Comedy Relief for Haiti

Comedians pool their talents for one night of comedy in relief of Haiti

by Bianca Brais

Humorist Louis-José Houde and author François Avard organized a comedy show called Ha-Haiti, featuring many French comedians, in order to help raise funds for the Haiti population.

The show took place on March 8, at Theatre St-Denis. All the money raised from ticket sales will be donated to Oxfam-Québec to help the Haiti inhabitants rebuild their homes, have enough money for clean water and food.

The event will showcase many talented humorists, such as  Daniel Lemire, Les Grandes Gueules, Jean-Michel Anctil, Rachid Badouri, Martin Petit, Jean-François Mercier, Mike Ward, Laurent Paquin, Patrick Groulx, Alex Perron, Louis Morissette, Pierre Hébert, Philippe Bond, Eddy King, Cathy Gauthier and Chick’n Swell. All these comedians volunteered for the show in order to help the habitants who were affected by the earthquake.

All tickets were sold in less than 24 hours, explained Houde at the beginning of the show. “I can’t believe how quickly the tickets were sold,” audience member Isabella Adornato said, “I was on the phone and the internet for an hour, by the time I got through, the only seats remaining were in the back. But it was still worth it!”

Hearing Les Grandes Gueules on the radio is great; going to a Louis-Jose Houde or a Rachid Badouri show is even better. After the comical three hour show, everyone left the theatre with smiles on their faces.

During the intermission, the audience booed; spectators did not want a break from the show. The humour was so intense, the show could have been five hours and no one would have complained.

At the beginning of the night, when the lights turned off, the crowd went hysterical, standing up and applauding the upcoming acts, which were introduced by Louis-Jose Houde. The night started out with a few one-man, stand up comedy routines, while other humorists paired up, creating entertaining skits.
All 18 acts were original and funny. Several times during the show, humorists started laughing at their own jokes. When Patrick Groux did his stand up routine about dirty hotel rooms, he had to take several pauses because he was laughing at his own jokes, “You guys are making it hard for me to stay serious,” he told the audience.

It was interesting to see the comedians include the audience in their skits. People actively responded to the jokes and heckled the comics, which created a great dynamic in the theatre. The humorists improvised as they went along, they were not expecting to have so many audience members talk back to them, adding to the humour.

The night ended on a positive note. Louis-Jose Houde closed the show with a brilliant, hilarious skit that got the whole audience laughing. He announced that with the sale of all the tickets, over $100,000 was raised for “Tremblement de Terre- Haiti.”

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