Corpsing

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"Christmas means many things to many people. To some, Christmas means glittering lights, gaily wrapped gifts. That's right, sounds of laughter and good cheer. To the folks at Preparation H—hahahahaha—it means a time to pause for a few—hahaha—a few moments to—HAHAHA—to give thanks to their friends, who've been so… [collapses into helpless laughter] …kind and generous!"
Gary Owens, caught off guard at realizing the sponsor of the ad he was reading was a hemorrhoid cream

"Corpsing" (also called "breaking") is actor-speak for having an unscripted fit of laughter onstage, so-called because the worst time to have the giggles is when one is playing a corpse. Corpsing doesn't necessarily mean that the material is especially funny (though, of course, it can be), or that the actors aren't taking it seriously; it just happens, and even excellent actors can corpse. Many actors try to cover this by covering their mouth and muffling the sounds they make. When this is done, a fit of laughter can rather haphazardly be turned into violent sobbing, with varying levels of success. Of course, that only helps if violent crying is appropriate for the scene (again, playing a corpse leaves you in trouble, as corpses usually don't laugh - usually).

Some actors, of course, will try their level best to make other actors corpse. It seems to be a feather in one's cap of some sort, to either be the guy who never corpses, or the guy who can make even the guy who never corpses corpse. Bonus points if you're working in a scene with a very seasoned and well-respected actor. Even if they have a great sense of humor in real life, getting someone the caliber of Jeremy Irons or Meryl Streep to get the giggles is a big achievement.

At other times, it is just mean to tell an actor to keep a straight face on camera while watching a character bounce off the walls. And if somebody happens to have Contagious Laughter, you're in real trouble.

A common type of Hilarious Outtakes. On the other hand, can be subject to Throw It In — if the work is a comedy and the actors are able to recover in time for their next line, it can make for a natural aversion of Tough Room. Opposite of The Stoic; see also Not So Stoic.

When the hapless individual actually is trying to play a corpse, this can overlap with The Living Dead.

Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • One Geico commercial depicts their gecko mascot attempting to do a commercial but repeatedly messing up his lines or laughing.
  • In the Canadian A&W "Two for One Mama Burger" commercial with helium balloons, the balloon the employee releases at the end flies around and manages to hit the manager in the face and stay there as it deflates. You can tell the actor playing the employee is barely containing his laughter.
  • In the Pepsi commercial with Ozzy Osbourne where his kids Jack and Kelly turn into Donny and Marie Osmond, if you look closely Donny can be seen trying to contain his laughter, that part was removed in some airings.

    Anime & Manga 

    Film 
  • While recording lines for Aladdin, Robin Williams' antics caused Scott Weinger to have to excuse himself from the recording booth to laugh his balls off.
  • The blooper reel for Muppets Most Wanted consists mostly of Ricky Gervais laughing his ass off. He even gets mocked by Walter.
  • In the Caddyshack extras, Chevy Chase tells a story about Rodney Dangerfield getting increasingly distraught on set. When Chevy talked to him between takes, Rodney said he was afraid he was ruining the film because he couldn't make anyone laugh and crew were walking away during his scenes. Chevy had to explain that the whole damn crew was doing their best to not laugh and ruin every single take Rodney did.
  • Citizen Kane. Joseph Cotton stayed up 24 hours so that he could be believably drunk in one scene. When he says "film crimiticism", Orson Welles can't help but grin at the unplanned if realistic flub of the line.
  • Cloverfield. Just after the subway scene, when the camera is smudged, Hud is clearly grinning while he's cleaning it.
  • A famous example occurs in The Wizard of Oz. When Bert Lahr (the Cowardly Lion) makes his first appearance, Judy Garland (Dorothy) hides behind Toto. This looks like it's because she's frightened, but in actuality she was just trying to cover up the fact that she was laughing at Lahr.
  • The commentary of Juno points out Ellen Page spent an entire filming of one scene doing this.
  • During the "baseball glove" scene in Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon was supposed to act stoic and introspective, but Casey Affleck's banter with Ben Affleck was so funny, they kept it. And the scene when Robin Williams is talking about his wife waking herself up farting has both actors breaking up laughing.
    • If you watch closely during that scene, you'll notice a bit of shakey cam going on - the cameraman was laughing so hard that he couldn't hold the camera steady.
  • Dr. Strangelove
    • Peter Bull, playing the sombre Russian ambassador, is shaking with laughter and trying desperately not to laugh out loud at watching Peter Sellers' ad-libbed antics as he fights his Evil Hand. He regained his composure quickly enough that the scene could still be used.
    • One scene showing Bull ends just seconds from the actor corpsing as seen when his stoic facade cracks.
    • Another scene was not so lucky—originally the movie was to end with a pie fight. Seriously. Unfortunately, the characters had to be totally earnest about it to fit with the Black Comedy tone of the movie. That was a bridge too far; the entire cast corpsed within the first few pastry volleys, and the set (not to mention wardrobe) was too trashed for a second take.
    • The director Stanley Kubrick had so much trouble containing his own laughter on set that he would direct scenes by simply setting up cameras from every angle he could, then sitting against a wall on the far side of the set where his laughter wouldn't be heard in the film before calling action.
  • Another Kubrick film example is in Full Metal Jacket. At the beginning when Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is berating the men, Vincent D'Onofrio begins to crack up. This was unintentional but they kept going. This reaction is Truth in Television as seen in the Real Life section below.
  • In Men in Black, the scene where K is shaking Frank the pug. You can obviously see Tommy Lee Jones struggling to keep from laughing on camera. He's only partially successful. (Quick smile at about 44 seconds in.)
  • In Men in Black II when David Cross's character offers J and K some mini-pizzas only for them to respond with unamused deadpan stares, Tommy Lee Jones's mouth can be seen twitching as he struggles not to laugh.
  • In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil calls Number Two out for his interrupting him during his evil plan explanation, asking him if he wants to run things and "wear the daddy pants". He then bounces a giant rubber ball representing Earth at his head repeatedly, taunting him the whole time. Despite the fact that Dr. Evil is making fun of him for crying, Rob Lowe is laughing through the entire scene.
  • The Marx Brothers: Groucho Marx was such a hilarious actor that Margaret Dumont could hardly ever keep a straight face when she was on screen with him.
    • Groucho has this effect with other actors, some trying more valiantly than others not to laugh.
  • Monty Python:
    • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, during the "Biggus Dickus" scene, the extras playing the guards were told that the scene would be serious and that they had to keep straight faces or they would be sacked. Michael Palin turned his performance up to eleven to get them to corpse, and it ended up as one of the funniest scenes in the entire film. The characteristically deadpan John Cleese gets one scripted laugh in this scene, but exits before Palin really gets the guards rolling, leaving it undetermined whether he may have broken as well.
    • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, watch Eric Idle as a peasant during the "burn the witch" scene. As John Cleese stretches an awkward silence out further and further, Idle has to bite down on his scythe at one point to keep from laughing.
    • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life the oodles of kids from the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" sequence get an unrehearsed laugh from Michael Palin by shouting "You could get them cut off in an accident!"
    • According to John Cleese, Michael Palin was "very naughty" on stage in his attempts to get the other Pythons to do this during live performances.
      • At one point during the live tour, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman decided to try and make each other corpse when walking on to do a sketch about pepperpots; since they did their makeup separately and came in from opposite sides of the stage, there was a ready-made battlefield. They gradually got more and more absurd with their makeup, climaxing when Terry (sporting a beard made entirely from lipstick) cracked up at the sight of Graham with a circle of lipstick drawn around his face.
  • During the (not kidding) twenty straight minutes of rock climbing in B-Movie Lost Continent, as Cesar Romero is pulled up a cliff, his trousers begin to slide down and the actors hoisting him grab him by the back of his belt to prevent it. Behind them, Hugh Beaumont is visibly snickering at this and making a half-hearted attempt to hide it.
  • A bit of corpsing gets through in Spaceballs, but only slightly. When the Radar Officer tells Dark Helmet, "I'm having trouble with the radar, sir," there's a bit of a chuckle at the end. It should be noted that the officer was played by Michael Winslow, man of ten thousand sound effects. Almost a dozen Police Academy movies and this was the point where he almost loses his composure? Hilarious. (You can also see him covering his mouth as Helmet proclaims the jam to be "Raspberry!")
  • A more obvious bit of corpsing happens in Blazing Saddles, when the Waco Kid (played by Gene Wilder) gives his "common clay of the new West" speech, then Wilder ad-libs, "You know...morons." Cleavon Little (who played Sheriff Bart) bursts out laughing at that point.
  • In a scene from Guardians of the Galaxy, the Broker tries to explain to Yondu why he can't help him find the Orb, only for Yondu to belittle him by interrupting him with gibberish and babbling. Yondu's underling could be seen behind him, trying (and failing) to contain his laughter.
  • Harry Potter
    • Rik Mayall claims some of the child actors tried to do this to him during his (cut from the final film, sadly) scenes as Peeves in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Luckily for Mayall, he had experience with that sort of thing.
    • According to Chris Columbus, the first Potter film is filled with rapid cuts to compensate for how often the child actors would smile or laugh in the middle of takes. Rupert Grint was known for being especially bad for corpsing and apparently he didn't get much better when he grew up.
    • On the fifth film, an instance of corpsing became a Throw It In (when the Trio all laughs after Harry talks about his kiss with Cho). Emma Watson was reportedly terrible for doing this during the filming of the final film. They set up a corpsing jar on set because of it.
    • Emma Watson herself revealed that her scenes in movie seven with Rhys Ifans, who plays Xenophilius Lovegood, were especially prone to this. According to her, Ifans nicknamed her "Giggles" since she, in her own words, was "so bad" at keeping a straight face. It was also the first and only time in the entire series that Emma received a "red card", meaning that like with football\soccer, she had to be sent off-set to calm down.
