History Main / HarpoDoesSomethingFunny

16th Aug '17 3:15:43 PM ClintEastwood
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* For his role as Johnny in ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' Stephen Stucker was given the straight lines of the characters around him and was allowed to write his own responses - this was talked about in the DVD commentary.

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* For his role as Johnny in ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' Stephen Stucker was given the straight lines of the characters around him and was allowed to write his own responses - this was talked about in the DVD commentary.DVDCommentary.



* Much of the movie ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'' was ad-libbed. Most famously was Creator/BillMurray's "Cinderella story" scene, which was only in the script as: "Carl hits flowers with a grass whip." Director Harold Ramis told him to just pretend he was a kid, acting out his sports fantasy.

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* Much of the movie ''Film/{{Caddyshack}}'' was ad-libbed. Most famously was Creator/BillMurray's "Cinderella story" scene, which was only in the script as: "Carl hits flowers with a grass whip." Director Harold Ramis Creator/HaroldRamis told him to just pretend he was a kid, acting out his sports fantasy.



** The rest of the movie has this as well. The parts of Tom (Betsy's co-worker), Sport, Betsy and The Wizard were supposedly fairly underwritten in the script. The casting of Creator/AlbertBrooks and Harvey Keitel led to lots of improvisation and expansion, with Keitel's role in particular expanding from a mere five lines to a larger scene of dialog that made him one of the most memorable aspects of the movie.

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** The rest of the movie has this as well. The parts of Tom (Betsy's co-worker), Sport, Betsy and The Wizard were supposedly fairly underwritten in the script. The casting of Creator/AlbertBrooks and Harvey Keitel Creator/HarveyKeitel led to lots of improvisation and expansion, with Keitel's role in particular expanding from a mere five lines to a larger scene of dialog that made him one of the most memorable aspects of the movie.



** Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens describe how, for every fight scene, they would simply write something to the effect of "They fight like men", then hand the script over to Peter Jackson to fully block out the scene. The prologue in Mordor at the start of the first film is an example of this. The inversion is with the romance scenes between Aragorn and Arwen; Pete would be very vague and let Fran and Phillipa flesh it out themselves.

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** Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens describe how, for every fight scene, they would simply write something to the effect of "They fight like men", then hand the script over to Peter Jackson Creator/PeterJackson to fully block out the scene. The prologue in Mordor at the start of the first film is an example of this. The inversion is with the romance scenes between Aragorn and Arwen; Pete would be very vague and let Fran and Phillipa flesh it out themselves.



* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' was almost entirely improvised. Director Neill Blomkamp had specific ideas for each scene, and directed the actors with timing cues for when and where certain actions were to take place, but the actual dialogue and performance for the scene was entirely improvised. They would do several takes, usually without the cameras rolling and often with several different variations on the scene, until Neill and the rest of the cast decided that they had a good approach to how the scene should specifically play out; they would then film it with that direction in mind. Neill and the rest of the actors commented in the DVD extras that Sharlto Copley (Wikus) was the undisputed master of this trope.

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* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' was almost entirely improvised. Director Neill Blomkamp Creator/NeillBlomkamp had specific ideas for each scene, and directed the actors with timing cues for when and where certain actions were to take place, but the actual dialogue and performance for the scene was entirely improvised. They would do several takes, usually without the cameras rolling and often with several different variations on the scene, until Neill and the rest of the cast decided that they had a good approach to how the scene should specifically play out; they would then film it with that direction in mind. Neill and the rest of the actors commented in the DVD extras that Sharlto Copley (Wikus) was the undisputed master of this trope.



* The entire scene in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' where Lord Helmet was playing with the dolls was made up entirely on the spot by Rick Moranis.

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* The entire scene in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' where Lord Helmet was playing with the dolls was made up entirely on the spot by Rick Moranis.Creator/RickMoranis.



* Smith stated with some asperity that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon did a lot of ad-libbing on the set of ''Film/{{Dogma}}'' because they were flush with their skills at dialogue, having just won the Best Screenplay Oscar for ''Film/GoodWillHunting.''

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* Smith stated with some asperity that Ben Affleck Creator/BenAffleck and Matt Damon Creator/MattDamon did a lot of ad-libbing on the set of ''Film/{{Dogma}}'' because they were flush with their skills at dialogue, having just won the Best Screenplay Oscar for ''Film/GoodWillHunting.''



