It’s all about wit and wizardry in Charles The French’s latest tour
Charles Alexis Guenard’s claim to fame is not just the fact that he uploads satirical comedy videos on Facebook. He is also a magician by profession for over a decade or so (since the time he fell in love with magic at the age of seven), but it was in 2016 that more millennials from around the world started to take notice of his comic timing. That was when his video — How the iPhone 7 Should Have Been Announced — went viral and racked up views by the dozen for his hilarious reimagination of Apple CEO Tim Cook trying to explain the fresh features (or the complete lack of them) in the new iPhone.
The Thai-French artiste, who mostly collaborates with his friend Tada (director of his videos), is now touring the country for his latest show, Here Comes The Secret, with stopovers in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai (August 25). These performances are a part of his Asia Tour, that also has Kathmandu and Dhaka in the line-up.
Although he has never performed in India before, Charles did open for Sahil Shah and Azeem Banatwalla when the duo toured Bangkok. “Here Comes The Secret took over a year to be finalised. I started writing it in August 2017 and it was premiered in February 2018. Since then, it has been performed over 50 times in Thailand. It isn’t a classic comedy magic show. The style of humour here is very sarcastic and silly, even dark at times,” says Charles, who goes by the stage name Charles The French.
Talking about how he ended up combining both magic and comedy, he says, “When I started presenting my tricks, it was always in a lighthearted way. So there was always a comedic element to it. Then, when I started performing in comedy clubs, I started getting inspired by the artistes there and so I decided to double the number of jokes in my shows.”
Adding that there are two types of comedy magicians, he explains, “There’s the comedian who adds magic to his show, and the magician who adds comedy to his show — I’m the latter. What I strive for is to do tricks that are so good that the only reaction that the audience can have is to laugh.”
Does being both a Frenchman and a Thai help him in his career? “It sure does since each culture is so different in terms of what they appreciate in the performance,” he says, adding, “I grew up in France, so I was raised in the theatrical culture that is an element I added to my show.”
However, making people laugh remains a serious challenge, he admits. “There are so many hidden gems in the comedy scene who deserve their own special show. One should keep writing jokes and polish their material until their turn to perform comes,” he says.
At CounterCulture Comedy Club. August 25. 4 pm onwards. Entry at `500.