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Hab at Heart – Philippe Bond

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Over the past few years, Philippe Bond has experienced a meteoric rise on radio, television, and on stage. Forced to get out of bed a few hours before daybreak every day in order to get Montrealers’ mornings started on NRJ radio, Bond remains as loyal a Canadiens fan as ever, fighting off the fatigue that comes with lacking sleep. The crew met up with the Quebec-based comedian to learn more about his love for all things CH.

Have you been a Canadiens fan for a long time?

PHILIPPE BOND: I’ve been a fan since I was small. I played hockey all my life. I started watching hockey with my father when I was four or five years old. That basically means that I’ve been following the team for the past 30 years.

What’s been your favorite Canadiens game and/or moment?

PB: It has to be the team’s last Stanley Cup win back in 1993 against the Los Angeles Kings. I really liked Wayne Gretzky back then, and the fact that he went up against the Canadiens in the Finals was amazing. We all got together for the last game at our place in Laval with my parents and my uncles, and I still remember the ambiance in the living room. It was a great night.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

PB: Given that I was a defenseman all my life until I stopped playing at the Junior AAA level, my playing style was a lot like that of Chris Chelios. I really liked the way he was able to get under peoples’ skin on the ice. I liked watching the good skaters on the team like Chelios and Petr Svoboda. I wasn’t that big when I was playing. That’s why I saw myself in those guys that weren’t that imposing and had some bite.

Do you get out to the Bell Centre often during the season?

PB: Yes. I’m lucky enough to be represented by evenko, so I often get a few gifts! (laughs) I attended about 15 games last season, and I also went to every one of the Canadiens’ playoff games.

Knowing full well that you need to wake up early to host the morning show on NRJ, is it tough to go to bed when games haven’t ended yet?

PB: I get up at 3:30 a.m. and I have to leave the house by 4. I started to find things tough when the playoffs were nearing their end, especially when the games against the Rangers were starting at 8 p.m. (laughs) Let’s just say that I was tired when I got to the station. I would often fall asleep on the sofa at our place while watching a regular season game. I’d see how things played out when I woke up. When I know there’s going to be a good game, I try to take a nap during the day so I have the energy to stay up at night. But, I still fall asleep sometimes during the second period regardless.

Do you poke fun at fans who look like they’re checking the score in a Habs game during your shows?

PB: For sure, especially in the playoffs. I remember doing a show in Varennes during the playoffs when the Canadiens were playing the Bruins this past spring. There was a game that night. The fans don’t think that we see them checking the score, but I see the light from their cellphone on their faces. At a certain point, I asked if someone knew the score, and a few people answered. I replied: “How do you know that? You’re supposed to be watching my show!” But, I don’t want to get angry with them. Three-quarters of the people that buy tickets are women, which means that three-quarters of the guys that were there were forced to be there because of their girlfriends or wives. Some guys have even written to me online to ask about possibly changing the date of my shows so they can watch Canadiens games. The worst thing was that it was the same guy who stood up during my show to say hello to me when I brought it up. He wasn’t shy at all!

You starred in the movie Lance et Compte in which you sported the National de Québec jersey. As a Habs fan, was it tough to wear another team’s sweater?

PB: (laughs) Not at all. It was such a great experience. I love hockey. In my basement, I’ve got a Chelios jersey dating back to when he captained the Blackhawks. I also got a Nathan MacKinnon Avalanche jersey this year. I love the Canadiens, but I also like other teams’ jerseys, too.

We’ve often seen you play tricks on your boss in different segments in Philippe Bond vs le boss. What trick would you play on Michel Therrien if he was your boss?

PB: Having played golf with Michel Therrien at the evenko tournament, I know that he’s pretty imposing and I wouldn’t make a point to go after his office to be honest with you! (laughs) My boss at NRJ was pretty frail and he also wore pink. But, as far as Michel Therrien is concerned, I’d say there’s an unwritten rule that I can’t head over there and fill his office up with Boston Bruins items. It definitely wouldn’t go over well. I’d feel way too bad about it. I haven’t really reached that point in my career just yet.

Interview conducted by Hugo Fontaine. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

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