Coluche was (and remains) a person of major importance in French popular culture. He was a comedian known for his biting satirical treatment of politicians and the government. He was big in the ’70’s and absolutely huge in the ’80s. In fact, in 1981 he ran for president. His candidacy was a joke, but he had to drop out of the race because up to 20% of French citizens were ready to vote for him. I have included a link below to a Time Magazine article discussing his candidacy. It cites 10-12% of the population as ready to vote for him, but French newscasts from the time I have watched have cited the figure of nearly 20% I gave above. Coluche died in a motorcycle accent at only 41 years old in 1986. His death was a tragedy (in my estimation and that of pretty much anyone you would ask about it in France). Conspiracy theories arose (and still exist) about this accident; these theories are not surprising given Coluche’s attitude towards “The Administration”, the huge following he enjoyed and public sorrow over his passing. The year before his death Coluche proposed and set in motion the creation of “Les Restos du Coeur”, soup kitchens for France’s homeless population.
In addition to the link to the Time Magazine article about Coluche’s presidental candidacy I have included two youtube clips in this post. In them you can hear Coluche speaking; unfortunately although the clips contain photos of Coluche they do not show him actually giving his discourses in person. They were the best I could do however, and they are definitely better than nothing at all. . .
L’Administration (One of Coluche’s funniest (in my opinion), best known and most celebrated comedy sketches)
Coluche for President (1981)
FRANCE: Not So Funny – TIME
Les Restos de Coeur (1985)