Our Favorite In-Your-Face Frenchman
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because he’s funny, and French. Ooh la la.
By Tracy Moran
With unruly hair reminiscent of a sheep and an otherwise forgettable visage, Norman Thavaud likes getting in everyone’s face … with his camera. He’s been taking the French-speaking airwaves of YouTube and Dailymotion by storm in recent years, commenting on everything from relationship woes, Apple addiction, jealousy, superheroes and toilet etiquette to the scourge of muscular men. But unlike many web celebs around the globe, this 28-year-old Frenchman from the North has translated small-scale fame via his Norman Fait des Vidéos blog into big-time success on the silver screen and Parisian stage.
Whether he’s playing a bald old man or the boy next door, each segment offers charming, self-deprecating humor.
He posts comedy shorts about everyday life, as well as funny but fuller music video productions, racking up millions of views on his blog and social media. But this isn’t just a mouthy millennial with a camera; Thavaud has a cinematography degree from Paris-I Pantheon-Sorbonne and has made the leap from Internet to mainstream stardom.
Thavaud got started back in 2008, creating videos on Dailymotion with his friend Hugo Dessioux under the name Le Velcrou. Later, joined by another friend, Kemar, the trio collaborated with other video artists, like Cyprien — whose online clips have netted nearly 1 billion views — Jérôme Niel, Maxime Musqua, Jhon Rachid, Amandine du 38 and Mister V.
No topic is taboo, and Thavaud seems happy to ponder male attraction, how to get a date, being stalked by an ex and even how to take a dump at a new girlfriend’s pad — cue horrid noises and a broken flusher — without getting dumped. He has dressed up as virtually everything, from a forlorn hotdog and an inflated penis to a marauding knight, big-bearded hipster and even Mario, complete with a broken kart. The clips usually run under five minutes, and whether he’s playing a bald old man or the boy next door, each segment — dirty language aside — offers charming, self-deprecating humor that leaves fans screaming for more.
This has been a breakout year for Thavaud. He played Nico in the hit film Mon Roi, a 2015 Palme d’Or nominee, and in recent weeks, he and fellow video artist Squeezie launched a musical rendition of Assassins des Templiers, a musical production based on the popular game. Watch it out below to get a sense of Thavaud’s goofy but endearing humor, and check out his blog for his signature comic clips, many of which offer English subtitles.