While confinement weighs heavily on the morale of Quebecers, Gino Lévesque and Mario Jean have found a way to entertain their fellow citizens of Sainte-Julie, in Montérégie, during the curfew, by launching a comedy program on the web called Couvre- fun.
“We want to offer laughter therapy. A meeting where people can let go. We are all confined to our homes, so we must entertain the population, ”exclaims host Gino Lévesque.
He was first approached by the City of Sainte-Julie at the start of the curfew in mid-January to produce humorous capsules. The aim was to brighten the life of the citizens in the evening. “It is important that the City be active during this period to prevent anxiety and stress from increasing. We must not let gloom overwhelm people, ”says the mayor of Sainte-Julie, Suzanne Roy.
Instead of making humorous capsules, the host instead offered a daily show broadcast live on Facebook combining humor, interview and song. To start this project, he immediately thought of Mario Jean, a long-time friend, who makes people laugh with a humorous number at each beginning of the program.
“I have almost 15 minutes of joke to deliver per day. It’s quite a challenge! Despite everything, I did not hesitate to accept Gino’s invitation. I love my city and I find it important to get involved, ”says the comedian who is celebrating his 30th career this year.
In addition to the comedy number, the hosts receive two guests for each program broadcast Monday to Friday, starting at 8 p.m. The first guest is a citizen of Sainte-Julie involved in his community while the second is a public figure. The Julievillois notably received the comedians Martin Matte, Lise Dion, Philippe Laprise and José Gaudet. “We are going outside the normal framework of the interview. Our formula lends itself a lot to the confidences of the interviewees, ”observes Gino Lévesque.
Every day, more than 10,000 people are in front of their screens to watch the Couvre-fun on the Facebook page of the City of Sainte-Julie. Citizens of the municipality, but also of the Gaspé, the Outaouais, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and even Florida are at the rendezvous. The show’s success is such that the City has added two weeks of programming to this project, which was due to end on January 29.