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+25 French Stand-Up Comedians to Discover

+25 French Stand-Up Comedians to Discover

To live without laughter is certainly to be condemned to the dullest of lives! Over the centuries, humor has always had an important place in society. For example, in ancient times, there was what’s known as “the king’s jester”. A person whose job it was to amuse and entertain the king.

Today, to entertain you, we’re going to introduce you to 27 exceptional French stand-up comedians who have made a name for themselves on the French scene. There are certainly a few you’re familiar with, and others you may not have heard of yet.

You will be able to understand better French culture through a better understanding of French humor thanks to this article.

List of French Stand-Up Comedians

You’ll learn more about these French artists, and we hope you’ll come along to one of their next one-man or stand-up shows!

  1. Raymond Devos 

Date of birth: November 9, 1922

Date of death: June 15, 2006

Place of birth: Mouscron (Belgium)

Raymond Devos is also a renowned humorist. From an early age, he was aware of his gift for storytelling, and never failed to captivate his fans. It was at the school of Etienne Decroux that he enriched his knowledge by working on mime. He then took acting classes with Tania Balachova and Henri Rollan.

It was in 1948 that Raymond Devos realized his potential as a comedian. During a theater tour, he discovered absurd and situational comedy. He took to the cabaret circuit to try out his first sketches. One of these was “Le Plaisir des sens”, which launched his career.

What makes this French stand-up comedian so special? It borders on metaphysics and fundamental mathematics. Even today, he’s seen as both a genius with words and a surprising poet.

  1. Coluche 
Laurent Maous / Gamma-Rapho, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: October 28, 1944

Date of death: June 19, 1986 

Place of birth:  Paris

Coluche was certainly one of France’s first famous stand-up comedians! Have you ever heard of the Restos du cœur association? Coluche was the founder of this social charity association.

For your information, his real name is Michel Colucci, and in addition to being a humorist, he was also a French actor.

The child of an Italian immigrant and a French mother, Coluche grew up in Montrouge (Paris). Michel Colucci adopted the pseudonym Coluche at the age of 26 when he began his career. If there’s one thing that sets this French comic apart, it’s his rudeness. However, he said that he never stooped to vulgarity.

This French stand-up comedian decided to adopt a fresh, new style in his sketches. He becomes sarcastic through his freedom of expression. His angle of attack? Quite simply, the taboos and moral and political values of contemporary French society. He became famous in 1975 when he parodied a TV game show called Le Schmilblick.

Coluche was killed in a motorcycle accident in June 1986. He was riding his motorcycle in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France with two other motorcyclists when he collided with a heavy truck. Not wearing a helmet, Coluche died instantly. The whole of France was plunged into immense grief.

Fortunately, he left behind a legacy that lives on to this day: Le Resto du Cœur, which provides free meals to the most vulnerable.

  1. Franck Dubosc

Date of birth: November 7, 1963 

Place of birth: Petit-Quevilly (Seine-Maritime)

Instagram account: @fdubosc_officiel

All the French have heard of Franck Dubosc, the incredible French stand-up comedian and actor. His acting career began in 1985 when he appeared on the British TV show Coronation Street. He played the role of a French Lover, which quickly became his trademark.

When he returned to France, Franck Dubosc decided to collaborate with French comedians of his generation. En 1997, he and Elie Semoun formed the irresistible duo “Les Petites annonces d’Élie”. The DVDs were a commercial success in France, and the sketches have become part of French popular culture.

Franck Dubosc achieved further success the same year with his “Pour toi, public!” sketches, in which he plays grotesque characters. His sketches were also released on DVD. From then on, his “Bonjour, c’est Franck Dubosc” became a cult hit with the French public.

Since then, he has starred in a large number of French films, including 2006’s “Camping”. Our preference is for 2018’s “Tout le monde debout”, a touching and funny romantic French film. On the live front, we recommend his hilarious 2009 stand-up comedy “Il était une fois”.

