7 years ago by


Erik Melvin

In Partnership With The Outnet

I am so, but so happy to present you today’s Pardon My French. Because it’s really been a big moment for me, meeting Gad Elmaleh. Not for the celebrity part of it (for those who don’t know him, Gad is a superstar in Europe and Canada and Morocco and like, probably a million other countries)(like can’t walk on the street without having paparazzi at after him)(well just like me, you know) but because he’s probably the comedian who made me laugh the most, and that touched me the most, ever. I always thought it was because of our Moroccan sense of humor, but it’s more than that – there is real humanity and universality in Gad’s work.

And that’s what’s fascinating today. He let go of the comfort of his culture to come experience American comedy, stand up. He plays every evening, in English, at Joe’s Pub, a beautiful small room, far from the stadiums where he performs in France. Ali, our common friend, introduced us, and I immediately thought he would be amazing for this episode. Ali is French too and he transcends his culture everyday by being the coolest host of the coolest restaurant in New York, Sant Ambroeus. With his wit, his charm and his taste, he made of that restaurant a real hub where artists, businessmen, fashion people meet. There is an equalizing quality to it that makes meeting people possible and easy. When you’re there, no matter who you are, you chill and you get curious about other people.

So, I could go on for hours about these two wonderful, smart and hilarious men, but I’m going to let you listen to this conversation about life in New York, women and comedy. And yes, I totally agree with you. I’m a lucky woman.

[podcast_episode episode=”231699″ ]

alireza niroomand gad elmaleh garance dore photo pardon my french podcast

alireza niroomand gad elmaleh garance dore photo pardon my french podcast


On the pressure of fame and embracing taking a break
Gad: I really like being anonymous. What I discovered is that being anonymous helps me to create because I am not stopped in my thoughts, in my creativity. I can walk for hours and think about my stuff and my new material. It’s very enjoyable. I love it. I love what my French fans gave me and I built my career in France and I am really thankful but today I love walking down the street and not being recognized. And going to my show and not knowing who is going to be there. I really love it!

On the perks of being French in New York City
Ali: You come to New York and you are part of it right away. And being French is like a strength here – it’s a great thing to be French here. When you move here people are excited about you being here; asking questions about your culture and they are not judging you because you are different.

On having a job that doesn’t feel like a job
Ali: I don’t have a job. People come to my house and I think that’s why people love it! Yeah, to me it’s not a job and that’s why I take pleasure in it! I didn’t learn my job, my mom taught me how to do my job.
Gad: Hospitality is a good word to describe Ali’s business because that’s exactly what you feel when you go there [Sant Ambroeus]. You don’t feel like you are at a restaurant.
Garance: That’s exactly how you feel when you were talking about moving to New York, that is exactly the atmosphere you have created and you really do that thing where you connect people and to me your job is to connect people and it goes way beyond food and drinks.

On the real reason Garance’s images are bright!!!
Gad: Why is everything so bright all the time? And white? I like it but you know that it’s all bright right?
Garance: I ask my self this question and I do think it’s because I was born in Corsica and its a place that is filled with a lot of light. The sea, the reflection from the sea and that is always what I want. I think it’s that because I am always looking for the light!

alireza niroomand gad elmaleh garance dore photo pardon my french podcast

alireza niroomand gad elmaleh garance dore photo pardon my french podcast

On dating and convincing Gad to join tinder
Gad: I can not join tinder because they will not think it’s me!
Garance: We should try this as an experiment
Gad: No, if I go on tinder 99% of American’s will have no idea who I am but for the others they will know and it will be fake. But maybe I should try it!
Ali: You should try to see how people reach to see if they care about the fame or not.
Garance: You will know so quickly if someone is into you for the fame and the money, right?
Gad: You know, it would be a great documentary like a quest, searching for being loved for who you are with this outfit. (Gad came straight from the gym to the Podcast. Our bad : we didn’t make it super clear it was going to be photographed. And we think he looks super awesome in sweatpants!) This hat. This sweatpants outfit. Your profile picture would be you when you first wake up and you go workout and wear this outfit.

