Destinations Magazine

Don’t Stop Deriding Us

By Stizzard
Don’t stop deriding us Rubber ribbing

CRAFTED out of latex rubber, the marionettes of “Les Guignols de l’Info”, a French television show, recall a pre-digital age. It takes two puppeteers to manipulate the fingers and facial features of each rubber character. Boxes of dismembered flesh-coloured hands are piled up in backstage store cupboards, along with plastic bags of legless rubber bodies. Yet such is the programme’s iconic status among French viewers that reports of its possible demise stirred much indignation, even among the politicians it parodies.

Inspired by a long-defunct British show, “Spitting Image”, “Les Guignols” has been lampooning politicians since its launch in 1988. It dressed Jacques Chirac, an ex-president facing corruption charges, in Superman underpants and called his character Supermenteur (Super-liar). Nicolas Sarkozy, another ex-president, is portrayed as a twitchy little figure forever seeking attention. François Hollande (pictured), the current president, appears petrified of Germany’s Angela Merkel or Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and emits short nervous noises, something like “Eheheh…”.

News of a…

The Economist: Europe

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