At 60, Jean-Marc Parent confides in his state of health


While continuing his utopian tour through Quebec, Jean-Marc Parent offers two new one-hour shows of JMP extension to VAT. The comedian, who has just received a plaque commemorating the 150,000 tickets sold for his show, gave us an interview in which we gathered news of his tour, his professional and personal plans and his state of health .

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After last year’s four JMP programs, which met with great public success, ComediHa! and TVA have asked Jean-Marc Parent to prepare two new shows for this season. “Since I’m still on tour, I wasn’t sure I had the time, as there was only a month delay before shooting. But I realized that I had different stories to tell. I finally did a five hour show last October. It was really good.” He was accompanied by his usual ‘technical kings’, namely Yves Aucoin, Sylvain Guay and Pierre Cinq-Mars. “They are all busy, but they told me that when they come with me they don’t work. day off to come and do this, they know we will have fun.It also motivates me.



For the two JMP shows, the comedian uses the simplest version possible. “I have a stool and I’m talking. Also there are no guests and very little music. I told them: “when I speak, don’t stop me”. Since there is nothing written, I don’t want to lose the thread of what I’m saying. The more I explain my stories , the more material there will be for editing the shows”. And when it comes to subjects, Jean-Marc was spoiled for choice. “I have drawn things from what has happened in the last few years. There’s a story I tell that I showed a girl how to ride a Harley. Just telling this anecdote, it was really funny. Jean-Marc accumulates anecdotes every day, but it’s the way he tells them that makes them even more entertaining. And the more people laugh, the more he adds. “After two years of being shut down due to the pandemic, I shortened my Utopia show because we had gotten to more than three and a few hours. I took a good half hour break, but it’s always difficult to take away the things that are good. At the same time, I never say things the same way, it changes every night. His technique is always the same: he improvises on an anecdote. If it works well, he repeats it two or three times, while his anecdote takes on structure, then it’s solid and part of the show.


Jean-Marc received, on October 25, from the hands of Mathieu Dufour, a plaque celebrating the 150,000 tickets sold for Utopia. “I didn’t realize it at the time. I used to get plates of 300,000 tickets sold. But now I do two shows a week, three weeks a month for just five months. We cannot achieve the same sales figures as before. It still means that when a night is on sale, it’s packed. The most important thing is that people still want to come and hear my stories.” Tickets for his tour are also sold until 2024. The comedian says he is moved by this recognition, because it means that audiences still like his work. “I’ve been doing this job for 33 years. I’m glad to see there are still people coming in such large numbers. I have no doubt my stories are funny, I see it in cinemas, but you can never be 100% sure. Often I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say when I step on stage, but I have enough experience to know that if I fall, I’ll get up and go in another direction.

Photo credit: Patrick Beaudry


After the ride Utopia, Jean-Marc is by no means ready to retire and never take the stage again. “I will no longer do official and written shows like Utopia Where is it Torture. I want to do the kind of show that we recorded the two shows with JMP extension. It would be a big show of an hour or two, every two weeks, and we could squeeze 45 minutes out of it for TV. That’s where I enjoy it. I live things, I can tell them right away, I don’t have to wait. She also told us that she had already talked about it with two or three producers; the first one who signals him, embarks. “I know TV is complicated. Otherwise, we could just do this kind of show in theaters without it necessarily being filmed. Because if I stopped altogether, I wouldn’t be able to. I like it, and I need it. I have too many nonsense to tell, and doing it in front of nine friends is not enough.


As usual, Jean-Marc left for Florida on December 26, where he was spending the winter with a group of friends. “I sold my big camper and bought myself a small house. We are several friends who have bought houses in the same area, a little closer to the sea, we always have the same routine there. We do a lot of cycling and motorcycling. However, he struggles to completely abandon the job. “I have the uncontrollable reflex of always thinking about stories. During the day something happens, in the evening I tell the story to friends and, inevitably, I tell myself that it would be a good idea for the stage. I underline a few words and I will later recall what happened. What helps me is that what I say is always true. So I can’t forget it. And when I tell it, I see the moment it happens.

Photo: Julien Faugère / Les Publications Charron et Cie inc./TVA Group


Jean-Marc Parent turned 60 in March. He revealed last summer that he had the onset of diabetes. “It’s still there. I do what it takes, I have nothing to do but cut sugar, reduce carbohydrates and above all keep moving. I exercise an hour every day. Apart from this problem which is under control, Jean- Marc is in great shape. “My health is going very well right now. Every year my urologist gives me a scan. This year I asked him to do a full scan. I went privately and had my head scanned feet. I didn’t think we could see so well, we really see everything in detail. My doctor told me I had absolutely nothing and could sleep peacefully. His physical and mental health, as well as that of those around him, that’s what matters most to the comedian.” After he told me everything was fine, my doctor asked me if I was reassured. I said, ‘yes, we’ll talk again next week!’

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