On the small details that can break men
Gad: There’s a lot of pressure on style for women in America and because of that there can be overdressing and overdoing it on the hair.
Garance: And how do you feel about that?
Gad: I am very embarrassed. I do not like it at all. If I date a girl and we go on a rendezvous and she shows up all groomed it’s really embarrassing. And I walk in like this, with my sweatpants. [Laughs] No, its too much. It’s not only American girls though.
Garance: But a French girl will never come by over dressed. She will show you that she doesn’t care by coming with her hair undone.
Gad: Yes, but there will always be a small detail that will break you.
[listen to the podcast if you want to know the details that break him!]

On needing to invent a perfume detector
Garance: What is your turn offs?
Ali: Strong perfume
Gad: Okay, phew, thank you! Okay, that is terrible. You know what, I dated a girl and I think she was the most beautiful girl I have ever talked to in my life. In London. A model. But, she put perfume in her hair. But not the perfume where you are like, oh what is going on, no a perfume that my aunt in Marrakech wore that reminds me of when I was a kid, my big, fat aunt who was screaming at us as kids. So it’s impossible. I can not! There should be something to measure how much perfume you have on before you show up. A device, perfume detector, because it’s too much!

alireza niroomand gad elmaleh garance dore photo pardon my french podcast

Special thanks to Django at The Roxy Hotel!

Gad Elmaleh will be performing at Joe’s Pub until June 2016. For more details on upcoming shows, please visit his site.

Pardon My French is sponsored by The Outnet, one of my favorite places to shop for my favorite designers at a fraction of the price. Super happy for their support, which makes this podcast possible. Check out the Hidden Gems items on The Outnet website and app to receive 15% off using the code: GDHIDDENGEMS valid from today until Saturday, April 2nd at midnight.


Add yours
  • Gad is funny, amazing and says what he has to say…your image of three is exactly what i feel about the city it’s always about too much or the opposite ….to dressed or gym look…..
    Yael Guetta

  • LOVE Gad!!! So fun to hear this side of him. Thank you for this.

  • Love everything about this! I wish this was all in French (cus m a hundred percent sure Gad’s comments wud be funnier), but I enjoyed reading this.

  • Gad is wonderful as an actor, as a man (the looks) … well, not really. Anyways, why is he talking about dating and tinder when he’s with one of the most beautiful women in the world (C.)? Confused …

  • tatite April, 1 2016, 4:30

    They are not together anymore…

  • De Passage March, 31 2016, 11:29 / Reply

    Garance, Gad is Moroccan! We (as Moroccans) would appreciate a correct reference :)
    The difference between you and his upbringing is that your mom is Moroccan, but you were born and grew up in Corsica, whereas Gad was born and grew up in Morocco. It might be hard for people to tell, but the heart of his jokes are of Moroccan origins. This is what makes him a great comedian. He took the Moroccan humour and succeeded to keep it funny in a different language.

    Anyway, great podcast! Keep the great guests coming ^_^

  • Loved Gad ever since I saw him in Hors de Prix with Audrey Tautou – French humor was such a treat in this movie.

  • My favorite podcast yet! Why does he sounds so familiar?!

  • mademoiselle mauve March, 31 2016, 11:40 / Reply

    la classe ! :D
    super podcast !

  • It is interesting to hear from Ali that he left Paris because of the racism. I wasn’t aware of these struggles in Frances until the Charlie Hebdo attacks last year.

  • mademoiselle mauve March, 31 2016, 1:09

    @Jessica: many people say French people are racists, personally I’m tired to hear that every time. There are racists everywhere sadly. There are many many foreign people here in France while there is any obligation to stay here, at the end and believe me most of them are very happy to be here, for the culture, the way of life and for all the country offers them in terms of education, health, well-being, etc. (sorry for my english… hope I’m clear… I’m French! ;))

  • @mademoiselle mauve I can’t really agree with your comment. you said there are a lot of foreigners in France and if they didn’t like France they would leave. It may be true but racism does not only concern foreigners, non white French are also victims of racism. Where can they go? When it is your country you have no choice. Racism that is often minimized by a lot of people in our society. I am French too by the way.

