Paul Houde, “living encyclopedia”, is dead

Paul Houde died Saturday morning at the age of 69 following complications following brain surgery. Host, sports commentator, actor, columnist… Quebec is losing a media figure as unique as he is familiar. Everyone will remember his muffled voice, his delirious humor, but above all his intelligence, which is downright extraordinary.

“We have just lost a living encyclopedia,” said his friend, producer Richard Goudreau, saddened by the sudden nature of this disappearance.

“Paul was a special and particularly endearing person,” summarized host Charles Lafortune, who worked with him from 2005 to 2011 on the television quiz show Le Cercle, on TVA.

Sadly, Paul Houde’s phenomenal memory, something for which he was so admired, had begun to falter in recent months, hence his absence from the airwaves in recent weeks. Until recently, he was a contributor to the show The day is still young on ICI Première. Last October, he abruptly left hosting the BPM Sports morning show in the middle of the season for health reasons.

On social networks, his family explained that he had just undergone an operation to remove a mass from his brain, “Unfortunately, his heart stopped suddenly following complications,” wrote his sister Johanne on Facebook. His brother, host Pierre Houde, asked that the family’s mourning be respected.

The reference

Born in Montreal in 1954, Paul Houde began his career in the media as a radio sports commentator. On television, he was also a describer for many major sporting competitions, such as the athletics finals at the Olympic Games.

He quickly stood out for his incredible ability to remember dates and statistics. “It was THE reference in athletics. When I wanted to write about sports that I didn’t know, I called him and he always gave me the facts,” recalls journalist Réjean Tremblay, who emphasizes that Paul Houde was much more reserved in his private life than this. what his public persona suggests.

At the end of the 90s, Paul Houde was a big star on FM radio in Montreal. Richard Goudreau approaches him to do a voiceover on the new film he plans to produce, The Boys. But after reading the script, Paul Houde loved it so much The Boys that he asked for a tailor-made role to be created for him, even though he had no acting training and barely knew how to skate. Thus was born the character of Fernand, known as Fern, the team’s goalkeeper who, like his interpreter, is fond of statistics.

“He made us laugh so much during filming. He did all kinds of imitations. Everyone loved Paul Houde,” recalls Marc Messier, who played alongside him in The Boys.

Impossible to talk about Paul Houde without mentioning his long-standing collaboration with Marc Labrèche. First in The End of the World is at 7 a.m.then with The big blond with a sneaky show and finally 3600 seconds of ecstasy.

More information to come…

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