  • In Ghostbusters (1984), when the gang goes to the Sedgewick Hotel and speaks to the man by the elevator ("What're you supposed to be, some kinda cosmonaut?"), you can see Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz) turn his head and look down at Bill Murray's (Peter Venkman) comments about roaches. ("Must be a big cockroach." "Bite your head off, man.") Justifiably understandable, because the "Bite your head off" line was improvised right there and then, so nobody saw it coming at all.
  • Happens to Kevin Smith in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back when Jay is trying to pretend he's James Van Der Beek to the security guards.
  • Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams have both said publicly that the filming of Mean Girls was often prolonged by fits of giggles induced whenever Tim Meadows was on set. It apparently became his mission for the duration of his work on that film to make Lindsay laugh on-camera as often as possible.
  • Ace Ventura: Courteney Cox tries and almost succeeds in looking solemn when 'Larry' (Jim Carrey) acts out "a button-hook pattern in super slo-mo". She nearly cracks when he does an "instant replay" and 'bounces' off the doctor's shoulder. Additionally during those scenes, when Ace slams his head into a chair after drinking from a fountain, if you looks closely, the Doctor with Courteney can be seen chuckling.
  • Young Frankenstein
    • Watch and count the number of scenes where Gene Wilder is inches away from completely losing it. Igor's "take the bags" scene had to be filmed multiple times—not because the cast corpsed, but because the crew was laughing so hard that it was messing up the takes.
    • The scene with Gene Hackman was supposed to be a one day shoot; between cast and crew the scene took nearly a week to film due to corpsing.
  • A chronic problem on the set of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and indeed, Lou was infamous for going out of his way to crack up his costars, both with his performance and with unexpected pranks. The scene where Lou sits on Glenn Strange's (the Frankenstein monster) lap had to be reshot so many times that even Lou lost his patience. Strange replied: "I can't help it. Somehow I can tell just from the back of your head what you're doing up there." Even in the finished scene you can observe the corners of Strange's lips twitching.
  • In the 1989 Batman movie, one news reporter looks like she is corpsing In-Universe, and then becomes a corpse soon after, due to Joker venom.
  • A whole series of corpsing outtakes play during the Creative Closing Credits of Cannonball Run.
  • In The Empire Strikes Back after Lando flirts shamelessly with Leia and an annoyed Han says "All right you old smoothie" you can see Carrie Fisher break character and grinning. According to Fisher herself in an audio commentary, this was aggravated by the previous night, when Eric Idle (at that point filming Monty Python's Life of Brian) had held a party, with a drink he called "Tunisian Tabletop Cleaner." The resulting buzz apparently lasted well into the following day's filming, giving everyone on set a tendency to sport a big grin.
  • In Sister Act, when Mother Superior is raging at Deloris for turning the choir into a sideshow, the priest knocks on the door. Maggie Smith literally squeaks a loud "Come in!" that is so out of character (both for Mother Superior and for Maggie Smith) that you can clearly see Whoopi Goldberg immediately cover her mouth as she starts corpsing.
  • While shooting the line-up scene in The Usual Suspects, everyone started laughing, so Bryan Singer kept part of it the film (right before Benicio Del Toro says his lines).
    • From the same director: the X-Men: Days of Future Past Blu-Ray includes a deleted scene along with a few takes that went wrong because while filming it, Singer had injured his vocal cords and "sounded like Mickey Mouse", so everyone (specially Jennifer Lawrence) couldn't stop laughing at him.
  • Watch Mark Ruffalo in the infamous shawarma scene of The Avengers's second Stinger, Chris Hemsworth can be seen briefly smiling when he sees Ruffalo holding back laughter. Also, in the bloopers, this happens to Tom Hiddleston/Loki while he's trying to film his pained reaction to being beaten up by the Hulk.
    • The sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has an in-universe example. The team was just attacked by Killer Robots and is demanding an explanation from Tony... who breaks into a nervous giggle fit. He takes a minute to compose himself, even as Bruce gives him a Dude, Not Funny! warning glare.
  • The "wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world" scene from Dumb and Dumber was not in the script; it was ad-libbed by Jim Carrey. During this scene in the movie you can see actor Mike Starr (who plays the hitman Mental) visibly trying not to laugh. Jeff Daniels starts corpsing too, briefly before the camera cuts to a close-up of Mike Starr.
  • Lost in Translation features a scene with Bill Murray "talking" to an elderly Japanese woman in a hospital waiting room. Nearby are two extras who are nearly bursting from trying not to laugh. Murray (the actor) appears to notice them and goes even further trying to provoke a reaction from them.
  • So I Married an Axe Murderer has a scene where Mike Myers (as the father of his other character in the movie) tries to teach Anthony Lapaglia's character about a secret society known as "The Pentaverate," but quickly goes off topic and starts ranting about Colonel Sanders. Anthony Lapaglia manages to hold it together for his one line, but that's about it. There's also a scene in the film where the same character is making fun of the large head of a kid, and Anthony Lapaglia's character tells him to be nice, while visibly laughing. Clearly, the director decided to Throw It In.
  • Eddie Murphy apparently caused plenty of this in Beverly Hills Cop, specially because most dialogue was improvised. Good example is the "Super Cops" scene: the guy on Murphy's right is doing sort of a Face Palm to hide his laughter.
    • The guy on his left was trying not to laugh by pinching his thighs through his pants pockets.
  • Another Murphy example: in The Golden Child when Kee Nang drags off Chandler Jarell in the airport scene, Charlotte Lewis is very visibly on the edge of bursting into laughter (which given her acting in the rest of the movie can be summed up by the phrase "Dull Surprise" makes it not such a bad thing).
  • The scene in The Princess Diaries where Mia slips and falls off the bleachers was not scripted and was a complete accident but the director kept it in anyway. Heather Matarazzo breaks character briefly but Anne Hathaway is too busy laughing her head off (which is in character) to affect the scene.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. had a quick moment in Tropic Thunder where he breaks into a grin after his "Book-script" line before snapping back into a stare.
  • Tom Hanks was asked to do this with one of the child actors in Apollo 13 because they were getting a bit bored. The actress playing the Lovell's oldest daughter was previously in Free Willy 2, and Hanks used this to his advantage. He, as Lovell, started talking about the astronauts' freeze dried food and then suddenly switched to "No, it isn't...that's...that's *whale*! It's a 'Free Willy' sandwich!" Unfortunately, it's not evident in the final product.
  • Midnight in Paris when F. Scott Fitzgerald introduces his new friend to Ernest Hemingway.
  • A common hazard in most of Christopher Guest's films; due to the almost entirely unscripted nature of the films, combined with the cast being some of the most talented comic actors in the business. In A Mighty Wind, the cutaway immediately after Michael Hitchcock Dope Slaps an increasingly annoying Bob Balaban was necessitated by the entire cast and crew exploding into laughter.
  • Iron Man 2: Robert Downey Jr. cracks up when asking the DJ for "A phat beat to beat my buddy's ass to." Since Tony is supposed to be drunk, they Throw It In.
  • In Hitch, watch Will Smith's expression during the "dance lesson" scene. He covers his mouth through the entire sequence, and when you see his co-star's (incredibly nerdy but excellent) dancing, it's easy to guess why.
  • Watch Christine McIntyre during Shemp's "death" scene during The Three Stooges short Who Done It. She's obviously struggling to keep her composure during Shemp's seizures.'
  • In this scene from Back to School, the script called for Jason to sit quietly and look disgusted at his dad's secretary taking notes in class, but actor Keith Gordon simply could not stop cracking up on-camera at actress Edie McClurg. They decided to Throw It In since it works just as well that Jason is laughing in frustrated disbelief instead.
  • In UHF, when Billy spits in Uncle Nutsy's face, you can see the child actor start to crack up as his loogie hangs perfectly from Weird Al's nose.
  • In the Belching Contest scene in Revenge of the Nerds, keep an eye on John Goodman as the coach. He keeps studying his shoes while simultaneously making sure his hat doesn't come off, all to keep from laughing out loud on camera from the antics of actors Donald Gibb and Curtis Armstrong.
  • Birdemic. Poor Whitney Moore, who played Nathalie, knowing she was in an awful movie, said almost every line with a giggle.
  • Matthew Broderick did a heroic job keeping a straight face around Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy, but simply couldn't do it during the chicken skin scene at Medieval Times.
  • At one point early in White Christmas, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye dress in drag and perform an act lip-syncing to a record of the female leads singing. While Danny keeps a straight face all the way through, Bing repeatedly flubs his lip-sync and almost cracks up, especially when Danny hits him in the face with a feathered fan. It works in context, since the characters were supposed to be improvising an act to keep the police distracted while the singers escape out the back, and apparently it was filmed all in one take with only minimal rehearsal so it wouldn't look too polished.
  • Right before the closing minutes of A Christmas Story, when the family goes out to a Chinese Restaurant to eat some Roast Duck. If you look closely at Mrs. Parker when she is pretending to be horrified by the sight of the Duck, there are times when she appears to be laughing. One of the more evident moment is when she holds Ralphie by the back of his head mere seconds before the Duck's head gets cut off. If you listen closely as well at that exact moments, one of the kids cracks up loudly as well.
    • That's nothing compared to the soap poisoning scene. Every time the Old Man and Ralphie's mom duck their heads into their hands or bury their faces into Ralphie's chest/shoulder, it's to hide their uncontrollable laughing, when they were supposed to be sobbing uncontrollably.
  • In This Is the End, towards the end of the long masturbating argument between James Franco and Danny McBride, Seth Rogen has to turn the side and is visibly seen chuckling as their banter gets more ridiculous.