One of the distinctive features of this French stand-up comedian is that he’s something of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to humor. He can go from a French lover to a self-deprecating comic.

  1. Dany Boon
Dany Boon
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: June 26, 1966

Place of birth: Armentières (Nord)

Instagram account: @danyboon

Dany Boon is not only an actor, but also a French producer. His father is of Kabyle origin, and his mother is French. Dany Boon grew up in a modest environment in northern France, but this never stood in the way of his artistic dreams.

Indeed, when he arrived in Paris at the age of 20, he began a career writing sketches. He was spotted by Patrick Sébastien, who became his mentor. Sébastien even helped launch his career by producing his own sketches.

This French humorist’s shows are inspired by his birthplace and everyday situations. Every Frenchman knows his Kway sketch.

In 2008, the French film “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” (Welcome to the Sticks) made it to the top of the French box-office charts with over 20 million tickets sold. This production became the biggest hit in French cinema, surpassing “La Grande Vadrouille”.

  1. Laurent Gerra

Date of birth: December 29, 1967 

Place of birth: Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain)

Instagram account: @gerra_laurent

Laurent Gerra is first and foremost a star impersonator. And he began his career on the school bench! At the age of 22, he performed for the very first time in a show he entitled “Paf dans ta gueule”, at the café-théâtre de l’Accessoire in Lyon. It should be noted that this French comedian is mainly involved in radio broadcasts.

  1. Gad Elmaleh
Gad Elmaleh
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: April 19, 1971

Place of birth: Casablanca (Maroc) 

Instagram account: @gadelmaleh

The one and only Gad Elmaleh, the favorite of many French people, has what you’d think was a straightforward career path – and yet! He grew up in a Moroccan Jewish family of artists, with an actor brother and a director sister. His father was an amateur mime performer at the CAFC or Cercle Amical Français de Casablanca, but his profession was that of shopkeeper.

In 1988, he moved to Montreal, then to Paris, where he attended the Cours Florent for two and a half years. He began his career as a French-language comedian, working as Elie Kakou’s assistant and making a few stage appearances.

But it was in 1997 that Gad Elmaleh embarked on his very first one-man show: “Décalages”, which retraced his career since his expatriation from Morocco.

“Bonsoir, je m’appelle Chouchou” – if you’re French, you’ve probably heard this line from a Gad Elmaleh character. A cross-dressing character who shows off his naiveté. It was this same character that caught the eye of director Merzak Allouache, who helped the French comedian make a name for himself with the film “Chouchou”, released in 2005.

It was with his stand-ups “L’autre c’est moi” in 2005 and “Papa est en haut” in 2007 that he became a big star in France. Gad’s personal touch is that all his shows are inspired by his private life. He wants to be authentic and real.

In 2022, during an interview, Gad Elmaleh announced a rather surprising fact: he had a Canadian passport and a Moroccan passport, but no French passport.

  1. Florence Foresti
Florence Foresti
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: November 8, 1973

Place of birth: Vénissieux (Rhône)

Instagram account: @madameforesti

Who hasn’t heard of Florence Foresti? She’s the kind of woman who makes a lot of people laugh out loud. Of Italian origin, Florence Foresti is not only a French stand-up comedian but also a French actress.

She grew up in a very traditional family, with a father who was a company director and a mother who worked in an office. She went to drama school, but two days later decided to become a computer graphics designer.

But she doesn’t give up on her artistic ambitions! She decided to perform in a café-theatre with two friends. In 1998, she presented a show called “Taupes modèles”.

Florence Foresti then came to the attention of Juste pour Rire. The company produced her at the Point-Virgule Theater in Paris. It was from here that the career of this incredible French comedian was launched!

In 2001, she even took to the stage to perform her first one-woman show! But it was eight years later, in 2009, that Florence Foresti made her mark on the stage with “Mother Fucker”. It was this very show that confirmed her status as a French humorist, recognized by audiences and peers alike.

