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Hab at Heart – Rachid Badouri

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Rachid Badouri has made his mark in every facet of the entertainment industry. Whether in theatre, television or film, Badouri has been successful at everything he’s undertaken. While he’s often on tour around Quebec, or entertaining folks in Europe, Badouri still manages to keep up with the Canadiens throughout the season. The crew caught up with the Quebec-based comedian to learn more about his love for the CH.

Have you been a Canadiens fan for a long time?

RACHID BADOURI: I’ve been a fan for a while. I remember the Stanley Cup win back in 1993 very well. I still had hair back then! (laughs) I celebrated a lot. We celebrated at the parade. I took a lot of pictures of players like Patrick Roy and Guy Carbonneau.

Did you play hockey growing up?

RB: Not really. My mom thought that I was too frail to play, so she enrolled me in basketball instead.

Who was your favorite player growing up? Who is it now?

RB: I really liked Patrick Roy at the time. Just like Ken Dryden before him, Patrick was the best goalie in the NHL. Not too long ago, they showed a few of his career highlights on TV. It’s crazy when you think about all that he accomplished. His amazing saves aren’t the only thing that make him a mythical character. There are just so many stories about what he accomplished. It’s a lot like Maurice Richard. Everyone remembers stories about him. Today, my guy, without a doubt, is P.K. Subban. I talk about him a lot during my show.

Given your busy schedule, do you have time to attend Canadiens games at the Bell Centre?

RB: I manage to get there because there are a lot of Saturday night games in Montreal. It’s harder during the week because I’m often away on tour. Let’s just say that I can’t put together an in-and-out trip between Montreal and Rouyn-Noranda to see a game. (laughs)

Do you ever find yourself updating crowds on the score of a particular game during your shows?

RB: Yes! We actually stopped one of my shows in Brossard to show the game live on the big screen. Everyone was nervous. The game was close. It was during the playoffs, and I saw people checking their cellphones all the time. You can’t get upset about them checking the score on their cellphone during a show. I asked one of my technicians to put the game on the big screen so everyone could see the end of the game. We put the sound on, and it’s amazing just how focused and quiet the crowd was!

Which Canadiens player would make the best audience member?

RB: I’d have to say P.K. Subban. I’ve read a lot about him and his time in Ontario. We’ve experienced a lot of the same things. His father was the principal of the school he attended, and his brothers were there with him. Like P.K., I didn’t necessarily experience racism growing up, but we were the target of the same types of jokes. Given that my jokes often allude to my father being very strict, and his father having to be strict in his own right as a principal, I think that P.K. would enjoy my jokes! Georges Laraque would also be a great audience member. I’ve become friends with him since he appeared on my television show. He attends my comedy shows and he laughs really, really hard!

You’ve already pranked a friend of Georges Laraque for your show “Peut contenir de Rachid”. Which Canadiens player do you think would make the best accomplice to prank someone?

RB: Michel Therrien. I’ve never seen anyone as calm as him, and it takes someone exactly like that to pull a prank on people. He’s in complete control even when times are tough during the season.

It’s well-known that hockey players are pranksters. If you were a part of the team, what type of trick would you like to play on a teammate?

RB: During practice, I’d pack a packet of ketchup in my glove and I’d start to get a little bit rough on the ice. After provoking a punch, I’d throw myself down on the ice and scream like I’d been mortally wounded. I’d try to leave the ice on a stretcher, and I’d wait at least a day before letting everyone know it was a joke.

Interview conducted by Hugo Fontaine. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.

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