Twenty years later, Hervé Dumont and Jean-Claude Convenant return to M6 for a special evening with a unit and a new documentary. It remains to be seen whether our times can still bear their joyous “beaufitude”. To be checked this Tuesday, January 24 at 9:10 p.m. on M6.
In twenty years, society has changed. Not Jean-Claude Convenant and Hervé Dumont. More than two decades after the launch of Caméra café, the two heroes return to M6 for a unique unit celebrating the anniversary of the short program that made the channel’s heyday from 2001 to 2004. Still wrapped up in their shirts colorful, the two cult characters have not moved one iota. “Jean-Claude Convenant and Hervé Dumont remain as we know them: sexist, macho, illiterate, trickster and carried on the bottle for the first, and spineless, cowardly, crooked trade unionist for the second», explains Bruno Solo who embodies Hervé Dumont and co-directed the fiction with Yvan Le Bolloc’h.
Your corrosive and cynical tone
We find the friends in 2019 when Jean-Claude has just been made redundant. The VRP, one of the “last adventurers of the modern world” as he described himself two decades ago, can no longer convey “comac blondesin his Xantia and continue to drink like a hole. Considerations that are not to the taste of the new boss of Geugène Electro Stim. Between two boxes, the colleagues reminisce about the memories of their careers. The opportunity to discover, through flashbacks and unpublished sketches, how the protagonists have gone through these twenty years. “We cover everything: social networks, “yellow vests”, attacks, the climate crisis, #BalanceTonPorc, the Covid…“continues Bruno Solo. If the series has always highlighted social issues with a corrosive and cynical tone, doing so in 2023 was not easy as television has changed in terms of humor. What Yvan Le Bolloc’h regrets: “Before, there was a catharsis through laughter with the Guignols or the Dummies. I have the impression that a screed of lead has fallen on television humor and that people are waiting for the return of political incorrectness.»
The duo did just that in this unit. No question for them of watering down the texts to stick to the current well-thought: “Caméra café couldn’t be lukewarm. The first thing we asked of M6, and which we were granted, is that we write with the DNA of the programsays Bruno Solo. Apart from a sketch on the attacks, deemed too provocative, nothing was ruled out by M6. This unit therefore reflects the freedom of tone that made the success of this program. At the time of the buzz, could the series exist again on a daily basis in 2023? Bruno Solo is categorical: “I don’t think that would be good. When we did Camera Café, there were no social networks. We broached themes such as sexism, racism, harassment, disability… This surely made some people react, but in front of their television, during a family reunion or in a newspaper. Today, with the strength of social networks, we would spend as much time doing sketches as justifying them. It would be unbearable! On stage or in the cinema, there are people who dare but, on television, a reluctance has set in in comedy programs. »
Chills on TV
This reluctance, Quentin de Revel, director of fiction at M6, tries to fight it. The way of dealing with certain subjects has had to evolve with the arrival of social networks and the fairly heavy news of recent years, he admits. As a broadcaster, we wonder every day how far we can go, both in our desire to have programs with asperity and not to shock. Nevertheless, we have to find the way to tell funny and meaningful stories in a different way. If you find me the new Bruno and Yvan, I’ll sign right away!”