Gad Elmaleh in DC – Part Trois, Now All In English

Le revoici, le revoilà! Gad Elmaleh repasse au Birchmere, avec un petit changement qui n’est pas négligeable: le comedien fait son show en Anglais!! 

It’s hard enough being funny in your native language, let alone in a foreign one. Seinfeld, for example, was notoriously bad when dubbed in French, and the humour didn’t quite translate. And yet, that’s exactly the personal challenge that French funnyman (and Seinfeld BFF) Gad Elmaleh has set for himself. After performing sold-out shows in Washington, DC twice in 2013 (in April and September – you can read my recap from the September show right here), the comedien is back for a third time. This fall, he’ll try to branch out of the French-speaking and expat crowd by performing en anglais in 17 cities across the US and Canada.

Gad Elmaleh al in English

I thought he was absolutely hilarious when he performed at the Birchmere in Alexandria two years ago. The running joke throughout the performance was Cathy, the lone non-French speaker in the audience whom Gad picked on repeatedly. Good news for her, she can go back to the Birchmere on December 13 and finally be in on the jokes. I, for one, would rather see the comedien in v.o. (version originale). But I’m excited at the prospect of bringing my husband to the show this time, or some of my other friends here who appreciate French but may not speak it well enough to follow an entire stand-up routine in it (maybe they should do like at the opera and have surtitles!). 

You can get your tics for the DC, Montreal and Vancouver shows here. You can also catch one of his film, Capital, on Netflix right now. Or you can get a sneak peek of his English show on YouTube, with a short segment where he comments on two very American things French expats in the US don’t get: air conditioning and over-zealous wait staff at restaurants 😉 Don’t worry, it’s not all US bashing during his routine. The French definitely get picked on too! 

*** note: it appears the DC show is already sold out… womp womp for those who didn’t purchase tickets soon enough, like me! But wow, that was quick!!*** 

Gad Elmaleh in DC ~ Part Deux

photoNo offense to John Oliver, who was absolutely hilarious when I saw him perform his comedy routine at DC Improv. A lot of his jokes poked fun at what it’s like to be a brit (read foreigner) in the United States. A lot of it rang very true. But I’m French, and I think it really takes a French comedian to relate to an audience full of French (and a few Swiss, Senegalese, Algerian, Moroccan, Quebecois…) people to get Gad Elmaleh’s jokes last night. And not just because he performed entirely in French… I do feel bad for the one audience member (her name was Cathy) who didn’t speak a word of French. She probably didn’t think the show was that funny. But everyone else did. Gad’s jokes about eating at restaurants in the United States, where waitresses ask you if you’re still working on your plate (eating is *never* considered work in France) and freeze you to death with air conditioning then serve you water with ice cubes just rang very true. And I’m sure it goes both ways. I *know* Americans joke slash complain about our lack of air conditioning and our serving of luke warm water.

Gad elmaleh, gad elmaleh in dc gad elmaleh a washington

French Comedian Gad Elmaleh Performing at the Birchmere on Sept. 16th, 2013

Gad Elmaleh was able to laugh not at, but with, American, French and Moroccan people. Somehow, he holds a lot of passports (Canada, France and Morocco) and his jokes about going through immigration and customs at US airports made me laugh the hardest. Because I’ve been there. I’ve been “randomly” selected for “random” bag checks every single time I’ve flown on planes and asked lots of intrusive questions by border officers (“what brings you to the United States, m’am?” “well, you know… the fact that I live and pay taxes here…”) He also made fun of the French a lot… our terrible customer service for example sounded even more fun when compared to the over zealous American store employee… he praised the efficiency of New York cab drivers (you raise your hands, a cab stops to pick you know). Anyone who’s ever tried to hail a cab in Paris knows that it doesn’t quite works that way… But the french are nothing if self deprecating, and he made us laugh with not at ourselves while also making us feel like he could relate to our expat experience here. He joked, stopping short of calling us exiles fiscaux like others in our government would, about how we all left France, leaving him, who dreamt as a moroccan kid to move to France to live among the french people, only to find that now all the Frenchies are gone and he’s left with all the moroccans, tunisians and algerians… He joked about how we all got a little flyer announcing Carla Bruni’s upcoming concert in April… in short, he made us laugh, in French… and I’m so happy Gad Elmaleh came back to DC for a couple more shows after his sold out performances last April. He also mentioned how he would call his pal and fellow French comedian Jamel Debbouze and tell him to come perform in Washington. I really hope he does. When French artists go on tour in North America, they typically make three stops: Montreal, New York and Los Angeles. Washington has one of the largest French community in the United States and no one ever comes to see us 😦

ps: no clue who Gad Elmaleh is? You may recognize him from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris where he played Détective Tisserant. You can also rent some of the French films he’s been in on netflix, like “The Valet” or Priceless.” Finally, you should check out Jerry Seinfeld’s hilarous Comedians in Car Getting Coffee’s “No Lipstick For Nuns” video. Now that’s fun stuff…

Back by Popular Demand – Gad Elmaleh in DC

Following his sold out performance in April, French funny man Gad Elmaleh is returning to the D.C. area and to the Birchmere this Septembre. The comedian will kick off and close his fall US tour in New York (September 2, 3 & October 3, 4, 6 and 7). In between those dates, he will make stops in Boston (September 8), Burlington (September 9), Portland (September 11) and Philadelphia (September 12), Washington (September 16, 17, 18) and Miami Beach (September 28). Don’t wait too long to get your tickets!!

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Gad, pictured here with my friend François at l’Alliance Française, performed at the Birchmere back in April – photo courtesy of Yacouba Tanou/YTanou Photography

ps: no clue who Gad Elmaleh is? You may recognize him from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris where he played Détective Tisserant. You can also rent some of the French films he’s been in on netflix, like The Valet or “Priceless.” Finally, you should check out Jerry Seinfeld’s hilarious Comedians in Car Getting Coffee’s “No Lipstick For Nuns” video. Now that’s fun stuff…