  • In Wayne's World, a famously ad-libbed scene between Wayne and Garth takes place as the two of them rest on Wayne's car, watching airplanes takeoff. Dana Carvey (Garth) can briefly be seen snickering to himself as he suddenly thinks up the line, "Did you ever think it was attractive when Bugs Bunny dressed up as a lady bunny?". Mike Myers (Wayne) manages to stammer out "No...!" while desperately trying to hold a straight face, before completely losing it and cackling madly. The reaction was so funny, the creators decided to leave it in the final cut.
  • A Million Ways to Die in the West: According to both Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron, about three-quarters of the time when Annie laughs on screen, its actually Charlize Theron actually reacting to Seth MacFarlane's improvised dialog.
  • In the 1997 informative video The Kids Guide To The Internet, it's really hard to tell if Peter is trying not to laugh or acting too hard.
  • The Wild World of Batwoman: Katherine Victor is barely holding it together during the Ching Chong seance.
  • Fat Slags: Dolph Lundgren is obviously trying not to laugh when the slags give him mouth-to-mouth.
  • Count Yorga: In the scene where a newly vamped Erica and fellow vampire bride running into Yorga's throne room to attack Micheal. You can see Erica's actress, Judy Lang, laughing a bit. Helps with the scene though to show her newfound bloodlust. Ironic too since Erica's now a vampire, she's a literal walking corpse.
  • In Dracula: Dead and Loving It during the scene where Harker and Helsing stake Lucy. Steven Weber, who played Harker, was told that he was going to be sprayed with fake blood, but not how much. So when he starts driving the stake in and is hit with it, he's clearly struggling not to laugh when Helsing tells him to hit her one more time to be sure only to refute "She's dead enough!".
  • When filming The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer couldn't resist giggling during the "Something Good" number, as the arc lights made noises that sounded like someone Blowing a Raspberry. Director Robert Wise decided to film Andrews and Plummer in silhouette to hide their laughter. Some of their chuckling can still be heard in the final film, though it at least occurs at times that make sense for their characters.
  • In Plan 9 from Outer Space, when Eros' actor delivers the infamous "Your stupid minds! Stupid! STUPID!" line, you can notice Tanna's actress barely managing to hold back her laughter.
  • Billy Crystal was incorrigible during his filming of The Princess Bride, as most of his dialogue as Miracle Max was improvised, meaning that Mandy Pantakinnote  and especially Cary Elwes (seeing as he was supposed to be mostly dead) had to work hard to keep from corpsing. Director Rob Reiner couldn't even be on set during the Miracle Max scene because his laughter was ruining takes and had to watch from a monitor in a separate room.
  • In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Ellen's mother tells her that she has hemorrhoids Beverly D'Angelo can briefly be seen struggling to keep a straight face.
  • During Edgar Friendly's expletive-ridden Motive Rant in Demolition Man, his lackeys flanking him can be seen cracking up. A more forgiveable example than most as they're probably just as into it all as he is.
  • In Deadpool, Gina Carano can be seen struggling to keep a straight face when Negasonic Teenage Warhead is completing a tweet before the final battle.
  • In The Wolf of Wall Street, as Donnie has to deliver a briefcase to Brad (and the latter is arrested), Jonah Hill is clearly pushing Jon Bernthal to the extreme, and Bernthal can't hold his laughter as he hears "Oh my God, the emperor of Fucksville came down from Fucksville to give me a pass!"

    Literature 
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, Van Helsing suffers a case of this thanks to unintentional irony at Lucy Westenra's funeral. He just barely holds it together until he makes it into a carriage, when he breaks out into hysterics in front of a grieving Dr. Seward, who is decidedly not amused. As he explains the phenomenon:
    "Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, 'May I come in?' is not the true laughter. No! he is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person; he choose no time of suitability. ...even at such a moment, King Laugh he come to me and shout and bellow in my ear "Here I am! here I am! ...it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come he make them all dance to the tune he play.
  • In his travel book Letters from England, Karel Čapek mentions he unsuccessfully tried to be quiet and grave in a quiet and grave traditional English club, only to burst out laughing at one point. He says it provoked no reaction whatsoever from the other gentlemen in the club, which was a very disconcerting experience.
  • A meta-example for The Eye of Argon: It's a popular game at SF conventions for people to take turns reading from the infamously Narm-filled book out loud, complete with Purple Prose, Rouge Angles of Satin, and Delusions of Eloquence all taken exactly as written, to see who can last the longest before breaking down into laughter. It's considered quite an achievement to last more than a page. Variations of the game may be played with the works of Amanda McKittrick Ros or William Topaz Mc Gonnagall.
  • In Paladin of Souls, Ista is believed by her captors to be dead, with good reason. When she revives, her rescuers decide that the best way to get her out is for her to continue to play dead. At one point, she has trouble suppressing a smile, with a mental note that smiling would be rather out of character for her current role.
  • Wings of Fire: In the first book, as the dragonets reenact the start of the SandWing Secession War, Sunny plays the role of Queen Oasis, whose death started the twenty-year war. She's supposed to just lie there, but the antics of her friends (especially seeing Starflight dully act like Blaze) makes her start laughing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Tim Conway was the master and archetype of sending his cast members into bouts of unscripted laughter on The Carol Burnett Show. He was so good at it, they didn't even try to hide that they were laughing. All it took was him to come out in some ridiculous outfit, flash his trademark smirk at them, and the others would be falling over laughing.
    • Harvey Korman was particularly a victim whenever he did a skit with Tim Conway. Conway may well be the Crown Prince of causing other people to corpse. Note that Conway rarely actively tried to make it happen. The other cast members reportedly placed bets to see how long it would take Korman to bust out laughing.
    • The best example of this is one sketch in which he played a dentist. Conway's character accidentally shoots himself (multiple times) with an anesthetic. Poor Harvey Korman was literally stuck in the dentist chair and had to watch the entire thing.
    • Other times, the other members, especially Carol, would get even with Tim. Like in "The Flasher" skit, which (judging by the nature of what it was that cracked him up) was more of a conspiratorial plot to break Tim than an actual sketch.
    • Vicki Lawrence was very good at resisting corpsing, but could even make Tim fall out laughing, as at the very end of the Elephant story. Of course, up to that point it was all Tim; Carol doesn't even make it to the ten-second mark before making an Oh Crap! face. Vicki was also fond (while playing Mama) of coming up with ad libbed insults to crack up Carol.
      • On the other hand, there was one skit with her, Lyle Waggoner, and Harvey Korman where she breaks down laughing after her character dies. Harvey eventually solves the situation by burying Vicki's head with hay.
    • Conway kept it up on the short-lived WB improv/sitcom "On the Spot," regularly doing ad-libs that had the other actors cracking up constantly. It was even lampshaded with an actor asked what his character was doing and replying "it was terrible, he didn't do one line from the script..."
  • In The Nanny episode "Close Shave", Fran, disguised as a nurse, is told to shave an unconscious Maxwell's pubic hair. Both Fran Drescher and Charles Shaughnessy began giggling uncontrollably — it was funnier in the latter's case, since Maxwell was supposed to be passed out.
  • An episode of The Jamie Foxx Show had Jamie attending a driving school with Mark Curry as the former drill sergeant turned teacher. When Braxton answers a question, Curry nearly wipes himself out sliding up to yell at him. Behind the two, Foxx and an extra immediately turn around as another extra holds a paper over her mouth to hide their laughter. The studio audience reacted so wildly to the Curry bit that rather than reshoot, the producers kept this in as you can see the other extras fighting not to explode laughing during the scene.
  • The cast of NBC's Undateable frequently throw in strange line readings and ad-libs to try and get the others to break. The corpsing is often included in the final cut because it works for the scene.
    • It's increased with the show switching to a live format and the cast unable to keep from cracking up at a botched line or a sudden impromptu move (like an actress kissing guest star Scott Foley).
    • The actors and writers have constantly tried to trip up Chris D'Elia (Danny) who never breaks on camera. It finally happened, however, when D'Elia's former co-star Whitney Cummings played Danny's new flame, ad-libbing a dick joke and through gritted teeth and laughter, D'Elia hissed "don't get us canceled twice!"
  • J-Rock on Trailer Park Boys is infamous at sending his cast members into corpsing fits. Jonathan Torrens, the guy who plays him, goes off-script often and comes out with truly hilarious statements that the cast just aren't ready for. If you're looking for it, you'll frequently see Bubbles or Julian abruptly duck out of frame to keep from having a laughing fit on camera.
  • All the time in Smallville judging from the special features videos. Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) especially mentions a kissing scene in which Tom Welling (Clark Kent) would keep bursting out in laughter and they had to do it over and over again.
  • Seinfeld
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus was heavily prone to corpsing based on the out-takes, Jerry almost as bad, with Jason Alexander occasionally breaking. Michael Richards on the other hand is practically immune and pretty much never breaks first, and is extremely focused on getting his lines out, while playing the hardest character on the show, he gets quite frustrated with the other members of the cast.
    • After getting stuck in a parking garage in "The Parking Garage", the car refuses to start. You can see Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus cracking up inside. This is because the car failing to start was unplanned, but, seeing how funny the scene turned out to be, the producers figured to keep the scene in the episode
    • This trope is also seen in "The Contest" with Elaine after George explains how his mother ends up in the hospital (hint: she caught him masturbating). Staying in character, Jason Alexander (as George) ad-libbed, "It's not funny, Elaine. She's in traction," making Julia (as Elaine) laugh even more.
    • The penultimate scene in "The Little Kicks" had Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Stiller arguing in a police station. Stiller made her laugh so many times that the crew was starting to think they'd be there all night by the time they got it done.
    • Look closely at Jason Alexander in the scene in "The Merv Griffin Show" where Kramer "takes a break" by munching a handful of chips and taking a sip of Diet Coke. It's Michael Richards' little burp that sets him off.
