Jackass à la française?

Ever since Johnny Knoxville created MTV’s Jackass, a television show featuring a group of guys trying to pull off a bunch of dangerous stunts and ridiculous pranks, Americans throughout the nation became obsessed with this popular culture phenomenon.

Little do Americans know, pulling outlandish stunts and making embarrassing video footage is also a sensation in France. Thirty-five year old Rémi Gaillard of Montpelier has been circulating his less dangerous but equally entertaining videos via the internet.

This Frenchman, often referred to as the “French Johnny Knoxville,” claims that, “C’est en faisant n’importe quoi qu’on devient n’importe qui” – It’s by doing whatever, that you become whoever. But this “whoever” has quickly become one of the best-known pranksters online.

After launching N’importe qui in 2001, a website documenting a series of pranks, jokes, and soccer tricks, Rémi continues to show the influence of the Internet on popular culture – and how it is possible for any ordinary schmuck to become a celebrity.

According to L’Édition Spéciale (Canal Plus), it is Gaillard’s goal to “declare war on television.” He wants to show that popular culture is no longer predominately determined by the television business and the celebrities within. Instead, the internet has given a stronger voice to the majority – the public.

One of the hilarious acts that launched Gaillard into celebrity stardom was when he snuck into the victory celebrations of the Lorient soccer team after winning the Coupe de France tournament in 2002:

Nearly eight years later, Rémi’s website, nimportequi.com is thriving off of millions of views – as are his Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, and Dailymotion accounts.

This year roughly marks the 10th anniversary of the N’importe qui website. Be sure to check out his most popular videos, highlighted at the bottom of the homepage.