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Les Guignols de l'info is a popular French satirical puppet show broadcast on Canal+. Essentially the French version of Spitting Image, it uses latex puppets as caricatures of prominent political figures to satirize national and international politics in sketches but also touches upon other topics such as sports, cinema and French television in general. The name of the show comes from Guignol, a famous French satirical puppet of the early 19th century.

Since their beginning in 1988, when the show was known as Les Arènes de l'info, it has been hosted by PPD, a puppet of famous French news anchor Patrick Poivre D'Arvor (or PPDA, as he is better known by the general public)[1]. The show has enjoyed tremendous popularity through the years that continues to this day, and has 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 deny any intentions of influencing voters, they make no secret of their left-leaning political tendencies (but never spare left politicians).

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


Les Guignols de l'info provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Zero-Percent Approval Rating: Nobody likes Laurent Fabius.
  • 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.
  • The Ahnold
    • Any sketch involving Arnold Schwarzenegger has him talk (and usually act) like the Terminator.
    • Monsieur Sylvestre, based on Sylvester Stallone. Besides occasionnal appearances of John Rambo, the puppet model is used extensively to portray World Company executives (all of them are nicknamed "Bob"), the American military (even more so since 9/11), the Pope's Cardinals and an assembly of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders who act exactly like the World Company.
  • The Alcoholic
    • Boris Eltsine
    • 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)
  • 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 once attracted said animals).
  • Apologises a Lot: Michel Denisot
  • 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, the current 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.
  • Attention Whore: Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Authentication by Newspaper: Parodied in an old sketch; the hostage ("played" by the puppet for Christopher Lambert) is registering a video proving he's well, before realizing the facetious hostage-taker has given him a porn magazine instead of a newspaper.
  • Badass Spaniard: Some recent and highly controversial sketches feature 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 diplomatic scandal as Spanish authorities and sport federations really didn't like these jokes.

 "Spanish athletes. They do not win by chance."

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Some Catch Phrases were never actually said by the people the puppets satirize.
  • Big Eater: Jacques Chirac (may be linked to the food expenses affair in real life).
  • Big Fun: Gérard Depardieu
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
    • Nicolas Sarkozy in the 90's, with honey-words to boot.
    • Bernadette Chirac
  • Blatant Lies
    • Super Menteur, Jacques Chirac's superhero alterego.
    • As a one-shot gag, Éric Woerth was considered Super Menteur's worthy successor.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every puppet has a punny "subtitle" under its name, that changes over time (ex: "Dominique Strauss-Kahn -- Homo Erectus").
  • Brutal Honesty
    • Karl Lagerfield
    • Patrick Le Lay
    • Bernard Tapie
    • World Company executives
    • Aimé Jacquet, former head coach of the French national team (World champions in 1998), when he speaks about the French League 1 championship.
    • Laurent Blanc, former soccer player in the French national team and head coach of the current team, when he speaks about the team's chances in the upcoming UEFA Euro Championship
  • 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 Hollande
    • Laurent Fabius, former prime minister (before the show was created) and current minister of Foreign and European Affairs.
  • Canis Latinicus: When Pope Benedict XVI speaks, he often adds the suffix "-us" to his words.
  • Captain Obvious: François Léotard

 Léotard: You mean a giant alien like in... Alien?

  • Catch Phrase: Many; among the most notable:
    • "You're watching the ancestor of the Internet. Good evening." (PPD's current 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, from the far-left party called Workers' Struggle)
    • "Salut bonhomme !" ("Hi fella!" -- Bernard Tapie)
    • "Imbécile !"; "Andouille !" ("Dumbass!"; "Idiot!" -- François Mitterrand, former president)
    • "Eeeeeheeeee..."; "Uuuuhuuuu..."; "I want to be a normal President !" (François Hollande, current President of the Republic)
    • "Abracadabrantesque !" ("Ludicrousish" -- Jacques Chirac, former president)
    • "LE MONSIEUR TE DEMANDE..." ("THE GENTLEMAN IS ASKING YOU..." -- Jacques Chirac, whenever adressing Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, despite the latter's protests that he isn't deaf)
    • "Mééééééééheuuuu ! Je veux être président !" ("Come ooooooon, I want to be president!" -- François Bayrou, center-right)
    • "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 ma tenue, je sors de la douche..." ("Pardon my dress, I just got out of the shower..." -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, every time he appears since the Nafissatou Diallo affair; he always appears in a leopard bathrobe since)
    • "PAAAAAYYYYS DE MEEEEEEERDE !!!" ("SHITTY COUNTRYYYYYY!!!" -- Lionel Jospin's leitmotiv since he pathetically lost in 2002)
    • "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 introduced new Apple products)
    • "BONSOIR IBIZAAAAAAAA !" ("GOOD EVENING IBIZAAAAAA !" -- David Guetta)
    • "Formidable !" (Jack Lang, former socialist minister)
    • "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)
    • "La prince il dit..." ("Da prince says..." -- Leonardo, manager of the PSG soccer club)
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys
    • How the American characters see the French, of course. Played with: almost every American character in the show is represented by Monsieur Sylvestre, the puppet of Sylvester Stallone.
    • Interestingly, unlike most occurences of this trope, they don't treat French soldiers as especially cowardly or weak, but horribly poorly equipped.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
    • Nicolas Sarkozy towards Jacques Chirac before 2002. Éric Besson now, 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.
    • Also happens regularly in the socialist party.
  • Clark Kenting: Even PPD can't tell who could be Super Menteur.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • 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.