  • Peter Cook, a master of improv, liked to get his partner Dudley Moore to corpse during filmings of Not Only... But Also.
    Pete: [as Dud tries to hide his laughter by eating] You enjoyin' that sandwich, are ya?
    Dud: [weeps with laughter]
  • On the 30 Rock Live Episode, Tracy tries to corpse on purpose to get a laugh. Tracy being Tracy, he does it badly.
    Tracy: Uh oh, I'm doing something called 'breaking' Blahahahaha. Snort. Heehee. Giggle giggle. The audience loves this!
  • Doctor Who:
    • In-Universe:
      • In "Robot", Sarah has to stand still and look serious while the Doctor interrogates Kettlewell about the robot he thinks is killing people. Their conversation is serious but the Doctor is pulling ridiculously intense, bulging-eyed faces in order to make Sarah laugh, which she can't resist, and which he clearly gets a lot of pleasure out of.
      • Strax's Field Report played in cinema releases of "Deep Breath" has him, while sending a video message to the Sontaran battle fleet, make a comment about the Ninth Doctor being "all ears" and subsequently crack up. He then mentions the Eleventh Doctor having 'learned to take it on the chin', which causes him to suddenly crack up when he realises what he's said. Then the more images of the Eleventh Doctor's chin that appear on the screen, the worse his composure gets, until he's screaming "CHINS ARE NOT FUNNY" while barely able to stand upright from laughter.
    • In "The Mind Robber" at one point the Doctor and Zoe are attempting to get through a door. Watch Zoe as the Doctor hides her under his cloak and you can just about tell that Wendy Padbury is laughing underneath it.
    • In "The Seeds of Death", the Doctor is pushed through a door by a gigantic wave of fungus (foam), then accidentally slips and lands on his arse (which was not supposed to happen). Zoe's actress Wendy Padbury is obviously laughing for about a minute while running around trying to fight the foam off - she even keeps laughing despite having lines to say. "That's terror," Wendy Padbury explained on the DVD commentary later.
    • In "Spearhead From Space", when the Doctor turns up the charm and swaggers across the room to Liz, Caroline John gives a rather helpless little giggle.
    • In "The Daemons", in the long shot just after the Doctor gets caught up in the middle of the Morris dance when they all round on him and begin hitting him with their sticks and bladders, you can see Jon Pertwee is cracking up. (Despite the ludicrous description, this is supposed to be a scary scene.)
    • In "Terror of the Zygons", in the scene where the Doctor is coming round from his anaerobic trance and is supposed to be acting in a spacey sort of way, you can see Tom Baker's upper lip twitch as he almost cracks before regaining his composure.
    • In "The Hand of Fear", Eldrad starts having a Villainous Breakdown and begins Milking the Giant Cow, Chewing the Scenery, and generally foaming at the mouth to extents that are aesthetically indefensible, and when he suddenly raises his voice Tom Baker giggles before turning it into an in-character Grin of Audacity.
    • Whatculture pointed out that during the scene in "The Creature From the Pit" where the Doctor has to approach a monster that looks like a giant green penis and scrotum and "communicate" with it, Tom Baker, normally very good at keeping a straight face during such things, is clearly about to crack up and even has to hide his smile with his hand at one point.
    • In "Nightmare of Eden", Tom Baker is obviously in intense pain trying not to crack up at the ridiculous, completely made up accent used by the character Tryst.
    • Graham Crowden, who plays Soldeed in "The Horns of Nimon" did this during his death scene. However, it actually comes across as being perfectly in character as Evil Is Hammy, so he gets away with it by turning it into some kind of crazy chortle.
    • Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) suffered an attack of the giggles during the making of "Earthshock". To make matters worse, it happened while they were filming the final scene, in which their characters were supposed to be grieving for Adric. Fortunately, they eventually managed to regain their composure, enabling the scene to be filmed; the incident is recounted in the "making of" documentary on the DVD.
    • In the episode "The Christmas Invasion", watch Mickey's face from the point that the Doctor staggers out of the TARDIS to the point that he collapses at Mickey and Jackie's feet. Poor Noel Clarke could barely keep a straight face.
    • "New Earth": When Lady Cassandra takes over the Doctor's body and turns up the camp, you can see Billie Piper trying not to crack.
    • In "School Reunion", corpsing was used as Enforced Method Acting — to get authentic laughter from Piper and Elisabeth Sladen, David Tennant scribbled on his face with a marker when he entered. The laughter from Rose and Sarah Jane is them corpsing over how ridiculous Tennant looked.
  • Quite often during the presenter interludes on CBBC (BBC childrens television) this is often because of mistakes made by other presenters or puppeteers, or unrehearsed lines, especially the puppeteer of 'Hacker. T. Dog' as seenin one of the funniest links made in CBBC history
  • A segment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart regarding a sex scandal involving Prince Charles produced one of the greatest corpses of all time between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. A few of the more notable times involved the writers and other actors changing things up on Jon between rehearsal and recording (such as when John Oliver reads the names of Britain's Fallen Soldiers). Oliver starts cracking too when he gets to a soldier named "Incestishire".
  • Jon's replacement, Trevor Noah, has a tendency to snicker after running a news clip and cracking a joke, especially making ones about the Republican presidential candidates. He fully admits that sometimes his jokes aren't that funny, but he still finds them amusing.
  • The Colbert Report's site has a video compilation for when he loses it on camera. (While there have been stories of "Munchma Quchi" being Colbert's mother in law the claim has been proven to be false)
  • While on John Oliver, Last Week Tonight frequently has the most ridiculous clips featured in the segments returning to John clearly stifling laughter. Also, his reaction to a crocodile puppet being called "alligator", and Kenny G as .;
  • Several times on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Most of the time, the four "players" and Drew are great at keeping straight faces, but sometimes you get moments like this.
    • Colin can sometimes set it off with a single word, such as "Tapioca!" or an already breaking down "Meow".
      • "Meow" gets special credit because not only did he get Wayne, Drew and Ryan to break, he even made Laura Hall playing the piano to crack, the music faltering and just stopping because she was laughing so hard.
    • So far, only three people have managed to get Colin to corpse: Robin Williams, Richard Simmons, and Colin himself.
      • The case where Colin got himself? A "Greatest Hits" where he said the following. The entire studio stopped cold for laughing.
        Ryan: We don't know what you're watching, so we're not gonna return you to it!
        Colin: We're watching animal porn! *beat and laughter* "Mary Had a Little Lamb" will be right back...
      • Ryan Stiles almost gets Colin to crack during a Let's Make a Date, with Colin having to take a second to get back into character because he's chuckling at Ryan.
    • A pure case of corpsing (in that he is actually meant to be a corpse) occurs for Drew in one of the outtakes.
    • The two most common corpsing events involve Colin going off on tangents during the "Greatest Hits" as a spokesman with Ryan (Leading to such gems as the "Tapioca" outburst and "We're watching animal porn!" bit) and during the Irish Drinking Song skit where Colin was always the one to finish the song with a rhyme and does it in such a way that everyone else loses it, leaving him as the sole person literally standing.
    • Colin gets another one during Greatest Hits when Ryan asks him what bird says the name of their next band (meaning an owl, which says "who"). Colin's guess? Just watch. Everyone else on stage loses it for about a minute.
    • Ryan actually manages to break both Wayne Brady and Drew in an Irish Drinking song, though Colin's "Meow" broke him too.
      • Really, most Irish Drinking Songs end with most of the cast laughing—a direct consequence of Colin having the last line.
    • A round of Party Quirks ended up with Ryan accidentally breaking the neon light around Drew's desk with his head while playing Carol Channing (whose head keeps getting stuck to things). He stayed in character while asking if his head was bleeding and even managed to make Colin corpse.
    • In one game of Weird Newscasters, Colin cracked Drew by saying "Beverly Hills 90210, Cleveland Browns 3."
    • One round of Sound FX obliterates Drew, leaving him in a fit of wheezing hysterics.
  • Most of the bloopers on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Poopie Reel (available on the "Manos" The Hands of Fate episode's DVD) consist of corpsing, which is made extra funny because most of the actors manage to stay completely in character even after blowing a take. This example in particular...
    • In the completed Monster A-Go Go episode, you can see Frank crack during the "Johnny Longtorso" song. As seen in the Poopie reel, it's fairly impressive that he could get through it at all.
      • Frank Conriff was very bad at these. It's amazing he could get through any of them.
    • Portrayed in-universe with the Mads' invention exchange for The Human Duplicators, in that they could not stop laughing at the absurdity of their William Conrad Fridge Alert. One has to wonder just how much of that was simply Trace and Frank rolling with it, though.
    • It's also common among the movie segments, Joel/Mike and the 'Bots frequently chuckle and crack up at each others riffs.
    • Samson vs. the Vampire Women just has Tom utterly lose it when El Santo suddenly shows up at the beginning of the film.
  • Very common in Saturday Night Live due to the live comedy nature of the show. A handful of performers, including producer Lorne Michaels, were virtually immune to it and any time they do corpse is a rare treasure.
    • On a sketch from the original cast era (1975-1980), Gilda Radner plays a dumb woman who embarrasses her friend played by Candace Bergen. Bergen then calls her "Fern" (which is actually her character's name) instead of "Lisa" which is Gilda's character's name. Bergen completely cracks while Gilda turns the sketch around and makes it look like "Fern" is the dumb one in the sketch.
    • Chris Farley was a master at inspiring this in his castmates. This was the most enjoyable part of the Zagat's sketches. Adam Sandler plays a grumpy Deadpan Snarker husband, and Farley is his over-enthusiastic wife. His performance is so over the top that watching Sandler try to keep his miserable expression (and fail) is far funnier than a straight take would have been.
