“Especially Anas”: a brotherhood of comedians
“We are united by friendship and our passion for jokes” – Anas Hassouna
Comedians Anas Hassouna, Oussama Fares and Charles Brunet are certainly colleagues, but above all, they are best friends. It is therefore in a spirit of fraternity and frank laughter that they are preparing to hit the roads of Quebec over the next year with their joint show, Surtout Anas.
Anas and Oussama, two comedians of Moroccan origin who grew up in Montreal North, met during their first year of high school. At the time, mutual friends of the two young people told each of them that they knew someone funnier than them, which seemed impossible to them. Until they meet and a friendship is born.
Several years later, in 2018, they hear about a young comedian barely 18 years old who is said to be even funnier than them. They then meet Charles Brunet, and the duo of friends turns into a trio.
“We are united by friendship and by our passion for jokes”, sums up Anas , in interview with Métro, on the terrace of the coworking space they share, near Hochelaga.
Anas Hassouna, Charles Brunet, Oussama Fares. Photo: JF Galipeau/Metro
The traditional to light the alternative  ;
Of the three, Anas Hassouna is probably the name that rings the most bells with the general public. It is that the comedian, who graduated from the National School of Humor in 2015, has been rolling his bump for a while now. He has been seen in various galas and shows, notably recently at Club Soly or Big Brother Celebrities.
Hence the very ironic title of the trio's show, Surtout Anas, during which the comedians share the stage time equally, with the numbers of stand-up of each as well as common sketches.
The more traditional industry of humor is not what Anas prefers: the one who has already explored this niche a little points out that it is rather the projects he does with his friends that really turn him on. < /p>
“To reach the general public, you have to conform more, which makes it less possible to be 100% yourself,” says the comedian. Our trio of morons on stage gives way to more authenticity and allows us to get to the bottom of who we are. »
Thus, each of his appearances in programs intended for the general public only serves to give visibility to the projects he is carrying out with his friends.
“Anas uses his notoriety for us bring to light”, confirms Oussama Fares.
Charles Brunet, whose career is in turmoil, shares his friend's vision: “The mainstreamis not the end. There are people who like to be on TV. For us, being a star is a side effect of being super funny. So much the better if we become stars, but it will always be to put on a show. »
If the showEspecially Anasstages these three comedians, the trio is part of an even larger collective, including comedians mostly from what is called cultural diversity. Many are of North African or Haitian origin, others are white from Longueuil or Rimouski.
“These are guys like us, who were going to fall between the cracks of the sofa, nobody was going to calculate them,” explains Anas, who recruited this great team of comedians with his friend Oussama.
Anas and Oussama like to showcase their friends, but do not pursue a quest for diversity or a mission of cultural representation. This same idea applies to their type of humor which, yes, has a committed touch, but which is first and foremost focused on the desire to make people laugh.
“These are other funny guys that we really like. We shared a love for the same art and we ended up together”, says Oussama.
The collective creates its projects with its own studio. If Anas and Osama make this choice, it is so as not to be divided if they are recruited individually by traditional channels. “We love each other very much and we want to stay together, to be represented together professionally,” says Anas.
“But at first, we were disturbing,” continues Anas. People complained to see Osama and Anas arrive with their gang. “We arrived in the dressing room, eight guys who chillent loudly for just one guy who goes on stage, while other comedians tried to concentrate to prepare their number. People didn't like it,” Charles continues. “It's true that we move air,” says Osama with a smile.
Still, this fraternity and the support they offer each other are super motivating for them. “The $20 that one of us makes for a show, we spend it on the gang,” laughs Charles. “Your friend’s success becomes your success,” he continues, to which Osama adds, “And his failure is your failure too. »
A unique humor collective
Charles is convinced that this union, very organic, in which the chilling is present, is one of the reasons for their success. “It had never been done in humor, a collective of funny guys who chill together. »
A show by the collective is the closest thing to a hip-hop show in humor, by the raw side, the importance given to the group and even the topics covered. “We want to show our realities. We talk about hood, class differences. When we started, we lived the reality of rappers, we come from places where there are conflicts. Except that we chose laughter instead of rap,” explains Oussama.
Charles, Caucasian from the South Shore of Montreal, did not grow up in the same environment as his colleagues, but he considers that his meeting with them was enriching. “There's so much I never would have learned if I hadn't chilled with these guys. Ways of doing things, but also values that made me grow. »
A sentiment shared by Anas and Oussama. “We learned punctuality,” laughs Osama. Even more than the fact of being able to put on shows, it is these encounters and the resulting cultural mixes that constitute their greatest victory.
Since the pandemic, during which everyone has known how to shine on the web (Charles is also among the most followed comedians on TikTok here), the group fills rooms with an audience of their own, an audience that looks like them.
“Before, I only played in front of audiences of Caucasian thirtysomethings,” says Anas. I felt like I had to make a lot of adaptation. Now I show in front of an audience that resonates 100% with what I say.
“And when you play in front of your audience, you are completely free,” concludes Charles.