This French comic’s signature style is to make people laugh at the absurdity of situations that everyone has already experienced. Take a look at the Barbie airplane sketch.

  1. Jamel Debbouze 

Date of birth: June 18, 1975

Place of birth: Paris 

Instagram account: @jameldebbouze

This famous Franco-Moroccan comedian, actor, and producer grew up in Trappes (a suburb of Paris) and reached the final of the French Junior Improvisation League championship in 1991.

In 1992, Jamel landed the lead role in the short film “Les pierres bleues du désert”. It was thanks to this appearance that he was spotted by the bosses of Radio Nova, who offered him his first column. This was called “Le Cinéma de Jamel”, making this French comedian¸ a comedy star not only in France but also in Morocco.

His one-man shows and the French comedy series “H” contributed to Jamel Debbouze’s success. He is also involved as a producer, thanks to the Jamel Comedy Club, which he founded in 2008. The Jamel Comedy Club is a Parisian venue dedicated to giving a chance to young French comedians from all backgrounds.

For a whole generation, Jamel Debbouze is more than just a French comedian; he’s a model of integration and social success. His sketches are inspired by everyday life, with a touch of sarcasm and self-mockery.

  1. Blanche Gardin
Blanche Gardin
France 3 Corse ViaStella, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: April 3, 1977

Place of birth: Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine)

Instagram account: @blanche.gardin

Blanche Gardin’s career path is very much her own, as she began acting after graduating in sociology in 2001.

Blanche Gardin went through the Jamel Comedy Club school. This show has become the golden road for stand-up comedians in France.

She made occasional appearances on the popular Canal Plus show Le Grand Journal for the sketches “Les Intermythos” in 2006. Her TV appearances brought her further attention.

It was in 2012 that she caught the public eye a little more, playing the character of the depressive executive Hélène in the series WorkinGirls. A woman who takes a funny and cruel look at the various absurdities of the modern working world.

What sets Blanche Gardin apart are her sketches, which are immodest, hilarious, and let’s not forget to mention provocative! It’s no surprise to learn that she’s dating the polemical American comedian Louis C.K.

  1. Fabrice Eboué 
Fabrice Éboué
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: June 7, 1977

Place of birth: Maisons-Alfort (Marne)

Instagram account: @ebouefabrice

Francis Eboué is a French actor and a French comedian who was discovered by the Jamel Comedy Club. His father is a gynecologist and his mother is a History teacher, so you’d think Francis Eboué’s path to academic success would have been mapped out for him, but the reality is quite different!

A frequent clown, young Fabrice was expelled from high school and had to take his baccalaureate as an independent candidate. It was in small Parisian cafés and cabarets that this French comic made his stage debut in the late 1990s.

His trademark? Quite simply, his humor is intended to be biting and caustic, which is why his sketches leave no one indifferent.

  1. Thomas Ngijol

Date of birth: October 30, 1978

Place of birth: Paris 

Instagram account: @thomas_ngijol

Thomas N’Gijol first worked as a children’s counselor at an elementary school in his department, in a Paris suburb. He then went on to perform at the Jamel Comedy Club, where he earned his place. He was a standout at the “Juste pour rire” festival in Nantes, then in Paris, where he presented his first sketches.

It was then that he became one of the French stand-up comedian stars of the first two seasons of the Jamel Comedy Club, in 2006 and 2007. His humor is also based on everyday life and funny situations.

  1. Karim Duval 
Karim Duval
Karim Duval @French Iceberg

Date of birth: September 8, 1981

Place of birth: Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône)

Instagram account: @karimduvalshow

Karim Duval grew up in the Moroccan city of Fez, educated by a Chinese mother and a Franco-Berber father. Karim Duval’s life took a completely different turn when he met a colleague who was taking part in one-man show classes and who coached him. After a successful career as an engineer, he decided to give it all up for comedy.

In 2007, the French comic joined the Artistes Antibois Associés Théâtre company, where he discovered improvisation and writing. Slowly but surely, Karim Duval went on to create his first one-man show: “D’un commun accord” in 2010.

