French Language Blog

Les Inconnus: Les Rois de la Comédie Française Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Culture

Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Le rire (laughter) just makes life better and laughing will put you de bonne humeur (in good humor) even if you’re having a bad day.

Everyone has his or her share of favorite comedians. Some like Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin while others may prefer Chris Rock or Ricky Gervais. However, there are very few comedians as versatile as Les Inconnus (The Unknowns). Les Inconnus was a group of three French comedians that became célèbre (famous) in the early 1990s with a TV show called La Télé des Inconnus (Les Inconnus TV). Pascal Légitimus, Bernard Campan and Didier Bourdon had perfect chemistry and they proved it time and time again with their sketchs inédits (novel/original skits) on stage, television or the big screen. Their ability to take on a variety of different personas made them unique in their genre as each comedian adopted très facilement (very easily) a number of accents and characters they made their own.

Les Inconnus produced a prolific number of skits throughout their career. Some of the more popular ones include Questions pour du Pognon (Questions for Dough—pognon is slang for money), a skit based on a real game show called Questions pour un Champion (Questions for a Champion); Douceur de Vivre (Sweet Life) where they assume the role of a French Hard Rock band; and Les Policiers (The Policemen) where they imitate French policemen.

Les Inconnus poked fun at game shows, movies, soap operas, actors, singers, politicians, stereotypes, and anything that was part of la culture populaire (popular culture) at the time. Later in their career, they made several movies such as Les Trois Frères (The Three Brothers) in 1995 and Les Rois Mages (The Three Kings/The Magi) in 2001. Their popularity waned in the late 1990s and they parted ways to embark on solo careers. They stayed in touch over the years and recently announced une réunion officielle (an official reunion) and the release of a new movie called Les Trois Frères: Le Retour (The Three Brothers: The Return).

Pour vraiment apprécier Les Inconnus (To really appreciate Les Inconnus), you have to understand French argot (slang) and you must be familiar with certain cultural references. You also have to watch their skits more than once to catch les petits détails (the little details).

Thanks to YouTube, you can still enjoy many of the skits made by Les Inconnus over twenty year ago. So check out some of their videos and listen closely to the dialog because ils parlent rapidement (they talk fast)!

Keep learning French with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it