The humour of the French

- French humour, a way of expressing oneself -

Humour is a way of expressing oneself that tends to make the other person laugh by telling a funny story or making fun of something. Humour is not necessarily oral; clowns and other mimes use gestural humour. Images, such as caricatures, can also fall into this category.

It is often said that this practice is closely linked to a country's culture: in England, for example, black humour characterises their jokes, while in France irony reigns supreme over this discipline.

In France, it is also important to note that humour is recognised as an important trait, necessary for social integration. At every stage of their development, young French people are confronted with several types of humour.

Let's go into more detail:

From childhood onwards, confectionery afternoons and films will punctuate these weekends. What could be better than a packet of carambar in front of the latest Ice Age film when it's cold and raining outside? As well as allowing you to sink your teeth into them, carambars have a short, easy-to-understand joke inscribed in the hollow of their packaging.

« J’ai cru que Mozart était mort mais mozzarella » (Mozart est là)
"I thought Mozart was dead but mozzarella"

Simple and quick to understand, these jokes are the cause of many a sore zygomatic. Combined with the humour of animated films such as Ice Age, everyone was introduced to this discipline of laughter at a very early age.

Then came adolescence and the start of adult life. Jamel Debouzze, the famous French comedian, devoted an entire comedy programme to this generation, broadcast free-to-air on Canal +, the Jamel Comedy Club. Stand-ups and impersonations are the watchwords of this programme, which, by promoting so-called "suburban" humour, is aimed solely at a young audience.

With the advent of the digital age and the internet, Youtube has also exploded, with young people like Norman and Cyprien taking to it to share humorous videos in which they put themselves on stage to entertain their audiences.

As an adult, everything became more serious, more sober, more witty too. With a penchant for the sharpest wit, puns and clever jokes replaced animated films and Carambar jokes.

Stand-up comedy has been hugely successful in France, with stars such as Gad Elmaleh now exporting their work internationally. Masters of situational humour, these artists captivate their audiences by making a mockery of their daily lives on stage.

Finally, it's important to point out that the humour of yesteryear was more artistic, more theatrical and more about mastering the language of Molière than it is today. Comedy plays, mastery of puns, humour was more 'worked', with world-famous artists such as Coluche and Molière himself.

Here are a few French comedians to discover:
- Coluche
- Raymond Devos
- Guy Bedos
- Gad Elmaleh
- Florence Foresti
- Jamel Debouzze
- Muriel Robin
- Anne Roumanoff
- Claudia Tagbo
- Dany Boon
- Valérie Lemercier
- Gaspard Proust
- Elie Semoun
- Stéphane Guillon
- Cyprien
- Norman