Les Guignols De L’Info (The News Puppets), is a popular French program best described as a combination of “The Daily Show
” and “Sesame Street
”. It is a short program, about 8 minutes in length that airs on a French cable station, Canal Plus
. The cast is composed of puppets
“les marionnettes" who imitate the political and cultural figures of the day. It is considerably more risky than its counterparts and holds nothing sacred. (Consider the 12 September 2001 edition, which aired the day after the attacks in the United States that began with the headline “Allah
The show is based on a similar BBC program called “Spitting Image” that aired in the 1980’s, though this version takes the form of a nightly newscast hosted by the outspoken Patrick Poivre d’Arvor. Similar to that program, it lampoons popular political dilemmas, particularly those from across the Atlantic with ease (they seem to view Sylvester Stallone as the quintessential American). It’s a refreshing change from the increasingly bland political humor in the United States, particularly when it comes to the Bush administration. It’s also an interesting look at French culture and current events, which are rarely heard about elsewhere.