Monday, August 18, 2008

PPDA se survit

The PPDA marionette featured on Les Guignols de l'Info will remain even though the real PPDA has been booted from TF1. A new distinction is thus born: the person who is so eminently caricaturable that his caricature outlives his public persona.

6 comments:

David in Setouchi said...

I was wondering. Would PPD survive PPDA's eviction...
Thanks for the info.
And it's true that more than other puppets in the Guignols, PPD is much less a caricature of PPDA (well, he was in the beginnings) than a character in himself and I don't see anybody but him host the Guignols.

TexExile said...

Perhaps this is just proof that Les Guignols, bless them, are impervious to pressure from the Elysée.

Unknown said...

What do readers think of Les Guignols? I don't watch them regularly but have generally been amused by what I've seen. But a friend of mine, a close student of the media, sees in them a rather sinister brand of populism whose corrosive disdain for the institutions of state and the personalities of politics is reminiscent of the disastrous anti-parliamentarism of the 1930s.

David in Setouchi said...

I think your friend's view on the Guignols is a bit extreme, or even just plain wrong...
They've had their ups and downs over the years, but overall I think they're one of the few media left in this country that dares to openly criticize the government, the media and what's wrong with society in general.

I don't know how much your friend knows about French culture, but they're part of the French "tradition" of critique through humor, no more no less.
A tradition that I feel doesn't really exist as such in the US except for a few exceptions (The Daily Show, South Park, the Boondocks, The Simpsons, etc.)
A tradition that's coming under a lot of fire these days in France (the last sad incident being the "Siné affair")...

Concerning the disdain for the politicians... Well... I kinds think that except for a few individuals that still believe in what they do, most of them deserve much more than corrosive disdain (and seriously, I think the Guignols are too nice sometimes).
Concerning the disdain for the institutions, I'd like to see some examples of that, I don't think the Guignols never attacked them...
They're always attacking individuals, not symbols (actually, most of the times, they attack individuals on how they disrespect the institutions and the people).

Anonymous said...

I used to watch Les Guignols regularly - around the time they were thrashing Richard "à l'insu de mon plein gré" Virenque. lol. The troupe is full of funny writers but there is an underside which Mr.Goldhammer's media student friend points to.
In my view, les Guignols draw from the endlessly deep well of indignation and bitterness - which everybody has but which some master better than others. Les Guignols make light of, mock and occasionally trash remorselessly, if not needlessly - for ex., they totally "dissed" Nagui and for what? Their brand of humor is to be taken in moderate doses but sadly there are many many viewers for whom Les Guignols are considered more reliable - more "honest" - as news sources than the TV journals themselves (sad state of French JTs, for sure). Such usage eventually breeds and nurtures ignorance.

Les Guignols are a cut below a comedic genius like Coluche - because Coluche, a true Rabelaisian, could laugh at the human condition and have people laugh with him even when he made them laugh at themselves. Les Guignols are too full of bitterness to be as generous as Coluche was. Whereas laughter from Coluche is joyful, les Guignols is a mean laughter.

Be that as it may, they couldn't have hoped for a better president than Sarkozy in terms of material -his victory gave their show another 5 year lease, at least!


Chris P.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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