Sitting in a cozy restaurant in Little Italy, celebrating his friend’s birthday, Christian Viau draws attention to himself by impersonating his infamous drunk character. He stands up, speaks loudly and incomprehensively, and stumbles his way to the birthday boy to make a speech. His friend are bursting with laughter, while the other customers, not quite sure of what’s happening, turn around to have a look at the supposedly intoxicated crazy man.
Viau is not crazy. He is simply a francophone comedian in his late-twenties who loves to make people laugh, preferably in an unconventional manner. He compares his humour to American comedian Chris Rock’s raw comedy. “I want to cut all censors,” Viau said.
He likes to tackle tough topics like war, suicide, and fear of aging. In fact, his comedy number on fear of aging won him the Combat des Humoristes last December, a contest held by bleue.com. Viau talked about how people were getting all sorts of cosmetic surgeries to stay young.
“It’s not normal that at family Christmas parties, the little youngster is checking out his grandmother’s perky breasts instead of his cousin’s. …And what’s the deal with 12-year-old girls wearing G-strings? They don’t even have enough ass for the string. They don’t look sexy; they look like sling shots!”
Those are just some examples of what you might expect from a Viau stand-up show. He has also compared the Pope’s naked body to E.T.’s.
Melissa Pigeon, his co-worker at HMV, where the comedian works part-time for extra cash and CD discounts, attended at least five of Viau’s shows. “He has a natural dark humour, which is really fun,” Pigeon said of her friend’s comedy.
The funny man was stung by the comedy bug at a young age. He always loved to tell humorous stories, not silly “knock, knock” jokes. Viau decided to become a comedian after a long process of career eliminations. Once high school was over, the clueless teenager wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. He knew, however, he would never work a nine-to-five job or anything like that.
A light went on in his head when he attended the last Rock & Belles Oreilles (R.B.O.) show at the Spectrum in the mid ’90s. Embarrassed that he can’t remember the exact year, Viau searches his room for his treasured R.B.O. vinyl. “Here it is, but there’s no date on it. I think I was 17-years-old at the time though, but that’s not the point. The point is, the show had everything I liked: comedy sketches, improvisation, and music. That’s when I realized, ‘Hey, maybe I could do that for a living’.”
It took him about five years to actually do something about his dream. In 2000, he enrolled in Montreal’s prestigious