?  “The more big names we attract, the more we attract credible people, and the more we deliver and the Québec population comes out, the better this makes our situation with international comedians.  Managers and agents throughout the United States and the world speak to one another a lot,” continues M. Parent-Bédard.  Each superstar can take many years and long-winded efforts in order to nail down scheduling, venues, timing, and coordinate with all the other projects most big names have going, a process the QuébéComm president admits can be grueling, but he says of the Grand Rire, “Our history at the Grand Rire definitely has an impact.  Artists want to be reassured.  Is the organisation credible?  Is the majority French-speaking population going to be present?  Will the show be a success?  All that is very important.”

Given their track record, the Grand Rire was even able to negotiate an Eastern-Canada exclusive for Jerry Seinfeld this summer – which is expected to attract fans from across Québec, Ontario, the Maritimes, and the north-east United States.  An estimated 35-40% of their tickets, so far, have been sold to people living outside the greater Québec region.  This obviously brings important regional and international credibility to both the Grand Rire as well as the city, and helps promote international artists locally.  “Seinfeld’s humour style is different than what we’re used to at home.  He talks about other things than the preoccupations of the Québécois, so it opens our horizons and interests to something in a language other than our own.  I think it’s pertinent that every year, as part of the Grand Rire, there be a small percentage of programmed shows that’s done in other languages and lets us discover other things.”

Sylvain Parent-Bédard mentions, in closing, that there are still tickets available for the June 14th show, and that he hopes as many people come out as possible.  Life in Québec Magazine subscribers can also enter to win a free pair of tickets to the event!

Farnell Morisset, Staff Writer

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