The Show Must Go Wrong


(permanent link) added: 2009-09-19 14:33:33 sponsor: newtonthenewt (last reply: 2009-09-19 14:33:49)

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It now seems like this is The Show Must Go On with a punnier title. Is it worth splitting?

"But you know, I miss live TV. It's like sex, you know. It's almost better when everything goes horribly wrong."
Rosemary Howard (Carrie Fisher) on 30 Rock

When the characters in a show put on a play, radio show, television show, and everything goes horribly wrong. Usually used in comedies, and is sometimes a School Play thanks to lack of experience.

Live-Action TV

  • Frasier used this in the Mystery Theater episode. Frasier is reading a play for his radio show, and no one cooperates. Roz's can't speak properly because of Novocaine, one guy gets stage fright and can't talk, another guy gets arrogant and wants to tell a childhood story, and Niles gets fed up with everyone and "shoots" all of the characters (with the sound effects).
  • Subverted in Seinfeld when Jerry and George film the pilot for their show. It looks like they're struggling and it's going absolutely nowhere, but they successfully make a pilot. The show is canceled because of George and Susan's failing relationship; the show has no problem in itself.
Film
  • Inverted in The Producers. They want everything to go wrong, but events conspire to make their sure flop a big hit.
Literature
  • One of Gordon Korman's books, Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood concerns a movie being filmed on a school campus. Bruno, a prankster, interferes with the filming. His attempts to befriend the movie star even get them stranded in the wilderness at one point.
  • The Christmas play in Bless Me, Ultima. Two of the kid actors got into a fight, another urinated himself, and in the commotion the baby Jesus was decapitated.
Western Animation
  • In Chowder the main cast (minus Endive) put on a play, and it is nearly completely ruined by Chowder when he takes his role too seriously. And then it gets ''really'' weird
  • In It's Christmas Time Again Charlie Brown, the school Christmas play goes wrong when Sally forgets her lines and says the wrong thing. "All I had to say was hark, and I said hockey stick!" Then Peppermint Patty is fed up with playing the boring role of a sheep and says "Baa! Moo! Hiss! Whatever!" Hilarity Ensues.
Theatre
  • Noises Off It's both playing this trope straight and subverting it.
  • Auntie Mame.
Comic Books
  • De Cape et de Crocs: The heroes are forced to put on a play or die. At first it seems they're going to manage but then some of their friends show up followed by evil mimes and it all goes horribly wrong. The play becomes So Bad, It's Good and everyone is spared.
Web Original
  • Homestar Runner has done this in "A Decemberween Pageant" and probably a number of other times.
    Homestar: (While onstage.) Wow. I can't believe the night of the big Decemberween pageant has finally arrived! After all the weeks and weeks of rehearsing and practicing and memorizing lines...
    Marzipan: Homestar, I don't think those are your lines.
Seen It a Million Times. I expect there'll be a lot of Troper Tales.

It now seems like this is The Show Must Go On with a punnier title. Is it worth splitting?

replies: 12

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