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Patrice L’Écuyer (#118)

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This is the 5th post in the series “Qui êtes-vous?”.  I continue to write this series while on the road (I left Montréal this morning after meetings and catching up with a few friends for a couple of days, and I just arrived in Québec City where I’ll be for a few days for work stuff).

I lucked out with an Amazing 26th floor hotel room view of Québec City; great views of the old city, the St. Lawerence and another view looking West. 

Htl vw 1 Htl vw 2

… and a perfect perch in Place Royal Square from where to write this post (this is the spot where Québec City was founded in 1608, and where Canada’s first government was established, as well as for all of New France – from here down to Louisiana).

Pl.Ryl

Back to the post at hand…

Patrice L’Écuyer is a famous television game show host, variety show host and actor.  He used to even have his own late night talk show, named “L’Écuyer”, in a David Letterman-like style (from 1995 to 2002 on Radio-Canada).

For Anglophones, his last name might be a little more difficult to pronounce.  “L’Écuyer” is pronounced Lay-Cwee-Yay.

As part of his acting career, he was a co-actor with a couple of other people mentioned in this same series of posts; with Marina Orsini in “Lance et compte”, & “Filles de caleb”, and with Dominique Michel in “Le Bye-Bye 1988” (the annual televised New Year’s send-off comedy show).  He also appeared in other Bye-Bye celebrations (one of the most-watched television programs of the entire calendar year).   He is one of the main actors in the very popular TV drama series Unité 9 (it was this past year’s most watched TV drama series… click here for the former post on this subject).

Being a game-show host has added to his notoriety (think of him as being the Drew Carey, or Alex Trabec of Montréwood).  He hosted the game shows “Détecteurs de mensonges”, “l’Union fait la force”, “Qui l’eût cru” (this last one is a good grammar sentence if your French is at an intermediate level 😉 )… and he’s currently hosting the after-school game show “Des squelettes dans le placard” (Squeletons in the Closet) on Radio-Canada.

If you want to work on improving your listening skills of informal street-level French, perhaps check out “Des squellettes dans le placard” on weekday late afternoons (currently in its 9th season).   The idea of the game show is to have several celebrity guests each tell an absurd, and sometimes difficult-to-believe story.  But out of all the stories, only one is actually true – you have to guess who is telling the true story (those who have the most correct guesses then win).    See if you can follow the stories – sometimes they can be quite funny (I would assume this could be a great way for you to practice your French if you’re at an intermediate level – and the show airs across Canada).  The show’s website can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Another game show he currently hosts is “Le moment de vérité” (The Moment of Truth), again on Radio-Canada (currently in its 5th season).  This game show has more of a reality-TV element to it.   Participants are grouped into teams, and they are given a week to accomplish difficult tasks.  At the end of the week, they are brought into the studio and have to finish the tasks during the final taping.   The show’s official website can be viewed by clicking HERE

Patrice l’Écuyer’s latest variety show is “Prière de ne pas envoyer de fleurs” (Please Do Not Send Flowers).   Celebrities are invited to the program so they can “die”… well… not really die, but fictitiously die.   Their friends, colleagues, and loved ones are then invited to the show to eulogize the newly-dead celebrity.  In their last testimony to the deceased, people say the craziest things about the celebrities, and it can become quite funny.   The show’s official website can be viewed by clicking HERE.  

All these roles make L’Écuyer one of Radio-Canada’s flagship stars.

Back to the family roots program “Qui êtes-vous?”, Patrice L’Écuyer found out that he has a forefather born in France in 1634, but who immigrated to Montréal as a young adult.  This began his family line in the New World – 10 generations.   He even had a family member who was involved in the Patriot Rebellions of the 1830s.   L’Écuyer travelled to France to investigate his roots.  Interestingly, his family came from the La Rochelle area of France, which, out of all the areas of France which sent colonialists to New France, the La Rochelle region had one of the greatest influences on Québec, Ontario and Western Canadian French accents (hmmmm, perhaps his direct ancestors spoke much in the way we speak today).   Just a quick anecdote on this subjet… I knew a person who was from La Rochelle, France, and some of the unique ways they speak today in La Rochelle (different from the rest of France) still very much resemble ways we speak here in Canada (but are not spoken elsewhere in France, only in the La Rochelle region of France and Canada)– they are shared remnants of dialects which existed in the 1500s and 1600s.   Examples:  “Que c’est que t’as (fait hier)?”,  “Où ce qu’y est allé?”, etc.).

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