Known for his keen social satire, Coluche was among the most popular standup comedians in France and at one time was the country's number one film comedian. He appeared in 15 films, the best known of which is Tchao Pantin, where he dramatically portrayed an alcoholic gas jockey who befriends a troubled young drug dealer and works to solve his murder. A committed anti-racism activist, Coluche announced in 1981 his intent to run for the Presidency and polls showed he had 15 percent of the vote, but pressure and criticism from rivals forced him to withdraw. He began a free meals program for the poor in 1985, the same year he set a world motorcycle speed record. Coluche loved fast bikes and the following year was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident.