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Series / Les Guignols de l'Info

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"You're watching too much television. Good evening."note 

Les Guignols de l'info was a popular French News Parody and Satire puppet show broadcast on Canal+. Sort of a French version of Spitting Image, it used latex puppets as caricatures of prominent political figures to satirize national and international politics and heads of state in sketches but also touched upon other topics such as sports, cinema, music and French television in general.

The name of the show came from Guignol, a famous French satirical puppet of the early 19th century. The puppets were designed and made by the workshop of Alain Duverne, who also worked on the previous major French political satire show, Le Bébête Show, which Les Guignols rivaled then overtook, and the kids' show Les Minikeums. Regular voice actors of the show included the likes of Didier Gustin, Jean Barney and Alain Dorval.

From their beginning in 1988 (when the show was known as Les Arènes de l'info) to 2015 it was hosted by PPD, a puppet of famous French news anchor Patrick Poivre D'Arvor (or PPDA, as he is better known by the audiences)note . The show enjoyed tremendous popularity through the years that continued for more than two decades, and had been credited with introducing younger generations to politics and even of influencing the French public's views on certain politicians.

For instance, the show's portrayal of Jacques Chirac during the 1995 Presidential election as a likeable everyman getting backstabbed and betrayed by former friend and rival Édouard Balladur (then Prime Minister) was claimed to have helped him get elected. Though the writers denied any intentions of influencing voters, they made no secret of their left-leaning political tendencies (they didn't spare left-wing politicians nevertheless).

A Spanish version (Las Noticias del Guiñol) ran on Canal+ Spain and later on Cuatro between 1995 and 2008, and it was as influential as its French predecessor.

In 2015, after billionaire Vincent Bolloré bought Canal+, his first decision was to move the show to a less favorable timeslot and fire most of its writers. After a brief cancellation, the show resumed airing in late 2015 but with a different host and a drastically changed formula more focused on skits and far tamer in its comedy. Alas, audience ratings were appalling and the show was definitively put to rest in 2018, three months after its 30th anniversary.

A short lived American adaptation of the series (Let's Be Real) was greenlit by Fox in September 2020, which ran from October 2020 to May 2021; with Robert Smigel as the show's executive producer.

In 2023, the French web TV Blast launched a crowdfunding campaign to create a Spiritual Successor called Les Marioles, with former Guignols writer Bruno Gaccio (among others) at the helm. Not coincidentally, one of the first puppets created for the show is… Vincent Bolloré.

