Yvon Deschamps

Yvon Deschamps

2010 Cultural Cultural

Yvon Deschamps is a Quebec humorist best known for his monologues whose social-commentary-tinged humour propelled him to prominence in the 1960s. Still active today, he is one of Quebec’s best known humorists and has paved the way for scores of young people to follow in his footsteps. He has made more than 300 appearances per year and put on more than 3,000 shows across Quebec during his career.

In 1963, he founded the Théâtre de Quat’Sous with Paul Buissonneau, Claude Léveillée and Jean-Louis Millette. In the winter of 1968, together with Louise Forestier and Robert Charlebois, he produced L’Osstidcho, a musical review that would revolutionize Quebec song and that included what would become his most famous monologue, Les unions, qu’ossa donne?.

Following this huge success, Deschamps’ career skyrocketed with a string of monologue shows and performances in Montréal’s most prestigious venues, including Place des Arts’ Théâtre Maisonneuve, where he staged more than 100 consecutive shows in 1969 and performed over 500 times during his career.

In 1976, he headlined the famous June 23rd show on the Plains of Abraham, called 1 fois 5. The following year, his recording of that show received an award from the Académie Charles-Cros.

In 1985, he hosted Samedi de rire, a variety show still remembered by many Quebecers. Parallel to his career as a monologist, Deschamps opened three restaurants in Old Montréal: Le Fournil in 1964, Saint-Amable in 1965, and La Boîte à Clémence in 1966. In so doing, he did much to help further the development of this part of the city.

In 1996, he purchased Manoir Rouville-Campbell, opening a small nightclub there called La Boîte à Yvon in which he would perform some of his classic and more recent material to the 300-capacity crowd.

Over the years, he became actively involved in Le Chaînon, becoming its first spokesperson and greatly helping to raise the organization’s profile. In 2009, he also became the spokesperson of the Foundation of the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal.

In 2001, Yvon Deschamps was made a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and in 2005, his name was added to the French dictionary Larousse.