  • First of all , I have to point out the fact that i’m SOOO happy to hear Gad on your podcast. What an amazing idea, I love him so much. But to be honest as a French AND black girl I must say that many people in France are racists and this is a fact.
    Saying that white people face racism can be true, sometimes, but the society, the privileges, the economy is historically made by and for white people. Racism is not violence towards a single man or woman, it is a social scheme and a matter of power. I personnally know brilliant people such as Ali, that left France for Canada or the UK for this reason…

  • Super great podcast! You all three made me feel I was there sharing the laughs! I also lived abroad my country of origin many times and it is true you end up being many things rather than a citizen of the country you were born in.

  • Love this! Gad is so funny and interesting x

  • C’est la première fois que j’écoute un podcast et même si j’aurais préféré avoir les images avec en plus vos mots, j’ai beaucoup aimé l’énergie (positive) que dégage de cette conversation. Et effectivement, Paris et souvent gris (comme aujourd’hui d’ailleurs) revenant de Biarritz où il faisait super beau, je déprime un peu :/
    Et sinon, je crois aussi que “Everything is possible!” ;)

    Eve de

  • These podcasts are the light of my days

  • bonjour Garance, merci pour ce bon moment partagé ! Mais pourquoi ne pas avoir parlé en français étant donné que c’est votre langue à tous les 3 ? Pour une fois, on aurait pu avoir la discussion en français et les questions qui résument le propos au-dessous en anglais ! J’imagine qu’en vivant à New York on laisse l’anglais devenir prédominant, ce qui est normal, mais tu as beaucoup de lecteurs francophones qui adorent aussi entendre parler leur langue !
    Cependant, peu importe la langue, super boulot en tous cas, comme toujours ;-)

  • Fanfan April, 1 2016, 8:05

    En fait, c’est vraiment très peu naturel d’entendre 3 francophones parler ensemble anglais. Ce qui m’a frappé en écoutant le podcast, c’est que les propos sur la France de Garance et d’Ali ne sont pas très flatteurs (ce qui expliquerait que la conversation se déroule en anglais). En gros, pour eux, l’Amérique c’est tellement mieux que la France… Ils ont leur raison de le penser, mais ça risquerait de blesser les Français…

  • Thank you for the podcast!

    P.S. I love the light in your photos, Garance! I’m also looking for light, always. I think this is because I live up in the North where it’s always so cloudy and dark… I miss light. :)

  • Très chouette ce podcast ! J’ai l’impression d’avoir tous le temps ce genre de discussion avec mes potes en terrasse ! Un vrai petit bout de France cette interview !



  • Wow, So excited about it. I wanted to see Gad last weekend but it was all sold out! I cannot wait to listen to this podcast!

  • Jessica March, 31 2016, 1:30 / Reply

    I love how sincere the whole conversation was!:)

  • Great photos! ;)


  • I laughed so hard! This was a great podcast.

  • Ahah énorme le coup du parfum! Quelle chouette rencontre quand même, moi je veux vous inviter tous les 2 à un diner et on rigolerait comme des dindons!

    Bisous Garance et merci pour cet épisode ! :)

    Mido @ [email protected]

  • Gad la classe, y’a rien à rajouter !

  • This interview left a big smile on my face. Thank you!

  • Omg you met Gad Elmaleh! That’s so cool

  • Aaah j’ai trop aimé rire avec vous! Super chouette :)

  • First time listening to Garance’s podcast. Great and so funny with Gad :)

  • Sidney April, 1 2016, 4:55 / Reply

    Pure moment de plaisir!