Les Guignols de l'info provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • Nobody likes Laurent Fabius.
    • François Hollande has started to rival him during his presidency; he was the least popular president in France since the beginning of the Fifth French Republic (until Emmanuel Macron, that is), but the Guignols flanderize this into having the whole population absolutely loathe him, to the point any book saying bad things about him is almost sure to encounter success.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Jean-Marie Le Pen's casual xenophobia.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • For a long time, Jacques Chirac couldn't get the name of his wife right, usually using some ludicrous word rhyming with "Bernadette". Most of the time he just calls her "Maman".
    • Nikos Aliagas (host of French music reality programs) can never pronounce PPD's full name correctly.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: The show usually made the caricatured people way dumber than they were/are in Real Life.
  • Affably Evil: Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, probably the friendliest and funniest mass-murdering Islamist terrorists you've ever met in a TV show.
  • Affectionate Parody: Too many to count over the years.
  • The Ahnold:
    • Any sketch involving Arnold Schwarzenegger has him talk (and usually act) like the Terminator. His hunt for Sarah Connor has been parodied countless times.
    • Monsieur Sylvestre, based on Sylvester Stallone. Besides occasionnal appearances of John Rambo, this puppet model is used extensively to portray World Company executives (all of them are nicknamed "Bob" or "Jim"), the American military (even more so since 9/11), Lakshmi Mittal (big shareholder in the steel industry), the Pope's Cardinals and an assembly of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders who act exactly like the World Company. Let's just say he portrays the New World Order and imperialism. He has also become the show's slightly sarcastic host in the new version.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Boris Yeltsin.
    • Alain de Greef, former programmation director of Canal+ who was always shown on hangover. He was lazy at work and spent his time drinking and dancing in night clubs.
    • Jean-Louis Borloo, the former Ecology Minister.
    • Serge Gainsbourg.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Laurent Fabius (PS) mixes mumbling and fast-talking with pauses that feel like he has a disorder.
    • Mitt Romney seems to live in a world where words have completely different meanings.
  • Amusing Injuries: In the earlier seasons, every time Jean-Marie Le Pen wanted to talk, he was hit. Sometimes with a baseball bat, sometimes with a spade...
  • Annoying Laugh:
    • Dominique Farrugia, the former president of Canal+. His laugh sounds like a sea lion barking (and even attracted said animals once).
    • Marc-Olivier Fogiel, who's The Hyena (and has a literal hyena as a pet).
    • Rachida Dati
  • Apologises a Lot: Michel Denisot's Catchphrase isn't "Désolé..." ("sorry") for nothing.
  • Arrowgram: What Ernest-Antoine Seillière calls "receiving an e-mail".
  • Art Evolution: The puppets have become more and more detailed with time. They are also sometimes updated, either to reflect changes in the actual person's physical appearance, or because the authors decide to give a character who used to have a generic puppet a custom one. One of the most significant recent examples is François Hollande, former president of the Republic, who was portrayed as a Fat Idiot. The real one went through a diet before the presidential election, so the creators replaced his puppet with a thinner one.
  • The Artifact: PPD kept being the news anchor long after his real-life counterpart ceased to be on TV − though when that happened, the puppet traded his formal attire for a sweater.
  • Attention Whore: Nicolas Sarkozy. In one sketch, he gets progressively sick as he's not able to make the news and searches for any camera in the vicinity to be filmed.
  • Authentication by Newspaper: Parodied in an old sketch; the hostage ("played" by the puppet for Christopher Lambert) is recording a video proving he's well, before realizing the facetious hostage-taker has given him a porn magazine instead of a newspaper.
  • Author Avatar: PPD got subtle shades of this as seasons passed. Made even stranger by the fact that he was (and still is, to some extent) originally supposed to be right-wing, like his real-life counterpart.
  • Big Eater:
    • Jacques Chirac's puppet. This is an exaggeration of the real-life Jacques Chirac, who has nonetheless the reputation of a healthy appetite.
    • More recently, François Hollande. In a skit parodying Saw, he's kidnapped and forced to eat a giant cookie in order to free himself.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Henri Emmanuelli (a socialist politician). In a sketch parodying Kaamelott, even his helmet has Big Ol' Eyebrows.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Emmanuel Chain (a TV journalist). He gets compared to Chewbacca because of it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy was drooling with political ambition in the '90s, with honey-words to boot. The "sheep" part disappeared after his election as president.
    • Bernadette Chirac sounds affable, and she's portrayed like a wicked crone in some skits.
  • Black Comedy: Lots, especially in the earlier days. For one example, after an unemployed man sets himself on fire in front of a job agency:
    PPD: Finally, some good news; the economy is turning up with one less unemployed man in Nantes.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The specialty of Patrick & Isabelle Balkany, who are themselves a Running Gag regarding corruption and dubious financial schemes in real life.
    • Super Menteur (Super Liar), Jacques Chirac's superhero alterego.
    • As a one-shot gag, Éric Woerth was considered Super Menteur's worthy successor.
    • The Tales of Father Jean-François Copé about Muslims in France.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: God and Jesus do not appreciate Pope Benedict XVI resigning, and make it known with a meteor over Russia.
  • The Bore: Édouard Balladur bores everyone around him when he speaks.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every puppet has a punny "subtitle" under its name, that changes over time.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Cécile Duflot, the one Ecologist minister in Hollande's government, was portrayed as such (despite being 38), with Noël Mamère and Dominique Voynet as her beleaguered "parents".
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    • "Alain Juppé, the candidate of old people (shows Jacques Chirac), inept people (shows François Bayrou), and old inept people (shows Valéry Giscard d'Estaing)."
    • Jean-Pierre Chevènement, after a serious allergic reaction to surgery anaesthetic and an 8-months coma, got "the candidate of the living, the candidate of the dead, the candidate of the living-dead".
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Swimming trainer Philippe Lucas, when commenting on sportspeople who failed.
    • Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, about awful fashion.
    • TV producer Patrick Le Lay, about the fact that he produces garbage on TV for audience rates and "sells audience attention time to Coca Cola".
    • Politician/venture capitalist Bernard Tapie to any politician he doesn't deem manly enough.
    • World Company executives about the fact that they want to dominate the world by making people dumber and selling wars and fear of terrorism so they can control them.
    • Aimé Jacquet, former head coach of the French national soccer team (world champions in 1998), when he talks about the then-epically boring French Ligue 1 championship (he was forced to comment on it, and was comically Driven to Madness because of it).
    • Laurent Blanc, another coach of the French team, when he speaks about the team's abysmal chances in the European Championship (he was right all along).
    • Eva Joly about her ecological party's chances at the elections, though she's not rude, rather depressing and fatalist.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Jean-Louis Debré, for Jacques Chirac.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Almost every French prime minister since the show really got into politics: Edith Cresson, Édouard Balladur, Michel Rocard, Lionel Jospin, Alain Juppé, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Dominique de Villepin, François Fillon.
    • Michel Denisot, one of Canal+'s most prominent producers and TV hosts.
    • François Bayrou
    • François Hollande
    • Laurent Fabius, former prime minister (before the show was created) and former minister of Foreign and European Affairs.
    • Nicolas Sarkozy had to go through Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Jacques Chirac's hazing in the Constitutional Council (where he now sits as former presidents usually do).
