Celebrations broke out across the country on Saturday as television news networks finally called the American presidential election for Joe Biden, traditionally the moment a losing candidate would concede the election and the winner would be called president-elect. That moment didn’t happen thanks to Donald Trump’s insistence on baseless accusations of voter fraud, but the moment was covered with earnest attention by media around the world.
One such outlet is BFMTV, a French 24-hour news network, which had cameras rolling in Washington D.C. on Saturday to catch revelers celebrating the news that Biden had beat Trump and the latter would leave office in January. And while a reporter was doing his job, a man approached him and started one of the funniest bits of camera crashing in recent memory.
“I’ve been to France, it’s beautiful,” the man said, interrupting the broadcast. He kept getting closer, then just started naming things that are stereotypically French.
“I ate escargot. I ate a croissant,” he said, adding “hon hon hon” while he danced a bit. And then he made a reference, inexplicably, to an episode of a Cartoon Network cartoon.
“I love an omelette du fromage,” he said, wiggling his body back and forth a bit and perhaps flexing his pectorals. The latter, his only actual attempt at speaking French, is from a beloved episode of Dexter’s Laboratory, which has turned into an internet meme of sorts. The show’s titular character, Dexter, attempts to learn how to speak French by falling asleep listening to learning tapes that get stuck on the same phrase — “omelette du fromage,” or “omelette with cheese” — for hours.
As a result, Dexter wakes up the next day unable to say anything but “omelette du fromage,” and hijinks ensue, as you can see in this clip below.
The episode and its most commonly-uttered phrase, and most particularly a screengrab of Dexter whispering it into the ear of a girl, has become a meme that’s frequently popped up online over the years. And the clear reference to it on Saturday brought it back once again.
It’s a bit unfair to the broadcaster just trying to do his job on Saturday, but in a scene of joy for so many, it was especially funny to see a weird internet meme from a decades-old cartoon get brought to life on live TV.