Quebec: Les parlementeries
Les parlementeries is a mid-late-90s comedy show that marked my youth growing up in Quebec. Two dozens of stand-up comedians would play the roles of fictional politicians in a parliament context, often based on their own trademark character.
The “Parlementeries” title is itself a play on word, being a portmanteau of “parliament” and “lying” in French.
One of the YouTube videos I found featured an insult match between both “black” and “white” parties and their representatives, all pretty much household fictional characters impersonated by the best comedians of the time, many of which are still active today.
After a ten-year hiatus since 1997-98, Les parlementeries came back to the theatre in 2008, although received a bit of lukewarm welcome from reviewers. You can find many clips over on YouTube.
Hong Kong: 東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing
A little by chance, I saw this bus stop advertisement at Central Piers on 東宮西宮. After figuring out the characters and googling, I realized that this was in fact their ninth edition already!
This is a trailer made for their next show coming in late September. The advert is a spoof of Inception, but I don’t know what the show will contain. The title for this edition is 十大九官. Literally it means the ten big nine officials. But apparently the two last characters 九官 (nine officials) is the name for mockingbird in Chinese!
The big difference between 東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing and Les parlementeries is that the former involves real-life politicians from the executive council. Hong Kong might not have universal suffrage, but it can poke fun at its top politicians! Perhaps because of that, the focus is perhaps a little more political and focused on real-issues (rather than being of death matches between comedians on general-interest topics).
You will find lots of videos of this comedy show on the Internet. The ubiquitous figure with the bow-tie is Donald Tsang.
In previous years, real-life progressive legislative council member Tanya Chan even participated in the play. You can think of her as the darling of social liberals. She played a leading role in the play in September 2009.
東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing also has a Facebook page.