  • Canis Latinicus: When Pope Benedict XVI speaks, he often adds the suffix "-us" to his words.
    PPD: So what do you plan to do after your retirement?
    Benedict: Scratchus ballsus in front of televisius.
    Monsignor Sylvestre: Uhh... He'll spend it in meditation.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke:
    • Michel Denisot. His "jokes" are so awful they leave PPD speechless almost every time. Michel even meekly apologizes when he says one (and in many cases, even before he tells the joke).
    • Patrick Sébastien. On top of being appallingly bad, his jokes are immature and really tasteless, to say the least.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: François Bayrou. He can get drunk on non-alcoholic beer (or other harmless, alcoholic-looking beverages found in France). Once, trying just one draught of panaché (shandy) put him in an alcoholic coma. Naturally, sketches often pair him with hard-drinker Jean-Louis Borloo.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • François Léotard
      François Léotard: You mean a giant alien like the one in... Alien?
    • Zinédine Zidane, whenever commenting soccer.
  • Cargo Ship: invoked Bernadette Chirac and her handbag in one of the most infamous sketches of the show. So infamous that they actually had to broadcast a censored version at the time.
  • Catchphrase: Many, and we mean many. Among the most notable:
    • "You're watching the ancestor of the Internet. Good evening." (PPD's most recent opening phrase)
    • "You're watching too much television. Good evening." (PPD's former opening phrase)
    • "You always believe everything said on television. Good evening." (another of PPD's former opening phrases)
    • "Travailleurs, travailleuses, le grand Capital vous ment, le grand Capital vous spolie..." ("Male workers, female workers, the Great Capital lies to you, the Great Capital is despoiling you..." — Arlette Laguiller, presidential candidate in six elections for the the far-left Workers' Struggle party)
    • "Salut bonhomme !" ("Hi fella!" — Bernard Tapie)
    • "Imbécile !"; "Andouille !" ("Dumbass!"; "Idiot!" — François Mitterrand, former president)
    • "Eeeeeheeeee..."; "Uuuuhuuuu..."; "Je veux être un président normal !" ("I want to be a normal President!" — François Hollande, former president)
    • "Abracadabrantesque !" ("Ludicrousish" — Jacques Chirac, former president)
    • "LE MONSIEUR TE DEMANDE..." ("THE GENTLEMAN IS ASKING YOU..." — Jacques Chirac, whenever addressing Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, despite the latter's protests that he isn't deaf)
    • "Alors, je clique sur le mulot..." *coin* "Comment ça, 'coin'?" ("So, I click with the rodent..." *quack* "Waddya mean, 'quack'?" — Jacques Chirac, whenever trying to use a computer)
    • "Putain, deux ans !" ("Damn, two years!" — Jacques Chirac, as he was waiting for the next presidential election, assuming he would get elected thennote ). Also referred as "son boulot de dans deux ans" ("his job of two years from now");
    • "Mééééééééheuuuu ! Je veux être président !" ("Come ooooooon, I want to be president!" — François Bayrou, center-right unsuccessful presidential candidate)
    • "En effet !" or "Aneffet !" ("Indeed!" — Philippe Douste-Blazy; he rarely says something else)
    • Sylvester usually says "Beuuuuuuarh" to say "hi", with PPD responding "beuarh to you too".
    • "Excusez la tenue, je sors de la douche..." ("Pardon the dress, I just got out of the shower..." — Dominique Strauss-Kahn, every time he appears since the Nafissatou Diallo affair, always wearing a leopard bathrobe)
    • "PAAAAAYYYYS DE MEEEEEEERDE !!!" ("SHITTY COUNTRYYYYYY!!!" — former socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin's leitmotif since he pathetically lost the 2002 presidential election)
    • "M'enfin c'est pas possible !", "Mais quelle tête de con celui-là !" ("You must be kidding me!", "What a dickhead!" — Abbé Pierre)
    • "Ceci est une révolution !" ("This is a revolution!" — Steve Jobs, each time he introduces new Apple products)
    • "Formidable !" (Jack Lang, former socialist minister of culture and education)
    • "Pas formidable !" (Philippe Gildas, former TV host on Canal+)
    • "Désolé..." ("Sorry..." — Michel Denisot)
    • "Vous avez vu ma femme tellement qu'elle est belle tellement qu'elle est mannequin tellement qu'c'est ma femme !" ("You've seen my wife? How she's so beautiful how she's a model how she's my wife!" — Nicolas Sarkozy)
    • "Je SUIS calme, puisque j'ai changé!" ("I AM calm, I have changed!" — Nicolas Sarkozy, whenever he loses his cool after PPD told him something he didn't like)
    • "La prince il dit..." ("Da prince says..." — Leonardo, manager of the PSG soccer club)
    • "Ah bon ?!" ("For real?!") — Roselyne Bachelot, former right-wing minister and later TV show host)
    • "Gné-hé" (François Hollande; They even made a song about it)
    • "J'aime l'Entreprise!" ("I love the Enterprise!" — Manuel Valls, after he actually said the latter in Real Life)
  • Catchphrase Insult:
    • Bernard Tapie always calls PPD "Joe la Fiotte" ("Joe the Fag").
    • L'Abbé Pierre was prompt to call anybody a "Tête de con"! ("Dickhead").
  • Cat Fight: Happened offscreen between Valérie Trierweiler (the First Lady) and Ségolène Royal (François Hollande's ex-domestic partner).
  • Caustic Critic:
    • Karl Lagerfeld for fashion.
    • Philippe Lucas for sports.
    • Jean-Michel Aphatie for journalism.
  • Character Development: PPD became more and more divergent from his real-life counterpart. So much that in some sketches, when his puppet appears to represent the real PPDA, his voice is much closer to PPDA's real voice, indicating that PPD and PPDA might have become distinct characters.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys:
    • How the American characters see the French, of course.
    • Interestingly, unlike most occurrences of this trope, the show didn't treat French soldiers as especially cowardly or weak, but just horribly poorly equipped.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy tried everything to make Jacques Chirac fall before 2002.
    • Later Éric Besson, and it's Truth in Television: even his own colleagues in the former government hang lampshades about him, which is very meta if you think about it.
    • Jean Sarkozy towards his father. Nicolas is even proud of him because of this.
    • In one specific segment entitled "Droite City", which is essentially a parody of Sin City, all the major actors of the right wing are seen fighting one another. At the end of the segment, the show pokes fun at the socialist party, having Laurent Fabius backstab François Hollande, saying "Lolo président". This was before the 2007 presidential elections.
    • The same goes for "Pol Fiction" and "Gangs of RPR", which are parodies of Pulp Fiction and Gangs of New York. In fact, the right wing has always been subject to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder before Nicolas Sarkozy's election at the head of the party in 2004. And once again since his departure, this time between Jean-François Copé and François Fillon.
    • Also happens regularly in the socialist party.
  • Clark Kenting: Even PPD can't tell who could be Super Menteur.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Johnny Hallyday; he even had a toy named "the Cuckoo Box" — a box with an egg that springs out when you say "cuckoo".
    • Jean-Pierre Papin, former soccer player
    • Raymond Barre
    • Jean-Pierre Raffarin
    • Bernadette Chirac
    • David Guetta
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The infamous song "We fuck the World".
  • Les Collaborateurs: After the military operations in Mali started, one guy was interviewed telling us he knew where a bunch of Malians were living (his neighbors) so they'd get deported. PPD angrily tells him they're not interested. The guy looks disheartened for a second, then goes "But if you're interested, I know where there's a Jewish fam—" "No!"
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Every time the Qatar prince shows up, he whispers a few words to his translator, who then repeats it in broken French. Also, every time he shows up, it concludes with:
    PPD: The prince doesn't speak French?
    Leonardo: He does, but not to you.
It even extends to his own son.
  • Conspicuous Consumption:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy
    • Prince Al-Thani of Qatar. Everything is cheap for him. The one and only thing he's ever considered as costly? Convincing The Pope to pray Allah. In the middle of a public audience at Saint Peter's Square.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Marie-José Pérec, French athlete. Hell, the "Chinois du FBI" ("Chinese from the FBI") reachedinvoked Memetic Mutation status in France.
  • Cool Old Guy: Jacques Chirac
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • World Company executives.
    • The show never spared the heads of the MEDEF (the most prominent French employers' union):
      • Ernest-Antoine Seillière. His greatest pleasure? Firing as many workers as possible.
