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Éric Salvail (#47)


Éric Salvail is the host of the light-hearted evening talk/variety television show “En mode Salvail”, broadcast on the “V” television network.   It’s filmed in front of a live studio audience, and has a feel much like other late-night talk formats elsewhere in North America.   The show is going into its second year this season.

En mode Salvail generally starts off with a comedic bang, often in the streets of Montréal, and often with a “prank”, “gag” or event which draws in unexpected pedestrians.   For example, the last couple of shows involved setting up a mini-version of the show’s studios being shrunk and squeezed into a couple of shipping containers placed in a public square.  Individuals from the public, oblivious to what was happening, walked inside to find a crowd cheering for them, and then being seated for a one-on-one interview with Salvail as guests of honour.   Another recent episode saw Les trois accords give a concert from an open-topped double-decker bus, driving around Montréal, catching everyone off guard.

After the whacky, comedic openings, the interview show begins, and usually runs anywhere with 2 to 5 celebrities being interviewed.    Éric Salvail generally doesn’t go into controversial or “deep” interviews with his guest (it’s a show which keeps a style similar to Pénélope McQuade rather than Tout le monde en parle or Bazzo TV).

Salvail also takes on other roles in other media programs or platforms.   He did a televised stand-up comedy act at the last Le Grand Rire de Québec (along with Véronique Cloutier and Louis Morissette), he has hosted other variety television shows in the past (as well as having appeared in a good many other programs hosted by other celebrities).   At the onset, he made a name for himself in radio in and around Montréal about 15 years ago.

Despite having been on the Montréwood scene for a good number of years, he is still quite young, his two last talk shows have become quite popular, and I’m sure he’ll be one of those standing centre in Montréwood for years to come.

Even if you don’t have time to watch full episodes of En mode Salvail, or if your cable distributor does not carry the private “V” television network, it’s still worth checking out the comedic show openings online on “V’s” official website by clicking HERE (you can chose which episode and what part of the episode you want to watch by clicking options under the section entitled Invités de la semaine half way down the page in the right margin)..

Have fun!

ADDENDUM 2015-02-10

Salvail has begun a new celebrity cooking program on V, in which he cooks with celebrities.  The show has only aired once, but recorded programs already include people spoken about in this blog, such as Guylaine Tremblay, Louis-José HoudeXavier Dolan, and Lise Dion.  They do shooters as they cook, they laugh, joke, and make love…  (kidding – they don’t make love, but they do all the rest, including on-air shooters.  But with that said, if they keep doing shooters at the rate we’re seeing, the love-making could very well follow 😉 ).   Il va sans dire que quelqu’un dans la salle semble être en train d’abattre le brouillard!


Les enfants de la télé (#31)

Les enfants de la télé (The Children of Television) is a television show which has been running for several years now on Radio-Canada.   The theme is actually quite unique. The program invites small groups of public personalities (often well known actors and singers, as well as other types of public personalities) to appear with the host on stage.  The host then presents the invitees with archived television footage of some of their quirkier appearances, sometimes dating back 10, 15, 20 years or more.  The footage is used to ask the invitees funny questions regarding what-the-heck they were doing in the footage (it’s meant to be funny)

Example:  An actress of yesteryear appeared on the show last night.  We were shown footage of a drama program she appeared in.  In one very serious and dramatic scene, her co-host undressed before her eyes (the camera shot remained “waist up”), but the actress, who was supposed to be stone-faced, seem to be trying to fight off a laugh… and she wasn’t doing a very good job of it.  When quizzed why on earth she seemed to be trying not to laugh when her co-actor took off his pants, she answered that her co-actor wrote “Hello” across his butt cheeks!

Because the show is produced by Radio-Canada, the footage tends to be from RC archives, and can go back decades.

This is a great show if you want to learn about programs and personalities who have become part of the historical collective psyche of Québec pop culture.  it’s also a great way to get to know the personalities of a number of famous people.

For four years, it was hosted by Véronique Cloutier, but now is hosted by André Robitaille.   HERE is the link to the official website.    It airs across Canada on Radio-Canada at 8pm every Wednesday.

Katherine Levac (#30) — Move over Acadie… and “Bonjour Ontario!”

“Tant à Découvrir”: The Ontario Government’s French Licence Plates issued to the public… Seen on vehicles across Ontario. If you keep your eyes open for them, you’ll spot them around Toronto, and elsewhere.