The French humorist’s sketches are inspired by his travels, his mixed background, and his music. He also makes fun of the corporate world, as well as startups and their anglicisms, notably on LinkedIn and in his show “Y” (2018) in reference to his generation: the millennials.

  1. Bun Hay Mean “Le Chinois marrant”

Date of birth: November 29, 1981

Place of birth: Bordeaux (Gironde)

Instagram account: @bunhaymean

Bun Hay Mean is the son of a Cambodian man and a Chinese woman, who developed a passion for the world of theater and comedy. As a teenager, the future French stand-up comedian began writing his first sketches, which he performed in several cafés-théâtres.

His humor is based on reality, focusing on what’s wrong with French society. Despite his desire to become a comedian, Bun first pursued classical studies, eventually graduating with a degree in computer science in 2006. He joined the working world but continued to write humor.

His passion taking over, he resigned from his job and embarked on a full-time career as a comedian. Unlike many others, his career didn’t start on stage, but in the cinema. He can be seen in the film “L’huile sur le feu” in 2011, and in “Comme un chef”, in 2012.

He then joined the Jamel Comedy Club team and earned the nickname “le Chinois marrant”, a stage name he has kept to this day.

  1. Kyan Khojandi
Kyan Khojandi
Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: August 29, 1982

Place of birth: Reims (Marne)

Instagram account: @kyankhojandi

Kyan Khojandi is a comedian of Iranian origin whose father also wears the hat of actor, director, and, of course, screenwriter. From 2008 to 2010, the French artist performed his first one-man show, “La Bande-annonce de ma vie”. He also presented sketches and comedy columns on several France 4 TV shows.

Kyan Khojandi’s breakthrough came with his TV mini-series “Bref”, which he not only directed, but also starred in from 2011 to 2012. The French comedian’s mini-series was broadcast on Canal+’s Grand Journal, and quickly became a huge success. The show won him public recognition. Overnight, the French recognize him in the street.

Despite his growing notoriety, Kyan will be staging new solo shows with “Pulsions” in 2016 and “Une bonne soirée” in 2019, accompanied by his partner Bruno Muschio.

  1. Alban Ivanov 

Date of birth: September 10, 1984

Place of birth: Narbonne (Aude) 

Instagram account: @albanivanov

French stand-up comedian Alban Ivanov¸ discovered his passion for comedy at the age of 11. It wasn’t long before he joined an improvisational theater troupe. Feeling very much at home on stage, Alban Ivanov abandoned his studies to devote himself fully to comedy.

In 1997, he joined the Ligue d’improvisation des Yvelines, and it wasn’t long before his talent attracted the attention of professionals. The French comic joined the Trait d’Union troupe, which enabled him to take part in several plays, including “Famille de Stars” and “L’avare”.

He was then noticed by Jamel Debbouze thanks to the success of the mini-series “Dur dur d’être le fils de …” in 2008. He went on to feel increasingly at home in the film world, following various appearances such as in the short comedy program “Bref”. His humor is sarcastic, gently mocking the different communities in France, and he is also adept at self-mockery.

  1. Haroun

Date of birth: 1984

Place of birth: Bures-sur-Yvette (Essonne)

Instagram account: @haaaroun

Haroun is a French humorist with a dark sense of humor who likes to criticize French society. Haroun signed a contract with Didier Albert’s Théâtre de Poche in Toulouse. He performed there until 2015, before deciding to move to Paris. It was here that his career took off, when he joined the Jamel Comedy Club.

He even became one of the show’s leading French comedians. Thanks to the show’s success and his new-found fame, he went on to create his own YouTube series. He even appeared on shows such as “Les Terriens du dimanche”.

Haroun’s jokes are intended to be ” sharp “, so much so that some media critics call him a worthy successor to Guy Bedos.

