Patrice L’Ecuyer ComediHa Gala Falls Short

Patrice L’Ecuyer ComediHa Gala Falls Short

Review by Carrianne Bell

Saturday 10 June, Grand Théâtre de Québec, Quebec City – I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I went to the ComediHa! Gala, hosted by Patrice L’Ecuyer on Saturday night. In my head, I was thinking that it would be a show with a good line-up of the best of the best of comedians, taking a few minutes each to make me laugh.

Gala, however, turned out to be a big word. In fact, they appeared to be more concerned about how they would appear on TV than how they would entertain the live audience. That in itself didn’t bother me at all however, the organization of it all did.

First, most people were unaware that it was going to be filmed for television. Second, although they did tell everyone at the beginning that it was going to be filmed, they didn’t tell people that it would be filmed for two specials. At the intermission, the host wished everyone a good night and left the stage. People all around me were muttering that it was short and that they had not seen the headliners. It was all very confusing.

As well, at the cost of up to almost $200 a seat for the good seats (including taxes and fees), it was more than a bit insulting to have to sit through almost four minutes of commercials at the beginning of the show. There was also a man telling you when to clap and even to give a standing ovation. Although every comedian received one, they definitely did not all deserve it.

The gala itself, it was mediocre. There were the usual comedians making vulgar jokes and swearing a lot while talking about sex. The headliners, JF Mercier and PA Methot fell flat. Dominique Paquet was forgettable. They were the least memorable and generated the least amount of applause after their initial appearance on the stage.

Michel Barette proved that he was still funny and professional after 34 years of stand-up. He had the audience in genuine stitches, relying more on good, relatable storytelling than vulgarities. Making her stand-up solo debut was Véronique Claveau, who at nine months pregnant took to the stage with impersonations of other stars giving her parenting advice. Although not particularly funny, her singing voice was sensational.  She was also one of the only comedians who actually seemed happy to be there, feeding off the energy of the audience.

Patrice L’Ecuyer was an excellent host. Opening with a rap and dance number with Dubmatic, throughout the show he demonstrated how talented he was, delivering all kinds of humour from stand-up to sketch comedy.

I particularly enjoyed the scene where he met his daughter’s new boyfriend, who turned out to be literally, a clown. Out of all the comedians on the program,  I had the lowest expectations for L’Ecuyer. However, I was proven wrong, and in my eyes, he was the star of the gala.

The two halves of the gala, along with the other shows being taped in the days to come, will be aired in September on Radio-Canada and later on in the year on Canal D.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Reviews

About Author

Carrianne Bell

Carrianne Bell has been a Vancouver transplant to Quebec since 1996. A teacher by day and self proclaimed geek by night, she enjoys going to shows and events. She also likes nightlife and loves to boogie.

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