Yvon Deschamps | Monologist and humorist


20 ans d’audace et de culture © Martine Doyon

“That’s Yvon’s spot,”1 people would say back in the early 1970s about a specific spot at the front of the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier stage. Yvon Deschamps, a humorist and monologist beloved by Quebecers, had worn the wooden floor to the bone where he stood behind his microphone. He is the artist who racked up the most solo performances in the Quartier des spectacles: some 600 to date—sometimes seven nights a week. His colourful early career, which includes the founding of Théâtre de Quat’Sous (1963, with Paul Buissonneau, Claude Léveillée and Jean-Louis Millette) and the creation of L’Osstidcho (1968, with Louise Forestier, Mouffe and Robert Charlebois), paved the way for a host of up-and-coming artists.

He performed in the city’s major theaters and throughout Québec. He used his brand of humour with a social dimension to paint striking portraits of everyday life and brought to the stage the realm of human relationships. His work stood the test of time and shed light on society’s values. Les unions qu'ossa donne ?, Le bonheur, Le petit Jésus and Les adolescents have achieved classic status, turning Yvon Deschamps into the father of the entire school of humorists.

In 2001, Yvon Deschamps was appointed Knight of the l’Ordre national du Québec. His name made it into the Larousse dictionary in 2005. Five years later, he received the title of Great Montrealer. In 2016, he was appointed Commander of the Ordre de Montréal. On July 20, 2023, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, the artist took part in the Just for Laughs Festival’s Gala Ultime, a much-anticipated event celebrating the close ties between Yvon Deschamps, Place des Arts and his audience.

1 Isabelle Massé, « Après la scène », La Presse, cahier « Arts et spectacles », 4 novembre 2006, p. 18.