Friday, December 18, 2009

I’m Shocked, Shocked That These Are Funny

There are a few movie, television and radio gags that I giggle every time I hear them or even think of them.

I have seen “Casablanca” at least 30 times. While we think of it as a drama, Claude Rains has the funniest lines. “I am shocked, shocked to learn that there is gambling going on here.” “He brings the bill. I tear up the bill. It is most convenient.” “We will be there at 8.” “I’ll be there at 10.”

“Why did you come to Casablanca?” “I came here for the waters.” “What waters? We’re in the desert.” “I was misinformed.”

Abbot and Costello doing “Who’s on First?” kills me. Slappy and Skippy Squirrel parody it with the Woodstock “Who is first” routine. I have seen “Duck Soup” a dozen times and there is not a bit that I do not find laugh out loud funny.

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight here. This is the War Room.” “Dr. Strangelove.” Steve Gutenberg sweats profusely as a week-end anchor in “Broadcast News.” They pull out a blow dryer to blow some of the sweat away.

W.C. Fields playing golf. I think it is the “Big Broadcast of 1934,” best known for the young Bob Hope singing “Thanks for the Memories” for the very first time. Fields is followed by a dozen caddies carrying giant bags. He throws clubs away. “Too long. Too Short. Too Medium. Caddy, hand me that putter.” Or playing pool with the curved cue.

When Buck Henry hosted “Saturday Night Live,” they did a bit that has stayed with me for years. It is a royal reception and guests are introduced. The Earl of Sandwich who invented cold cuts and Lord and Lady Argyle, who wear matching socks. Then announced are “Lord and Lady Douchebag.”

We do not need to tell the joke to get the punch line. The agent is stunned and says “That’s a hell of an act. What do you call it?” “The Aristocrats.”

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