      • Laurence Parisot, who came after Seillière. She's a specialist in government-friendly polls and hypocritical "ethical" professional training for corporate executives. She also hosts TV reality shows, the purpose of which is to recruit strong employers wannabes. By "strong", we mean finding the cheapest workers and firing as many "costly" French workers as possible while avoiding compensations.
      • Pierre Gattaz, who came after Parisot. When the government announced 30 billion euros in tax cuts, he rubbed his hands and gleefully said he will raise his salary and that of his fellow CEOs.
    • Patrick Le Lay, former CEO of TF1, the first French TV channel. He always wants to create more and more debilitating reality shows and places advertising everywhere. The real one once said, "What we sell to Coca-Cola is available human brain time."
    • Lakshmi Mittal, who backed out of a deal to help restart the metallurgy industry in France. Shown to shut the door on a blast furnace occupied by angry workers and turning it on.
    • Others include Jean-Marie Messier, Bernard Tapie, Silvio Berlusconi and Philippe Varin (then-CEO of Peugeot).
  • Creator Cameo: More than that actually, even delving into Self-Deprecation. Alain De Greef is essentially the man behind the show's existence; he got the idea to make a French version of Spitting Image. His puppet was offered by the puppet makers.
  • Cucumber Facial: During a Festival of Cannes episode. Two actors, Jean-Pierre Bacri and Patrick Timsit, are assaulted by L'Oreal staff. Jean-Pierre Bacri ends with cucumber on his face and Patrick Timsit with a taramasalata mask for some reason.
  • Daddy's Little Villain:
    • Marine Le Pen, daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen (far right), is portrayed as such.
      Marine: Daaaddyyyyyyy!! Sarkozy keeps stealing my votes!
    • Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, granddaughter of Jean-Marie and niece of Marine.
  • The Dandy: German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The show's pretty much a World of Snark. Most political parties have a main snarker.
    • For the UMP (former RPR, right-wing), it is Alain Juppé, former Prime Minister and mayor of Bordeaux, or François Fillon, Nicolas Sarkozy's prime minister.
    • For the PS (center-left / left-wing), it is Bertrand Delanoë, then-mayor of Paris.
    • For the Ecologists (left-wing), it is Noël Mamère, European deputy and former anchorman or Daniel Cohn-Bendit, European deputy and former far-left militant.
    • Jean-Luc Mélenchon, European deputy and then-leader of the Left Front (radical left).
    • Bernard Tapie, a businessman who was minister in the Bérégovoy government for three months.
    • Swimming trainer Philippe Lucas, when it comes to sports. He was swimming World champion Laure Manaudou's coach at the time he appeared.
    • Michel Lecomte, Denis Chalandier's camera operator, always sarcastically comments on the journalist's stupidity.
    • Karl Lagerfeld always has a sharp tongue when commenting fashion he deems horrible.
    • And PPD himself, especially with each little phrase concluding every news or interviews, which are often quite sarcastic.
  • Death Glare: Vladimir Putin pulls off a scary one whenever he is questioned about his methods and policies.
  • Diabolical Mastermind:
    • World Company executives, who all look like Sylvester Stallone.
    • Bernadette Chirac was once portrayed like this in a spoof of the SPECTRE conference from Thunderball. In this sketch, she plots to annihilate the free will of the French people with the help of the government, Corrupt Corporate Executives, stupid TV hosts and media moguls. It turns out she is second to Ernest-Antoine Seillière.
    • Religions are portrayed as World Companies plotting to control the faith of humanity.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
    • Silvio Berlusconi
    • Dominique Strauss-Kahn: after the sex scandal, now only shows up in a half-open leopard-print bathrobe, apologizing for the clothes, but he just got out of the shower.
    • Georges Tron later became the right-wing equivalent of DSK, wearing a leopard bathrobe just like him. Although his sex scandal (and his alleged foot fetish) became comedy fodder a couple years before the DSK affair, so Tron's recharacterisation is a bit of a Canon displacement.
  • The Ditz: The number of characters who displayed epic stupidity in the show was quite astonishing.
    • George W. Bush, probably the ditziest character the show has ever known. In one particularly memorable sketch, he was shown as being too stupid to think and eat at the same time. On the day following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he said he was illegally elected due to the 2000 recount in Florida and requested a new election.. His military advisor promptly ordered him to leave the TV stage. In another one, released when he left the White House seven years later, it was revealed that his brain was stuck all the time in the helmet he wore during his military service. When he put his helmet on his head, he suddenly became an impressively competent president, much to the shock of his counsellors...
    • Amongst French politicians: François Bayrou; Philippe Douste-Blazy; Roselyne Bachelot; François Léotard; Nadine Morano...
      • Nadine Morano is portrayed more as a rabid fangirl for Sarkozy since the 2012 presidential campaign due to the fact she's very active and somewhat undiplomatic on Twitter. Her puppet is more uncultured and fanatical than an actual ditz — on the other hand Roselyne Bachelot was this to a T, at least while she was in government (she is now retired from politics and co-hosts a popular talk show on a network owned by Canal+).
      • Since he became a minister, the legendary judoka David Douillet, after a short time of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
      • François Hollande used to be a Fat Idiot, but the creators toned down his ditziness when he entered the presidential election, giving him some Cowardly Lion traits instead. The real one once commented that, when portrayed as a Guignol, you were either a Ditz or a Jerkass — implying he wasn't too unhappy with which side he ended up. Since his election as President in 2012 and following the very negative popular opinion about him, his marionette is back into the Fat Idiot mode (the fact that he put on some weight didn't help). Then there's the fact that his relationships with the women in his life provide a never-ending source of comedy.
    • Dominique Tiberi, son of Jean Tiberi (former mayor of Paris)
    • Johnny Hallyday
    • David Guetta
    • Benjamin Castaldi, TV reality show host
    • Arthur, another TV show host
    • Christopher Lambert
    • Luis Fernandez, soccer coach
    • Jean-Pierre Papin, former soccer player
    • Richard Virenque, road racing cyclist
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: JoeyStarr, former rapper turned actor.
  • Double Entendre: Most of what Dominique Strauss-Kahn is saying, to PPD's discomfort.
  • Dreadful Musician: David Guetta has only ever learned to play one single note in the show.
  • Eagle Land: Flavor 2, of course, especially when involving the World Company (and the Sylvestres in all their incarnations), George W. Bush, and later Clint Eastwood. Barack Obama is treated more sympathetically, but mostly by having him being aware of the Eagleland-ness of his compatriots. Although this involves him speaking in the French version of ebonics, peppering his speech with "man!" and "brother!" and mostly, if ever, appearing to present context-relevant Top 5's somewhat hammily.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: With an emphasis on weirdness. The show’s first incarnation as Les Arènes de l’Info had a shorter format (4-5 minutes instead on the 7-8 minutes that would become standard), little-to-no politics and a much more absurd humor that sometimes bordered on Dadaism.
  • Eat the Rich: Jean-Luc Mélenchon is presented as a wild-eyed madman whose plans involve sending every rich person to the guillotine and carries the heads of political opponents in a sack. Whenever asked a question he doesn't like, he produces the head of a person who'd asked him the same question earlier.
  • The Eeyore: François Fillon always looks depressed and never smiles.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Philippe Séguin went through many Epic Fails. He once wanted to buy an orange juice from a distributor. The distributor gave him an orange, an orange press, a knife and left a message saying, "Do that shit yourself!"
    • Whatever Michel Denisot tries to do for Canal+, it usually fails miserably with him saying "Désolé..." ("Sorry...").
    • For a long time, the soccer club Paris Saint-Germain's way of playing could only be described as epic fail, (in one case parodying Shaolin Soccer), including the players hurting each other, self-inflicted Groin Attack, a shoe going in the goal instead of the ball, etc. The Real Life PSG has recovered in spectacular fashion since.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: Since the death of Steve Jobs, everyone is equipped with Apple-made angel wings in Heaven.