 Marine: Daaaddyyyyyyy!! Sarkozy keeps stealing my votes!

  • Deadpan Snarker: Most political parties have a main one:
    • 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, mayor of Paris.
    • For the Ecologists (left-wing), it is Noël Mamère, European deputy and former anchorman.
    • More recently, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, European deputy and leader of the Left Front (radical left).
    • Bernard Tapie, a businessman who was minister in the Bérégovoy government for three months.
    • Philippe Lucas, when it comes about sports. He was swimming World champion Laure Manaudou's coach at the time he appeared.
    • Michel Lecomte, Denis Chalandier's camera operator.
  • Death Glare: Vladimir Putin pulls off a scary one whenever he is questionned about his methods and policies.
  • Diabolical Mastermind
  • Dirty Communists / Eat the Rich: 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.
  • Dirty Old Man
    • Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
    • Silvio Berlusconi
    • Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    • Georges Tron is now the right-wing equivalent of DSK, and wears a leopard bathrobe just like him
  • The Ditz
    • 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...
    • 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.
    • Johnny Hallyday
    • David Guetta
    • Benjamin Castaldi, TV reality show host
    • Arthur, another TV show host
    • Dominique, the son of Jean Tiberi (former mayor of Paris)
    • Actor Christopher Lambert
    • Luis Fernandez, soccer coach
  • Dreadful Musician: David Guetta
  • The Eeyore: François Fillon
  • 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 !"
    • When Michel Denisot tries to do something for Canal+, it usually fails miserably with him saying "Désolé..." ("Sorry...").
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: Since the death of Steve Jobs, everyone's got Apple-made angel wings in Heaven.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Mullah Omar
  • 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).
  • Face Palm: Mostly from PPD, or one of the Deadpan Snarkers mentioned above.
  • 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.
  • Fat Idiot
    • Raymond Barre
    • François Hollande before his candidacy for the presidential elections.
    • Gérard Depardieu
  • 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. 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 merely racist.
    • 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.
  • The Fundamentalist
    • Christine Boutin
    • Philippe de Villiers (sovereignist politician)
    • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Gag Boobs: Actress Sophie Marceau after her incident during the 2005 Cannes Festival.
  • General Ripper: The American military.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    • You wouldn't believe the amount of swearing and adult themes this show gets away with for such a time slot (around 8.00 PM). Sometimes contains some pretty crude sexual content, and has also shown some graphic violence. Oh, and the show somehow didn't get any age rating or parental warning either.
    • Although there isn't that much profanity, and what swearing there isn't where the comedy comes from. There are however very serious matter treated in VERY crude ways (and language), one example that comes to mind are the elections for the mayor of Paris in the late 1990s, right wing candidate was depicted as a masochist wearing the gimp suit from Pulp Fiction and constantly asking to be beaten.
    • Furthermore, the show has extremely dark humor, making fun of tragedies, such as 09/11, the terrorist attacks on the trains at Madrid, or at the London Subway. There tragedies are treated with a light tone that can be extremely offensive to those who suffered from said tragedies.
  • 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's a puppet for God. And he's 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, Johny Halliday ends up addicted to Cuckoo Boxes. So he twists paper-clips to suppress his addiction to cucko 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: "The yes needs the no, to win against the no". For real.
    • Jean-Marie Messier
  • Grumpy Bear: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, to some extent, with Grumpy Old Man tendencies in his early appearances.
  • Grumpy Old Man
    • Former president François Mitterrand
    • Jean-Marie Le Pen. For him, everything was better when Algeria was still French for example.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: François Mitterrand was nasty to every puppet and thought they were all idiots and ugly.
  • Henpecked Husband: How François Hollande is currently treated by his domestic partner, Valérie Trierweiler. He can't make a decision without her consent, and she even replaced him in a recent interview, implying that she is the Woman behind the Man.
  • Hollywood Tourettes: Thierry Roland, a sport journalist
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • Patrick Le Lay
  • Jive Turkey: Recently, 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.
  • Large Ham: It would be easier to list those who are not.
  • Last-Name Basis: Jacques Chirac's own daughter always calls him "Chirac".
  • Literal Minded
    • Luis Fernandez, long-time soccer coach for the PSG, takes about every expression or metaphor from PPD literaly.
    • Johnny Hallyday, sometimes.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Most French politicians and celebrities, and lots from other countries. There were 314 puppets in March, 2009, and more since then.
  • Loveable Rogue
    • Jacques Chirac a.k.a. Super Menteur (Super Liar)
    • Bernard Tapie
  • The Mafiya: Vladimir Putin
  • The Man Behind the Man: World Company
  • Man Child
    • François Bayrou. He started as a serious minister before Flanderization.
    • Jacques Chirac was too.
    • François Léotard
    • Michael Jackson
    • David Guetta
  • Mega Corp: World Company
  • Medium Blending: Sometimes even animation is used. South Park is parodied here, in "Droite Park" ("Right-wing Park") with Nicolas Sarkozy (Kyle), François Bayrou (Stan), Philippe Séguin (Cartman) and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (Kenny). And Jacques Chirac as the singer.
  • Memetic Sex God: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, even after things got ugly. Sometimes with Sexophone music to boot.
  • 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 Domnique De Villepin (Jacques Chirac's last prime minister) was portrayed. Often shirtless.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood
    • 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 pronunciate PPD's full name correctly.
  • The Napoleon: Nicolas Sarkozy
  • 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...
  • No Sense of Humor
    • Hervé Bourges and other members of the CSA (French censorship institute), who have to be given lenghty 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
    • 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 / Obfuscating Stupidity: 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!
  • Only in It For the Money
    • Zinedine Zidane
    • Bernard Tapie
    • Patrick Le Lay
    • Arthur
    • Patrick Sabatier
  • 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
  • Overly Long Gag: Happens often, essentially for Padding.
  • Pedophile Priest: Cardinal Sylvestre, and just about about any Catholic priest shown except the Pope. Comedic variant, of course.
  • Perma Stubble: Édouard Balladur is portayed with a stubble on a double chin.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Jean-Luc Mélenchon
  • 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.
  • 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!

