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Series / C'est pas sorcier

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C'est pas sorcier ("It's no sorcery", an idiom that translates more accurately as "It's no rocket science") is a French Science Show that ran from 1993 to 2014 on the France 3 channel. It was hosted by Frédéric "Fred" Courant, Jamy Gourmaud and (from 1999 onwards) Sabine Quindou, and totalized 599 episodes. The show remains memorable to many French people who grew up with it and/or saw episodes in various science classes, especially for its surprisingly hard main theme, a rock track called "Boogie Body".

In the show, Fred and Sabine work together in the field. They travel around the world, interview specialists, and ask questions to Jamy who, in his laboratory situated at the back of a truck driven by a guy named Marcel (who's never seen), answers them using models and mock-ups. After 2011, Jamy travelled to symbolic locations relevant to the topic with a mobile laboratory equipped with touch screens, computer graphics and the models.

Since 2019, the show has a Spin-Off of sorts on the French video-on-demand platform Okoo, C'est toujours pas sorcier ("Still no sorcery"), with new hosts. Meanwhile, Jamy has kept hosting various other smaller-scale science shows and YouTube channels since.

C'est pas sorcier provides examples of:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Fred and Sabine style themselves as such in episodes about archaeology and paleontology.
  • Big Badass Rig: The team's iconic white truck, which houses Jamy's lab. The "badass" part isn't played much apart from maybe the show's own opening when it travels with the rock song "Boogie Body".
  • Catchphrase: Fred's "Dis donc Jamy, savais-tu..." ("Hey Jamy, did you know that [insert scientific phenomenon]") before Jamy explains a phenomenon.
  • The Ghost: Marcel, the truck's driver, is always mentioned, but never seen.
  • In-Scene Title Text: For the Title Sequence, both the show's title and its subtitle were written on the truck, with the camera focusing on the former for the title and on the truck's top for the latter.
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: Either Fred or Jamy (or both sometimes) utters "Marcel! [insert something for him to do, usually start the truck and go to the episode's location]!" before the opening credits.
  • Model Planning: Jamy explains science phenomenons with models and mock-ups.
  • Nerd Glasses: Jamy is The Smart Guy who stays in the truck-lab and explains the science stuff, and sports round eyeglasses (though it's also because he's myopic in real life).
  • Pun: Jamy usually makes a pun about the subject of the day before ordering Marcel to start the truck's engine.
  • Sixth Ranger: Sabine joined the show in 1999, six years after it started.
  • The Smart Guy: Jamy, who explains science phenomenons in understandable details via models.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Prior to Sabine's introduction, the only female regular was the show's unseen expository voiceover, La P'tite Voix ("The Lil' Voice"), done by television veteran Valérie Guerlain.
  • Stock Footage: The truck starting to move and then the Title Sequence with the truck driving on a French countryside road remained the same for at least 15 years.
  • The Voice: One of the characters is a female voice that has no physical body. Appropriately, she's called "The Lil' Voice" ("la p'tite voix" in French) by everyone.