This post is for two groups of readers: Canadians and Louisianans, particularly geeky types ages 20 to 35.
Does this sound familiar?
It may be just 10 seconds of weird synth burbling, but oh! the memories it brings back! That’s the theme song for Parlez-Moi, one of the most bizarre and memorable programs of my youth.
In it, great Canadian clown (there’s a phrase you weren’t expecting to read today) Marc Favreau portrays the sad clown Sol, who gets into a series of wacky adventures — most of them involving him goodnaturedly screwing something up. Episodes included “Sol Minds the Fruit Store,” “Sol at the Hairdresser’s,” and the thriller “Sol and the Tomatoes.”
The key thing was that Sol would have his misadventures in French — then Marc Favreau would come out and tell the audience what all the words meant in English. Real learning! It was originally produced by TVOntario to heal the linguistic divisions of our great northern neighbor, but in the 1980s, Louisiana Public Broadcasting licensed the rights and showed it to impressionable youth like me. (A variety of political forces were advocating for building a new generation of francophones back then.) Anybody else remember this?
Not that I knew it at the time, but apparently Sol was originally a political clown.
While I’m rummaging through childhood memories, here’s the theme to Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings. (More.)

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