  • Exiled to the Couch: François Hollande ended up sleeping on the couch at one point, for Valérie Valérie Trierweiler made him a heck of a Henpecked Husband and more.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Mullah Omar wears an eyepatch.
  • The Faceless: Michel Lecomte, Denis Chalandier's camera operator, is always snarking from behind the camera, but his face is never seen (only occasionally his tattooed arms).
  • Facepalm:
    • Mostly from PPD, or one of the political deadpan snarkers mentioned above.
    • Jacques Chirac also had the habit of doing one along with his Catchphrase, "Oh, putain !"
    • Bernard Tapie, sometimes.
    • And the Sylvestre(s) who accompany George W. Bush or Mitt Romney. A lot.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Cinema journalist Laurent Weil will never get a good interview.
    • Singer/Actor (and Poker amateur) Patrick Bruel will never win a Poker game.
  • False Reassurance: After Sarkozy stated he returned for 2017, a Running Gag has been to show a slogan: "Nicolas Sarkozy has changed... He is even worse than before" whenever he makes an appearance.
  • Famous for Being Famous: One skit had TV technicians discuss why talk shows always invited the same guests. They came to the conclusion that they were frequently seen on TV because they were famous, and they were famous because they were frequently seen on TV.
  • Fat Idiot:
    • Raymond Barre, though he was portrayed more as a Cloudcuckoolander.
    • François Hollande before his candidacy for the presidential elections, and even after being elected, specially when it became visible that he regained weight.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Bruno Mégret, once Jean-Marie Le Pen's rival on the far-right.
    • Brice Hortefeux, when he was "Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Cooperative Development" in the government of François Fillon. He is probably the politest man in the show, and his ideas on immigration were portrayed as being very similar to those of the National Front, if not purely racist.
    • After Brice Hortefeux left the government, Claude Guéant largely covered this niche.
    • Pascal Bataille and Laurent Fontaine, hosts of the controversial reality talk show Y a que la vérité qui compte ("Only Truth Matters") on TF1.
  • Flanderization: Most characters, invoking Rule of Funny.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: When someone dies, his puppet usually ends up there and meets some deceased celebrities. Steve Jobs' arrival? A presentation of Apple-made angel wings.
  • Formerly Fat: François Hollande during the 2012 elections. After becoming president, he was back to fat, his marionette reflected this, and in many shorts he was shown stuffing himself.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • Christine Boutin
    • Philippe de Villiers (sovereignist politician), who uses medieval words to describe Muslims and LGBTs.
    • Pope Benedict XVI
  • General Ripper: The American military during The War on Terror is portrayed as bellicose and not caring for the countries it destroys and ruins in War for Fun and Profit fashion.
  • Giftedly Bad: David Guetta only knows one musical note and repeats it constantly. It doesn't prevent him from being a successful disc jockey.
  • God: Yes, there is a puppet for God. And he's apparently right-wing.
  • A God Am I: Coach Aimé Jacquet replaced God on his throne in a sketch after the victory of the French soccer team in the 1998 FIFA World Cup (France had never won before).
  • G-Rated Drug: In the early seasons, Johnny Hallyday ends up addicted to Cuckoo Boxes. So he twists paper-clips to suppress his addiction to cuckoo boxes, but gets addicted to it instead. So he takes a drug against his addiction to paper clips, but gets addicted to it. So he takes a drug against his addiction to the drug against his addiction to paper clips.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Nelson Monfort, sport journalist.
    • Also former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, after an infamous address in 2005, during the campaign for the referendum on the European Constitution. Trying to speak English, he said: "Win the yes needs the no, to win against the no." He said so for real.
    • Jean-Marie Messier, former CEO of Vivendi
  • Grumpy Old Man:
    • Former president François Mitterrand
    • Jean-Marie Le Pen. For him, everything was better when Algeria was still French.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Nadine Morano was shown to have more stamina than Patrick Sébastien, who has been the epitome of popular parties for twenty years.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: François Mitterrand was nasty to everyone and thought they were all idiots and ugly.
  • Henpecked Husband: How François Hollande is treated by his domestic partner, Valérie Trierweiler. He can't make a decision without her consent, and she even replaced him in an interview, implying that she is the Woman behind the Man. Oh, and she owns the launching codes for France's nuclear weapons. One sketch had Barack Obama give the Top Five reasons she's running the show after a dinner with them, including "When dinner's over, he gets up to go do the dishes!"
  • Hero Stole My Bike: The gag was often used in 2007.
    • First during the presidential election. Nicolas Sarkozy steal a bike from a child, and Ségolène Royal a car, after PPDA announced the winner would be the first to arrive on the TV set.
    • In another sketch, a recently retired Jacques Chirac run away after stealing a car, and then a plane, because he's afraid of facing justice.
  • Hiding in a Hijab: In a sketch where American soldiers (as usual played by the Stallone puppet) disguise themselves with burqas while in Afghanistan. Of course, not only are they way too tall and unable to mask their male voices, they also have no idea how to act like Muslim women. Notably, when asked where they're going by a male Afghan, one say they'll be hitting the gym and spa.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: Mocked in a sketch suggesting that the (now late) sport TV host Thierry Roland is afflicted with this, only to conclude he's just foul-mouthed.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Jacques Chirac can never use a computer properly, despite no lack of trying.
    Jacques Chirac: So, I click with the rodent... [computer goes *quack*] ...Waddya mean, "quack"?
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: While the puppet of Jacques Chirac is not that physically attractive, he has proved to be a seducer on occasion. The puppet of Bernadette is really ugly by comparison.
  • The Hyena: Marc-Olivier Fogiel, a French journalist. He even has a hyena pet named Zaza with him.
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy": Following his sex scandal, Dominique Strauss-Kahn calls his penis "Francis".
  • Immoral Reality Show:
    • France itself was presented as this after Nicolas Sarkozy's election, because of his contested methods regarding Law and Order. "60 million candidates locked up in a rightwing country, under the eye of the cameras!"
    • Rape Island, a show where a young woman must escape from a whole bunch of insane rapists and murderers on a deserted island. The head honchos at TF1 find the concept amazing, and to counter it, decide toinvoked Follow the Leader with Rape Island Academy, which is pretty much the same thing but with singing added.
    • Laurence Parisot's TV shows.
  • Impact Silhouette: A mosquito in one skit, after drinking Richard Virenque's blood, ends up doped and zooms around at supersonic speed, leaving an impact through palm tree leaves.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Sarkozy homaging Whitney Houston's death: And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-ee-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII amrunningfor Presidennnnnt...
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Jacques Chirac, whenever he needs an excuse to change into Super Menteur.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • The puppet of Tim Cook is the same as Steve Jobs.
    • Likewise, Lakshmi Mittal is portrayed as a Sylvestre (with brown skin and a turban), exactly like the World Company executives.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: A Running Gag for François Baroin, at the time speaker for the Chirac administration, and who was the youngest person in said government. His voice always starts normal before cracking mid-speech "because of puberty". Then usually begins a teenage ranting about not being taken seriously.
  • In-Series Nickname: The Sylvester Cardinals tend to use silly nicknames for their boss, the Pope. John Paul II's is "Paulo" and Benedict XVI's is "Beubeuh".
  • Insufferable Genius: Alain Juppé
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Michel Rocard
  • Jerkass:
