NEWS

Rachid Badouri makes English debut at Just for Laughs

07/13/2015 06:00 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 05:59 EDT
Quebec stand-up comic Rachid Badouri has been a household name in French for years.

His first show at Just for Laughs in 2007 sold 100,000 tickets and he was named Discovery of the Year at the festival.

The 37-year-old grew up in a Moroccan family in Laval cracking jokes at the improv club at CEGEP Montmorency.

Since that 2007 debut, Badouri has sold treated hundreds of thousands of people to his one-man show in Quebec. He's also done well in France, spending three months on stage at a Paris theatre.

He's starred in the Quebec comedy film L'appât and hosted his own TV show.

But until this summer, the multilingual Badouri performed exclusively in French.

Now he's testing his jokes on English audiences as one of the comics in this year's Just for Laughs Ethnic Gala.

"It's always interested me to see where can comedy take me you know, I've been to France, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, Haiti... now let me see how far I can go, I wasn't ready until this year," Badouri says.

In his set, he remembers being the only brown-skinned kid at his Laval high school and hanging out with the two other minorities at school — a black friend and a redhead.

Inspired by immigration issues and his Moroccan parents, Badouri uses his googly eyes and bald head to reference a host of characters, including Aladdin, a bobble-headed Italian or a gum-chewing, politically correct French-Canadian school teacher scolding his dad for threatening corporal punishment.

Language is no issue for the quick-witted, multilingual comedian. And growing up in French-speaking Quebec means Badouri is able to joke about Quebec stereotypes with clear understanding and affection for his targets.

Rachid Badouri will speak to CBC Daybreak summer host Ainslie MacLellan Monday, July 13 at 7:40 a.m.
 

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