This will be a quick post… (Lots to get ready for New Years tonight! Just drove back 5 hours from Banff and Calgary, things to arrange here in Vegreville, then off to Edmonton in a few hours for New Years, taking buddies to the airport tomorrow morning, then I fly back to Toronto on the 2nd… Phew! The next post may not be for a couple more days).
It has become a huge tradition in Québec to watch the annual Bye-Bye comedy celebration on Radio-Canada. It’s a comedy show which people watch in the hour running up to midnight. When people are celebrating New Years at home with family and friends on New Years Eve, it’s almost a guarantee that the Bye-Bye will be playing on the TV screen (if not taking centre-stage in the room, it will at least in the background). Everything comes to a full-stop the seconds before midnight for the final countdown as everyone turns their heads to the TV and raises their glasses of bubbly (just as many people in the US watch the apple drop in on TV in New York, or others in Anglophone Canada watch the major fireworks live on various stations).
In 2013, almost 4,000,000 people in Québec (and elsewhere in Canada) watched it (with over 5,300,000 overall viewers, including later re-broadcasts on the web, etc.). That makes it one of the most watched annual television programs in Canada.
It’s in French, of course. If you’re a learner of French, the style of speaking might be a little quick, and a little bit “slangy”, with fair doses of Joual. But even if you’re a beginner learning French, give it a shot… the comedic scenes which you can watch sometimes carry the punch-lines in and of themselves.
There are going to be some major cast changes in this year’s Bye-Bye. Louis Morissette and Véronique Cloutier will not be part of the cast, but Morissette will nonetheless be a producer of the show (so it’s guaranteed to be funny).
Here are some links to articles with info on tonight’s show:
- Véronique Claveau : la petite nouvelle du Bye bye
- Bye bye 2014 : Louis Morissette promet une soirée de défoulement
- Le 31 décembre : les rendez-vous télé et web à ne pas manquer
The last link above has Radio-Canada’s entire New Years Eve line up (I’m providing the Radio-Canada line-up since it’s watched more on New Years Eve than the TVA line-up… plus everyone in Canada, regardless if you live on any of the three coasts, all gets Radio-Canada and the Bye-Bye). Check out the last link… there are a number of New Years specials you can watch all evening.
- The Bye-Bye starts tonight at 11:00pm in your own time zone (regardless of which of Canada’s five time zones you live in).
- There are re-runs on January 1st at 9:00pm on Radio-Canada.
- If you’re not in Canada or are not in front of the TV, you can watch the Bye-Bye live online at the official website (Canada’s Ontario/Québec Eastern Standard Time zone, same time as US Eastern Standard Time, ie: New York).
The official Bye-Bye website is: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/bye-bye/2014/
I’m unfortunately not going to be able to catch it tonight (I have four different house parties in Edmonton tonight), but hopefully you’ll have the chance to check it out. If it’s you’re first Bye-Bye, you’ll be in for something very special and quite unique. Enjoy it! It has become a BIG part of Québec’s and Canada’s culture — and thus yours’ too!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Will see you in 2015!