On the kneecaps, but happy. It will be a celebration, this Saturday, January 25 at the Zenith in Paris, for the last date of the tour of Jeff Panacloc. Happy, he can be: in three years of touring, the ventriloquist, a true laughter marathoner, gave 318 performances of his second show "Jeff Panacloc strikes back". With very exactly 440,741 tickets sold, he was the record holder in the field of humor over the 2017-2019 period.
A success that cannot be fully explained. "I talk to the whole family and I think it's good that all generations can have fun together," he tries. "He is alone in his niche of ventriloquist", supports Mickael Chétrit, his producer.
A box that owes a lot to Jean-Marc (the name of the puppet who never leaves him). "People get attached to him and love the nonsense he sways," smiles Jeff Panacloc. Since he is not a human being, people forgive him for everything. If a comedian said that, people would rebel. But it's hard to blame someone who doesn't exist. ”
"Arm in the air for two hours non-stop"
After 11 Olympia, 57 Variety Theater, the Zenith of the capital and all the largest auditoriums in the provinces, sold out everywhere, it was time to breathe for the 33-year-old Parisian. The tour is a real marathon. "Apart from the moments when we are on stage, it is nothing nice," he says. We are always on the roads, we drive for hours, we are bored, we eat chips in the highway areas. "
Above all, physically, the man named Damien Colcanap in the city gives a lot of himself to each show. Doing the ventriloquist is exhausting. “I have my arm in the air for two hours non-stop, it is not a natural position, recalls the artist from Saint-Thibault-des-Vignes (Seine-et-Marne). And on this show, we set the bar very high. I make three other characters, so four different voices. We are not far from the performance of the top athlete. “On this show, I was not physically prepared enough. I took ten years in the face in three years, "he admits.
VIDEO. Jeff Panacloc and Jean-Marc visiting the Parisian.
Today, playing in rooms of 6000 people no longer scares him. "There are a few technical things to take into account in a large room," explains the ventriloquist. Like the rhythm. The laughs last longer, so you have to lengthen the silences. But 6000 spectators applauding is galvanizing. ”
"The end of a tour is festive, but it's hard too"
What about the financial benefits of this success? "I make a good living, but I didn't steal anything from anyone," says Jeff Panacloc. We artists do not have a permanent contract, when we leave for a creation phase which can last three years, it is important to have money aside ”.
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Creating is precisely what awaits him now. “The end of a tour is festive, but it's hard too. It's always a small death, recognizes the humorist. We are afraid of the void, we wonder if we will succeed in doing another show, if the public will always follow. "