The show is this since at least 1996 after Benoît Delépine and Jean-François Halin left. Some viewers thinks the show is still funny but others think it's become unfunny with padding and Anvilicious sketches against people the authors don't like.
Even more so since Bruno Gaccio left in 2007. The new writers' humor has become Anvilicious, they are generally less skilled in their writing, and even in the public, you hear much less laughter today than before.
Continuity Lockout: See all those explanations we had to put on the main page? Trying to watch the show without a terrifyingly in-depth knowledge of French politics and pop culture isn't such a good idea.
Crosses the Line Twice: Happens sometimes with the terrorists or the American army. Happens all the time with the Pope and his sidekick the Cardinal Sylvester.
Every sketch on Jacques Chirac during the 1995 Presidential elections. In fact, pretty much every sketch on the 1995 Presidential elections.
The bloopers of Alien Autopsy.
Jean-Louis Borloo going out for a drink, waking up with d'Estaing playing the accordion, and Simone Veil tied up in the wardrobe pincushioned with arrows, a chicken in his bedroom and "UDI" tattoed on his cheek. And then he finds out that he's been on a bender for two months, during which time he founded a political party.
Droite City: essentially, the intern struggles between the various politicians of the French right-wing portrayed as a Sin City parody. This is as hilarious as it sounds.
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Christmas 2012, the reindeer are drunk off Swedish meatballs. How is Santa to deliver presents to the good little boys and girls? ... Get Memetic Badass Zlatan to drop-kick every present into the right chimney from the North Pole.
Follow the Leader: Les Guignols could be considered a French version of Spitting Image. Probably inspired others, such as caricaturist Serge Chapleau in Québec, who created Et Dieu Créa Laflaque ("And God Created Laflaque"), which follows a similar formula of making fun of events in the news, talking to exaggerated versions of political and cultural faces.
The show had a localized version in the Spanish station of Canal+ (Las Noticias del Guiñol) and its influence can be seen in later Spanish sketch programs like TVE's La Hora de José Mota and TV3's Polònia, even though the parodies are done this time by human actors.
"ispices di counasses" ("those bitches", with a bad Arabic accent);
"Ici, à Nagano..." ("Here, in Nagano...");
"Putain, deux ans !" ("Damn, two years!");
"Mangez des pommes !" ("Eat apples!") note A mock slogan for Jacques Chirac in the 1995 presidential election.
"À l’insu de mon plein gré !" ("Without the knowledge of my own free will!");note A parody of Tour de France cyclist Richard Virenque's surreally absurd denials when caught in a doping scandal in 1998. For good measure, Les Guignols depicted Virenque as a brainless puppet with hypodermics stuck in his head.
"Travailleurs, travailleuses, on vous ment, on vous spolie..." ("Male workers, female workers, you've been lied to, you've been despoiled...);
"LE MONSIEUR TE DEMANDE..." ("THE GENTLEMAN IS ASKING YOU...")...
"Alors, je clique sur le mulot..." *coin* "Comment ça, 'coin'?" ("So, I click with the rodent..." *quack* "Waddya mean, 'quack'?")note Jacques Chirac used the word "mulot", which specifically refers to a field mouse, for a computer mouse, which is usually called "souris" (mouse) in French.
Johnny Hallyday beginning his sentences with "ah que". To the point that the French dub of Spongebob Squarepants has Patrick Star using the same verbal tic.
In December 13. 2001, when a video that showed Bin Laden "confessing" responsibility for 9/11 was found (remember there wasn't any proof whatsoever at that time), the writers spoofed it by showing a guy filmed awkwardly and speaking in pseudo-arabic gibberish with an obviously American voice. Sylvestre is invited to comment on it, leading to this exchange:
Sylvestre: Now that we have solid proof, we can bomb Iraq! PPD: What? Why Iraq? Sylvestre: To find evidence. PPD: What? Sylvestre: We are gonna bomb Iraq, level it, and then search for the tape that proves we were right to do so. It's not rocket science.
Two years and one War in Iraq later, nobody was laughing anymore.
An earlier example could be the sketches parodying the former prime minister Pierre Bérégovoy. They are really less funny after his suicide.
Growing the Beard: The show has become popular only in 1991 during the Gulf War when they started follow the news.
Hilarious in Hindsight: A mild example — in 2011, a parody trailer of The Hangover shows former PM Laurent Fabius saying that he would very well see himself as minister of Foreign Affairs in Dominique Strauss-Kahn's government (before having a severe hangover after DSK was arrested) note At that time, Strauss-Kahn was so beloved by the media that everyone already saw him as the next president. So much that many still think that the Sofitel affair was a conspiracy from the right to push him out of the presidential race. After François Hollande's election, guess what Fabius became in the first government.
Misaimed Fandom: Originally, Osama Bin Laden called women "ispices di counasses" (loosely translated those bitches, with a bad Arabic accent) to show the predominant sexism in Arab countries. They stopped using it when they learned that, in a dark Memetic Mutation-like twist, people started using it to talk seriously about women. Of course, the real cause of the Misaimed Fandom came from the fact that Puppet Laden is a Magnificent Bastard who became a terrorist For the Evulz. Ironicaly, this comes from the fact that the Bush administration was criticized in France for allegedly describing Bin Laden as some sort of comic-books super-villain and the writers decided to take this idea up a notch. Unfortunately, the Guignol's writer are very good at their craft, so the hyper-competent Puppet Laden became one of the most popular characters of the show, beloved even by those who cannot stand the original.
Sarcasm Failure/Tear Jerker: Nobody in France felt like laughing the evening of January 7th, 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo murders, and the Guignols' sketches' tone was generally sombre. One sketch had Guy Bedos, a French stand-up comedian, try to learn to draw to fill the dead cartoonists' shoes; he looks at his drawing, finds it crappy and tears it in two, tearfully shouting, "Rendez-nous Charb, merde ! Rendez-nous Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous !"note Give us Charb back, dammit! Give us back Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous!
Also right after the 9/11 attacks, a stand-up comedian did the remark: "The towers were twins for sure, they died on the same day." When PPDA said this was not funny, the guest answered: "Of course it isn't, do you think it's easy to laugh about such an attack?".
For some, the show is it since 1996. For others this is after the '90s or after Bruno Gaccio left in 2007. Some viewers still found the show funny though.
Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency was comedy gold for many French humorists and caricaturists, including those who work on the show, much like what the Thatcher era was for Spitting Image. Time will tell if the show will enjoy as much success under François Hollande's presidency. One thing is sure though: François loves to sing. Some notable examples include Gné hé hé, Alors on flippe, Les Playboys, Emploioutai, and even Wrecking Ball (though this one was sung by Manuel Valls).
They Changed It So It Sucks: The average reaction to the December 2015 un-cancellation. Among other things, PPD no longer presents the show. Many think that the Guignols will never the same now that Vincent Bolloré is in power, and when you see the changes made to the Guignols and how pretty much everyone from Canal + is leaving (when they are not outright pushed to leave), it is hard to disagree.