Just to laugh |  Ronny Chieng, young older brother of Rachid Badouri

Just to laugh | Ronny Chieng, young older brother of Rachid Badouri

One, the son of Laval and Moroccan parents, is one of the best-known faces of Québec humor. The other, a Malaysian of Chinese origin who grew up between the United States and Singapore, is part of the daily program, legendary satirical bulletin. Rachid Badouri and Ronny Chieng talk about their friendship, born behind the scenes at Just For Laughs, where they will meet on Sunday night.

Posted at 7:00 am

sunday afternoon

sunday afternoon

Rachid Badouri first appeared in 2015 among the lineup of theethnic show, an annual showcase that brings together some of the most promising pranksters from the world’s cultural communities. Other names in the canopy include: Ronny Chieng, then living in Australia and not yet the star he would become thanks to the daily program from Trevor Noah, where he is a correspondent, as well as thanks to his shows powered by the mighty Netflix machine.

The comedian, who now lives in the United States, remembers with all the gratitude in the world the reception of his colleague from Quebec, a host who obviously does not know how to do things by halves. “There’s a lot of camaraderie among comedians in the United States, but it’s still a bit more commercial. We show up at the show, we leave, we do our little business,” Chieng explained this week, during a three-way videoconference, while in the studios of the daily program in New York and granted Press and his friend about twenty minutes thanks to a break between two shoots.

I don’t know if he’s Moroccan or Quebecois, but Rachid did everything, everything to make sure we had a good time. Rachid is a star in Quebec, but he never made us feel it. You only realized it when you walked down the street with him.

ronny chieng


Ronny Chieng in front of his friend Rachid

But being hospitable, for Rachid Badouri, what does it mean concretely? This means that in 2015, Rachid Badouri had caps made for all his comrades on which a memorable line taken from an issue of Chieng was inscribed. That he opened a pizzeria in Ahuntsic on a Sunday so the gang could celebrate the end of the festival there. And that all these beautiful people were transported from downtown to the restaurant, then from the restaurant to the hotel, in luxury vans.

Ronny laughs, while Rachid blushes. “You quickly learn with Rachid that it is impossible to be as generous with him as he is with you. It is impossible to win. »

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“It also has to be said that we hit it off right away because we were the only two in the gang who were married or engaged,” Rachid stresses. Adds Ronny, gently mocking his host country: “It’s weird, but if you’re in a group made up of mostly Americans, non-Americans will tend to get along better. »

Although Chieng, 36, is younger than him, Badouri, 45, considers him an older brother. “Ronny is not only a great listener, but he remembers what you told him over and over again. And he gives the best advice in the world. »

While trying to make adjustments to his style, to fight for a stand purer and relying less on the physical comedy that had left its mark on his first two shows, Rachid will thus be gently tidied up.

I remember we were in the restaurant and Ronny said to me: “Do you want me to tie your hands, put you in a balaclava like Kanye, go on stage and explain to people that you can’t move? Who exactly do you want to impress? »

Rachid Badouri

“What I wanted to tell her is not to underestimate her talent, specifies Ronny. He can express his opinions on stage, but he must use his natural talent as a performer to convey them. He shouldn’t try to be someone else. I already saw him at a gala in French in Montreux, and even though I don’t speak any French, I understood everything he said. Rachid performs at this level. »

After 2015, Rachid Badouri had to drop the Seinfeld language to fulfill contracts in Europe. He jumped back in at the beginning of the year hoping to be recruited for his friend’s Just For Laughs gala, a delight he will savor on Sunday, after several months showing off new material at the comedy clubs from Montreal

“In 2015, I started a fire that I later put out myself. But there I would like it to become a forest fire, ”he confesses about a potential career in English.

“During the two weeks of Just For Laughs, it’s in Montreal that everything happens in the world of humor,” says Ronny. But there are so many Americans that it’s as if some comedians forget that Quebec is not an American state. Thanks to Rachid, Ronny really knows Quebec.

The Ronny Chieng Gala will be presented at the Théâtre Maisonneuve on July 31.

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