  • Raphaele April, 1 2016, 6:34 / Reply

    Merci merci, super podcast. L ambiance est geniale, vous etes super droles et un peu philosophes. Ca fait 13 ans que je ne vis plus en France et ca m a fait un bien fou de vous ecouter, parce que quand meme comme vous etes TROP francais. Et j avais l impression d etee avec mes amis a dire des conneries…. I am on a high, made my day ( these are for Gad s list)

  • Monique April, 1 2016, 6:42 / Reply

    This was the best podcast so far. Gad is so funny and calls it as he sees it. So right on French not very clean. Ride the subway in the morning. Yugh! I am half French and we always laughed about this in our house.

  • Lauren April, 1 2016, 7:02 / Reply

    I’m 23 and already have had the chance to live in Paris, New York and now back in London. I first discovered Gad when I was living in Paris for 4 years and I am a huge fan. This interview is so interesting to hear French people’s perspectives on Expat living in New York. Such interesting subjects and eye opening perspectives. I could have this conversation all day everyday! I love the instant connection we have with others who have taken the same journey but on different paths.

    Great interview Garance and I LOVE your book too! You’re killing it girl!

  • Je suis épatée par l’anglais de Gad !!!!

  • ainhoa April, 1 2016, 7:36 / Reply

    ah la la…quelle belle surprise :) ! Tu pourrais essayer un stand up aussi ;-) ! Je vais écouter ce podcast c’est sure :)

  • This was soooo funny, refreshing and honest. Loved the three of you, your joy, your laughter, your subjects. Lots of good chemistry involved ;-) Right, Garance? Love from Germany xx

    PS: your podcasts are one of my weekly highlights. Keep going!

  • Je vis aux U.S. depuis quelques decennies et ai decouvert Gad E. par hasard sur youtube. Ses sketchs m’ont fait pleurer de rire quelquefois alors quelle belle surprise de l’entendre pendant cette interview. J’aurais prefere un PMF filme rien que pour voir son “body language” !

  • This is without doubt the best Podcast so far. Gad is hilarious and does not miss a beat. Love how open he is.

  • This was the best podcast! I laughed throughout it. Super funny. Thanks for cheering up my morning. :)

  • The best!
    :) It was such a fun to hear. Thank you, guys.

  • tatite April, 1 2016, 4:39 / Reply

    Being a French expat in New York is very similar as being a French expat in many places in the world.
    I live in Germany and have changed countries several times. I also compare with France all the time. The truth is: there is no perfect place. Living abroad makes you realise that France is not the worst place in the world, nor the best one. Living abroad gives you a bigger perspective and opens your mind- IF you decide to open it. These kinds of discussions are the same I have with my French, Spanish and other foreign friends here. When you only lived in one country in your life, you cannot get it :) Nice podcast!

  • Oh la la mais quel podcast! J’ai tout adoré: les thèmes abordés, les invités, le ton, l’authenticité… et bien sûr l’animatrice ;)
    Je trouve ça hyper rafraîchissant de faire ces interviews “entre copains” (Vivement Dimanche 2.0? ah ah ah), ça change des conférences de presse ou des interviews hyper guindées et finalement on en apprend beaucoup plus, on a presque l’impression d’écouter derrière la porte, un vrai plaisir faussement coupable. Ces podcasts sont une superbe initiative et même si j’aurais aussi aimé avoir une vidéo, je pense que le fait de ne pas être filmés vous rend peut-être plus naturels, plus détendus?
    Bref, je crois que c’est l’une des meilleures interviews que j’ai écoutée de ma vie et étant moi-même expatriée depuis 5 ans ça fait un bien fou d’entendre vos perspectives sur la vie en et hors de France, on se rend compte que notre identité française est vraiment particulière… Même si on ne l’échangerait pour rien au monde!
    Un grand merci pour le partage et bonne continuation!

  • This made me laugh so much! You three are lovely, It’s the first podcast I’ve listened to (—- and i’m living in Madrid with terrible Spanish so I listen to a lot!) where I felt like, ok, I want to be friends with these people! Please make another!

