Coluche Revisited

Paris’ Hotel de Ville pays homage via video clips, photos and memorabilia to the beloved French actor and comedian Coluche (1944-1986) with an exhibition marking the thirtieth anniversary of his death. The exhibition (until January 7, 2017) revisits his stage, television and movie career up to the announcement of his presidential candidacy. His “campaign” was supported by “Charlie Hebdo” with slogans such as “Before me France was divided in two, now it will be folded into fourths.” He wasn’t taken seriously until the Journal du Dimanche published a poll showing he was supported by 16% of the French voters. Under pressure from serious politicians he withdrew.

Coluche’s trademark humor incorporated an irreverent attitude towards politicians and the French establishment in general.  He won the Cesar Award for Best Actor for his role in Tchao Pantin, one of his few dramatic roles. With his signature comic persona he dressed in an outffit of white tennis shoes, blue striped workers overalls, a bright yellow T-Shirt and round glasses. He was fired by two radio stations for vulgarity.

“I have a little idea”  said Coluche. And that idea in 1985 was to launch the “Restaurants du Coeur,” which continues today. These “restaurants with a heart” distribute food and hot meals to the needy. The goal of the “restos” for Coluche and the founders was to give away 3,000 meals a day. The first winter it distributed 8.5 million meals.

The exhibition includes the Yamaha motorcycle Coluche rode when he set a world speed record (252Km/hr) at Nardo, Italy. He died a year later when his motorcycle crashed into a truck in the south of France. He was 41.

Coluche, until January 7, 2017, Hôtel de ville de Paris, 5, rue de Lobau, Paris. Free admission.