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Paul Houde (#39)

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In the last post, we looked at Pierre Houde.  Now we’ll let’s talk about his brother Paul – who is quite the TV and radio media star.

If you kept running into the same person everywhere you went, you could turn to them and say “Aren’t you quite the Paul Houde!”, and anyone in Québec would instantly understand what you meant.  Basically you’re telling them that you see them everywhere, just like Paul Houde.  In fact, he’s been parodied many times for being everywhere, all the time.  Apart from his scheduled media roles, his numerous adventures have certainly fuelled this type of connotation;  he set an around-the world record of 40 hours on commercial airlines, he climbed K2, he recently flew the same flight path of downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 to “relive their experience for the public” (that brought him a type of public attention I’m not sure he was expecting), and he keeps popping up as a sports commentator for major sporting events like the Olympics, Super Bowl, and Pan Am Games.  You never know when or where he’s going to appear, but you know he always will!

Another pop-culture reference to Houde is along the lines of the colloquial Québécois expression “une tête à Papineau”.  If you want to say someone knows everything, you can say “C’t’un une vrai tête à Papineau”, or conversely, “Ch’pas une tête à Papineau”.   But because Paul Houde was the host of a popular knowledge-based TV game show, Le Cercle, the expression “tête à Papineau” has come to be replaced by “Paul Houde”, ie: “Bedonc toi, t’es vraiement un Paul Houde!”, meaning “Well, aren’t you quite the know-it-all!”

You have read me mention a few times that it’s a characteristic of Québécois pop-culture that personalities often take on numerous roles across multiple media platforms.  But in this post, Houde not only characterizes that aspect of Québec pop-culture celebrities, but he also represents another common aspect which we haven’t touched upon very much… Québec pop-culture personalities intermingle and work with one another, over and over and over again, across many different media.   It is quite probable that, like many many Québec celebrities, if Paul Houde hasn’t worked with a certain celebrity over the course of his career, that he certainly would still at least know that celebrity personally, or within one degree of separation.  That, my friends, is Montréwood for you.

In the context of only 38 blog posts to date, here’s an example of how we can use Paul Houde, to demonstrate Montréwood’s prevalent interconnectedness:

Out of 38 posts, I’m already able to directly link Paul Houde to eight of them.  That’s over 20%… not bad, but some may say it’s on the low side. 😉

In all seriousness though… he does quite a good job in any role he is given — which is why we see him so often.  Québec’s pop-culture and the Montréwood scene in general is a much richer place because of him.

The last bit of trivia I’ll mention about Paul Houde is that he’s the host of the popular show Dans l’oeil du dragon on Radio-Canada, the Montréwood version of CBC’s “The Dragon’s Den”, or the U.S. version, “The Shark’s Tank”.   So needless to say, where there are viewers, there is Paul Houde.

I guess Waldo can retire now.


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