Wow!  It looks like we’re experiencing somewhat of an “Ontario invasion” of Franco-Ontariens, out to conquer Montréwood!

Just as it’s written on Ontario’s French license plates, it really does look like there is “Tant à découvrir!”

Move on over Acadia! (traditionally long known as a hot-bed of artistic talent outside of Québec), and BONJOUR ONTARIO!   

Whether it’s Marie-Mai or Véronique DiCaire, Roch Castonguay or Chantal Hébert (she’s been spoofed a number of times on the pop-scene… so, hey, I count her in)… from Chuck Labelle, to Roy Dupuis, Damien Robitaille, Mathieu Pichette and Julien Tremblay … with double the Francophone population of Acadia (over 500,000 in Ontario alone), there seems to be a wave of talent coming from Ontario, attracted to the lights of Montréwood.

Katherine Levac is no exception.  This talented Ontaroise comedian made her big debut onto the public stage last February and March on the pilot episodes of Télé-Québec’s SNL Québec (yes indeed… Québec now has its own French version of the famous New York comedy program “Saturday Night Live”).

The original SNL has been one of my favorite shows since childhood, so I made a definite point of watching the first two SNL Québec episodes as soon as they aired (you can catch them on Télé-Québec’s website by clicking HERE [1] and HERE [2]).

Like most of the public, I had never seen or heard of Katherine Levac until that point.   But the public is always looking for something new in comedy — and Levac brilliantly pulled off the funniest skits as Page Beaulieu, a Franco-Ontarienne; blabbering away like a twit in a not-so-eloquent, exaggerated Southwest Ontario Francophone accent with a very strong English-influenced intonation.   Little did I know at that the time that Levac herself was Franco-Onterienne, from the Eastern Ontario Francophone belt (her natural Ontario French accent from Eastern Ontario is quite different than the Ontario French accent spoken in SW Ontario, but nonetheless, she was perfect fit for the role).   Since then, Levac has repeatedly appeared on television this past spring and summer, has appeared on numerous radio programs, and even made a stage-appearance the other evening at the Prix Gémeaux Awards (you can’t get much bigger than that!!).   It looks like she is that new spark that the public has been craving.

If the past successes of the original SNL stars from New York (many of whom were Anglo-Canadian) proves to be an accurate yard stick… I think we’re going to see a LOT of Katherine Levac, for many years to come !!

Télé-Québec has decided to produce an episode of SNL Québec once every month.   The next one will be airing on Saturday, September 20th at 7:00pm on Télé-Québec.  There will be a pre-airing show on Friday, September 19th at 10:00pm.   If your regional television provider elsewhere in Canada (ie: West of Toronto and Windsor or East of New Brunswick) does not carry Télé-Québec, don’t worry… just wait a few days until after the airing and then check Télé-Québec’s website by clicking HERE (let’s keep our fingers crossed that the full episodes will be posted online).

Oh… and the next episode is supposed to be hosted by Normand Brathwaite (the subject of an earlier post).

So with SNL and L’Été indien as “the” shows to watch this weekend, I wish you happy viewing, and a good end to your week!

L’Été indien (#29)

No, the subject of this post is not about the classic 1975 song from France, sung by Joe Dassin “L’Été indien” (one of the most famous and greatest known French songs of all time).

Rather, this is about Julie Snyder having pulled off another big one… and this time she did it big!  “L’Été Indien” (Indian Summer) is a 4-part Television series airing every Sunday in September.   It’s the largest ever Québec-France co-production variety show being shown to both publics on television on both sides of the ocean.   However it is almost completely filmed in Québec.

It aired in August in France.  Sneak-peak views at the ratings indicate that during August, it was the #1 viewed program in France with about 4 million views.   The first two airings have already taken place in Canada, and it was the #1 watched program on TVA at the time, with an audience of 2 million the 1st episode, and 1.6 million the second episode.

It is set on a giant outdoor stage in the old port of Montréal, with the Montréal downtown skyline as a backdrop.  It is co-hosted by Julie Snyder representing us on this side of the ocean, and Michel Drucker (arguably one of France’s best known TV hosts / presenters / interviewers spanning a 40 year career) representing France.   It is broadcast on TVA in Québec and Canada, and TV5 in France.  It is also being broadcast in 200 countries via TV5 monde.

The invitees include the biggest of the big Francophone celebrities, both throughout the decades, and some more recent — from Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Belgium, France, and even one from the UK.  It’s clear it took a gigantic international endeavour to make this show.   200 employees are involved, and I can’t even imagine how many flights needed to be booked to pull this one off.

