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I can recall the UK’s animated (often political) comedy series “Spitting Image” being broadcast on CBC in Anglophone Canada in the 1980s (I was very young at the time, but I still vividly remember the puppet characters of Margaret Thatcher and Prince Charles). It often dealt with mature subject matters related to current events, and added humour to the equation by mocking recurrent British newsmakers and politicians of the day (through parody, by way of using puppets).
From what I recall, I’ve personally never really seen anything else in Canada which would parallel with “Spitting Image” – until I saw “Ici Laflaque”.
Ici Laflaque seems to be remarkably similar to “Spitting Image”. But instead of using puppets, it uses high-quality computer animation to depict caricatures of mostly politicians, and whose on-screen forms look surprisingly similar to those of the 1980’s “Spitting Image” puppets.
It airs weekly on television across Canada on Radio-Canada every Sunday at 7:30pm.
In the program, Gérald D. Laflaque is a fictional animated news anchor who interviews, along with “colleagues” (who are animated caricatures of real-life, well-known reporters) animated political and news-making political personalities of the day (the real Federal and Québec-provincial politicians don’t appear on the show, rather they are replaced by mock animated caricatures with a fictional script, and thus we never quite know what they are going to say).
The title “Ici Laflaque” is taken from how Radio-Canada reporters (and many francophone reporters) sign off at the end of “in-field” reporting. For example, at the end of an in-field report, a reporter will say “Ici Nancy Brown (reporter’s name), Ottawa (city)”. Radio-Canada recently re-styled it’s own television moniker to reflect this now-famous sign-off call… which is why you see “ICI Radio-Canada” being advertised and publicized as the television component of Radio-Canada (versus their radio, internet, and international broadcasting components). “Ici“ also has the double-intent of reflecting that the network is “here”, and it is ours.
Many of the long list of Ici Laflaque’s personalities are recurrent. If you were to watch the show for the first time, you may notice that a number of the personalities have already been mentioned in this blog at least once throughout my posts, for example; Julie Snyder, Gregory Charles, Ron Fournier, Richard Martineau, Céline Galipeau, Steven Harper, Denis Coderre, Justin Trudeau, Philippe Couillard, Pierre Karl Péladeau. But the show has many other characters who are well known to the public in Québec, but who may not be so well known to the rest of Canada (over time, I’ll likely slowly and eventually mention many of them in this blog). Regardless, it’s a great way to get to know them in an unconventional light.
Fortunately, if you’re not able to catch the show on television on Sunday evenings, you can catch clips of some of the latest and best moments each week under Zone video of the official website.
C’est de la politique — alors, il faut rire et l’en prendre avec le côté léger de la vie. Continuez donc!