The Funniest French Stand-Up Comedy


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for stand-up comedy sets from France. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.


Funniest French Comedies sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending)


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Gad Elmaleh - Décalages posterGad Elmaleh - Jet Lags (Décalages)
      1997 | France | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 7.7
      

In this early show, Gad explores the theme of landing in new cultures. The slow warm up made me wonder if this was going to be one of those rough early pieces whose main value is historical… But the rest of the show was hilarious, and my jaw cramped from smiling so much. Not to be missed. (Last viewed: June 2015)

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Florence Foresti  - Mother fckr posterFlorence Foresti - Mother Fckr
      2010 | France | Laughs: 7.5 | imdb: 6.9
      wikipedia

The worst thing about this otherwise terrific show is its title, as it poorly represents material that is neither crass nor full of cussing. Non-native speakers of a language tend not to feel the weight of its curse words: to them, something that would sound horrendously out of place to a native often has a playful ring. This well-known phenomenon must have been at play when the title was chosen. And the fact that motherhood is one of the show's recurring themes.

This was the first time I watched Florence Foresti, and I loved her. Not only is she sharp as a whip, she has a powerful command of physical comedy, so that laughter is triggered by her movements as much as by her words.

I look forward to watching more of her shows. (Last viewed: May 2015)

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Gad Elmaleh - La Vie Normale posterGad Elmaleh - La Vie Normale
      2000 | France | Laughs: 7.3 | imdb: 8.0
      

For me, Gad is a genius. I'm not aware of another contemporary stand-up comic who is able to switch between characters with such ease. Not all the material in this show is jaw-dropping hilarious, but much is. I was going to skip it because I'd already seen two of his shows; I'm glad I didn't. (Last viewed: June 2015)

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Florence Foresti fait des Sketches à la Cigale posterFlorence Foresti fait des Sketches à la Cigale
      2005 | France | Laughs: 6.0 | imdb: 7.2
      

After watching Mother Fckr, I was eager to try other shows by Florence. On this one, her first DVD release, she is not yet quite as accomplished a performer. The set has some long moments (such as the encore skit) and it is not a laugh fest, but it is definitely worth watching as it does have several brilliant skits and should have you smiling throughout. (Last viewed: June 2015)

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Gad Elmaleh L'Autre C'est Moi DVDGad Elmaleh L'Autre C'est Moi
      2005 | France | Laughs: 4.0 | imdb: 8.4
      

After discovering this French-Moroccan comedian in The Valet, I learned that he was first and foremost a stand-up comedian. This show didn't make me laugh nearly as much as Gad's earlier sets, but it was very polished, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Gad is clean and original. At times he reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld, and, when he mimes, of the Seinfeld show's character Kramer—for instance when he pretends to walk with ski boots. There is a lot of physical comedy, such as when Gad makes an inventory of the types of dancers often found in night clubs.

Even if you don't understand much French, there should be enough here to keep you entertained. (Last viewed: Jan 2011 June 2015)

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Gad Elmaleh: Sans tambour posterGad Elmaleh - Without Fanfare (Gad Elmaleh: Sans Tambour)
      2014 | France | Laughs: 3.0 | imdb: 7.0
      

This set was a marked improvement over Dad is Upstairs, as Gad returns to stand-up comedy without all the frills from the previous show. Sadly, he fails to trigger laughter with his ease from fifteen years earlier (Jet Lags and Regular Life). I chuckled a few times, but this is not a show I would recommend. (Last viewed: June 2015)

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Dany Boon: Trop StyléDany Boon: Trop Stylé
      2011 | France | Laughs: 1.0 (Don't Bother) | imdb: 0.0
      

I enjoyed Dany Boon in Welcome to the Sticks (which he directed) and especially The Valet, so I was excited to see what he could do as a stand-up comedian. I hadn't realized that Dany comes from the long tradition of French comedians whose formula can be summed up as "vulgar and loud"—a formula which, to be fair, Dany makes his own by mixing in an unusual dose of self-indulgence. That's really not my cup of tea, and even though there were some bits to enjoy in that 90-minute show, I would happily have missed it. As a stand-up comedian, Gad Elmaleh, Dany's roommate in The Valet is much better value: see the very funny L'Autre C'est Moi. (Last viewed: October 2013)

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Gad Elmaleh: Papa est en Haut posterGad Elmaleh: Papa est en Haut
      2010 | France | Laughs: 0.9 | imdb: 7.6
      

After seeing Gad's Jet Lags and Regular Life, I sat down to Dad is Upstairs expecting to watch another terrific stand-up comedy set. As stand-up comedy, this show is horrendous—I chuckled a few times but didn't laugh. It was a long two hours.

But this show is not stand-up comedy. It is Gad making love to his adoring public, at as such, at times it is a bit obscene. With the amount of female cheers from the crowd, you'd think Gad is the Beatles. And in fairness to his immense talent, he is… You see him dancing, playing the guitar and the piano, drumming, singing… This is an amazing man. But by this site's only measure—the laugh-o-meter—this show is definitely not worth watching. (Last viewed: June 2015)

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(This section: Funniest French Comedies)


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