Quebecers know Dr. Horacio Arruda as the province's public health director. Although he has sworn in front of Health Minister Christian Dubé, been made into memes and been carved into a pumpkin, we generally see Arruda on the news or in press conferences, in a rather serious setting.
That's why it's so cringe-worthy to watch him get prank called by Sébastien Trudel, one of the hosts of Montreal radio station ÉNERGIE 94.3.
In a video posted to Instagram on November 6, Trudel is seen talking to Arruda while impersonating Quebec filmmaker Xavier Dolan.
Trudel — as Dolan — asks Arruda to play an anti-coronavirus superhero in a new film that would inform Quebecers about public health measures. Arruda says he's "very honoured" and personally wants to participate.
I think sometimes when it comes to reaching [...] [people] humour is just as good.
Quebec public health director Horacio Arruda, on Énergie 94.3 FM
A spokesperson for the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux confirmed to MTL Blog that it was Arruda on the other end of the line, and he didn't know he was being pranked.
The radio host — as Dolan — pitched several pandemic-themed titles for a potential film to Arruda, like 2020: A Social Distancing Odyssey and Saturday Night Fever.
Arruda said he would think about the title.
Arruda also said he now asks for permission before accepting any interviews or social media features.
Arruda received backlash in May for participating in a viral video in Quebec, which showed him dancing to Québécois rapper Rod le Stod in a beanie and a black tee.
He apologized in a tearful press conference the following day after Quebecers questioned his credibility as the province's top medical advisor.
Trudel, the radio host, was part of comedy duo Les Justiciers masqués who have previously pranked Gilles Duceppe, Bono, Mick Jagger, and even Donald Trump.
You can watch Arruda's prank call on ÉNERGIE 94.3 here.