      • The "Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker" sketch had the other actors in the skit rolling, especially David Spade, who tried(and failed) to hide his smile by cupping his face with his left hand(as his left side was facing the audience). Episode host Christina Applegate was reduced to pulling some of her hair out of her ponytail and draping it across her cheek to try and hide her laughter. In particular, the rehearsal had Farley say the "living in a van down by the river" in a fairly normal tone of voice. In the live performance he made it legendary with "living in A VAN... DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!" and that is what killed the others in the skit.
      • In his autobiography, Jay Mohr talks about how it was often impossible not to laugh in Farley's presence. He notes that in one scene, Farley simply crossed his eyes whenever he knew the camera couldn't see it, prompting his co-stars to crack up.
      • Another element that makes the skit so legendary is how Farley breaking the table was completely unscripted. You can see how shocked the other actors are before they make a valiant effort to keep straight faces.
    • After leaving the show, Spade would later host SNL. He was featured in a sketch with Will Ferrell, who played a Drill Sergeant Nasty. Ferrell apparently tried his damnedest to make Spade crack up during the sketch. It worked.
    • Another sketch with Ferrell, known as "The Bad Doctor". The setup is that a couple of recent parents are consulting a dubiously qualified doctor, and it only goes downhill from there. Right around the time Ferrell says "we misplaced your baby", he and Molly Shannon are both cracking up.
    • In the famous Phil Hartman sketch where he visits a McDonald's as Bill Clinton, he starts eating the customers' food as he talks. At one point, he literally chokes for a second and needs Tim Meadows to supply him with water. Being the professional that he is, Phil plays it off.
    • Another Phil Hartman crackup here when he is playing Frankenstein's Monster. There's actually a story with this in which Phil was sitting there and suddenly realized how absurd the situation was and then giggled a bit. He stopped for a few and then thought about how Frankenstein's Monster would've sounded laughing, which set him off all over again.
    • Horatio Sanz often couldn't keep a straight face and neither could Jimmy Fallon. On the 2011 Christmas episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon, he even stated that his cracking up on-camera ruined a lot of good sketches.
      • Tracy Morgan said in an interview with Penthouse that Fallon's tendency to corpse wasn't always appreciated among the cast, adding that Fallon knew better than to do it in a sketch involving Tracy.
      • On the Family Guy episode, "Don't Make Me Over," Peter beats up Jimmy Fallon for his constant corpsing, stating that he hasn't earned the right to do it like Carol Burnett (and apparently forgetting the fact that Fallon had sex with Meg as part of the show's cold opening).
    • In the first Debbie Downer sketch, nobody could keep a straight face.
      • Perhaps the only person in this particular sketch who didn't break down into hysterics was Fred Armisen, who was clearly doing all he could to keep from corpsing along with his castmates. He was successful...kinda.
      • So prevalent was this in the sketches that the syndicated version of the Downer sketch with Ben Affleck (from season 30) contains the dress rehearsal version in which the cast corpses; it comes with a disclaimer that it was funnier than the original live version in which everyone kept it together.
    • Ever since Bill Hader's Stefon character (who was originally a One-Scene Wonder in a sketch about a screenwriter whose effeminate, deranged brother reunites with him to pitch a family-friendly sports movie on the season 34 episode hosted by Ben Affleck) became a Weekend Update character (the segment's "city correspondent"). Hader, who tried to conceal his corpsing through covering his mouth in an almost geisha-like fashion, has not gotten through a segment without laughing note . That Other Wiki and many a late-night talk show interview confirm (from both Hader and SNL writer, John Mulaney — Hader's co-writer for the Stefon segments on Weekend Update) that this keeps happening because John Mulaney changes jokes at the last minute (not out of malice; just to be funny) and Hader doesn't see them until he's actually on-camera. Also not helping is the absurdity of the descriptions (which have grown with every passing segment) and Hader seeing the cue-card man and others behind camera cracking up first. According to Hader, it's gotten to the point where even the man putting on his mike has told him, quote, "You are dead, buddy. You're gonna laugh first thing out of the gate."
      • It got to the point that by the time Bill Hader left SNL, it had become not only permissible, but an expected part of the sketch, for him to corpse.
      • Seth Meyers is also usually ready to crack the moment Stefon rolls in.
      • Hader developed the "mouth-covering" character quirk to hide the laughter.
    • Another Bill Hader example happened during an SNL skit The Californians, which managed to mildly crack up Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig. Granted, that was the dress rehearsal, but this fit of giggles made its way into the skit during the live taping as well.
    • There's the famous "I have a fevah! And the only prescription...is more cowbell!" Line delivered by Christopher Walken, which made everyone in the scene crack up.
      • According to interviews, Will Ferrell changed shirts between rehearsal and taping, going with one that was hilariously undersized for the live take. As a result, Jimmy Fallon spends most of the sketch completely unable to hold a straight face.
    • Speaking of Jimmy Fallon and Christoper Walken, their performance of Potato Pohtatoh has Jimmy on the verge of laughter the entire time, but he completely loses it when Christopher lovingly strokes his belly.
    • For all this, SNL also has the über anti-corpsing example: Alec Baldwin, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, and Schweddy Balls.
      • It has a sequel in the skit Schweddy Weiner. Ana Gasteyer at one point slips up and says "peener", and for a few seconds, all three actors—even Alec Baldwin who is notorious for not doing this—are clearly struggling not to lose it.
    • Alec gets another near-miss moment in a skit where he parodies his famous Glengarry Glen Ross character and his equally famous speech. When he tells the characters to "always be cobbling", he slips and says "always be closing", thus revealing that the speech is basically imprinted on his brain. The audience loses it, and for a moment, he almost does too.
    • In a season 3 episode, during Weekend Update, John Belushi was reporting about a recent oil spill complete with a toy boat that's filled with oil. Belushi accidentally tilts the boat over causing his hand and the desk to be covered with oil. Belushi sees Dan Aykroyd, who was beside him, miserably trying to hide his laughter and takes advantage of it by making Aykroyd laugh, teasing Aykroyd that he's gonna put oil on him, causing Aykroyd to corpse more.
    • Don Rickles went Off the Rails and broke Joe Piscopo within 20 seconds into their sketch. Piscopo's giggles were infectious enough to break Rickles in return.
    • For a more recent example, check out Weekend Update from the Lady Gaga-hosted episode in season 39. Taran Killam as Jebediah Atkinson just kills Seth Meyers the entire time he's on-stage, eventually cracking Killam himself. As the Update segment ends and the camera zooms out, Meyers can be seen still laughing like a jackal with Killam.
    • One Will Forte sketch example was a skit with guest star Peyton Manning. Forte is a coach trying to inspire his team, and it culminates in Forte dancing like a complete idiot for almost the entirety of the the main theme from the original Casino Royale while the team including Manning stare and cover their mouths.
    • The 40th Anniversary special had a Digital Short with Sandler, Samberg, and Hader singing about this phenomenon, poking fun at the tendency to do so when the skits don't "work" and how many cast members do so.
    • In Maya Rudolph's return to hosting, she and Kristen Wiig utterly break during the Super Showcase sketch, with Bill Hader holding it together by a thread.
  • According to the commentary, the biggest spate of corpsing in Game of Thrones occurred during Joffrey's wedding, in response to the line "This pie is dry." It was late in the day, the cast was tired, and for whatever reason, that line sent them all into a hysterical laughing fit. Especially strange considering what happens immediately after that line.
    • Look carefully at Jon Snow when Ygritte teasingly says, "Ruined! Now I'll never be able to marry a perfumed lord! What will me poor savage father say?" He's valiantly choking back a laugh against all his instincts.
  • Fast Forward
    • Cast corpsing was often left in to beautiful comic effect, as in the Kung Fu parody sketch.
      Steve Vizard: [corpsing so hard he can't speak]
      Peter Moon: [also corpsing] It's your line.
    • Just when you thought the Brides of Satan sketch couldn't get any funnier, Magda Szubanski launches into a singong summoning of the devil that has Jane Turner losing it briefly, but completely.
    • This series also has this trope being subverted with Gina Riley's absolutely deadpan delivery as the SBS anchor announcing a late-night line-up that should have had the most seasoned anchor in stitches.
  • In one episode of Sliders, Professor Arturo gets more and more irritated at being mistaken for Luciano Pavarotti, until he finally loses it. In the scene in which he grabs someone by the shirt to deliver a rant on the subject, Jerry O'Connell can be seen in the background not even bothering to hide his laughter.
  • The X-Files
    • The corpse coughs and the film crew cracks up while Scully delivers her lines: "It's true, John. She's gone. There's no measurable electrical activity in her brain."
    • This happened a lot, particularly when props didn't work. One outtake reel includes what's supposed to be a burning book failing to catch fire three times. When it finally works, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson try really hard to keep straight faces, but when they look at one another they both burst out laughing.
  • In the Penguin scene from Monty Python's Flying Circus, Graham Chapman's exclamation of "Oh, intercourse the penguin!" is clearly an ad lib. How can you tell? John Cleese obviously trying to stifle his laughter and get back in character...
    • It's hard to find an episode of Monty Python without a scene of Michael desperately trying not to corpse. And being utterly adorable as he does.
    • John Cleese's truly EPIC attempts to get Michael Palin to corpse — at which he succeeds repeatedly — arguably make this version of the Dead Parrot Sketch the best one ever made.
      Palin: He's just...pining for the fjords.
      (long, poignant pause)
      Cleese: PAYEINING FOR THE FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYORDS?
      Palin: (straightens up and smiles, clearly trying not to laugh as the audience laughs and cheers)
      Cleese: PINING FOR THE FJOOOOOORDS? What kind of talk is that?!
      (Audience cheers and applauds loudly)
      Cleese: This is nothing to laugh at!
      Palin: (shakes with suppressed laughter)
    • Another example in the election night sketch they interview Kevin Philips Bong of the slightly silly party, Who proceeds to start singing "Climb Every Mountain" and getting everyone.