    • Raymond Domenech, former coach of the French national football team, is the epitome of this. When he is asked, "Why do you do this?", he always answers "To piss you off".
    • François Mitterrand, Charles Pasqua and Antoine Waechter in the earlier seasons.
    • Eric Zemmour, political journalist.
    • Marc-Olivier Fogiel. He's The Hyena (and has an actual hyena pet named Zaza) who uses every sentence to laugh at the woes/bad luck/failures of some people, and at PPD himself, with his hyena laughing alongside him.
      Fogiel: You see Zaza? He's so fragile, he looks like a human being!
    • Patrick Le Lay has open disdain for TV viewers and wants them to remain morons so his channel will keep being the number one.
    • Actor Jean Dujardin, even though he's charming.
  • Jive Turkey: Barack Obama has become this. For some reason. He is also a Soul Brotha.
  • Kavorka Man:
    • Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    • Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Kent Brockman News:
    • The way the PPDA puppet presents the show.
    • Furthermore any segment by Jean-Pierre Pernaut, of the "right-wing bias" and "inconsequential human interests stories over important news" categories.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Jean Sarkozy. Subverted, because PPD really thinks he is a genius.
  • The Lad-ette: Nadine Morano, who often comments on her own ballsiness.
  • Large Ham: It would be easier to list those who are not. Dominique de Villepin still deserves a mention.
  • Last-Name Basis: Jacques Chirac's own daughter Claude always calls him "Chirac".
  • Lawful Stupid: One sketch on a Reality Show helicopter crash in Argentina has everyone blindfolded by the showrunners so as not to get an unfair advantage over the other team. Including the pilots.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Luis Fernandez, long-time soccer coach for the PSG, takes about every expression or metaphor from PPD literally.
    • Johnny Hallyday, sometimes.
  • Loveable Rogue:
    • Jacques Chirac a.k.a. Super Menteur (Super Liar)
    • Bernard Tapie
  • Loves Me Not: François Bayrou is a center positioned politician, and as a result, a sketch once showed him doing everything "in between" for this reason. As a kid, he drank his chocolate warm rather than hot or cold, and always get the grade 10 (on 20) in school. As a teenager and with his first love, François Bayrou plucks a daisy. In France, instead of "She loves me, she loves me not", "She loves me not at all, a little, a lot, passionately, madly" is said. François Bayrou plucks the flower while stating " I love you a a little, a lot, passionately, madly, averagely" and is satisfied to have ended with "Averagely". His girlfriend, not so much.
  • The Mafiya: Vladimir Putin.
  • Malaproper:
    • Johnny Halliday and Jacques Chirac are notorious for frequently using wrong terms, like "mulot" ("rodent") instead of "souris d'ordinateur" ("computer mouse") in Chirac's case.
    • Mitt Romney has neverending dialogues with Mr. Sylvestre, where the latter corrects Romney, only for the first to understand the word wrongly again.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The World Company.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Invoked with various parodies of Stromae songs for a Depression Party. Much like the original, the songs are catchy, the lyrics are depressing (in order, about losing your job, your hair to chemotherapy, and lapidations).
  • Manchild:
    • François Bayrou. He started off as a serious minister before Flanderization kicked in.
    • Jacques Chirac
    • François Léotard
    • Richard Virenque
    • Michael Jackson
    • David Guetta
    • Cécile Duflot, who seems to be stuck in her rebellious teenager phase.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: Sometimes even animation is used. South Park is parodied in "Droite Park" ("Right-wing Park"), with Nicolas Sarkozy as Kyle, François Bayrou as Stan, Philippe Séguin as Cartman, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing as Kenny, and Jacques Chirac as the singer.
  • Mega-Corp: The World Company
  • Memetic Badass: invoked Zlatan Ibrahimović, a Swedish soccer player of Bosnian and Croatian descent and one of the best attackers these days, to the point of being the key player of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club. He has become a memetic badass in France thanks to the Guignols.
    Zlatan Ibrahimović: There is only one championship in France: Zlatan's championship.
  • Millennium Bug: Of course, there was a sketch on it.
    Jim: What are you doing?
    Bob: Putting handkerchiefs on the table to scare giraffes.
    Jim: What? There are no giraffes in the office...
    Bob: Of course there are none. Since I put handkerchiefs to scare them.
    Jim: ... Okkayyyy!
  • Mondegreen Gag: Mitt Romney is completely and utterly unable to understand anything, as he keeps mishearing what they say, something which exasperates Sylvester to no end. Sylvester actually rejoiced when Romney lost, since thanks to his defeat he wouldn't have to deal with him anymore.
  • The Movie: Sort of. A one-hour long film called "La Fiction" was made in 1999 to be broadcast on Canal+. It featured the puppets of the main politicians of the era dealing with a major crisis: France is empty of its population.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The way Dominique de Villepin (Jacques Chirac's last prime minister) was portrayed. Often shirtless.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: After a segment parodying Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah where he answers "Yes" to every question in a monotone, she ends it with "Have you been staring at my tits for the past hour?" "Yes."
  • The Napoleon: Nicolas Sarkozy
  • News Parody
  • Nightmare Fetishist: François Fillon, Sarkozy's prime minister, takes great pleasure in describing the sore state and grim future of France.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: That's what puppets are for. Except for the 20th twentieth birthday edition. Real celebrities came, said they looked nothing like their puppets... while acting like them. For instance anchorman Marc-Olivier Fogiel kept the same hyena and Evil Laugh, and sport anchorman Nelson Monfort his puppet's Gratuitous English. Some politicians also commented on their alter ego.
  • No Indoor Voice: JoeyStarr (a French rapper)
  • No Sense of Humor:
    • Hervé Bourges and other members of the CSA (French censorship institute), who have to be given lengthy explanations by Alain de Greef about why something is funny.
    • Éva Joly, a French-Norwegian ecologist and former examining magistrate.
    • Lionel Jospin, until François Hollande's election as President.
    • Jean-Luc Mélenchon (even though the real one is pretty wise-cracking...)
    • Vladimir Putin
    • Bernard-Henri Lévy
  • Nouveau Riche:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy embodies this trope.
    • Bernard Tapie did before him.
    • Rachida Dati
  • Obfuscating Disability: Jacques Chirac once simulated blindness in order to wreak havoc in Nicolas Sarkozy's favorite restaurant.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Jacques Chirac's strategy whenever he is accused of something.
  • Off with His Head!: The fate of journalists or bourgeois who piss Jean-Luc Mélenchon off, in French Revolution fashion. Including Nicolas Sarkozy himself!
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Jacques Chirac wears one to swim into a pool of bank notes, Uncle Scrooge-style.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • Zinedine Zidane
    • Bernard Tapie
    • Patrick Le Lay
    • Arthur
    • Patrick Sabatier. This guy in particular just loves engorging in his money.
  • Only Sane Employee: When Sarkozy was the president, Alain Juppé and François Fillon seemed the only persons in the government with a brain.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • PPD
    • Also Barack Obama, until being derived into a Jive Turkey.
    • And José Bové, an ecologist and anti-globalization farmer. But PPD doesn't seem to understand ecology.
    • L'Abbé Pierre
    • Hugo Lloris, goalkeeper of the French national soccer team in the show's very last years.
  • Outlaw Couple: Isabelle and Patrick Balkany, who are both shown as crook specialized in corruption and money embezzlement, using each other as flimsy witness of their innocence.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Happens often, essentially for Padding. Made worse by the format, where every day's clip is showed in sequence, meaning you'll get the sameinvoked Anvilicious punchline pounded into you five times in quick succession. It got particularly bad in the late seasons, and even worse in the new version of the show.
  • Pantheon Sitcom: A parody of Friends" titled "G.O.D.S.''" features Yahweh, Allah, Shiva and other gods in typical sitcom situations.
