Will you watch it bye in two days ? Then, a few days later, if not the next day, the media will be full of criticism and comments on what we liked or disliked Bye 2022. We will surely think of criticizing the actors, the choice of subjects, the success or otherwise of certain imitations. No doubt that the bankruptcy of our health care system, the provincial election campaign, the wokist speeches, systemic racism, as well as references to Trump’s troubles in the United States are likely to occupy a prominent place in this end-of-year review. ‘year. It’s always fun when you watch a show from the Bye to compare the reading of the news that is made with ours. Of course, there is also how this will be approached. Certainly, criticizing the byeit’s the New Year’s Day routine. business as usual. But if we wondered, rather than playing the specialized critic of the bye of this year, where this tradition of getting together as a family to see the highlights of the year comes from.
the bye from Radio Canada
Some would rightly say of the year-end review, the Byethat it is a well-established tradition perpetuated by the Société Radio-Canada since 1968.
Here is the history that can be found on Wikipedia :
“The show ran every year from 1968 to 1998. However, due to the resignation of the team members of the Bye Bye 1997, the special did not premiere that year. However, a retrospective of the best bye had been broadcast. In 1998, Daniel Lemire takes charge of the entire structure of the bye bye. This was the last special until Radio-Canada hired Véronique Cloutier for a new format in 2003. 2004 having been a difficult year for Cloutier, Radio-Canada decided not to repeat the experience.
By popular demand and realizing that there was no more television domination on New Year’s Eve, Radio-Canada hired the group Rock et Belles Oreilles (RBO) to conceive a new version of the bye, that of 2006, in order to underline the 25 years of existence of the group. It is also RBO who designed the bye 2007. However, in 2008, Radio-Canada once again turned to Véronique Cloutier to host and produce this end-of-year television review.
Before receiving the designation byethe concept was presented under another name, namely Hi ’57!broadcast on December 31, 1956, December 31, 1957 and then for three more years, from 1959 to 1961 it was the show At the little cafe who takes care of the review of the year that is ending. Others like Zero Driving, It’s Going to Burst! and, Les Couche-Tards were also used for year-end specials presented to broadcasters.
The actress and humorist Dominique Michel has participated in no less than seventeen bye in his entire career, including the 1997 special, 30 times bye. This was his last Bye Bye. »
This surely confirms those who answered that the Bye is a purely television tradition established by the Société Radio-Canada. But that’s not the whole truth. If it is true that the formula of bye televisuels stemmed from Radio-Canada and television, the tradition of newsreels is a pure product of the beginnings of theater and the beginning of the stage in Montreal in the 19e century. Let’s take a closer look.
Montreal, Quebec Canada, 1900
The first news magazines occupy a large place on the Montreal cultural scene at the beginning of the 20e century. The population took a liking to these new cultural products and there was as much a working-class public as a public of the bourgeois classes. It is from these newsreels that a true theatrical tradition will be created in Quebec.
Current affairs reviews are heterogeneous shows composed of several sketches, songs, sketches and monologues. In general, these reviews deal with current events in life and social life of the time and they feature politicians and well-known personalities. There are also unusual characters invented from scratch such as the character House for rent, Scandal of electricity. As a general rule, the narrative framework is provided by a gossip or a friend who tells the audience a story using places and characters.
The best review of this time according to the authors is The devil in town by Alexandre Sylvio. The press relates this spectacle as follows: “The devil has returned to earth to realize what is happening there, given the large number of mortals he receives in his domain. He goes around the city and with his two characters who accompany him, we visit the Hotel Mont-Royal, we meet the normal hour, the radio amateur, a theater, a cinema. The situations are funny and the humor is there. Here we find the very essence of Bye of today even if the cultural product has evolved a lot.
“These news magazines have strictly French roots. They were the main cultural attractions in Montreal from 1900 to 1930 and accompanied the arrival of modernity in Quebec. We owe the first local news magazines to Frenchmen established in Montreal, such as the Delville brothers, Numa Blès and Lucien Boyer. Thereafter, we find an American influence through variety shows and burlesque. Alexandre Sylvio produces There’s some inside in 1927. This show features sketches, dialogues, sketches, parodies, solo or duet songs, in addition to a burlesque of modern life entitled progress in the year 50.” (Lacasse et al., p. 103.)
Current affairs reviews were to experience immense success and they were supplanted at the end of the 1930s by radio and the theater which began to gain importance on the stages of Montreal. It was only towards the end of the 1950s, more precisely in 1957, that these news reviews would take shape again on television before becoming the tradition of Bye that we know so well today.
the Bye Bye 2022
As I write this column, I don’t know if the Bye Bye 2022 will be a good vintage. I know, however, that it will in all likelihood give a large place to the War in Ukraine, to the Freedom Convoy which took the city of Ottawa hostage, the elections in Quebec, the Toastgate, the wanderings of our television . Will we talk about Simon Jolin-Barette and his war with the chief justice? How will we deal with new censorship gurus with heightened sensitivities to any real or imagined injustice? Many options are available to writers of the bye who are spoiled for choice when it comes to him. Certainly, the edition of the Bye Bye 2022 will be the subject of many comments from all observers, as are all television programs that still have the privilege of having a listening rating of more than one million viewers. What I do know though is that this Bye Bye 2022 comes from an old tradition of news reviews which had to face in their time many criticisms and even censorship from the Catholic Church. A Church that didn’t much like the light-hearted theater and scathing humor of plays like The devil in town. Other times, other mores, you will tell me.
What must be remembered is that if the criticism is sometimes harsh towards our cultural creators, we can at least console ourselves with the fact that we no longer have the censorship of the Church, although we now have that of a new irascible left. At the start of 2022, let’s remember how much freedom of expression is a dear value for all of us…
HEALTH, Happiness and Prosperity for 2023!
Recommended reading : Germain Lacasse, Johanne Massé and Bethsabée Poirier, The devil in town, Alexandre Sylvio and The emergence of popular modernity in Quebec, Montreal, Montreal University Press, 2012, 306 p.
NB The text of this chronicle has already been published, but this version has been revised.