Les Inconnus

Last updated
Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan and Pascal Legitimus (from left to right) at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival Les Inconnus.jpg
Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan and Pascal Légitimus (from left to right) at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival

Les Inconnus ("The Unknowns") are a French trio of humourists consisting of Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan and Pascal Légitimus. While their first successes were on stage, they are most famous for their satirical sketch comedy television show La Télé des Inconnus, which premiered in 1990 and remained popular throughout the early 1990s. Following their television success, the group went on to produce music and movies, most of them written and directed by Bourdon and Campan. After the movie Les Trois Frères in 1995, the trio encountered contract problems with their manager Paul Lederman, which caused the group to split up, though they reformed in the early 2000s. There have been several films released since then that have featured at least two former members together.

Contents

History

The comedy troupe that would become Les Inconnus was formed in 1984. At its founding, the group had five members (Didier Bourdon, Bernard Campan, Pascal Légitimus, Seymour Brussel, and Smaïn) and was known as "Les Cinq" (The Five). Les Cinq starred in the 1985 movie Le Téléphone Sonne Toujours Deux Fois ("The Telephone Always Rings Twice"), but shortly afterward Smaïn left the group to pursue his career as a solo act. Down to four members, the group changed its name to "Les Quatre Quarts" (a pun in French: literally meaning "The Four Quarters," it is also the word for pound cake). In 1986 they met a new manager, Paul Lederman, who began to lead the troupe to larger and larger venues. At about this time the group's name was changed to "Les Inconnus" (The Unknowns). After hosting a radio show on Europe 1 from 1987 to 1988, Les Inconnus lost another member, Seymour Brussel.[ further explanation needed ] They eventually reached national fame with their 1989 stage comic show "Au secours, tout va mieux!" (literally "Help, things are getting better!").

In 1990, the three remaining members of the group premiered their sketch comedy television show, "La Télé des Inconnus". The show, which ran for two years on Antenne 2 (now France 2), was highly successful, and propelled the group to stardom throughout France. Their sketches parodied a number of French cultural icons, highly popular at the time, including musicians Richard Clayderman, Mano Negra, Indochine, Didier Barbelivien, Florent Pagny, and Patrick Bruel, as well as international stars like Sylvester Stallone (in the unlikely role of Jesus Christ in a mock film trailer), Jean-Claude Van Damme (a recurring character in unlikely roles like Jean Valjean from Les Misérables or Vicomte de Valmont from Les liaisons dangereuses ), Al Pacino, Robert de Niro; and television shows Club Dorothée , Bioman , Star Trek or Santa Barbara . They also satirized French politicians, police, trade unions, contemporary art, fashion design, advertising, various television programs, and society at large. The program won two 7 d'Or (the top French television award), and a video clip from the show, "Auteuil, Neuilly, Passy", won two Victoires de la Musique . Their most famous sketch is probably " Télémagouilles "[ citation needed ] with its gimmick "Stéphanie de Monaco"; this sketch is a parody of most of TV games.

In 1995, Les Inconnus made their first film in ten years, Les Trois Frères ("The Three Brothers"). The film was highly successful, winning the César Award for best début, but due to contract disputes with their manager Paul Lederman, the group was forced to disband after the film's release. Bourdon and Campan starred in two other movies together, Le Pari ("The Bet"), L'Extraterrestre ("The Extraterrestrial"), before Légitimus rejoined them for their final film together, Les Rois Mages (The Magi), in 2001. Only Bourdon and Légitimus starred in Madame Irma in 2006. They were reunited in 2014 for Les Trois Frères: Le Retour, a sequel to the 1995 film, but it was a critical and commercial failure.

Filmography

Selected discography

Related Research Articles

Claude Berri

Claude Berri was a French film director, writer, producer, actor and distributor.

<i>The Bet</i> (1997 film) 1997 film directed by Didier Bourdon Bernard Campan

The Bet is a 1997 film directed, about smoking cessation, written by and starring Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan of the French comic trio Les Inconnus.

W9 (TV channel)

W9 is a French television network available through digital terrestrial television TNT, satellite and ADSL. It is a subsidiary of the Groupe M6; the name W9 has been selected for the channel because "W9" is a mirror written equivalent of "M6", and as it was the nation's ninth broadcast network.

Les Rois mages is a French comedy film released in 2001, made by Bernard Campan and Didier Bourdon. They also star in the film, playing the roles of Balthazar and Melchior respectively. Pascal Légitimus, the third member of the humorist group Les Inconnus, also stars in the film as Caspar.

<i>The Three Brothers</i> (film) 1995 French film directed by Didier BourdonBernard Campan

The Three Brothers is a 1995 French comedy film written, directed by and starring Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan alongside their Les Inconnus partner Pascal Légitimus.

Bernard Campan French actor, film director and writer

Bernard Campan is a French actor, film director and writer. He is a member of Les Inconnus trio of humorists. He won a César Award for Best Debut for Les Trois Frères, and was nominated for best actor for his role in Se souvenir des belles choses.

Philippe Chevallier (actor) French comedian and actor

Philippe Chevallier is a French comedian and actor best known for his collaboration with Régis Laspalès.

Le téléphone sonne toujours deux fois !! is a 1985 French comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Vergne.

Auteuil, Neuilly, Passy 1991 single by Les Inconnus

"Auteuil, Neuilly, Passy " is a song recorded by the satiric group Les Inconnus in 1991. Released as a single from their album Bouleversifiant, it achieved great success in France, reaching number one on the national singles chart.

À toutes les filles... 1990 single by Félix Gray and Didier Barbelivien

"À toutes les filles..." is a 1990 song recorded as a duet by the French singers Didier Barbelivien and Félix Gray. This ballad was released in May 1990 as the first single from their album Les Amours cassées. It achieved a huge success in France, topping the chart and becoming a very popular song throughout years.

Michel Berto was a French actor. He was married to the actresses Juliet Berto and Marie Berto. His body was found on 3 January 1996, hence the exact date of his death is uncertain.

<i>Park Benches</i> 2009 French film directed by Bruno Podalydès

Park Benches is a 2009 French film directed by Bruno Podalydès, with an all-star cast.

Didier Bourdon

Didier Bourdon is a French Algerian-born actor, screenwriter and film director.

Fatima Adoum French actress

Fatima Adoum is a French actress based in London and Paris.

Inconnu can mean:

Élie Semoun French comedian, actor, director, writer and singer (born 1963)

Élie Semoun is a French comedian, actor, director, writer and singer.

<i>The Car Keys</i> 2003 French comedy film

The Car Keys is a 2003 French comedy film directed by Laurent Baffie.

<i>Les Trois Frères, le retour</i> 2014 French film directed by Les Inconnus

Les Trois Frères, le retour is a 2014 French film written, directed by and starring Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan alongside their Les Inconnus partner Pascal Légitimus. It is the sequel to the blockbuster film Les Trois Frères.

Alison Wheeler (comedian) French comedian and actress (born 1986)

Alison Wheeler is a French comedian and actress.

Jacques Décombe is a French author, actor and director born in 1953.

References