  • Parody Assistance: As seen above in No celebrities were harmed, for twentieth birthday edition, real celebrities came, and acted exactly like their puppets. It included TV anchorman Marc-Olivier Fogiel, sport anchormen Nelson Monfort, Thierry Roland and Jean-Michel Larqué, ice skater Philippe Candeloro and even PPDA. Meanwhile, celebrities who refused to came were the subject of a publicity campaign. Their real faces were accompanied of a refusal sentence, expressed exactly like their puppets would do. For instance, the (real) Jacques Chirac photo came with: "I won't go, and neither will Mom." Due to the Chirac puppet habit to call his wife Bernadette "Mom".
  • Parody Commercial: The show would regularly parody famous commercials... with politics, sports and whatnot.
  • Parrot Pet Position: For the 2017 election, François Fillon is always shown with a raven on his shoulder, part of his portrayal as creepy and morbid.
  • Pedophile Priest: Cardinal Sylvestre, and just about about any Catholic priest shown except the Pope. Comedic variant, of course.
    Pope: Today, we're visiting a prison!
    Cardinals: Ehh...
    Pope: Juvenile prison.
    Cardinals: Wooo!
  • Perma-Stubble: Édouard Balladur is portayed with a stubble on a double chin.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Jean-Luc Mélenchon
  • Person As Noun: Zlatan
  • Phlegmings: Jean-Marie Le Pen
  • Pie in the Face:
    • A regular happenstance for French philosopher Bernard-Henry Lévy, following a pair of such incidents in Real Life. There was even a parody of the movie JFK, with BHL being pied in the face treated like JFK's assassination.
    • Michel Rocard's puppet received one for following Lévy's ideas in his policy during the Bosnian War.
  • The Pig-Pen: Jean-Louis Borloo
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In-universe with Fabien Barthez, former football goalkeeper, and later Franck Ribery, another soccer player.
  • Pooled Funds: A sketch has then President Jacques Chirac swim into a pool filled with franc bills from his numerous embezzling. He invites his wife Bernadette to join him now, because after the change to euros the pool will not be as deep.
  • Prank Call: Jacques Chirac's regular pranks against Nicolas Sarkozy since the latter lost the presidential election.
  • Prehensile Hair: Bernadette Chirac
  • Priceless Ming Vase: In The Fiction, a few Ming vases are smashed during a brawl in the Élysée Palace.
    Jacques Chirac: Hey, no, not the Ming!
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Done by François Hollande to Angela Merkel (March 2, 2015 episode). With a soft variation on the 'gné-hé' to boot.
  • Purple Prose: Philippe de Villiers, whenever he talks about something sexual. Which is, every time he is interviewed.
    Philippe de Villiers: You should know, sir, that God created the holy vaginal orifice so that the penis gently slides inside it for the purpose of childbirth. Any other orifice is proscribed.
  • The Quiet One: Vladimir Putin
  • Racist Grandpa: Jean-Marie Le Pen is shown like this, with the catch that his entire family is also racist. His granddaughter doesn't so much mind the racism as being so old-fashioned about it: when he wants to go out bashing immigrant's heads in with a baseball bat, she convinces him to use an electroshock pistol instead.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: François Mitterrand gave a memorable one to Édouard Balladur after the 1995 presidential election.
    Édouard Balladur: Mister President, may I ask you a question? Please be frank: why do French people hate me?
    François Mitterrand: [takes a deep breath] Because you look full of yourself, pedantic and contemptuous; you constantly show the arrogance of a peacock; you are distant with the people and puffy with pride; you parade at the smallest success and are petrified with fear at the smallest breeze; the polls made you presumptuous, and you so much wanted to be unavoidable that you made yourself unbearable. That's it. Anything else?
    Balladur: [gets 10 cm smaller] And... and why do you hate me?
    Mitterrand: Because thanks to you, Chirac was elected. Dumbass.
  • Rich Bitch:
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Well, Rich in Euros...
    • The princely family of Monaco.
    • Liliane "Mamie Zinzin" Bettencourt, owner of L'Oréal company and France's richest woman.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect:
    • Always averted in the series proper; no real people or animals appears alongside the puppets. For example, in the 20th anniversary special report, reporter Denis Chalandier (one of the few purely fictional characters) arrives as a human (played by his voice actor, Luq Hamet), but as soon he's in editorial office, he's turned into his puppet self.
    • However, it has happened for some personalities to meet their puppets in the talk shows framing Les Guignols de l'info itself. Johnny Hallyday got the opportunity to shorten the nose of his. Serge Gainsbourg had his Guignol offering him its own head. The most well-known is probably Stallone meeting Sly at the Cannes Festival.
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: The French rugby team is depicted as a bunch of musclebound brutes who can bash down brick walls with their foreheads, eat raw meat and whose favorite drink is fresh blood. They still get their ass kicked by the All Blacks, though. Exaggerated when former coach Bernard Laporte is interviewed. He always goes on speeches about the values of rugby, poetically describing the brutality of the scrums. Sébastien Chabal was portrayed as a human beast who must be confined with a straitjacket and a mask like Hannibal Lecter. (The real-life Chabal got the nickname "Caveman" (l'homme des cavernes) from his alleged resemblance to same.)
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: invoked
    • Arlette Laguiller. She is ready to make the Revolution anytime! But not too late, she works tomorrow.
    • Olivier Besancenot too. He'd like to make the Revolution as soon as possible... if only he could find the time, his job as a postman keeps him busy.
  • Running Gag: Too many to count over the years. Usually overused till they stop being funny, and then start being funny again by subverting/playing with the gag.
    • Johnny Hallyday and his Cuckoo box in the early years of the show. Culminated with a parody of Alien, of all things.
    • Bernadette Chirac's handbag. And Bernadette Chirac's hairdo.
    • Every time François Mitterand is moving, it makes a squeaky wheels sound.
    • PPDA's hair being fake. Probably the oldest and most enduring running gag.
    • Ever since the rape accusation scandal, DSK appears as a Dirty Old Man in a tiger-print bathrobe and a champagne flute claiming he just got out of the shower. With sexophone music to hammer it home.
    • About half the time he appears, Barack Obama lists the top five reasons for the answer of whatever question he's been asked — this was Thomas Ngijol's stand-up comedy Signature Style in the Talk Show Le Grand Journal on Canal+.
    • Some highly controversial sketches featured Spanish sport stars such as Rafael Nadal or Alberto Contador as explicitly doped super-humans who kicked The Avengers' ass, among other feats. It caused a sort of diplomatic scandal as Spanish authorities and Spanish sport federations really didn't like these jokes.
      "Spanish athletes. They do not win by chance."
    • Manuel Valls NOT getting married.
    • Each time the show is moved to the Cannes Film Festival, there is a running gag:
  • Sarcastic Devotee:
    • Lionel Jospin to François Hollande.
    • Alain Juppé to Jacques Chirac.
  • Sand Necktie: When a sketch shows islamist extremists stoning a woman, she's usually buried up to the neck in sand.
  • Scary Black Man: JoeyStarr, a French rapper with No Indoor Voice.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!:
    • Prince Al-Thani, the Qatari owner of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club, can buy anything.
    • The World Company executives
  • The Scrooge: Guy Roux, soccer coach
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • Brice Lalonde and Antoine Waechter.
    • Michel Rocard and Bernard Tapie.
  • Series Fauxnale: The creators once made a fake final episode at a time of harsh criticism against them. It made one of the best audience ratings the show ever had.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • John McCain
    • John Rambo
    • Nicolas Sarkozy tried to pass for one during the 2011 Lybian civil war in order to avoid questions about his policy.
  • Shout-Out: Frequently used for sketches, and based upon commercials, TV shows or movies.
  • Shovel Strike: Used sometimes for slapstick humor.
    • For example, a shovel can come from out-of-screen to shut up one of the less-liked personalities (like Jean-Marie Le Pen) before he or she can utter a word in an interview.
    • Also inflicted by Xavier Bertrand on Roselyne Bachelot when a "Be Quiet!" Nudge isn't enough.
    • For a short time, it was the weapon of choice for Bernadette Chirac in a parody of the movie Bernie.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase:
    PPD: [on weekdays] Ciao, have a nice evening.

