The Vestibules

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The Vestibules, formerly known as Radio Free Vestibule, is a Canadian surrealist comedy troupe composed of Terence Bowman, Paul Paré, and Bernard Deniger.[1]

Career[edit]

Based in Montreal,[2] the trio began performing in 1987.[2] Students at Montreal's Concordia University, they performed in Montreal-area comedy clubs and produced a radio comedy program for CKUT-FM.[1] They had songs played on the syndicated Dr. Demento radio show.[3] and soon began appearing on CBC Radio's Prime Time, beginning with occasional parody songs and later expanding to a twice-weekly sketch comedy segment;[1] in April 1990, the program gave them a full half-hour special.[4]

The trio were known primarily for absurdist comedy based on pop culture, and resisted humor that was too explicitly political.[1] One sketch which aired on Prime Time in 1990 actually satirized Canadian radio comedy's predilection for political humor, by means of a sketch which featured an audience laughing uproariously at a reference to Meech Lake in the punchline to a deliberately unfunny "anti-joke".[4] One of their most famous pieces was "Jellybabies Forever", a mockumentary about the rise and fall of a children's music group[5] who had been inspired by the legendary supergroup Sharon, Lois, Bram and Young.[6] Their satirical songs included "I Don't Want to Go to Toronto", a parody of Toronto's uptight and elitist image, and "Grunge Song", a parody of early 1990s songwriting which was frequently shown on MuchMusic.[7] Another sketch with rare political overtones was "Looking for a Job in Quebec", in which a nervous anglophone insisted that his surname, O'Leary, was pronounced "Thibodeau".[8]

In 1992, the troupe were given their own weekly series on CBC Radio, as a summer replacement for Royal Canadian Air Farce.[9] In the fall, they returned to Prime Time for the show's final season.[9] After Prime Time's cancellation, their sketches continued to appear on the CBC Radio programs Basic Black and Night Lines,[10] and on followup seasons of their summer series.[10]

In 1993, the trio appeared in a segment on A&E's Comedy on the Road, as part of a series of specials taped at the Just for Laughs Festival,[11] and garnered a Gemini Award nomination for Best Comedy Performance for their appearance in CBC Television's Just for Laughs special.[12] In 1994, they collaborated with former Prime Time host Geoff Pevere on X-Ray Vision, a television comedy pilot which aired as a special on CTV but was not picked up as a permanent series.[13]

In 1995, they appeared on CBC Television's Comics!,[10] released their first comedy album Sketches, Songs and Shoes,[14] and became regular contributors to Definitely Not the Opera.[10]

Name change[edit]

The trio shortened its name from Radio Free Vestibule to The Vestibules in 1997.[12] In 1998, the troupe were the main writers of the sitcom Radio Active for YTV,[15] and they sold a screenplay for Disco Inferno, a genre-hopping disaster/action/musical comedy film about a discotheque inside a dormant volcano, to MTV Films.[15]

Their second comedy album, Get Spiffy!, was released in 2002.[16] They have since released three further comedy albums and a DVD.

Personal[edit]

Paré is the uncle of actress Jessica Paré.[15]

Discography[edit]

  • Sketches Songs and Shoes (1995, as Radio Free Vestibule)
  • Get Spiffy! (2002)
  • Chest of Drawers 5.0 (2005)
  • The Complete First Episode (2005, DVD)
  • The Jellybellies Forever (2006)
  • The Best of the Radio McGill Years volumes 1-4 (2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Fringe trio moves mainstream - with elbows". Montreal Gazette, April 19, 1990.
  2. ^ a b "Radio Free Vestibule set to tickle Montreal funnybones". Montreal Gazette, November 12, 1988.
  3. ^ "CBC Olympic TV team will be a lean machine competing with the best". Montreal Gazette, August 10, 1988.
  4. ^ a b "Surreal sounds from the Vestibule". Toronto Star, April 7, 1990.
  5. ^ "The radio waves are getting weird". The Globe and Mail, July 25, 1992.
  6. ^ "Comedy trio makes pitch to move to small screen". Ottawa Citizen, May 15, 1995.
  7. ^ "The Grunge Song video an artful send-up from RFV". Montreal Gazette', July 5, 1995.
  8. ^ "Waiting for good news in the Vestibule". The Globe and Mail, May 6, 1995.
  9. ^ a b "Radio Free, you're up; Talented comic trio jumps from Prime Time to its own weekly show". Halifax Daily News, June 29, 1992.
  10. ^ a b c d "From Vestibule to centre stage; Trio of Montreal comics makes it big on disc, TV - and, of course, radio". Montreal Gazette, March 6, 1995.
  11. ^ "Southern exposure: Comedy Nest jokers to be featured on A&E". Montreal Gazette, July 17, 1993.
  12. ^ a b "Vestibules at home in funny business". Windsor Star, May 29, 1997.
  13. ^ "Montreal comedy troupe warms up the ponies; CTV's X-Ray Vision isn't very penetrating but has its moments". Montreal Gazette, May 8, 1994.
  14. ^ "Faces from the comic airwaves Radio Free Vestibule wired for live audience". Toronto Star, April 13, 1995.
  15. ^ a b c "Vestibules get past the front door". Montreal Gazette, March 20, 1999.
  16. ^ "They'll have you in stitches: With their new CD, Get Spiffy!, the Vestibules continue their pattern of bizarre, artful comedy". National Post, June 7, 2002.

External links[edit]