Who were the scary people who taught me to speak French?
September 18, 2016 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Long ago back when the world was young, Mater Octorok tried to get me to learn French by making me watch videotapes of French language kids' TV. There are three series I particularly remember. One was Téléfrancais, one was French In Action, and the third was...freaking weird. This is what I can recall about it...

* It was made in the 70s/80s
* The theme song went, "A B C D, on apprend l'alphabet. Un deux trois, nous comptons sur nos doigts..."
* There were three live-action human characters on the show, I believe two men and one woman, and they all looked like Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies. Big-haired rustics. They kinda scared me.

That's it! That's all I remember. Per this previous question, it's not Passe-Partout. I assume the show aired on some local PBS station in the early 80s, but who knows, moms had good underground educational kid show VHS tape connections.

AskMe, what the hell did she make me watch?
posted by prize bull octorok to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by cooker girl at 6:58 AM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have no idea - my guess would have been Passe Partout, but I have no memory of a Hagrid-like host. But you might want to check out this blogger's series of posts, called "10 Days Of My Québec Childhood Shows". (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9). (3 & 4 are cartoons, 10 is Passe Partout, 8 is dubbed Inspector Gadget.)

Wiki on Canadian shows in French (all kinds).
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:45 AM on September 18, 2016

My first thought was Muzzy as well. He had a very Hagrid-like build.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2016

Maybe Fanfreluche (which I've never seen)? Apparently this show (hosted by a "living doll", which I think would have creeped me right out) reenacted fairy tales & fables - maybe you saw an episode with ogres or something, and generalized that memory to the whole series. (Same could be said for an episode of Passe Partout, come to think of it.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:59 AM on September 18, 2016

None of these so far, although I haven't ruled out everything in the wiki yet. The "Hagrid" trio were definitely live action and were in every episode as the central characters.

I feel like the name of the show was "Les ______," where the blank space was a single plural noun.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:17 AM on September 18, 2016

Likely producers could include TFO, TVO or Société Radio-Canada (French-language CBC).

This blog lists children's shows broadcast in Quebec (autoplay warning), but seems more oriented toward programming aimed at a Francophone audience, but it does break down programs by decade, and includes screen caps for entries, if that helps ring a bell.

It wasn't Les Chiboukis (1972) was it? Youtube clip here. That's on a Youtube channel called retroquebec - might be worth having a look there too.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2016

Sol the Clown from Parlez-Moi?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2016

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