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Dave Morissette (#65)
Earlier I mentionned that humour seems to forge roots across most other media platforms in Québec.
But I also mentioned that sports pop-culture comprises its own separate (but parallel) pop-culture world. In the evenings, especially on cold winter nights, the streets may be dark, quiet, and cold, but when you see the lights lit up inside homes across Québec, there’s a good chance people are watching a game of hockey, or the analysis and commentary programs about the sport (most of the time revolving around the Canadiens de Montréal – the Habs). This phenomenon is definitely not unique to Québec, but the number of sports shows on television and radio are much more numerous, per capita, in Québec than elsewhere in Canada.
A couple of earlier posts gave examples of aspects of our sports culture; Ron Fournier, Daniel Savoie (Partrice Lemieux), and Pierre Houde.
If we were all kids, and this was the playground, you wouldn’t be considered one of the cool “in” kids if you didn’t know who these people were. Even in the more “artsy, wine-sipping” circles of Québec pop-culture, you’ll find these sports personalities are regularly talked about on television.
Another famous name is sports show host Dave Morissette.
He’s an interesting and imposing fellow, who’s deep, raspy voice is instantly recognizable, and who adds his own diverse background to the mix. Whereas Ron Fournier was an NHL referee, Dan Savoie is a comedian, and Pierre Houde is a famous play-by-play announcer, Dave Morissette was an actual hockey player – but just as well known for his auxiliary league sports past as his NHL sports past.
In Canada, but notably in Québec, the auxiliary hockey leagues are followed like mad (even though Ottawa has an NHL team, you still have to get your Major Junior Hockey League Olympiques de Gatineau tickets in advance, or risk not getting a seat). Apart from having been an NHL player for the Habs, he also played for Canadian and American teams in the American Hockey league, the Québec Major Junior Hockey League, amongst some others.
He has a widened audience from having been a host or co-host of several different sports shows across various networks (RDS Sports TV network, and now on Le Match on the TVA & LCN Television Network). This guy can get right into it… he’s passionate… and when there are three or four other hosts on the show, each with their own opinions as to what’s happening on (and off) ice, it makes for raised voices and entrenched debate.
Dave Morissette is also sought as an actor in television ads, and other television shows (such as Fort Boyard filmed in France).
The next time your favorite team is playing the Habs at some point (that is if your favorite team isn’t the Habs), then take in the review of the match through Morissette’s perspective – and see if it reignites your passion for his or your team.
Pierre Houde (#38)
These next three posts will touch on three well-known people who share the family name “Houde”， but only two are directly related (that I know of).
If you’re a sports lover, perk-up… this post is for you, since the first Houde, Pierre Houde, is a famous sportscaster.
You recall I mentioned that Montréal, and Québec is a die-hard base for hockey fans, specifically for the Montréal canadiens. Pierre Houde is “the” man who gives the play-by-plays, so it’s his voice who everyone hears when they tune in to catch the latest match.
Nothing lights up the room more than when Houde yells out a loooooonnnnggggg “GOAL!!!!!!!!!!” as everyone cheers madly. It’s a unique Montréal experience to be walking down a Montréal or Québec City street lined with pubs & bars when this happens… you can literally hear the sounds and screams coming at you from all directions as people inside the bars go mad!
He also has been the announcer for the Formula 1 Montréal Grand-Prix.
You can catch him on Montréal-based RDS, the 24-hours dedicated sports TV network (the French equivalent of Anglophone Canada’s Toronto-based TSN, actually owned by the same network, CTV Specialty Television).
In the next post we’ll look at Paul’s famous brother, Pierre Houde.