FRANCE: Not So Funny

The comic is a candidate

The lights go down, the band strikes up, and the pudgy, red-nosed man in striped overalls trots onstage dragging a battered suitcase. France's favorite comedian Michel Colucci—known better as Coluche—is opening his nightly act at Paris' Théâtre du Gymnase. "Hey," Coluche begins in his usual patois, "we've negotiated a fantastic deal with the Soviets: we give them all our wheat, and they let us keep our coal." The son of an Italian immigrant house painter, Coluche, 36, has now become something more than a nightclub satirist puncturing the pretensions of politicians and diplomats in the...

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