The Vestibules

The Vestibules
Related Work: 

Sketches Songs and Shoes

Sketch comedy trio Vestibules, formerly known as Radio Free Vestibule, is a Canadian surrealist comedy troupe composed of Terence BowmanPaul Paré, and Bernard Deniger.[1]


Based in Montreal,[2] the trio began performing in 1987.[2] Students at Montreal's Concordia University, they performed in Montreal-area comedy clubs and produced a radio comedy program for CKUT-FM.[1] They had songs played on the syndicated Dr. Demento radio show.[3] and soon began appearing on CBC Radio's Prime Time, beginning with occasional parody songs and later expanding to a twice-weekly sketch comedy segment;[1] in April 1990, the program gave them a full half-hour special.[4]

The trio were known primarily for absurdist comedy based on pop culture, and resisted humor that was too explicitly political.[1] One sketch which aired on Prime Time in 1990 actually satirized Canadian radio comedy's predilection for political humor, by means of a sketch which featured an audience laughing uproariously at a reference to Meech Lake in the punchline to a deliberately unfunny "anti-joke".[4] One of their most famous pieces was "Jellybabies Forever", a mockumentaryabout the rise and fall of a children's music group[5] who had been inspired by the legendary supergroup Sharon, Lois, Bram and Young.[6] Their satirical songs included "I Don't Want to Go to Toronto", a parody of Toronto's uptight and elitist image, and "Grunge Song", a parody of early 1990s songwriting which was frequently shown on MuchMusic.[7] Another sketch with rare political overtones was "Looking for a Job in Quebec", in which a nervous anglophone insisted that his surname, O'Leary, was pronounced "Thibodeau".[8]

In 1992, the troupe were given their own weekly series on CBC Radio, as a summer replacement for Royal Canadian Air Farce.[9] In the fall, they returned to Prime Time for the show's final season.[9] After Prime Time's cancellation, their sketches continued to appear on the CBC Radio programs Basic Black and Night Lines,[10]and on follow-up seasons of their summer series.[10]

In 1993, the trio appeared in a segment on A&E's Comedy on the Road, as part of a series of specials taped at the Just for Laughs Festival,[11] and garnered aGemini Award nomination for Best Comedy Performance for their appearance in CBC Television's Just for Laughs special.[12] In 1994, they collaborated with formerPrime Time host Geoff Pevere on X-Ray Vision, a television comedy pilot which aired as a special on CTV but was not picked up as a permanent series.[13]

In 1995, they appeared on CBC Television's Comics!,[10] released their first comedy album Sketches, Songs and Shoes,[14] and became regular contributors toDefinitely Not the Opera.[10]

Name change[edit]

The trio shortened its name from Radio Free Vestibule to The Vestibules in 1997.[12] In 1998, the troupe were the main writers of the sitcom Radio Active forYTV,[15] and they sold a screenplay for Disco Inferno, a genre-hopping disaster/action/musical comedy film about a discotheque inside a dormant volcano, to MTV Films.[15]

Their second comedy album, Get Spiffy!, was released in 2002.[16] They have since released three further comedy albums and a DVD.


Paré is the uncle of actress Jessica Paré.[15]


  • Sketches Songs and Shoes (1995, as Radio Free Vestibule)
  • Get Spiffy! (2002)
  • Chest of Drawers 5.0 (2005)
  • The Complete First Episode (2005, DVD)
  • The Jellybellies Forever (2006)
  • The Best of the Radio McGill Years volumes 1-4 (2006)