Oui Oui!

So, here’s a story.

Olde English has a monthly show at the UCB Theatre in New York where we invite guests to share new material and we present new material of our own. (The show is called Very Fresh and tickets for the next one are on sale now.)

Last week, we premiered a video in which I do an impression of popular director Michel Gondry. I’ve never impersonated a celebrity for one of our videos before (none of us have), and I was particularly nervous about imitating a man whose work I respected so much. While watching his music videos and behind-the-scenes documentaries for inspiration, I kept thinking, wow, this video would be much better if he directed it himself.

The impression is pretty scattershot, but I think the jokes hold up (you can judge for yourself when the video’s posted on SuperDeluxe), and besides, I reasoned, it’s not like anyone who actually knows Michel Gondry will see this video.

And guess who was at our show. MICHEL GONDRY.

Michel Gondry

When we got to the theatre, the previous show was just letting out and their audience was leaving. I was talking to one of our guests in the dressing room, when Ben rushed in and said, “I just passed Michel Gondry on the stairs!” At first, I thought he was lying, because a) What are the odds?, and b) Ben is a big liar who lies about things all the time, just because. But Ben insisted I go out and see for myself.

I am pretty awful when it comes to getting starstruck. When we performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade a year a and a half ago, I spent about thirty minutes pacing nervously in the corner of the green room, refusing to look Amy Poehler in the eye. And I was literally shaking when I tapped Michel on the shoulder.

Raphael: Excuse me, are you Michel Gondry?
Michel: Yes.
Raphael: Okay, see, um, all right, first of all, hi. So, you’re not going to believe this, but, uh, so, you’re probably coming from, you just saw the last show, yeah?
Michel: Yes.
Raphael: How did you like… it doesn’t matter. I’m a really big fan of yours, and this is crazy, I’m in the next show, and it’s so weird that you’re here. We actually made a video and it’s all about you and we’re showing it tonight for the first time in the show that’s about to start in a little bit, so I don’t know if you’re… if you have somewhere to go, or… but we’re about to show this video, and our show is only five dollars, so if you want to stick around, it would really mean a lot to me.
Michel: This show?
Raphael: Yes. The show starting at midnight. Which is now. So, yes.
Michel: Okay.
Raphael: All right, BYE.

And then I ran away.

The show was a lot of fun. We had a great audience and a lot of really fun guests; a highlight for me was Abe Jellinek, who filled in for Gabe and Jenny on no notice– we literally called him two hours before the show started– and killed.

After the show I found Gondry waiting for his friend who was in the bathroom. I asked if I could get a picture with him, and he was gracious enough to acquiesce, and he even helped Caleb figure out the flash on his new camera. I still can’t get over the fact that the only time I’ve ever made fun of a celebrity in a video, the celebrity himself came to the premiere. So, what was Gondry’s review of my performance?

“Eh, no hard feelings.”

28 Comments on “Oui Oui!”

  1. Gabe Says:

    Oh man, that is fantastic. Great Story, Raizin. Thanks for sharing.

  2. asif Says:

    cried for about 3 and a half minutes when i heard this.

  3. J Says:


  4. feee Says:

    reminds me of the time I saw stevie Wonder.
    But way more exciting and interesting.

  5. Brian Says:

    That’s fascinating. Really once in a lifetime stuff.

  6. sarah hayley Says:


  7. Adam Says:


  8. Eddie Says:

    ARGH! Now I really regret not going. My friends went. I ended up hanging out with my girlfriend and a few other friends, thinking that I’d regret not spending time with them if I went to the show.


  9. SpenceT Says:

    Being one of Eddie’s friends I went, but I didn’t know Michel Gondry was actually there. That would’ve made the video 5x funnier. But it was funny anyway. The whole show was amazing, actually.

  10. L Says:

    Its funny i think I passed by with spence and two other friends as you began your conversation with Michel Gondry…

  11. sarah hayley Says:


  12. Adlib Says:

    Can I have cookies?

  13. Adam Says:


  14. sarah hayley Says:


  15. Tougi Says:

    To those of you who were upset that you missed the show because Michel Gondry was there:

    Would you know it was him? Would you have said anything to him? I know I wouldn’t.

    To be fair, though, I would just die if I found out that I had been in the same room as Michel Gondry. Being near celebrities and people you admire, even if you don’t know that they’re there at the time, is awesome, and I say that without a trace of sarcasm.

  16. sarah hayley Says:

    I would have known it was him because I wrote a research paper about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind so I watched his commentaries over and over for a million hours. When I meet celebrities, if it’s someone whose work (in whatever field) I love, I usually just go for it and tell them that I love what they do– hell, what’s the worst that could happen? It’s nice to know you’re appreciated.

  17. Krickette Says:

    i love how raphael looks so excited in that picture

  18. Olives. Says:

    Greatest story ever told.

  19. sarah hayley Says:

    Second to my favorite, told by Ben-

  20. Tougi Says:

    I think you may have misinterpreted what I meant, Sarah Hayley, which is understandable because I quickly jotted a pretty sloppy sort of message. If you’ve bothered to read any of the long meandering posts I’ve left on Ben’s site, you know that I do this from time to time – unclear meassages, I mean. It looks like I’m writing one even now! I shouldn’t be allowed near the Internet; it makes me waste time saying what needs not be said. I’m not the blathering moron you likely think I am, but once a blank typing field invites me to comment, my brain wanders away and leaves my fingers with the keyboard to do what they will, no questions asked.

    Anyway… Um… I’m pretty sure I had a point when I started this… Right! Misinterpretation! My intended tone was simply not present. I meant to come across as a jerk, saying you celebrity-worshiping cretins would be too ignorant and spineless to ever talk to a star. Besides what difference would it make? Even if you did, how would it improve your miserable, wretched existence? I was trying to sound like a cynical jerk. Then, I would end on a light note and say, yeah, you kids are right about everything, I would act exactly the same way and that I’m also jealous that the OE crew had the chance to meet Michel and I didn’t. And I would say, “Michel, remember that Lego video you made? You know, the White Stripes one? I like that. I think that’s a cool video.” Comedy was the intent of my above post, but I can admit that my joke fell flat, and I’d like to offer everyone an apology. Please forgive me.

    And, Sarah Haley (Is it okay if I give you capital letters?), if you got what I was saying and then I typed all this in order to explain something you already understood, then I would say that this is probably much funnier that what I set out to do.

  21. sarah hayley Says:

    That took every ounce of energy left in my body to read. I’m going to go have a cookie. (I have 80 bajillion comments on this blog entry, wow.)

  22. becky Says:

    your head looks so big! why are we so friggin bigheaded?

  23. Raphael Says:

    No, Becky! Michel is just very leeeeeetle.

  24. asdf Says:

    Sarah, you should know that your favorite story is a lie.

  25. sarah hayley Says:

    Awwww, sadface. I liked it a lot.

  26. Jeffe Says:

    Ah how I wish I could see one of your shows live, but I am trapped beneath a rather large rock in the Arizona desert… so baring locating a nice sharp aputating knife I shall simply continue waiting for your new material to make it online soon (thank goodness my rock is close enough to to a Wifi hotspot and power outlet).

    Be well you crazy, phreaks!

  27. Alec Says:

    the gondry sketch is awesome!

    i figured his house would look something like that.

  28. Create Digital Music » Music Video: Don’t Dance (Take That, Electronica) Says:

    […] could also be an IDM anthem. (Glitch remix, anyone? Stems, please, Olde English?) No wonder Michael Gondry started showing up at Olde English […]