Pierre Marcotte: Spokesperson for Le Salon FADOQ 50 + organized by FADOQ régions de Québec et Chaudière-​Appalaches

February 26, 2013
An absolutely magical interview with a funny, mischievous man who has a contagious zest for life!

HIS CAREER

Hello Mr. Marcotte, it is an honour for me to meet you!
I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth… notice that I didn’t say I swear!

What was it like doing live television?
I began when television first started on Télé-Métropole in 1963. You were not even a glimmer in your father’s eye, my dear! It was in black and white on top of that, not even in colour, can you imagine! The producers, hosts, cameramen, production assistants, everyone was learning the business at the same time, which put us all on equal footing. It was always a team effort and no one thought they were better than the rest. From there, it created a lot of excitement and good ideas. We let go and had fun, and I think that is what made Télé-Métropole such a success at its very beginning. That was the difference with Radio-Canada, which had been on air since 1952. They were much more seasoned on these techniques, whereas we were the “kids” who were starting out—it was really great.

Was the pool concept in the show “Les tannants” rigged?
No, it was not rigged. But when Roger Giguère would be at the top—Roger was a good boy—he would stay there and wouldn’t say a word. He would wait and I would guide the lady or man for the throw, so he would fall in the water four times out of 10. But when I would be at the top and he was at the bottom, I would say, “Miss, you know very well that you won’t get it! Come on, you’re too far. You have to throw over your shoulder.” Which is not a natural movement for a woman… I would wind them up so much that the crowd would yell “Be quiet!” I was always the instigator. They only managed to make me fall in one time out of 10. That’s why I was the one in the bunch that no one wanted. It was great fun!

Are you a pest in your everyday life as well?
I am a huge pest in my everyday life, as you can tell, because I don’t think we should take life too seriously. We are only here for a short while, so we should take advantage of it!

Do you think you will return to television one day?
Never. Being a guest on television once in a while, yes, but nothing full-time. There is a time in life for everything, and you have to be able to recognize when it is over. Some things have to come to an end in life. When you decide to leave on your own, it is much less painful than when you are asked to leave because you are no longer popular. When your time is up, your time is up.

You were in the restaurant business for a long time. Are you still doing that?
No, I left everything, but today I am still a very busy and very active man. You don’t have to worry about how I spend my time. Sometimes I feel as though I am more busy than when I was working, and I worked very hard.

HIS CURRENT LIFE

What is the biggest dream that you fulfilled in your life?
My father was the main sponsor of a radio show in Joliette called “Les Joyeux Pinsons”, on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10. So I would go and I would meet people in the radio business. At the age of 16, I started doing radio with my squeaky voice, which had just barely changed. So I’ve always done this job.

I remember one day, about 20 years ago, I walked into my bedroom at home and said to my girlfriend at the time, “As of tonight, I am ready to die now, at any time, because I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted to do in life.” That was 20 years ago. And I’m not dead. I’ve always said that life is not fair, it’s never been fair and never will be fair! Things happen in our lives that cannot be explained. Bad things happen to us, good things happen to us, and it is the amount of bad things versus the good things that determines whether or not you are happy. And yes, you can create your own luck, to an extent. I’ve always said that if you want to get hit by a train, you are better off being on the tracks than in a field 200 feet away. It’s as simple as that. You could be born in Africa. Being born here, go justify that! You have nice eyes, go justify that!

We are only here for a short while; we have to make the best of what has been given to us and hope that it doesn’t hurt us too badly. We have to accept the lighter things in life; Life is light, you never know. We have to stop trying to be someone else and thinking that we can change the whole world. Enjoy life, love those around you, truly love them. Respect others, try to get the best out of life and appreciate the present. Stop thinking about the past, stop thinking about the future, it doesn’t exist because only one thing does exist, the present.

It is not an easy thing to do!
It’s obvious that it is not easy to do. That little voice in your head always brings you back to the past. Did you ever notice that misfortune affects us much more than happiness does? What happens, happens! What can you do? Yesterday will never be back; don’t waste your time. Stop planning… “when I retire, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that”. If you have the means, without being a poor schmuck, do it right now. You cannot even imagine how much I’ve spent in my life, and I’m not rich. But you can bet that I lived well! I made money and I spent money. I am now 73 years old and not only do I have no regrets, but I’m very happy to have done it this way because I no longer feel like doing the crazy things I did in the past. I don’t want a big boat anymore. I don’t want to go to Europe for the weekend anymore. I don’t want to do it anymore, but I did do it though. I spent money, but I tried to keep a reasonable amount to be comfortable in my old age. That’s all! I am very happy because I tell myself that I wouldn’t do it today. My motto is “Do it now!”

HEARING

You were in the sound industry on radio and on television, how important is hearing in your life?
Very important, of course. I have undergone many hearing tests and I am lucky. I have a few problems with high frequencies and high-pitched sounds, but at my age I still consider myself lucky. My family doctor has included a hearing test in my yearly check-up, and I think it is really important!

THE FADOQ RÉGIONS DE QUÉBEC ET CHAUDIÈRE-APPALACHES

Why did you associate yourself with the FADOQ régions de Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches for Le Salon FADOQ 50 +?
The unknown always scares us. People are often isolated and this event is an opportunity to come get information on everything. We have access to a lot. Just think about the government services. There are many more than we think. It is surprising. It’s like you with your multidisciplinary clinics for hearing health. People need to get more information. It doesn’t mean that they will go, but at least they know that it exists. That is why I want to congratulate the FADOQ régions de Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches for this gift that it gives to its members, but also to the population.

A special thanks to Mr. Marcotte for his generosity during this interview. What a caring man you are!