    • Cleese has to pause during Gumby Brain Specialist to prevent from laughing.
  • Morecambe and Wise were known for their very loose "rules" on corpsing and they practically smiled through every single thing they did and openly laughing at their jokes, it added to their charm. The people they were always trying to crack up were the serious actors, such as Oscar-winning Glenda Jackson failing to stop herself from laughing during their Anthony and Cleopatra skit.
    • Another example is during the Grieg's Piano Concerto skit, the background orchestra are laughing so hard and so constantly they might as well be in the audience. Hilariously averted in the same skit by their guest, renowned conductor/musician André Previn, who shows impeccable comedic timing and acting as a Straight Man despite not having acting experience. So straight in fact, he never corpses for a second during Morecambe's antics, even when the latter menacingly pulls Previn up close by his collar due to him criticizing Morecambe's performance.
    • This is even funnier when you learn that Morecambe and Wise were professional as hell during rehearsals and complained at people who ad-libbed. They of course ad-libbed during the actual recordings...
  • The Tonight Show
    • In the famous "Sis Boom Bah" joke from Carnac the Magnificent, Johnny and Ed can't keep a straight face before they deliver the joke. And who could blame them? Then they lose it completely after delivering the joke ("Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes").
    • Another sketch features Johnny and Joe Friday (Jack Webb) reviewing a case. The entire skit was designed solely to make Friday crack up. it finally happens at the end of this clip
    • In 1965, the record for longest continual laughter in live TV was definitely set thanks to Johnny's guest, actor/singer Ed Ames, who claimed that, in the course of his work, he had learned how to throw a tomahawk. Carson produced a human outline on a board, and Ames lobbed the tomahawk at it. It hit the board successfully, but slammed in right at the figure's crotch, starting the thunderous laughter. When the laughter started to die down, Carson quipped "I didn't even know you were Jewish!" starting it all up again. (Even funnier still was Carson's followup remark: "Welcome to Frontier Bris!")
      • Adding to the hilarity, the tomahawk's handle was jutting up as if it were the figure's penis, and when a flustered Ames started to walk towards the target to pull out the tomahawk, Carson grabbed his arm and stopped him, barely stifling his own laughter as he realized how bad (and funny) it would look if Ames were to grab and pull on the figure's erection.
  • In one Mork and Mindy episode homaging It's a Wonderful Life, Mork is supposed to be invisible and inaudible as he observes Mindy's life without him. Pam Dawber makes a valiant but ultimately futile effort to keep a straight face to Robin Williams' antics. Apparently, Robin liked to do this deliberately. In an interview, Pam mentioned one time where he stood offstage completely naked just to mess with her.
    • Before that, there was Mork's first appearance on Happy Days. Henry Winkler later commented how difficult it was working on that episode because not only was Williams so funny, but he also never did anything the same way twice.
  • Anne Robinson, the unflappable host of The Weakest Link, suffered a few facial twitches during a celebrity edition when Rob Schneider mentioned that he'd like to find out who "the sexy link" was, and stating his belief that: "Anne, I think it's you." Later, when voted off, Rob rushes the podium and wraps Anne in a giant bear hug, lifting her and spinning her around. Any semblance of a straight face is immediately lost.
    • Especially impressive given that Anne managed to keep a completely stoic expression before, during, and after being passionately kissed by William Shatner in an ad-libbed Captain Kirk shout out.
    • They also had one episode with all hairdressers; the contestants were basically eight blokes and one Dumb Blonde. The men all voted each other out for tactical reasons - or because they fancied the blonde - while Blondie was pretty much continually stupid. Until she pinched a victory from nowhere on the head-to-head showdown. Anne was visibly struggling to keep it together by the end.
    • On the WWE Edition when Trish Stratus was asked a question about Richard Nixon, she replied "I'm from Canada, I don't know" and a few chuckles from Anne seep through when she's trying to continue.
  • Very narrowly averted during the iconic chandelier scene in Only Fools and Horses. They only had one take, so if anyone corpsed, the whole thing would have been ruined. David Jason claimed it had taken every ounce of his professionalism not to laugh, and the moment the director yelled "cut", there was an explosion of laughter as the crew members all removed various objects like socks that they'd inserted into their mouths to keep from laughing.
  • Mrs. Brown's Boys has this in spades. Though it's usually because writer and series star Brendan O'Carroll is very good at making things up, usually just to make the rest of the cast laugh.
  • In How I Met Your Mother apparently one of the aspects of filming is that certain jokes, monologues and one-liners are not told to the cast as a whole and just to the one saying it. This almost guarantees a chuckle by the others in the scene, which is supposed to be in character anyway. At other times they just go off the walls and just Throw It In.
    • Neil Patrick Harris was chuckling when Jason Segel was singing "Happy, Happy Lily-day," however, it's not that noticeable.
    • Also Cobie Smulders is clearly struggling to contain herself when Barney explains The Three Day Rule.
    • Neil also made Wayne Brady crack up when he ad-libbed "Popozao!" after an exchange, in the latter's introductory episode. Wayne's back is turned to the camera but you can see him break down, and Neil himself points it out in the episode commentary.
    • When Barney was butting in on the bonding session of "Stand By Me" between his half brother, James and his newly reunited father, Sam, Colbie Smulders (Robin) was having a very hard time staying in character and is visibly trying not to completely lose it (it's not meant to be that funny In-Universe).
    • In the blooper reel Jason Segel was doing a scene where Marshall finds an old Mad Libs booklet and Cobie Smulders started laughing during his dialogue (every word was FART). As Segel and Josh Radnor start teasing her for it she tried to justify it as being in character for her to laugh at the gag, which they replied with "Not BEFORE the joke!"
  • For a man known for being a Deadpan Snarker, Richard Dawson has an absolutely epic fit of uncontrollable laughter during the infamous "September" Fast Money round of Family Feud.
    • Richard probably never guessed an answer of "mutual friends" would have him on the floor in laughter.
    • The tradition continues as Steve Harvey has also been shown to break down in bouts of laughter every once in a while when a contestant says something outrageous for an answer.
      • On Late Night, Steve even said that one answer made him laugh on the floor for 15 minutes straight, but most of it had to obviously be cut due to time constraints.
  • A sketch of Brazilian TV show Zorra Total had a drunkard psychiatrist. He always opened the window to check the "no health plan" patients' line outside, which even had a barbecue salesman. Said salesman was always shot from the back to hide his corpsing (in one episode, the psychiatrist dragged the salesman inside the office, just to show he was laughing his ass off).
    • The psychiatrist was also part of the show with the most corpsing ever in Brazilian TV, Sai de Baixo. It was performed in a theater, with plenty of Ham-to-Ham Combat and improvisation, and thus the cast were frequently losing it (and the editors always kept the takes with flubs and corpsing, even after a Hilarious Outtakes reel was added for every episode). An actress, whose career that far was mostly of dramas, even complained to the director that she thought of leaving because she couldn't keep a straight face - and the reply: "If you want to laugh, laugh!"
  • Happened on Anderson Cooper 360 during a "Ridiculist" segment talking about Gerard Depardieu peeing on a plane (as in peeing on the floor in the aisle of the plane). Anderson Cooper starts laughing uncontrollably after reading the many many puns. (In the subsequent episode, he puts himself on the Ridiculist for cracking up, then notes that he made it to pun 16 (out of 21) before he lost it.)
    • He did it again during a report on Dyngus Day. He held it together pretty well through all the mentions of Dyngus Day, but it seems like mentioning the use of Pussy Willow branches that set him off.
    • Colbert attempted to out-doo him by reading off a list of celebrity name poop puns with a completely straight face. He made it all the way through the list. Then broke into laughter.
    • Wolf Blitzer lampshaded this one time while sitting in for Anderson. The Ridiculist for that episode referenced a friendly rivalry between the two anchors. Wolf said that one skill he had and Anderson lacked was an ability to say anything with a straight face. He then showed a Montage of Anderson corsping. Then to illustrate his point, he rattled off a sentence consisting almost entirely of Inherently Funny Words, including the afore-mentioned Pussy Willows, as well as Lake Titicaca, all with a completely straight face.
  • Happens quite a bit on MADtv, especially in the Stuart (Michael MacDonald) sketches. His mom (Mo Collins) often has trouble keeping a straight face.
  • In Necessary Roughness one client turned to Dani after suddenly breaking into laughter during a live news report on an on-going war.
  • Tommy Davidson guest-stars on Martin as a former radio jockey turned Hollywood star. It's clear that the scene is a mix of script and ad-libs. At one point in the scene, Davidson says "the catfish are delicious," and Martin can't help but start laughing to himself and tries to turn his head from the camera. Tommy tries to continue, but also has to turn away and you can hear him guffawing his way through the line. Martin doesn't speak again, until he stops laughing. I mean just watch
  • Happy Days: Mr. Cunningham trying not to laugh as his wife fires off every one of Fonzie's catchphrases straight to his face.
  • On Project Runway, the usually stoic Michael Kors memorably lost it during one runway show when a model did a super sexy pose at the end of her walk. Everyone else on set proceeds to crack up as well. This also happens frequently when a designer's look is being critiqued, with cuts to the other designers trying desperately to hold back church giggles.
  • Dick & Dom in da Bungalow would feature certainly Dick, and often Dom, cracking up at least once an episode. Brilliantly infectious. In this clip they seriously disturb the peace in a library.
    • There's also the infamous moment where a child rang in, apparently not realizing who they were phoning. The phone is quickly transferred to the child's grandmother...who is equally clueless. By the time the grandmother explains that they "only have channels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6" (the show was on the digital channel CBBC), the presenters are collapsed on the floor in absolute hysterics.