* On Rory Bremner's programmes, John Bird & John Fortune's sections would often just be scripted as 'John and John talk about ''subject'' '

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* On Rory Bremner's programmes, John Bird & John Fortune's sections would often just be scripted as 'John and John talk about ''subject'' '''subject''.
16th Aug '17 2:40:53 PM ClintEastwood
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* In British comedy ''Series/GreenWing'', Stephen Mangan and Michelle Gomez were never given scripts for their scenes together as both were professional improv actors. If a plot point needed to occur that was all the "script" said and so the scenes were Guy wakes into Sue's office and nothing plot-relevant happens there was no script at all, such as when Guy tries to talk about love or complains about Jelly.

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* In British comedy ''Series/GreenWing'', Stephen Mangan and Michelle Gomez Creator/MichelleGomez were never given scripts for their scenes together as both were professional improv actors. If a plot point needed to occur that was all the "script" said and so the scenes were Guy wakes into Sue's office and nothing plot-relevant happens there was no script at all, such as when Guy tries to talk about love or complains about Jelly.



* ChevyChase, Joel [=McHale=] and Donald Glover are generally given free rein to improvise on ''Series/{{Community}}''.

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* ChevyChase, Creator/ChevyChase, Joel [=McHale=] and Donald Glover are generally given free rein to improvise on ''Series/{{Community}}''.



** Some of the Fourth Doctor's stuff was written like this in two particular periods. (Creator/TomBaker was even nicknamed 'Harpo', though this was more for his hairstyle than for this trope.) The first period was during the later Fourth Doctor/Sarah Jane years, where the actors were encouraged to go off script as they were witty and creative people who got on like a house on fire [[MetaCasting playing themselves to some extent]]. Virtually all of their dialogue in "The Android Invasion" was written by Baker and Sladen, and they also both rewrote her ending scene in "The Hand of Fear" together because Sladen hated the scripted departure so much she'd actually defaced her copy of it (which she eventually gave to Creator/RussellTDavies as a gift). During the apex of WagTheDirector period, Tom would also get free reign to mess about, which was noted in the afterword to the 2012 novelisation of "Shada" - the shooting script it was worked from was Tom's copy, blank spots in which he'd pencilled in descriptions of the physical comedy bits he wanted to do. This meant that several gags 'written' by Tom made their way to the book adaptation, like the sequence where the Doctor [[BigEntrance bursts into a room]], doesn't see what he expects, leaves and, after a short hesitation, enters again in the exact same way he entered the first time.
** "Terror of the Zygons" has a scene where Sarah and the Doctor are [[LockedInAFreezer locked in a vacuum container]]. The scripted version of the screen required a practical special effect that was too expensive, so it was discarded and Baker and Sladen were allowed to devise their own scene.
** For Donna Noble's reintroduction episode "Partners in Crime", with the scene where the Doctor and Donna are reunited on either side of soundproof glass and thus have to mime their conversation, the script gave the lines they wanted Donna to mime and then the director let Creator/CatherineTate and Creator/DavidTennant go to town. The result is one of the most gut-bustingly funny scenes ever to hit television.
** The script for the episode "The Big Bang" had no description for the Doctor's dancing at Amy's wedding beyond Amy's spoken comments that it's "terrible" and "embarrassing". All that hand waving and head bopping (terrible, embarrassing, and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8T0y-j70Rk wonderful]]'') is pure Creator/MattSmith.
** Remember the Twelfth Doctor's first moments in "The Time of the Doctor"? Those were all improvised. So yes, the whole ordeal with miscolored kidneys was pure Creator/PeterCapaldi.

to:

