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La Presse, Montréal

Lundi 26 juillet 1999 (Monday, July 26, 1999)

David Hyde Pierce delighted his admirers

By: Marc-Andre Lussier
Special Correspondent

There was much evidence of the long awaited return of David Hyde Pierce to the Just for Laughs festival. The character of Niles Crane, that he portrays in the popular sitcom "Frasier," has earned him the undying adulation of the public.

The Montreal Festival attendees made Saturday evening into a triumph before he uttered a single word, remembering the excellent job that the actor had accomplished as a host two years ago. These two factors contributed to making the Saturday evening gala the first of the english-speaking galas to sell out completely this year.

The popular humorist did not disappoint the crowd. By way of opening number, he attempted to explain to the Canadians the current fascination of Americans for the Latin-American music by giving them his personal interpretation of "Viva La Vida Loca." Borrowing from the set of Ricky Martin's video, Pierce had his suit torn off by the dancers in order reveal his tight-fitting clothes, copying what the singer of "La Copa de Vida" wore to Grammys. After he provoked hysteria by some lavish movements, and also after discovering that the piece of clothing that he was constantly adjusting during his number translates itself in French to "queer pants" ("Have they not heard of the notion of political correctness?" the host comments to the crowd a heart-felt Wasn't that stupid?

For the number that opened the second half, Pierce tried to understand the passion of the Canadians for hockey using the Series of the century between Canada and the USSR in 1972 as a reference. The sketch was still a work in progress, but it did give us the pleasure of seeing Yvan Cournoyer come up on stage to an ovation.

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The remainder of the article was about the other features of the Just for Laughs festival and I didn't spend my time interpreting the translating program's translations :)

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Posted 7/31/99