    PPD: [on weekly recaps] You can now turn off your TV set and resume a normal activity. Ciao, have a nice Sunday.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot:
    • Thierry Roland, the late soccer commentator.
    • Nadine Morano, nicknamed "the UMP's fishmonger".
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way on the cynical side.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Bernard-Henri Lévy, especially since the Libyan civil war. He's very infamous for this in Real Life.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy
    • Jean-François Copé. The whiny voice doesn't help.
  • Smurfing: Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimović, beyond Third-Person Person, replaced many words in his speech by "Zlatan". His Paris Saint-Germain teammates later did some of the same.
  • Snap Back: A few gags or sketches can have some puppets seriously mistreated, injured or even killed, but of course they'll be fine next time we see them.
  • Soul Brotha: Barack Obama
  • The Starscream:
    • Édouard Balladur
    • Nicolas Sarkozy, before becoming president.
    • Jean-François Copé, when Sarkozy was president.
  • The Stoner: Doc Gynéco, French rapper
  • Straight Man: PPD, of course.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Boris Yeltsin
  • Sunglasses at Night: Richard Virenque is always wearing sunglasses; the eyes of his puppet are never seen.
  • Tactful Translation: Monsignor Sylvestre translating the Pope's retirement plans.
  • Take That!:
    • The writers really, really didn't like Sarkozy's policies, and got increasinglyinvoked Anvilicious about it between 2002 and 2012.
    • Nor did they like George W. Bush's foreign policy between 2001 and 2008. His puppet is one of the dumbest characters they have ever made.
    • They're also particularly harsh on TF1 since this TV channel became more and more populist, focused on light entertainment and heavily commercialized.
  • Teen Genius: Played with; PPD thinks that Jean Sarkozy is one. And lampshaded in PPD's speech when Sarkozy is here: "Everybody knows that you are a young political genius..."
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Clint Eastwood's main schtick when he's interviewed.
  • Third-Person Person:
    • Alain Delon
    • Laurent "Lolo" Fabius
    • Played with for Nicolas Sarkozy during his last presidential campaign, to parody his sudden shift to "candidate of the people" in his speeches. His puppet self-criticizes his own policies and calls for his own resignation as if the President was someone else. One sketch even shows him repeating word for word a reaction of Jean-Luc Mélenchon's puppet!
    • Bernard-Henri Lévy
    • Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: "Mamie Zinzin" is always confusing Nicolas Sarkozy for someone else, usually dead for a while, like the General de Gaulle or Jacques Cousteau.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Farid and Jean-Luc, two youngsters from the suburbs sometimes invited by PPD to talk about the "Banlieues", or about news concerning the youths.
    • Denis Chalandier and Michel Lecomte, a servile rookie reporter and his Deadpan Snarker cameraman.
    • In another context, Serge July and Philippe Alexandre, two political commentators indulging in frequent Seinfeldian Conversations.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lionel Jospin. He started as a naïve and such a Nice Guy during the 1995 French presidential election. When he was the prime minister, he became an honest politician, but completely unable to be friendly with others. And since he lost the 2002 French presidential election, he is completely unsympathetic and is a jerk to everyone. He somewhat got better after the victory of François Hollande in 2012. Except he slightly overestimates his part in said victory, claiming the President's seat is now rightfully his.
  • Totally Radical: Cécile Duflot is portrayed as a vapid rebellious teenager, with the language to match. It's as grating as it sounds.
  • Trophy Wife: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
  • Two-Way Tapping: One sequence parodied the "Whassup?" Budweiser commercial by having Osama Bin Laden, Mollah Omar and various other bad guys yelling "Anthraaaaaaax!" on the phone. American agents listening in are getting excited ("30 more seconds and we locate Bin Laden!")... Until George W. Bush picks up the agents' phone and joins in, causing everyone else to hang up.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
    • François Hollande and Ségolène Royal. While François was presented as a Fat Idiot, PPDA and Michel Lecomte (the snarky cameraman) state that Ségolène is hot, or make advances to her.
  • The Unintelligible:
  • Unknown Rival: Dominique de Villepin has had an endless hatred towards Nicolas Sarkozy and did anything to make him fall. The latter didn't seem too concerned....
  • The Unpronounceable:
    • Rémy Pflimlin, PDG of France Télévisions. None of his employees can pronounce his name correctly.
    • Also invoked once with right-wing deputy Pierre Méhaignerie.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Johnny Hallyday usually began his phrases with "Ah que..." (leading to theinvoked memetic "Ah que coucou !")
    • Serge July: "Écoutez, j'crois qu'c'est clair..." ("Look, I think that's obvious...")
    • Édouard Balladur has the habit of quietly repeating the end of his phrases... the end of his phrases. Also known as palilalia... palilalia.
    • JoeyStarr (and most rappers, actually) ends every sentence with "Quoi !" ("What!" tough in that case, it's closer to "Y'know!")
    • Laurent Blanc: "J'crois que bon..." (Truth in Television)
    • Zinédine Zidane: "En fait..." ("In fact...")
    • Ronaldinho's pseudo-Brazilian accent consists in adding "-inho" at the end of every sentence.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Amélie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce (female tennis players) are given male voices because of their masculine looks.
  • The Voice: Pierre Fulla, a sport commentator, is the only parodied personality without a puppet.
  • The Voiceless:
    • Ronald McDonald
    • Mickey Mouse
    • Prince Al-Thani of Qatar only speaks in a whisper to the PSG's manager, Leonardo, who then repeats for everyone. We never hear his voice anyway... except for rare exceptions. For example, when PPDA was wondering if he knew some french words. His answer? "Louis Vuitton."
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: How Jacques Chirac and his daughter Claude are portrayed. At times, she's the one seen doing the parenting.
  • Wacky Sound Effect: Every time François Mitterrand is seen (slowly) moving, it is accompanied by a rusty wheels sound effect.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?:
    • How the UDI party was created after a two-month bender. The entire sequence is a Shout-Out to The Hangover.
    • Another Hangover parody was created in the aftermath of the real DSK's arrest.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Nobody knows where Tulle (the city of François Hollande) is. According to Obama, if Bin Laden had hidden here, they would have never found him!
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Barack Obama, before becoming a Jive Turkey and a Soul Brotha.
  • With Friends Like These...:
    • Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Noël Mamère were supposed to campaign for Éva Joly's election in April 2012. They did. Just with snarks, knives in her back and various schemes to get rid of her. For once, this was hardly caricatural.
    • The same went for Ségolène Royal against the other socialist party members in 2006/2007, as shown in a parody of Kill Bill.
    • As proof that Sarkozy's campaign was not funded by Liliane Bettencourt, his allies bring tons of papers proving it was funded by... Muammar Gaddafi (another mediatic scandal). PPD sums it up with, "He's got enemies to the left and friends to the right."
  • World of Ham
  • You, Get Me Coffee: George Clooney
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: On learning that the French finance minister had a secret Swiss bank account, the credit agency suits declared that were going to increase France's credit rating, citing it as proof that they finally understood how politics works.
  • Your Mom: Some debates between Nicolas Sarkozy and his opponents are parodies of MTV's Yo Momma.

There you go, you can now turn off your computer and resume a normal activity.


Video Example(s):


Viol Island

Viol Island (English: Rape Island) is a show that involves a young woman trying to survive on a deserted island filled with a whole bunch of insane rapists and murderers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImmoralRealityShow

Media sources: