Élie Semoun was born in France, to a Sephardic Jewish family of Moroccan-Jewish and Algerian-Jewish descent. In 1980 at the age of 17, Semoun wrote two collections of poems and two plays. Beginning in 1988, he had regular appearances on the television series Vivement lundi! on TF1, where he played a horse mounted on rollers.
His comedy career began in 1990 with his partner Dieudonné, with whom he wrote and performed daring, skits with scathing takes generally taboo subjects such as racism and poverty, often playing up contrasts between himself and his partner in terms of origin, color, and religion.
Their first show was held at Café de la Gare in 1991. The duo acquired a certain notoriety in 1992 after several appearances on their fellow comedian Arthur's show Emission Impossible, where they were no...