  • Father Ted has one instance of this, where Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn) lists off vulgar turns of phrase in a certain author's books. After Ted (Dermot Morgan) escorts her out, she calls through the door "'Ride me sideways', was another one!" This was unscripted, and Dermot Morgan is evidently trying his hardest not to lose it.
  • Happens in a season one episode of Burn Notice, but is only revealed in the DVD commentary. Bruce Campbell, playing Sam Axe, says "It's only photoshop," causing Jeffrey Donovan, playing Michael Westen, to laugh for seven hours.
    • A blooper had Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar (Fiona) having a hard time keeping a straight face during a serious scene. Every time "action" is called they would start to giggle. Eventually the actor playing a client of the week yelled out "You're laughing?! My mom was *bleeping* kidnapped!"
  • In All That, it was something of a tradition for Kenan and Kel to break out laughing at some point when they're playing off each other in the Good Burger sketches: they do it at least twice during the show itself, and when they came back for the Tenth Anniversary Special they did it again.
  • The title of King of Corpsing might very well go to Ricky Gervais, co-writer and star of The Office, Extras and Life's Too Short. He not only ruins many takes with his very boisterous laugh, but will actively try to make his fellow cast members corpse. And he always succeeds.
    • In this outtake from a guest spot on Sesame Street, Kevin Clash is obviously cracking up at Gervais' jokes (and vice versa), but he impressively manages to stay in character (as Elmo) the whole time.
  • One blooper from The Office shows John Krasinki, who plays Jim, being unable to contain himself after watching Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight, deliver the quote "May you fight with the strength of ten full-grown men".
    • Rainn Wilson corpses around ten times trying to deliver the line "I will pray to Thor himself" on the season 2 reel.
      • According to the DVD commentary on Season 2, Mindy Kaling was the worst for this. During the episode "Drug Testing," the blooper reel shows her breaking up several times while Dwight interrogates her.
  • One particularly infamous episode of Lost in Space features a vegetable villain who is so ridiculous some of the cast can be seen turning away from the camera to hide their corpsing.
  • This would occasionally happen on Hello Cheeky, and whenever there was corpsing, there would be Throw It In. It's especially noticeable in a sketch in the first episode of the TV series, in which Barry has been playing himself for a while, then literally ducks under the table and re-emerges with a hat. John asks "Who are you?", at which point Barry cracks up with the sheer bizarreness of the situation, the audience goes into hysterics, and the sketch stops for fifteen seconds while the performers improvise and crack up.
    John: I demand to know!
    Tim: I demand to know also!
    Barry: I know no fear! I don't know my lines, but I don't know fear as well!
  • Marg Helgenberger's scene with William Petersen at the end of the CSI episode 'Inside The Box' likely counts. Petersen did the pre-surgery scene with Grissom in his hospital gown without wearing anything underneath. Marg/Catherine is seen smirking at the end and you can probably guess why.
  • On one episode of the game show The Chase one of the questions was "In what sport did Fanny Chmelar compete for Germany?". Cue Bradley Walsh desperately trying not to laugh. Seen Here.
    • The question writers actually try to get Bradley on a regular basis. He, in turn, tries to corpse the chasers. It was, however, a Contestant who got Shaun Wallace to break character. Seen here
    • Then there was this moment of corpsing, where the contestant was the only one keeping it together for long enough to call an advert break.
    • And of course Bradley made himself corpse on occasion.
    • Watch a compilation here.
  • Speaking of Bradley Walsh, the Season 2 DVD of Law & Order: UK includes a 10 minute gag reel. Many of the clips involve him causing this to happen to his co-stars—in one bit, he specifically asks, "Did he go?", referring to Jamie Bamber, indicating that he intentionally said something to make him laugh, while in another, Bamber is clearly struggling not to lose it before finally giving up, declaring, "I'm sorry, I can't fucking do this."
    • A straighter example within an actual episode when DS Matt Devlin laughs at another character's idiotic comment. It becomes obvious that it's really Jamie Bamber himself cracking up when he laughs far more than is necessary and eventually turns completely away from the camera to compose himself while his straight-faced partner Ronnie continues questioning the witness.
  • Star Trek examples:
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Masks", there is a scene in which Picard and Riker discuss how to address the corruption of the ship's main computer by an alien archive. For part of the scene, you can see actor Jonathan Frakes has an inappropriate grin on his face, and is apparently attempting to resist laughing at the fact that Patrick Stewart is holding a prop, and the way he emphasized the word 'enormous' in his line.
    • Riker can be seen on the verge of cracking up in several other scenes, such as in "Menage a Troi" in Picard's declaration of love for Lwaxana Troi, or in "Deja Q" over Worf's request that Q die to prove his mortality. However, this fits with Riker's personality as a fun-loving guy, who can switch from "serious and stolid" to "not at all" in a moment.
    • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Return to Grace, Major Kira is demonstrating the differences between the Starfleet and Cardassian phaser rifles, concluding that the Cardassian rifle is the better field weapon. That's not hard to believe, because midway through the lecture the prop's power pack falls out and dangles by a wire for the rest of the scene. Nana Visitor visibly struggles to keep her game face.
    • And in DS 9, Nana Visitor related the story of how in the episode Forsaken, the actors could just not keep straight faces when she (as Major Kira) had to give the line "If he doesn’t make it to his pail on time", so the director ended up resorting to some very fast cuts and reaction shots to complete the scene.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Elogium", Tuvok—a Vulcan—has to utter the sentence "It appears we have lost our sex appeal, Captain" in complete seriousness. For a brief moment, a giant smile can be seen on Captain Janeway's face, but she quickly hides it. It's hard to tell whether this is actress Kate Mulgrew corpsing or the character herself failing to keep her composure.
    • In the TNG episode "Q-Pid", when Worf smashes Geordi's lute in homage to Animal House, you'll see in the far background that Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) visibly struggles to not laugh, covering her face with her hand.
    • Another episode doesn't involve laughing but when the Enterprise takes a serious hit from the warship in "The Survivors" a random crewman goes flying much harder than everyone else and you can see Patrick Stewart visibly wince and turn to look at the stuntman in concern as it wasn't supposed to be that bad a fall.
  • Friends:
  • Apparently, the ladies of Hot In Cleveland had a running contest to see who would be the first to make Betty White corpse. Of course, since Betty is a sitcom vet who has been doing this for fifty years, this is a rather tall order. Nothing made it into the actual episodes, but the blooper reel shows that Jane Leeves won.
  • In-universe example in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary is at the funeral for Chuckles the clown, and keeps having to suppress laughter, even after she warned the others to stay serious. Becomes a simultaneous Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Crowning Moment of Funny when she is told that it is all right, that Chuckles lived for making people laugh, and that even at his own funeral, he would want her to laugh. Mary stares for a second and starts bawling.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer was not immune to this. In season three Faith is moping that she wasn't able to turn Angel evil, and her parental figure Big Bad suggests miniature golf to cheer her up. Seeing as she is at the time an Ax-Crazy psychotic either the character or her actress can't help but laugh.
    • In Season 6's musical episode "Once More, With Feeling!", Amber Benson and Emma Caulfield were dancing behind Sarah Michelle Gellar during the song "Something To Sing About" on The Bronze set. As the dance was ending, Amber made a misstep while turning and ran into one of the support pillars(you can see this near the end of the line "and every single verse"). Since the sequence was being filmed with a multi-camera setup, you can see her beginning to lose it in the next shot(the line "can make it that much worse") and she quickly ducks behind the pillar to get off-camera.
    • Something similar happens at the end of season six. Willow has gone completely off the rails, as has the lives of Buffy and her friends. She details this to Giles, who reacts to the somber news by cracking up laughing. After a moment Buffy does as well.
    • A famous series of bloopers happened in the fourth season of Angel when the characters were mentally reversed back their obnoxious teenage selves and Angel, being a 250-year old vampire, was shocked by the appearance of things like cars. Going outside, freaking out and running back into the main room, whenever David Boreanaz (Angel) made eye contact with Alexis Denisof (Wesley) they could not keep a straight face. In the episode proper you can see them avoid eye-contact very deliberately and even still Wesley glances towards the ceiling with a slight smirk before walking off camera.
    • Discussed in the commentary to one Angel episode, where the writers ask Adam Baldwin how he manages to not corpse when he tells Angel, "You and I will not be making love on this couch anytime soon." It turns out Baldwin hates people who corpse.
  • Firefly Gag Reels ([1]):
    • Adam Baldwin continues to show just how seriously he takes his job. When Nathan Fillion screws around, the entire cast laughs at his antics, but Baldwin simply stays in character and even ad-libs lines occasionally. On the other hand, there's "Dammit, Mal, I forgot my line!"
    • One blooper has Fillion spontaneously burst out laughing for no apparent reason then stop. Then he goes, "Okay. (beat, turns his head) What's my line?" and sets off Gina Torres.
  • Subverted whole-hog in The Muppet Show where Statler and Waldorf usually laugh at their own wisecracks and you can't help but laugh along.
  • Very frequently on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and it usually got left in (much like what would happen on SNL years later). Most spectacularly when Dan Rowan was playing a Mexican and Sammy Davis Jr. cracked up laughing, saying "That's the worst accent I've ever heard!" then got back into character and carried on with the skit.
  • From Community: Look very closely at Jeff's face in "Virtual Systems Analysis" when Dean Pelton approaches as the "Duali-Dean of Man". A couple of camera angles hide the fact that Joel McHale's about three seconds away from losing it.
  • The Golden Girls had a scene in one episode where Blanche gives the other girls calendars with erotic pictures. There really were some nude pics in the calendar, and you can tell by the reactions.
    • When Rose tells the story about The Great Herring War, they all burst out laughing.
    • One episode featured an event which said that Miami Vice star Don Johnston was unable to host, but he had sent his suit along. In a commentary, screen veteran Bea Arthur recalled she was unable to make it through the scene without bursting into laughter.
