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Cult TV Essentials: Téléchat

“Here’s a tv show – Telecat!”

Created by French surrealist artist Roland Topor and director Henri Xhonneux, Téléchat (or Telecat as it was translated to when dubbed in English) was a surreal children’s “news programme” that often freaked out those that watched in. It ran for three seasons (234 episodes) between 1983-1985.

As mentioned, Téléchat was a news show parody hosted by a tomcat named Groucha (who always had his arm in plaster) and an ostrich named Lola. It featured a variety of sentient objects and revolved around the idea that the real-life elementary particles known as gluons were “the souls of objects.” It also presented very surreal and dark stories although many of these were changed/editted/dropped when it was translated into English.

Groucha had a living microphone named Micmac and often injects himself into what is going on. Gluons are interviewed there and give their lives in “objects on the air”. The tone was often critical of television and advertising.

Each episode normally started with the object of the day, and the presenters wish the objects in question a happy birthday. After the end credits, we see Groucha and Lola chatting in a non-professional context, often in the café (the Milk Bar ) after work.

In the second season, Groucha is replaced by another presenter, the GTI rabbit (for “Grégoire de la Tour d’Ivoire”), who is related to a chain manager and ontinaully plugs products unprofessionally.  Following his blatant professional misconduct, he was fired! Groucha (who had been down graded to a reporter) then returned as host for the remainder of the series and series three.

You can buy the show HERE.

 

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Founded Cult Faction in 2014; previously crawled out of the Black Lodge in 1976, only to find himself in the Village.

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