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Louis Morissette (#93)

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I had mentioned Louis Morissette earlier, in a post regarding his wife, Véronique Cloutier (a television celebrity).

Morissette has, for the last 15 years, been writing sitcoms, doing stand-up, hosting gala events, appearing in commercials, writing and appearing in the annual New Years Bye-Bye, and basically appears everywhere (talk shows events, magazines, you name it).

But what is very interesting about Louis Morissette is how his career has formed a partnership with that of his wife, Véronique Cloutier’s.

Both Morissette and Cloutier are celebrities in their own right – splashed across the pages of cash register tabloids, and are the talk of the town.  Since their marriage, they’ve become the darling couple of Montréwood.

I was listening to a radio show the other day, and put the Cloutier-Morissette phenomena this way (credit to Denis Gravel & Jerôme Landry for this analogy)… picture this:  What would happen if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie decided to join forces and form a comedy act, not only for special TV events, but also in a stand-up format and take it on the road?  Imagine the public’s reaction and the popularity of the act.  Now imagine if the act centred around both of them taking shots at each other based on aspects of their marriage.   The public would go wild – they wouldn’t be able to get enough of it – and they would be talked about everywhere.   Now you have an idea of what is happening with Louis Morissette and Véronique Cloutier.   The other week, they did their first show in Québec City, and the public went mad for it.   This is one duo whose careers are reaching new heights.

Back to Louis Morisette… something that happened involving him is a good example of how politics and pop-culture can converge in Québec.  In 2004 he did a comedy sketch which mocked Pierre Karl Péladeau (PKP), the owner of Québecor and QMI (owner of the TVA television network and other media outlets – comprising about 40% of all Québec’s media industry).  Subsequently, certain contracts Morisette had with with QMI were terminated.   Artists in Québec (who traditionally support sovereignty) were outraged at this perceived interference by Québecor’s owner – and a highly publicized artists’ petition against PKP created waves in the celebrity world.   Fast forward 10 years, and now PKP is slated to be the next leader of the Parti Québecois (Québec’s provincial sovereignist party).   The question now is, if he leads the party into an election, can the Parti Québecois count on the traditional support of artists? – many of whom are associated with Le Plateau.   (Sigh… culture & politics… never a clean “separation” in Québec, and PKP carries a very mixed bag into the arena — the next election may have a fair share of flash points).

At any rate, I have no idea what Morissette’s political inclinations are (nor do I care) – I’m just using one event that happened a long time ago to show how lines can get blurred when culture & politics meet in Québec.   But I generally think that most people now just close their ears to it, and just enjoy pop-culture for what it is – entertainment.

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