Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cherchez la femme

Once upon a time, dear reader, way back in the 80s, there was a French TV presenter called Jacques Martin who, somehow, seemed to hog the small screen for most of Sunday. His funeral took place today and, despite a long career as an actor, satirist and comic, he will probably best be remembered as the host of "L'Ecole des Fans," an unimaginably cheesy (my italics) talent show for the under-10s. The format of his interviews of the "contestants" - like that of the rest of the show - never varied. "What does Mummy do?," "What does Daddy do?," "Are they here today?" and, inevitably, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" There were normally a few gags to be squeezed out of this tired old routine, along the lines of "out of the mouths of babes etc." before the little 'uns were allowed to give their - usually excruciating - performance. That said, we watched the whole thing EVERY WEEK, admittedly normally with a hangover. And the show lasted...wait for it...nearly 20 YEARS. But, when Nicolas Sarkozy was elected as France's president in May, Martin was thrust back into the spotlight for another reason. He was the first - and much older - husband of the new First Lady, Cecilia. Not only that but it was actually Sarkozy, then mayor of the Paris suburb of Neuilly, who married them, before embarking on an affair with Cecilia himself. "Ooooh la-la-la-la-la-la, only in France!" I hear you cry. Mind you, C. - a well-preserved 49 who worked at one time as a model - has a bit of a roving eye herself. In 2005, she ditched Sarkozy to start a very high-profile affair with a top ad executive, a liaison that lasted for a year. Fast movers, these French types, you see. Anyway, all this is just by way of explanation for this cartoon on the front of French satirical mag Charlie Hebdo this week. In a tribute to Martin, they depict him asking his stock question, "And what would you like to do when you grow up?" To which the young Sarkozy, for it is he, replies "I want to screw your wife!" You can read a more sober tribute to Martin here (plus a nice anecdote about Martin's reaction when Cecilia left him).

9 comments:

amy said...

Wow, thanks for the explanation! I had no idea about all that backstory.

Pierre said...

Ah ah, huge!

Yes, I remembered those horrible Sundays with those crappy TV shows... I think it's partly why I do hate Sundays since I'm a child...

There's even once where the interviewed child started telling his uncle often visited them when daddy was away, and they locked with mummy in the room for hours... !

Anyway, that Charlie Hebdo's cover is really great :)

rhino75 said...

Amy, thanks! Call me the king of TV trivia! Pierre, the thing I remember most was that it was soooooooo lonnnnnnnnng. We were all laughing about that cover yesterday at work, I felt I had to use it!!

The Late Bloomer said...

Yeah, you really know your stuff! I didn't know all that backstory about Sarkozy marrying Martin to Cecilia before grabbing her for himself... Hmmmm, very interesting!

Guccibitch said...

Should we be thankful to Jacques for "discovering" Vanessa Paradis(e)?

rhino75 said...

ah Late Bloomer, showbiz is my middle name. And guccibitch, welcome! I think we should always be grateful for Vanessa Paradis.

frog with a blog said...

The best thing is that tabloids have been announcing his death for about 15 years now, until 2 weeks ago when his daughters cried "stop saying that dad is dead, he's still alive!" and then he died.

Starman said...

Does anyone remember Art Linkletter?

Starman said...

Just watched the first episode of season two of Heroes. Very interesting!