  • Purple Prose: Philippe de Villiers, whenever he talks about something sexual.

 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.

 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 presomptuous, 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.

  • Refuge in Audacity: The show can be very offensive at times, and is often very aggressive towards some personalities.
  • Rich Bitch
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor In Sense
    • The princely family of Monaco.
    • Lilliane "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. Turned Up to Eleven 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 portayed as a human beast who must be confined with a straitjacket and a mask like Hannibal Lecter.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • About half the time he appears, Barack Obama lists the top five reasons for the answer of whatever question he's been asked; it was Thomas Ngijol's standup-comedy signature style in the show Le Grand Journal on Canal+.
    • The Spanish sport stars.
    • Each time the show is moved to the Cannes Film Festival, there is a running gag:
      • In 2005, each time journalist Laurent Weil tried to interview director Emir Kusturica, a fanfare showed up and played the melody of "Daddy, Don't Ever Die on a Friday" (from Kusturica's movie Black Cat, White Cat), ruining the interview.
      • In 2006, the same journalist tried to interview prominent movie stars. The only "persons" he succeeded to approach? Insignificant animated movie characters, King Kong and Christopher Lambert, who is a complete idiot in the show. (In real life, he made very poor choices in his movie career after Highlander and Greystoke.)
      • In 2011, some movie characters (including the Terminator, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and others) were given a lecture by "the Oysters Guy" from the French movie Little White Lies (Les Petits Mouchoirs).
      • In 2012, some major Hollywoodian movies such as Avatar, ET the Extraterrestrial or Jaws got Guignols-made "prequels".
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Prince Al-Thani, the Qatari owner of the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club, can buy anything. And he doesn't fail to.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man
    • Brice Lalonde and Antoine Waechter.
    • Michel Rocard and Bernard Tapie.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran
    • John McCain
    • John Rambo
    • Nicolas Sarkozy tried to pass for one during the 2011 Lybian civil war in order to evade 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way on the cynical side.
  • Smug Snake: Nicolas Sarkozy
  • 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.
  • Straight Man: PPD, of course.
  • Take That
    • The writers really, really didn't like Sarkozy's policies, and got increasingly 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 harsch on TF1 since this TV channel became more and more populist, focused on light entertainment and heavily commercialised.
  • Talking to Himself: Around 30 actors voice over 300 characters, so this is bound to happen. Most notable with the Sylvestres.
  • 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..."
  • 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 demission 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
  • Those Two Guys: Farid and Jean-Luc, two youngsters from the suburbs sometimes invited by PPD to talk of the "Banlieues", or about news concerning the youths.
  • 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.
  • Trophy Wife: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
  • 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....
  • Verbal Tic
    • Johnny Hallyday usually begins his phrases with "Ah que..." (leading to the memetic "Ah que coucou !")
    • Édouard Balladur has the habit of quietly repeating the end of his phrases... the end of his phrases. Also known as palilalia... palilalia.
  • The Voice: Pierre Fulla, a sport commentator, is the only parodied personality without a puppet.
  • The Voiceless
    • Ronald McDonald
    • Prince Al-Thani of Qatar has no voice. Or rather he only speaks in a whisper to the PSG's manager, Leonardo, who then repeats for everyone. We never hear his voice anyway.
  • 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.
  • World of Ham
  • 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.

Notes

  1. PPDA having been fired from his real life job on the channel TF1 in 2008, the authors had also introduced for a time a new anchorman, Harry Roselmack, who works every Friday as his "apprentice"
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