** Some of the Fourth Doctor's stuff was written like this in two particular periods. (Creator/TomBaker was even nicknamed 'Harpo', though this was more for his hairstyle than for this trope.) The first period was during the later Fourth Doctor/Sarah Jane years, where the actors were encouraged to go off script as they were witty and creative people who got on like a house on fire [[MetaCasting playing themselves to some extent]]. Virtually all of their dialogue in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E4TheAndroidInvasion The Android Invasion" Invasion]]" was written by Baker and Sladen, Creator/ElisabethSladen, and they also both rewrote her ending scene in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E2TheHandOfFear The Hand of Fear" Fear]]" together because Sladen hated the scripted departure so much she'd actually defaced her copy of it (which she eventually gave to Creator/RussellTDavies as a gift). During the apex of WagTheDirector period, Tom would also get free reign to mess about, which was noted in the afterword to the 2012 novelisation of "Shada" "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E6Shada Shada]]" - the shooting script it was worked from was Tom's copy, blank spots in which he'd pencilled in descriptions of the physical comedy bits he wanted to do. This meant that several gags 'written' by Tom made their way to the book adaptation, like the sequence where the Doctor [[BigEntrance bursts into a room]], doesn't see what he expects, leaves and, after a short hesitation, enters again in the exact same way he entered the first time.
** "Terror "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E1TerrorOfTheZygons Terror of the Zygons" Zygons]]" has a scene where Sarah and the Doctor are [[LockedInAFreezer locked in a vacuum container]]. The scripted version of the screen required a practical special effect that was too expensive, so it was discarded and Baker and Sladen were allowed to devise their own scene.
** For Donna Noble's reintroduction episode "Partners "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E1PartnersInCrime Partners in Crime", Crime]]", with the scene where the Doctor and Donna are reunited on either side of soundproof glass and thus have to mime their conversation, the script gave the lines they wanted Donna to mime and then the director let Creator/CatherineTate and Creator/DavidTennant go to town. The result is one of the most gut-bustingly funny scenes ever to hit television.
** The script for the episode "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang The Big Bang" Bang]]" had no description for the Doctor's dancing at Amy's wedding beyond Amy's spoken comments that it's "terrible" and "embarrassing". All that hand waving and head bopping (terrible, embarrassing, and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8T0y-j70Rk wonderful]]'') is pure Creator/MattSmith.
** Remember the Twelfth Doctor's first moments in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor The Time of the Doctor"? Doctor]]"? Those were all improvised. So yes, the whole ordeal with miscolored kidneys was pure Creator/PeterCapaldi.



** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', just like ''Series/TheATeam'' example above, was surprisingly blank in most parts of the script due to time constraints, forcing the actors to fill in the blanks on their own. The now-famous Vulcan salute was actually Leonard Nimoy's idea since he had to come up with the salute on his own, so he used an actual Jewish hand gesture. William Shatner had the hardest time improvising, which was the source of Captain Kirk's signature pause in between words.

to:

** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', just like ''Series/TheATeam'' example above, was surprisingly blank in most parts of the script due to time constraints, forcing the actors to fill in the blanks on their own. The now-famous Vulcan salute was actually Leonard Nimoy's Creator/LeonardNimoy's idea since he had to come up with the salute on his own, so he used an actual Jewish hand gesture. William Shatner Creator/WilliamShatner had the hardest time improvising, which was the source of Captain Kirk's signature pause in between words.



* Any scene featuring Tommy Wiseau in his Hulu original series ''The Neighbors'' features a gratuitous amount of improv hoping to get a funny reaction from Wiseau.

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* Any scene featuring Tommy Wiseau Creator/TommyWiseau in his Hulu original series ''The Neighbors'' features a gratuitous amount of improv hoping to get a funny reaction from Wiseau.



* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' writers mention on the [=DVDs=] that with recurring guest star Creator/AlbertBrooks (Hank Scorpio, Russ Cargill of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' amongst others), that he likes to improv, so they tend to write his parts of the script this way, only including the important parts for the story, and letting him go off in the recording booth. This is most obvious in "You Move Only Twice" is a scene where Scorpio [[TheLongList rattles off all the places in town that sell hammocks]], punctuated only by Homer going "Huh uh. Yes... Huh uh..." because DanCastellaneta has no real reply ready and he is just following along.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' writers mention on the [=DVDs=] that with recurring guest star Creator/AlbertBrooks (Hank Scorpio, Russ Cargill of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' amongst others), that he likes to improv, so they tend to write his parts of the script this way, only including the important parts for the story, and letting him go off in the recording booth. This is most obvious in "You "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E2YouOnlyMoveTwice You Only Move Only Twice" Twice]]" is a scene where Scorpio [[TheLongList rattles off all the places in town that sell hammocks]], punctuated only by Homer going "Huh uh. Yes... Huh uh..." because DanCastellaneta Creator/DanCastellaneta has no real reply ready and he is just following along.
13th Aug '17 5:02:07 PM Dracis
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Added DiffLines:

