Same decor, same atmosphere, same principle: offer emerging comedians ten minutes in front of the public to test their valves and accelerate (or not) their career. The “Jamel Comedy Club” is back this summer on Canal for its eleventh season. “It’s the best stand-up training center in France,” says Waly Dia, to whom Jamel Debbouze, the “historic” coach, handed over the reins of the presentation.
Since its creation in 2006, based on an idea by Kader Aoun, this program, inspired by an American concept, has made stand-up known in France and has served as a springboard for many artists, including Thomas Ngijol, the Count of Bouderbala, Malik Bentalha, Alban Ivanov, Claudia Tagbo, Fabrice Eboué, Blanche Gardin, Fary, etc. A new generation of artists from diversity has emerged, which has made it possible to renew and modernize the French humorous landscape.
Every Saturday in the clear, until the end of the summer, young shoots of humor find themselves on the stage of the famous Comedy Club. Opened in 2008 on the Grands Boulevards in Paris, this cozy place, where the public is seated, offers a decor mixing Brooklyn bricks and rococo chandeliers. Since then, comedy clubs have multiplied in the capital and stand-up has become the most widespread discipline among comedy shows.
Good and less good
What does this new batch of “Jamel Comedy Club” give? As usual good and… not so good. A total of thirty comedians were selected. Not all are beginners. Some (Redouanne Harjane, Laura Domenge, Morgane Cadignan, Fanny Ruwet) have already started their careers and are shooting their shows. In each episode (we watched three), Waly Dia – who started out under the same conditions as those he presents – plays the role of master of ceremonies with ease. Jamel Debbouze is not far away. Installed at the bar, the “boss” is surrounded by his “VIP” guests, different every evening – from the director Jean-Pascal Zadi to the actor Younès Boucif, the revelation of the series Funny…
Stand-up, the art of telling stories in the first person and delivering one’s view of society by addressing the public directly without any artifice other than a microphone, is not easy. Pierre Thevenoux and Rey Mendes stand out from the episodes that we have been able to watch. With its tongue-in-cheek and laid-back side, the former has a real sense of the formula and the “middle class” themes (housing, money) that hit home. Rey Mendes, he wisely opts for the weather and the end of the world, because, after all, nothing shocks us in this broken world.
Others leave no memory, but everything is saved by the rhythm – which makes it possible to quickly forget the tasteless passages -, the injunction “make some noise for the next comic” and the benevolence of the public.