Not only do the celebrities participate in one-on-one and group interviews with Snyder and Drucker, but in addition to providing performances on the large outdoor stage, they also participate in various activities around Québec in a fun and relaxed environment.  This might be the first time some of these celebrities have ever been seen before in such a light.  The show also projects and image of Québec not often seen by the public around the world.

Originally an idea between René Angelil (Celine’s husband) and Michel Drucker, Julie took the reigns and has brought us this star-studded line-up that has everyone talking.   When you read the line-up of invitees below, all appearing in just 4 episodes, all on stage in Montréal, and then crisscrossing Québec in groups on numerous mini-adventures, you’ll understand just how big of an undertaking L’Éte Indien actually is — and what the international media frenzy and fuss has all been about…

  • Celine Dion – Québec – (Julie’s personal good friend): She and Julie kicked off the first episode by water skiing together down the St. Lawerence, right onto the stage (that set the tone for the entire show, right from the get-go).
  • Stromae – Belgium – One of the current chart-topping singers across the Francophone world (including in Québec)
  • Roch Voisine – Nouveau-Brunswick/Acadie – One of Canada’s long-time famous singers in both French and English.
  • Véronique DiCaire – Ontario – Famous Montréwood and Ontaroise singer, having performed with some of the biggest names in the industry, and having become a star in her own right.
  • Fred Pellerin – Québec – a famous (and rather young) story-teller, bringing his stories to life through song and oral story recitals. His tiny home village of St-Elie-de-Claxton (Québec), has become a tourist attraction because of the attention Pellerin has brought to it through his stories.
  • Francis Cabrel – France – one of France’s most famous singers, whose career has spanned decades (Fred Pellerin took Cabrel home to his small village of St-Elie in one of the episodes).
  • Marc Labreche – Québec – topic of a former blog post.  Famous comedian.
  • Martin Matte  Québec – Famous TV sitcom actor and comedian (the last post on the Gémeaux Awards mentioned he cleaned house at the gala this week).
  • Garou – Québec – For almost two decades, he has been one of the most famous and best known singers in Québec and France.
  • Mika UK (originally from Lebanon) – Well known to an Anglophone public with several English language hits a few years ago. He is now singing in French and cleaning up the charts in numerous Francophone countries (he has Lebanese Francophone roots, lived a few years in France as a child, but has mostly grown up in the UK).
  • Cœur de Pirate Québec – Famous (and quite young) singer who has attained huge musical achievements, success and fame in a very short period of time (both in Québec and France).
  • Xavier Dolan – Québec – Internationally award winning movie director. In the history of movies, he is one of the youngest people in his profession to have ever achieved so much international acclaim at such as young age.
  • Vincent NicloFrance – Famous singer and actor.
  • Patrick BruelFrance – One France’s most famous singers, whose career has spanned decades.
  • Karim OuelletQuébec – A relatively newer chart-topping singer, he has won some of Québec and Canada’s biggest awards in music (a Juno, le Prix Félix-Leclerc). He grew up in numerous countries (his father was a Canadian diplomat), but calls Québec home.
  • CorneilleQuébec – A wildly popular singer in Québec with a funk-R’n’B sound. His personal story (having survived the Rwandan Genocide, while his family did not) has captured the hearts of the public.
  • Ginette RenoQuébec – The subject of a previous post — a super star.
  • Robert CharleboisQuébec – Considered one of the legends and “founding fathers” of contemporary Québec music, in terms of style, language, and tone. His career has brought him from the 1960s to today, and it continues to go strong.
  • Marie-Mai – Ontario – The subject of a previous post.  A wildly popular singer.
  • Isabelle BoulayQuébec – Mentioned in the post “Québec = Country”. A celebrity singer who’s music has been popular for around 15 years.
  • Rachid BadouriQuébec – A very popular comedian, performing both at home in Québec, and also in France, on stage and on television.
  • Mylène PaquetteQuébec – She was the first North American female to row solo across the Atlantic ocean. She has achieved celebrity status in Québec as a result, and was named as 2013 personality of the year by various media.
  • Stéphane RousseauQuébec – A very famous actor and comedian, he is often seen on television and movies in many roles. If he’s not acting in a certain role, he is being interviewed, doing stand-up comedy, or seen in advertisements.
  • Anne RoumanoffFrance – A very famous French comedian.
  • (An honourable mention for) Denis Coderre Québec – the Mayor of Montréal (and long-term MP and former Liberal cabinet minister), he participated in the program by presenting the keys to the city to Michel Drucker.
  • Linda LemayQuébec – A famous celebrity singer with a long career in both Québec and France.

