Gino Chouinard confirms it himself: no, he is not addicted to cocaine. No, he doesn’t abuse kittens. Why are you being told the obvious? Because on stage, comedians claim the opposite.
In his show Invincible, Simon Delisle speculates that everyone has a dark side, even someone as unfailingly jovial as Gino Chouinard and that therefore, for sure, the host of Salut Bonjour must be hurting people. felines in his spare time. Philippe-Audrey Larrue St-Jacques, in his show Enfant du siècle, imagines that this tireless good humor can only be based on a regular consumption of Bolivian fuel.
This is without taking into account Simon Gouache, whose most recent show opens with an anthology number, a sort of teasing ode to the TVA morning show and the ability of its captain to get through a tragic event in the news to a chronicle light as a feather.
Gino Chouinard, improbable muse of our comedians? “When you use Gino to illustrate a gag, you are sure that everyone has the referent and, in addition, you know that it will not hurt his reputation, that no one will think that you are saying something for real,” observes Simon Delisle. The author and stage man points out that René Simard had already, in another era, played this role in the mouths of his colleagues.
“Gino is an icon,” adds Sam Breton, whose show contains no jokes about the host, but was a columnist alongside him from September 2018 to June 2021. “When you write a gag, you want the path to the punch to be as short as possible. And Gino, it’s so clear, what he represents, that you don’t need to explain anything. Your launch pad is flawless. Your gag really has to be bad so that it doesn’t laugh, ”he illustrates.
“So you’re interested in this universe of comedians who talk about me on stage,” Gino Chouinard tells me, in the setting of his show, in the tone he would use to launch the segment of one of his collaborators. He bursts out laughing. “Look, it’s normal for me to express myself like that, I’ve been speaking in two fifteen-second sentences for twenty years, so as not to waste my gang’s time. »
The teasing about him, the veteran of the small screen receives them, unsurprisingly, with this elegant good nature that we know him.
But wasn’t it sad that anyone who embodies goodness is suspected of hiding a collection of skeletons in their closet? “It may be because there are many personalities who, one day, surprised or disappointed us, philosopher the morning. But we all have boyfriends of guys or girls who are just nice, right? »
In recent years, Gino Chouinard has nevertheless softened his image a lot, with the help of the comedians he receives in interviews – “I want to do everything to help them sell tickets” – and those who have been columnists there.
Salut Bonjour will have been for Sam Breton and Guillaume Pineault the springboard of dreams, a power with which we rarely associated daily life at a time when the funniest person on his set was the historian Marcel Tessier.
“There were several times when I couldn’t believe that Gino had said such a thing on the air,” recalls Sam Breton. For a man as respected and respectable as Monsieur Chouinard, every transgression, no matter how benign, has indeed comedic potential explosive. “Yes, I’m smooth, says the main interested party, but I like it when you come to stir me up a bit. »
To the point of embarking on a career as a comedian, when he hangs up his cup of coffee for good in June 2024? At the Montignac high school in Lac-Mégantic, as a teenager, Gino Chouinard hosted talent shows during which he imitated Ding and Dong.
“The stage is always a place where I felt good. I like the danger it creates. But hey, there are already so many comedians… ”, drops the one who presented a duet with Dave Morissette in the Just for Laughs gala in 2015 and who went on the Bordel stage at the invitation of the show. Unlimited access in 2016, the time of an issue written for him by Laurent Paquin, an old dream.
A spark lights up Gino’s eyes. “I like the scene, that’s for sure. »