Learning French through Comedy: Sketches by Les Inconnus

Probably the most famous comedy sketch in France is Télémagouille by Les Inconnus. You can read the entire transcript online though it’s written very informally and there are many spelling mistakes. Don’t forget to check out their other sketches on Youtube or Dailymotion (I’ve included some of my favorites below). A 5-DVD set is also available from Amazon.fr.


Many of the jokes are cultural references that French people would know immediately, but French learners probably wouldn’t understand right away.

Une question sur le sport …tennis. Qui avait perdu le……
Yannick Noah !

Yannick Noah may be known today as a singer in Europe and the US, but before his musical career, he was a professional tennis player in France who first won, but then lost, a lot of tournaments before he decided to retire.

Question sur le sport… : Quelle est la première ville arabe traversée par le Paris-Dakar ?
Marseille !

The Paris-Dakar is an off-road rally that originally started in Paris and ended in Dakar (the course has changed over time). Marseille, the second largest city in France and a major port on the southern coast, has a large number of Arab immigrants, mostly from Algeria.

Fort Boyaux is another hilarious sketch, which parodies the French game show Fort Boyard:

And Education Nationale, about the state of French schools and teachers:

  • Gilles

    This one was good:
    “Quel acteur a interpréter en premier le rôle de James bond
    Ouais Heu non
    Oui oui…
    Heu nan nan c’est-à-dire que j’vais dire quelque chose mais c’est une connerie…”

  • http://dgryski.blogspot.com Damian Gryski

    I lost track of how much “Un gars, Une fille” I watched while I was learning French. Yes, the comedy gets repetitive after a while, but rewatching those episodes dozens of times improved my comprehension and vocabulary by leaps and bounds.

  • Sara

    I’ve been using terralinguas.com to learn french and it is very helpful. They seem to be pretty new but very different than anything else I found on the web and completely free. No registration, no captcha, just languages. Pretty cool.

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