With such a celebrity line up and interesting program format, this is one show you might not want to miss.  The last two episodes will air Sunday, September 21st and 28th at 7:00pm on TVA (which is carried in many regions across Canada).

The official website is http://tva.canoe.ca/emissions/eteindien/.

TVA has posted numerous official footage out-takes on YouTube.  You can begin your search for them by clicking HERE. (please stick to official footage only).

Amusez-vous bien!

Montréwood Radio (#20)


Hollywood is not genearlly the first thing that comes to mind when we think “radio”, nor is Bollywood… so why on earth would I create a post on “Montréwood” Radio?  (In this instance, I’m referring to Franco-pop hit-music radio – not talk radio – we’ll leave talk radio for another post).  There are a couple of short answers.   One is that hit-music radio personalities in Montréal have definitely have become multi-platform celebrities in their own right – and are often cross-featured on television and sometimes in movies.  Another reason is that Franco-pop hit-music radio in Montréal plays a major role in the rise and promotion of Franco-pop music.  Major decisions are being made regarding who gets air time – and that can mean make-it-or-break-it for many up and coming artists.

(Franco-pop is a term for French pop music.  It can be used in the same way as Canto-pop describes Hong Kong Cantonese music or Mando-pop for Mainland China pop music).

Despite having one of the busiest subway and passenger train systems in North America, Montréal, like other cities across Canada and North America, is still very much a car-commuting city.  It’s vastly spread-out with millions of people in the metropolitan regions.  Commuters will often spend an hour or more in traffic each way, driving to and from work.   Commuters sometimes spend more time listening to radio personalities than their own families – making radio personalities some of the best known names in town.  Some radio stations have also developed daily short comedy skits and programs which attract tens of thousands of listeners (one in particular attracts over 100,000 listeners and I’ve heard there has been more than one vehicle accident caused by commuters laughing hysterically in their cars). The funniest aspect of such programming, apart from the hilarity of the jokes or skits themselves, is looking out your car window and watching everyone else in the cars around you also busting a gut at the same jokes, while still trying to drive in a straight line !!   It’s become a cultural tradition and part of the cultural make-up of Montréal and Québec.

There are several Franco-pop hit-music stations in Montréal, and most have affiliate stations in other cities around Québec, and in the Ottawa area.

The subjects of some of the prior blogs, in addition to their television fame, are also well-known radio personalities;  Véronique Cloutier, Jean-René Dufort, Ron Fournier, and Normand Brathwaite (are you starting to see how Québec pop-culture it all starts to mesh and come together now to form an interwoven cultural block?).

Some of the more popular stations are:

  • NRJ, 94,3
  • CKOI, 96,9
  • Rythme FM, 105,7
  • Rouge FM, 107,3

All of the above stations’ websites offer online live streaming, and a daily countdown (or décompte in French) of the top 10 or 25 songs (along with the ability to listen to excerpts and purchase tracks online).  That way you will always be in the know for what’s the hottest of the hot in Franco-pop. 

NRJ (pronounced Énergie, meaning “energy”)

  • Website: (Click HERE)
  • NRJ daily top 10 French songs, with ability to listen to excerpts: (Click HERE)
  • Daily comedy duo featured between songs: Les Grandes Gueules (Click HERE
  • Daily comedy skits: Les 2 minutes du people (by François Pérusse) – This 2-minute skit, running now for almost 25 years, has become a cultural institution of Québec comedy! It’s a Montréal-created sketch, broadcast on stations across Québec.  But it has become so big that it’s now broadcast daily on the radio in Switzerland, France and Belgium – making its creator and main voice, François Pérusse, an international star. It’s available for download as a free podcast.  (I’ve even had to pull over to the side of the road once because it has made me laugh so hard).  Click HERE for the latest skits.

CKOI (pronounced C’est quoi)

  • Website: (Click HERE): 
  • CKOI daily top 25 French songs, with ability to listen to excerpts: (Click HERE)
  • Daily comedy skits and jokes: Debout les comiques (Click HERE)

Rythme FM

  • Website: (Click HERE)
  • Rythme daily top 25 songs, which ability to listen to excepts: (Click HERE)  

Rouge FM

Bonne écoute !!