When Les Appendices asked Félix Tanguay to come up with a reality web show for their sixth season, the screenwriter and director immediately said yes. This was too good to pass up – an opportunity not only to promote these five comedians who are his friends but also to poke fun at them…
The reality web concept envisioned by Félix aimed to get the group members out of their comfort zone and get them to react spontaneously to various situations (in contrast to their TV show where they control everything, including scripts, costumes, visual effects, and editing). Every day in the morning, the five friends would be taken to a surprise location inspired by a TV reality show, where they would have to overcome a series of wacky challenges.
In fact,” says Félix, “I organized a series of contests where fans could see Les Appendices perform without a net and vote for the person who performed best.
The two JFs (Jean-François Chagnon and Jean-François Provençal), Dave, Julien, and Dominic found themselves, for example, milking cows at a farm and picking up stinking cowpats in an episode that spoofed a reality TV show that mixes agriculture and the search for love. They also found themselves diving into a pool of stagnant water in a spa in a parody of a very popular and long-running Quebec reality TV show (Occupation quintuple). The seven episodes of this reality web series culminated in an awards awards ceremony held in an empty venue, where Jean-François Provençal received his best performer prize as voted by the fans.
The spa episode is the one they remember best. “At a certain point,” relates the bearded comedian, “we were in a sauna with chocolates. The chocolates, of course, began to melt. It was very funny. And then Julien, who had lost a challenge, had to jump into a swimming pool that was, well, the opposite of clean.”
Though Félix defines himself first and foremost as a TV professional, designing and directing content for the web is not something he finds unsettling – quite the contrary. “I see no difference between making TV shows and web shows,” he says. “Today, making web content doesn’t mean shooting on your own with a webcam with poor lighting and no money for scripting. Resources are available now to make good web projects.”
Jean-François Provençal and Félix Tanguay met back when Félix was the host of a show for youths called “Les deux pieds dans la marge.” But their friendship really took off when they co-hosted “VR en déroute” in 2013. Following this 40-day road trip in the U.S., they wrote and hosted a web series titled “Les Millionnaires,” broadcast on Tou.TV. “I sometimes produce TV shows with a smaller crew than for the web series, ‘Les Millionnaires,’ confides Félix.