  1. Seb Mellia

Date of birth: May 21, 1985

Place of birth: Villeparisis (Seine-et-Marne)

Instagram account: @sebmellia

After studying law, he decided to turn to comedy, and began performing on various small Parisian stages in 2006.

He soon caught the eye of French comedian Jamel Debbouze, who invited him to join his Comedy Club for the second season in 2007. The following year, he also wanted to help young talent get off the ground, so he created the Comedy School. It’s an open stage on which young prodigies can perform.

In 2011, Seb Mellia performed his show for the first time: “Seb Mellia ne perd jamais” (Seb Mellia never loses). Seb’s humorous specialty is his ability to recount unlikely events in his life.

  1. Jérôme Niel

Date of birth: June 14, 1985

Place of birth: Trappes (Yvelines)

Instagram account: @jeromeniel

Long before he began his career on the Internet, Jérôme was studying languages and decided to go to radio school. He then decided to move to Paris, where he worked at the RMC radio desk, while at the same time making his very first videos.

In 2010, the French artist published his videos on his YouTube channel “La Ferme Jérôme”. He quickly became popular, and was one of the first French youtubers to become an internet star. A few years later, he was one of the first French youtubers to join Studio Bagel. 

What makes this French comedian so successful is his penchant for WTF humor and the absurdity that can be seen in his show, simply called “Le spectacle de Jérôme Niel”.

  1. Marc Antoine Le Bret

Date of birth: October 2, 1985 

Place of birth: Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor)

Instagram account: @marcantoinelebret

Marc Antoine Le Bret exploited his passion for humor at a very early age. Indeed, during family dinners, he was always ready to put on a show. This same passion led him to become an impersonator. Over the years, the French comedian trained and perfected his skills. To this end, he even went so far as to take part in radio talent shows and performances in his region.

Persevering, he slowly but surely worked his way up until he was noticed by professionals in the field. As a result, Marc Antoine Le Bret ended up performing in a number of Parisian cabarets.

  1. Jeff Panacloc
Jeff Panacloc
Mrixe77, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: September 8, 1986

Place of birth: Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes (Seine-et-Marne)

Instagram account: @jeff_panacloc

Becoming a ventriloquist as well as a French stand-up comedian was a risky gamble that Jeff Panacloc won. At the age of 23, he even decided to make it his profession. Accompanied by his puppet Jean-Marc, a particularly rude monkey, they both made their mark with their atypical, politically incorrect style.

  1. Maxime Gasteuil 

Date of birth: July 4, 1987 

Place of birth: Saint-Emilion (Gironde)

Instagram account: @maxime.gasteuil

At the beginning of his career, Maxime Gasteuil decided to study viticulture and oenology on a part-time basis. At the same time, he worked with his father, a carpenter. He then moved to Paris to enroll in the Cours Simon when he obtained his BTS (two-year diploma) in international trade.

But Maxime’s real goal was to become a French comedian. So he started writing sketches with Jonathan Demayo, a writer he met on the set of “Bref” on Canal+, and for over a year performed his show “Plaisir de vivre”.

Although he often compares the provinces to Paris in some of his sketches, he also takes pleasure in mocking bloggers and influencers.

  1. Aymeric Lompret 

Date of birth: March 17, 1988

Place of birth: Lille (Nord)

Instagram account: @aymeric_lompret

Aymeric Lompret grew up middle-class, but this never stood in the way of his ambitions to become a French comedian. Aymeric Lompret began his career by taking part in the France 2 show “On n’demande qu’à en rire”.

Thanks to this experience, he was able to perform alongside Ahmed Sylla and Vérino. It was an opportunity for him to be noticed by other comedians of different horizons, who invited him to be their opening act, such as Anthony Kavanagh.

In 2010, Aymeric presented his first show, “Souriez, vous êtes sûrement filmés”. A year later, he presented two other shows entitled “Les marionnettes” and “Le cabaret de l’info”. Lately, his columns on France Inter radio have been a success.