* A non-comedy and non-improvised example occurred in ''Series/GameOfThrones'', where a line in the script for the episode "Spoils of War" instructed the series' horse master Camilla Naprous to "do her tricks" during a battle involving hordes of Dothraki horsemen. Camilla decided on having the Dothraki ''stand on their saddles mid-gallop'' (with the aid of a special stirrup) and [[HorseArcher start shooting arrows]]. The episode's director loved the idea, but dismissed it as impossible. Camilla's horsemen proved him wrong.
23rd Jul '17 6:59:21 AM Prfnoff
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* In ''Theatre/{{Salome}}'', the stage directions for the [[YouCanLeaveYourHatOn Dance of the Seven Veils]] read, in their entirety, "Salome does the dance of the seven veils." This has the added practical value of allowing the individual production to decide how far they want to push things, as it can get pretty racy.

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* In ''Theatre/{{Salome}}'', the stage directions for the [[YouCanLeaveYourHatOn Dance of the Seven Veils]] read, in their entirety, "Salome does the dance of the seven veils." This has the added practical value of allowing the individual production to decide how far they want to push things, as it can get pretty racy. Richard Strauss's opera adds a few more cues here, but the dance is still not described in detail.
28th Jun '17 8:21:04 AM Jeduthun
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Theatre/{{Salome}}'', the stage directions for the [[YouCanLeaveYourHatOn Dance of the Seven Veils]] read, in their entirety, "Salome does the dance of the seven veils." This has the added practical value of allowing the individual production to decide how far they want to push things, as it can get pretty racy.
10th Jun '17 1:02:06 AM InsanePryomanic
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* A large amount of the gags and humorous lines unique to the anime version of Anime/Konosuba were left up to the voice actors to adlib, after StudioDEEN realized how funny the VAs (JunFukushima in particular) got during recording sessions. The "Yes, I'm Kazuma" gag in particular was born from this.

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* A large amount of the gags and humorous lines unique to the anime version of Anime/Konosuba LightNovel/KonoSubarashiiSekaiNiShukufukuO were left up to the voice actors to adlib, after StudioDEEN realized how funny the VAs VA cast (JunFukushima in particular) got during recording sessions. The "Yes, I'm Kazuma" gag in particular was born from this.
10th Jun '17 1:00:35 AM InsanePryomanic
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Added DiffLines:

* A large amount of the gags and humorous lines unique to the anime version of Anime/Konosuba were left up to the voice actors to adlib, after StudioDEEN realized how funny the VAs (JunFukushima in particular) got during recording sessions. The "Yes, I'm Kazuma" gag in particular was born from this.
25th May '17 11:36:07 AM Cieloazul
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** An inverted example happened with Wrestling/KiyoshiTamura and Yoshihisa Yamamoto in their match at RINGS's 1996 Mega Battle Tournament. As both wrestlers were in midst of a push at the time, the bookers could not decide who should win the bout, and they eventually took the shocking decision of sending them to the ring to work the existent match structure and then go shoot (fight for real) when they ran out of script. Naturally, both Yamamoto and Tamura wanted to win, and they struck each other for real even during the worked segment in order to have the other worn when the real stuff came. At the end, Tamura won the match with a legitimate flying armbar who almost broke Yamamoto's arm.
6th Mar '17 7:24:25 PM MikeK
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* BT's "Never Gonna Come Back Down" features [[Music/SoulCoughing Mike Doughty]] both singing and doing some [[WordSaladLyrics word salad spoken word]] between verses. After recording the main sung vocals, he was given two takes to do whatever he wanted: He spent one reading passages from the Book Of Revelation and another saying things off the top of his head and making various in-jokes, and the best bits of both were edited together into the final product.
5th Mar '17 8:11:05 PM nombretomado
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* ''Series/YouBetYourLife'' was a QuizShow that depended on this with GrouchoMarx, although he was also fed lines prepared by the show's gag writers in case he needed something pre-prepared from the guests' preliminary interviews.

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* ''Series/YouBetYourLife'' was a QuizShow that depended on this with GrouchoMarx, Creator/GrouchoMarx, although he was also fed lines prepared by the show's gag writers in case he needed something pre-prepared from the guests' preliminary interviews.
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