A (funny) crossover between Mike Ward and Michel Louvain… This is how Jean-Sébastien Girard introduces himself, at the opening of his solo show, A boy like no other.
Admittedly, the boy is a curious mixture. He may be “a boy like no other”, like the Ziggy of Plamondon, it’s hard not to love him. Wednesday evening, at the Olympia, the applause of the enthusiastic public got the better of his first-night nervousness.
For 80 minutes, the comedian gave a solid performance, despite some wavering in his delivery during the performance (stage experience will quickly correct this). His show traces the story of his life with ribald and mean jokes. A bitter humor that also makes you think about the great and small humiliations that are the lot of many lives.
The “little guy from Rosemont” still reveals his character, funny and singular, which the listeners of Ici Première discovered with La Soirée est (still) jeune. However, the show goes further than on the radio. Always tongue-in-cheek and drooling (almost all Quebec personalities go there, or almost!), the actor plays the card of tenderness and confidences. Hence the roses.
He talks about his grandmother, his almost close relationship with his mother; of his late father, a mustachioed firefighter, a little gruff, with whom the son had no chemistry. He evokes the death of his brother at birth in the hospital, in a great moment of dark and absurd humor.
Alone on stage with a stool and four roses as sole accessories, he comments here and there on old family photos and a few gems from the television archives. Like this surreal scene, in Secondary 2, where he participates in a service program on TV: he indulges in an acupuncture session half naked on a table set up in the middle of the studio!
Of course, there is a child of TV, at Girard. With its nostalgic references to old soap operas, like Human Earth and Salt and Pepper; his admiration for the stars of the small screen. A thirst for notoriety that he put on hold after inconclusive studies at stake: “Doing a baccalaureate in theater at UQAM is a bit like studying entrepreneurship with Caroline Néron…”!
His show is a bit like the sweet revenge of the different, effeminate and intimidated boy on those straight, strong and athletic guys who stared at him at school. Like when he recounts his epiphany as a young teenager, the day he was able to put on his mother’s high heels, because he finally had the same shoe size: “All the guys in the room cherish this precious memory, right? ! “.
The end of the show pays a beautiful tribute to his mother. Without any sarcasm. He reads a passage from his favorite play: Again, if you allow, by Michel Tremblay. The touching tirade on actress Huguette Oligny, where the playwright regrets that his mother died without knowing the success of her son. Jean-Sébastien Girard is proud that his mother is with us in the room. Then, he confides in his fear of seeing her leave one day, leaving a huge void in his little child’s heart.
We then understand that Girard’s desire for light is above all the pride of sharing his radiance with the people he loves. And that his sarcasm is a beautiful flower, never a weapon.