  1. Thomas Wiesel

Date of birth: July 10, 1989

Place of birth: Lausanne (Switzerland)

Instagram account:  @wieseltom

Thomas Wiesel is a Swiss humorist. In 2011, he decided to leave his job as an accountant to pursue a successful career in comedy. Before becoming a renowned comedian, he presented a column on RTS, a Swiss radio station.

His humor focuses mainly on the world of work and the setbacks that come with it. In fact, he toured his second show, “ça va”, from 2019 to 2021.  The Swiss comedian will soon go on tour for this year 2023, still on the same theme: work.

  1. Djimo

Date of birth: June 30, 1992

Place of birth: Limoge (Haute-Vienne)

Instagram account: @djimoofficiel

Djimo discovered stand-up by chance, and took to it on a whim after working as an educator. He decided to hit the open stages. He started with the Jamel Comedy Club and the Paname Art Café in Paris. In 2018, he performed his first show, “À 100% … ou presque”, at Point Virgule.

What makes Djimo so special is his monotone when he speaks. Despite his stature, you don’t expect all his calmness when he’s doing his sketches.

It was also in 2018 that he made a notable appearance at the Montreux Comedy Festival, which helped propel his career. The following year, the French comedian became a columnist on Canal+’s Clique TV program.

  1. Roman Frayssinet
Roman Frayssinet
YanRB, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Date of birth: May 6, 1994

Place of birth: Chevilly-Larue (Val-de-Marne)

Instagram account: @romanfrayssinet

Roman Frayssinet studied in Canada, where he also took screenwriting courses at the Université de Montréal. In 2013, he took to the stage with comedian Uncle Fofi in the Couscous Comedy Club. This club has the same concept as the Jamel Comedy Club, i.e. to bring together rising comedy stars.

The French comic will also take part in the Montreal Zoofest comedy festival. It was also in Montreal that Roman Frayssinet trained at the École nationale de l’humour, before joining the La Comédie des Trottoirs troupe in 2015.

In 2018, his column on Canal+’s Clique show will boost his popularity. He takes part in the show, while also doing various stand-ups in France. For example, he was one of the performers at the Marrakech du rire festival. Roman Frayssinet’s humor is based on the existential questions we ask ourselves, with a touch of self-mockery.

  1. Rodrigue

Date of birth: 1995

Place of birth: Paris

Instagram account: @rodriguerm

Rodrigue is one of the rising stars of French humor. It was at the Montreux Festival that his success began to be noticed in France. Rodrigue was the big winner of the Festival d’Humour de Paris 2022, which gave him the right to perform at the Point Virgule and abroad.

Lately, he’s been taking part in a series of humorous videos on Instagram called “Rond Carré”, featuring Hugo tout Seul (a French YouTuber).

Long before he became a comedian, he worked in banking, an activity he decided to leave in 2018. It’s because of the fulfillment he’s found in his new life through his so-called failures that he now makes so many people laugh.

  1. Paul Mirabel 

Date of birth: September 29, 1995 

Place of birth: Montpellier (Hérault)

Instagram account: @paulmirabel

Paul Mirabel is by far one of the French comedians who has been on a high for some time now. In 2013, he passed his Baccalauréat Scientific and moved to Paris to study business at the PSB Paris School of Business. After obtaining his Master 2, Paul Mirabel decided to take a two-year course at the Cours Florent. He even went on to perform on a number of open stages.

What inspired this French comedian to dream of a career in comedy was a DVD of Gad Elmaleh’s one-man show that he received in 2005. Paul even got the chance to meet the French comedian.

What makes Paul Mirabel so special is his self-deprecating monotone. His “poker face” makes his jokes even more hilarious.

Now that you’ve got a whole list of French stand-up comedians to rediscover or discover, nothing can stand in the way of a good dose of giggles!

From now on, we invite you to read our article on French stand-ups on Netflix.

It would even seem that a career as a French comedian has become the dream of a great many people! Among those who are considering a career change. Healing the world through humor is an inspiring idea.