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:

Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.