Baptism of fire on Wednesday night for Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais, who hosted his very first Just for Laughs gala, right up to the festival’s 40th anniversary. On the occasion, the comedian had surrounded himself with a spear of selected friends, more or less well-known, with extremely varied numbers, though a little uneven. But no matter: the public did not hide their joy, and everyone was warmly welcomed.
Posted at 12:11
With good reason: It was, at 6 p.m., the very first time in two years that Just for Laughs was entitled to a “conventional” gala here, known as “garnished.” All dressed, to the maximum of its capacity, you will have understood it. And the spectators at the Maisonneuve Theater on the Place des Arts honestly seemed happy to finally be so many to clap loudly and give each comedian a standing ovation.
Big kick-off, with this opening number, with the dear host, named the discovery of the year at the Gala Les Olivier – among others, and he did not hesitate to remind us of it. Wearing a red tuque, to the sound of the hip-hop rhythms of the brothers in the Ouellette family, Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais (PY for his friends) had a market day where he danced and sang energetically, daring a few rhymes as blissful as they are absurd, which made the audience laugh, at all ages, for that matter.
Special mention to its surprise guests, Élyse Marquis and Jay Du Temple, without forgetting Matthieu Pepper (at the beginning and then at the end of the show, in a recorded surreal video), tonight’s shy whip boy.
Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais has energy left, we know that. It moves air, and this number did not lie its reputation.
That said, the whole rest of this first gala (of a series of two, one at 6pm, with the participation of The pressthe other at 9pm), the comedian was much more discreet and contented himself with presenting (albeit energetically) his guests (sorry, his “friends”) on the right side of the room.
Maybe he saved energy for the second show? Too bad we would have taken more.
That said, the numbers that followed did not disappoint. On the contrary, several beautiful discoveries are worth noting. Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais first left the microphone to Charles Pellerin, very touching with his self-loathing about his illness, alopecia (loss of hair and body hair). Surprising choice to start the evening on, but why not. ‘Everyone thinks I have cancer, but no, I just look. »
Change of register, ie with tick ticker Mégan Brouillard (and the surprise guest: Chantal Machabée!), Who prefers to surf hockey, more specifically women’s hockey. And let’s say that the sport may have found its best advocate in her. Both raw and sloppy, feminist, a little, a lot, so not at all, the young comedian has a lot to say on the subject.
We fell in love with David Beaucage, who landed a series of gags without joints, neither head nor tail, and who above all managed to get Greta to rhyme on Karla Homolka. It must be done.
“They are good, my friends, aren’t they?” Slipped the host here. Affirmative.
Mixed feelings, however, for the number of Alexandre Forest who followed, a self-proclaimed “mononkel” who at least has the merit of diverting the jokes about “mononkels”. Marylène Gendron first started with a few conventional ass jokes before moving on to a more promising vein, on the side of her hate-love relationship with food. His drive-thru “play” from McDo will make us laugh for a long time.
Yacine Belhousse, French guest at Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais, then intercepted only a few smiles here and there, and we understand why: his number on his least favorite billionaires (Batman, really?) Stretched at length and frankly lacked rhythm.
Fortunately, then came Adib Alkhalidey, the highlight of the evening, without a doubt the strongest (and craziest) number at this first gala.
In a few minutes, the comedian with the arch-bushy beard managed to transport us to his adoptive landscape and his village of “psychopaths”, where he has just moved. And him, how is he? Nothing to report, except that he is addicted to cookies and talks to trees. You must hear him imitate the foxes. They sound like “homeless people being murdered”. Let’s say we guess nature has not reassured him too much. And that’s good. Also note to those interested: the comedian will be at all the galas.
Note that the series of galas (with two different galas per night) continues this Thursday night (21st with Phil Roy and Roxane Bruneau as hosts), Friday (22nd with Richardson Zéphir and Eddy King) and Saturday ( 23. with Rosalie Vaillancourt).