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Comedian Gad Elmaleh returns to Quebec after four years of controversy

Comedian Gad Elmaleh returns to Quebec after four years of controversy

Four years after he was accused of plagiarism from comedians including Luis Jose Hody and Martin Petty, Gad Elmaleh will return to Quebec on Sunday. The tour will be concluded Furthermore it, His sixth show in front of the Bell Center that has been sold out for months. “I was very moved by it,” the famous humorist asserts in an exclusive interview with The register.

Gad Elmaleh has not addressed the Quebec public or the local media since this controversy four years ago. However, this case of plagiarism of jokes, revealed by YouTube channel CopyComic, caused quite a stir at home.

Since then, the comedian admitted, in the French media, that he made “loans” to his partners, to which Martin Matt and Patrick Howard were added. “I wouldn’t do it again, but I don’t regret it because I wasn’t in a malicious move,” he told the newspaper. Parisian In the fall of 2019.

What Gad Elmaleh regrets is his silence here during these months of controversy, acknowledging that he should have been “present in the conversation” and that he could have “managed things with less pride, quite frankly”. register From Paris in a virtual interview.

“One of my mistakes is that I should have had a dialogue with the people of Quebec sooner, I should have shared my feelings sooner, and express my version of the facts more humbly,” defines the comedian, who has made his career all over the Francophone United States .

However, the 51-year-old comedian sees the crisis as having taken on a “disproportionate size” in Quebec. Several comedians were very serious about him, including Mike Ward.

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“I found the attacks to be very outrageous,” he recalls. But above all, he was very, very violent. My family in Quebec called me to tell me: You must have done something very dangerous, it just can’t be. […] What surprised me is that it didn’t stop. It was over and over again, and above all, no dialogue was possible.

Redirect your creativity

“What matters now is what I got out of,” says Gad Elmaleh today, who is able to realize, after four years, that the crisis was good. “Those shots brought me a lot,” he said.

It was after the controversy that Gad El Maleh was born in his sixth year. Furthermore itThe one man show The “most intimate” of his career. He just made his second movie, in which he stars. authorized Stay a little, The feature film, to be released in Quebec soon, tells of his religious identity crisis. These “highly personal” projects take him out of his “comfort zone”.

“Somehow, I wonder if this episode is [d’accusations de plagiat] It didn’t rock me in my creativity and didn’t force me to do things so unique that I couldn’t be compared to anyone. What happens in the show, when I analyze each word, these are situations I’ve been through on my own and can’t imagine being borrowed. Unconsciously, it prompted me to redefine myself, to be unique, to be bold in my creativity. I wouldn’t go so far as to thank them [ceux qui l’ont dénoncé]But in the end, it came in handy! ‘ he analyzes with a laugh.

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The audience at the meeting

When asked if, in the face of the media storm, he thought he should have given up his career in Quebec, Gad Elmaleh, whose touring international career has quickly resumed, replied that he feared the “hate” of the public.

But the Quebec audience spoke up: Without any promotion, Bell Center tickets are selling like hot cakes. “When my producer told me we were sold out, that was the best response I’ve ever heard. I’m very grateful to you. […] I think the audience decides. And in this moment of vulnerability, I had no response from the audience, I wondered, I only had doubts. But the enthusiasm of the public today caress.

“And the Bell Center is a symbol for me,” he adds. I saw the stars there and I liked it. My career began in Montreal on December 10, 1994 at the Just for Laughs Museum cabaret in front of 20 people. And back after 27 years, run out At the Bell Center, it is a source of great pride and happiness.”

You better just laugh

Without minimizing what he’s done in the past, Gad Elmaleh is addressing accusations of plagiarism in this show he will be giving at the Bell Center on Sunday night. There is no way for him to avoid the subject.

“I’d be happy to talk about it, with a lot of happiness and enthusiasm,” he insists, laughing. I don’t do it much in shows anymore, but there, in Quebec, I’ll enjoy it because it made an impression and was destabilizing. And I’m doing it for my personal happiness!”

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In addition to this controversial topic, Gad Elmaleh closely addresses the topics of fame, his celibacy at age 51, his American adventure and his religion. After his tour ends, he will return to creativity in the club’s comedy circuit for a new show. And, of course, he wants to continue to maintain that bond so precious to him with the people of Quebec.

“I can’t wait to get there on Saturday, with all that, I really want to sit down and talk to the audience.”

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“I was very touched to find myself with a Quebec audience.”

“The Bell Center is a symbol for me. I saw the stars there and I liked it. My career began in Montreal on December 10, 1994 at the Cabaret du Musée Juste pour rire in front of 20 people. And to come back after 27 years, run out At the Bell Center, it is a source of great pride and joy. »

“It’s easier to talk about in hindsight. I wish I had the same serenity four years ago. It took a size that I consider disproportionate.”

“I can’t wait to arrive on Saturday, with all that, I really want to sit down and speak to the audience.”

“It’s my most intimate presentation in the way I approach subjects. I put myself in the position of a bitch, a man who struggles, and it’s hard for him.”

– Gad Elmaleh

Gad Elmaleh will perform on Sunday at the Bell Center.