Jacques Martin created it in 1977, hosted it for 21 years, and enjoyed millions with his genius wit, and great interacting with children; which I imagine he developed due to the fact that he had eight children from 4 marriages.
Many advantages were around. You have : some children, between the ages 3 and 10, with a love for singing or playing music. A star to evaluate them. The always funny talk with them, thanks to Martin, plus the children's genuine cuteness and naturalism. The children performances. The children evaluate themselves. Then the artist's performance. And the gifts that the children receive from the artist and the show (I've permanently wished one for myself !).
Many aspects were super smart : The magical tune of the opening credits, it summed up the show's spirit delicately. The presence of the children's parents, along with their proud look to their kids. The show's orchestra embodied in the top piano player, Pino Lattuca. The set which makes us feel like we're in a big room of toys. The children laughably irresponsible remarks. And the theater; it was as stately as the show's estimation towards the children talents; as the talent is a talent, namely something to esteem highly whatever its owner's age is.
Many many moments won immortality. Funny like how Martin thanked one of the audience for remembering a place he forgot : "Thank you Mrs. Columbus !!". Lovely like when the children was giving a full mark for a performance of another kid. Exotic like Serge Lama's operatic laughs. Irregular like when Lattuca had a fight with Martin, and left the stage. And touchy like when some performances by the children earned a long standing ovation; this specifically told me how the French people appreciate something named Art.
A few matters made me sad. For one; Martin stopped hosting the show since the late 1990s. I knew later that he had cancer. Then he died in 2007, to lose one of the best schoolmasters ever. And for another; since the late 1990s, our national TV desisted from airing the show for no reason. Then, during the next 15 years not even one independent channel I have, got to air it. And now, on YouTube, all what I find is short bits, not the real deal. So, unfortunately, it became impossible for me to watch this show, whether the old or the new episodes, ANYWHERE !
(L'école des fans) attracted both children and grown-ups to follow it, not only for its music and comedy, but also for being a celebration of the very young talents in a memorably nice and entertaining way. As a creator and host for such a show, Jacques Martin.. Merci et Adieu. We love you.
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