  • Outre l’aspect ultra cool de ces échanges, c’est amusant de vous entendre échanger en anglais (et bon pour mon oreille), alors que c’est le 2ème épisode de suite que tu aurais pu faire en français, non? ;-)

  • magali April, 2 2016, 7:12 / Reply

    Je trouve domage que le podcast soit fait en Anglais alors que vous parlez tous les trois francais .
    Je m’etais deja fait la reflexion sur le podcast d’Isabelle Marrant, j’aurais aDore qu’il soit en Francais car à moins d’avoir un tres bon niveau d’anglais, il est complique d’en saisir toute la teneur.

  • Suzanne April, 2 2016, 7:21 / Reply

    So good. First Podcast I really liked. Maybe it’s because you get one another.

  • valentine April, 2 2016, 1:08 / Reply

    Quand deux personnes que j’adore, j’admire et que je suis fidèlement, se rencontrent. Ça fait des étincelles !!

    – paillettes dans le coeur –

    Bisous Garance

  • I loved this Garance bring more people who are from all walks of life and experiences, you do a good job keeping it light but not fake. So often the French perspective is from – how to put this – Western European stereotypically looking and culture people, which incorrectly (like America in a way) makes the world think French = white. I 100% know what Ali meant. The inclusiveness, the fact that New Yorkers see through the nastiness-masquerading-as-edgy-humour for what it is (racism). No, “not all French are” racist, but to be defensive and deny this lived experience, it is important. I now want to see Gad’s stand up, seems he has the dream – freedom from celebrity insanity but resources and wealth to truly enjoy what NY has to offer at more levels than most, hope he tries everything out. (PS Gad, not all the stand up comedy and media is thst funny here, too angry and bitter for many to be honest, so do not be misled, many Americans love puns, maybe in an eyeroll way, myself included. Try to import this!)

  • Encore en anglais ? Difficile de comprendre le parti pris… Déjà avec Caroline de Maigret et Isabelle M. Je comprends l’envie d’être international mais j’ai aussi l’impression de perdre notre Garance.

  • Caroline April, 3 2016, 2:10 / Reply

    J’ai à nouveau beaucoup aimé, merci!
    Et j’ai découvert que Gad est célibataire, j’ai dû rater un épisode parce que, pour moi, il était plus monégasque que new-yorkais…

  • Jorien April, 3 2016, 3:00 / Reply

    Best one yet! Keep it up.

    Kind regards, Jorien

  • Joanna April, 4 2016, 5:48 / Reply

    Great talk Garance: relaxed, funny and true…. My new favourite pass-time lately: listening to your podcasts as I walk to work :) Thxs!

    p.s. would be nice to have some of the conversations in French though, ya know ;)

  • The best “Pardon my French” ever!!
    I loved the one with Zosia Mamet as well, but this one was really funny!
    Thank you, Garance!


  • Loved this podacst! Was laughing by myself listening to you!

  • J’etais un peu distraite mais il faudra que je re ecoute ce podcast qui ma paru intéressant et drôle!
    Merci Garance pour ces podcasts, moi qui ne connaissait pas voir très peu, grâce a toi j’en ecoute de plus en plus :)

  • J’ai adoré ce moment très funny ! Gad j’adore ! Ali, une découverte ! Tout à fait d’accord avec lui ^^ Le racisme ça court les rues et devenue presque…normal ! Néanmoins, il est important de préciser qu’il y a des français tellement sympas ! Malheureusement, il ne s’agit pas de la majorité. J’aimerai moi aussi déménager de ce pays un jour. J’ai finalement peu d’espoir qu’il m’accepte un jour.

    By the way, good job !

  • I just listened to this podcast while running this morning. It was so funny. Loved it. I just realised it is 2 years old…..It would be great to have a new podcast with the same guests. Two years on, how are they getting on etc. Please!!! :) x

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