  • Highlander had an example that was left in the ep. The director got distracted at the end of one episode and didn't yell "cut" as soon as the actors expected. Adrian Paul and Stan Kirsch cracked up, possibly thinking he *had* yelled "cut" and could come out of character, and the effect went well with the tone of the scene, that they kept it.
    • "The Modern Prometheus", where Methos and Amanda talk in Methos's place. Peter Wingfield turned his line in one take into a joke, responding to Elizabeth Gracen's line "He might die, Methos" with "Maybe we'll get our own show!". Elizabeth had an extremely hard time getting through her lines straightfaced as shown in the commercial blooper reel release, and was probably close to losing it even in the shot that did make it.
    • Adrian Paul actually is quite a prankster on his series, as the Highlander blooper reel shows a few examples of.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Phil and Will prepare to board an elevator at the hospital. A hot girl walks out of it before they walk on and Will, of course, flirts with her and barks like a dog while doing it before Phil drags him into the elevator. Although he's not seen, you can definitely hear Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton) laughing like crazy.
  • On That '70s Show, Kitty, Donna and Jackie go to a male strip club. Kitty enthusiastically starts dancing along with one of the strippers and slowly everyone loses it. It reaches its boiling point when the stripper himself can't keep dancing and collapses on the stage.
    • On another episode Donna is interviewing her dad for career day. Bob takes off his circus ringmaster top hat (because his store is having a circus themed sale) and his perm has molded to the shape of the hat. Laura Prepon is facing away from the camera, but you can see her shoulders shake and see her look down to stifle a laugh, and Don Stark has to give her a moment.
  • In this scene from 3rd Rock from the Sun, Tommy and Harry are trying (unsuccessfully) to feed Mrs. Dubcek's grandson. You can see Tommy start to crack after Harry spits food back at the baby/camera.
  • Roy Walker and a male contestant famously couldn't keep a straight face during the "Snake Charmer" puzzle on Catch Phrase. It's made even funnier if you watch the full version of that scene and see that the female contestant genuinely has no idea what they're laughing at.
  • Occurred once or twice in the John Bird / John Fortune dialogues in Bremner, Bird and Fortune. One discussion centered around making the Queen Mother the centrepiece of the Millennium celebrations; this led to the thought of a gigantic hot-air balloon in the shape of the Queen Mother drifting across London, which reduced both of them to helpless laughter.
  • Forever Knight 'False Witness' had a scene at the end with Nick and Natalie watching King Kong (1933) in Nick's loft. Nick startles Nat near the end of the scene by showing his fangs and she responds by throwing popcorn at him. This was actually a prank by Geraint Wyn Davies, rather than a planned part of the scene. The giveaway is that any other time Nick vamps, his eyes go golden, but the actor wasn't wearing the contacts that time, leaving his eyes their usual color. Also, the fangs are slightly crooked. The popcorn throw was probably, rather naturally, Catherine Disher's own reaction.
  • During the episode of Hustle in which Danny and Stacie play strip poker, Stacie's reaction to Danny being nude and Ash walking in is Jaime Murray's actual reaction. It's also said that during the filming of the first season, Robert Glenister (Ash) would try to get Murray to laugh, which could explain why Stacie doesn't start full on laughing until Ash walks in and looks at Stacie.
  • Happens a few times during Roseanne, usually thanks to Laurie Metcalf. One instance comes during the episode where Roseanne and Jackie's father dies, and Jackie is forced to call their extremely old and deaf Auntie Barbara and break the news to her. It goes about as well as expected ("HE'S FINE. HE SENDS HIS LOVE."), and Roseanne hangs her head at one point to hide her face, though her shoulders shake visibly.
    • Another episode has Roseanne, Dan, and Jackie smoking some old pot they found. Cut to Roseanne and Dan in the bathroom, stoned out of their gourds, when suddenly Jackie speaks up from behind the shower curtain. Repeated a few seconds later when Jackie goes off on an emotionless rant about how her life sucks, and holds up a joint: "It's just me. Just me and my ganja." Cue Roseanne and Dan cracking up.
    • Roseanne eventually gets Laurie back. In one episode, Roseanne is punishing D.J. for lying to her and skipping school, which entails walking him to school while wearing a fabulously embarrassing outfit, and kissing him goodbye in front of all of his friends. In preparation for the smooch, she applies what is probably 30 coats of lipstick, and you can hear Laurie Metcalf absolutely losing it in the background.
    • See also the episode in which D.J. gets his head stuck in a drawer, and has to be freed with salad dressing. Roseanne and Laurie both corpse, avoid eye contact, take a deep breath, and Roseanne nails her punchline: "He's GIFTED, Jackie."
  • You can hardly blame Desi Arnaz for doing this so often on I Love Lucy — would you have been able to hold yourself together watching Lucy practice the vitameatavegamin commercial any better than he did?
  • In a 1965 episode of The Dean Martin Show, Dean plays a shop assistant dealing with a customer, played by Bob Newhart, who is returning a toupee. While Newhart is his usual deadpan self (for the most part), Dean cannot stop giggling.
    Dean: (trying not to laugh) Now, do you want a... full exchange? (starts laughing again)
    Bob: Well, I... I'd like a straight man who didn't laugh!
    Bob: (Dean has a huge grin) You're sure you worked with Jerry?
    Dean: Yeahaha! (cracks up again, wiping tears from his eyes) But our stuff wasn't this funny, I'll tell you that!
    Bob: Can I use your phone to...
    Dean: (Looking forward to this) Ooooh, for heaven's sake, yeah!
    • There's also this sketch with Foster Brooks as a drunken airline pilot. Martin's giggles break out at about 1:30, and by 2:20 he's lost all control.
  • In the NewsRadio epiode "Complaint Box", the cast are visibly and audibly fighting the urge to laugh at the facetious complaint cards which Dave is reading in a completely deadpan voice. Everyone, including Dave, finally loses it at "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a complaint box."
  • Merlin had Nathaniel Parker, playing Agravaine, in series 4. Agravaine is pure evil, which makes watching the good-natured and utterly charming Parker lose it repeatedly in the gag reel even funnier.
  • Former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Charley Steiner was notorious for doing this on-air. His most infamous moment came when Carl Lewis' awful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was shown on SportsCenter. After the clip was finished, the camera cut to Steiner, who looked as if he was ready to explode with laughter and struggled to even speak. (His co-anchor, to be fair, was losing it as well.)
    • Steve Levy underwent a slow breakdown after mentioning a football player with a bulging disc in his neck (only, at first, he didn't say the word "disc", but something else), then struggling through the rest of the injury report. The co-anchor at the time, Keith Olbermann, later stated that Levy was actually the calmest person in the room; everyone else (Keith himself included) were completely losing it. Keith, by his own admission, wasn't any help; he set Steve off further by mentioning that first player's injury again.
  • One episode of Loose Women had the ladies complaining about their messy husbands. Brambles made a sly remark about McDonald's husband ("do you have to take him in hand?") which prompts the poor woman to burst out laughing, unable to continue for the next two minutes. Brambles even pulls out the tissues before they can go on. And "I did get the vac out" probably wasn't much better.
  • Charlie in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia frequently meanders into improv too good not to Throw It In. Unfortunately the spontaneous takes are lost if a co-actor breaks on camera, so they have to struggle not to corpse during it. This is the reason Charlie has so many scenes alone with Dee; she's simply the best at keeping a straight face.
  • Dagmar Berghoff had joked beforehand “should I say ‘WC’ instead of ‘WTC tournament’?”. Oops.
  • An episode of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger has the team stalling for time by convincing Kyoryu Gold to pretend he has a Dangerous Forbidden Technique...which involves a lot of butt-wiggling and chanting "Nin nin nin!", made even funnier by Gold being a dorky Fish Out of Temporal Water. While he's doing it, Kyoryu Black's actor doesn't even bother trying to hold in his laughter, but obviously his character has a perfectly valid reason for busting a gut.
  • In the Bewitched episode "Double, Double, Toil and Trouble", Elizabeth Montgomery cracked up after Dick York gave her a Pie in the Face. She dubbed over the scene in post-production, but if you look closely, you can still see her laugh.
  • Happened several times on In Living Color!, but possibly the most memorable time was during the two-parter Men On Television skit when Blaine, played by Damon Wayans was hit by a falling piece of debris and squeaks out a yell right before falling to the floor. David Alan Grier's, who plays Antoine, laughter was very apparent. ("Blaine? Bla-a-a-aine? Call a doctor! I think he needs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation!").
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • In the episode Red Handed, Granny snarks to Ruby that she dresses like a crossdresser. Ruby snarks back Granny dresses like Norman Bates when he dresses like Norman Bates' mother. August is trying not to laugh, and the writers chose to Throw It In.
    • Rebecca Mader claims she did this during Zelena's first scene with Mary Margaret - where she had to rub Ginnifer Goodwin's pregnant belly for about five minutes. She also saw Goodwin about to lose it during a scene where Zelena delivers a monologue to the frozen couple.
  • In the episode "Urgo" on Stargate SG-1, Dom DeLuise guest stars as the titular character, and ad-libbed most of his lines. Few scenes in this episode show Urgo and Teal'c in the same frame, because Christopher Judge could not keep a straight face around Dom. If you pay attention you can also occasionally see the extras trying not to crack up.
  • An in universe example occurs in Outnumbered, in the episode appropriately named "The Funeral". During the titular funeral service, Sue's grief manifests itself as hysterical laughter, to the shame of the family and annoyance of the other people at the funeral. Unlike many other things on the show, this does not appear to have been improvised (i.e. following the actor corpsing): it is foreshadowed and referred to throughout the episode, with the characters expressing concern that she'll do the same thing as "at [the last] funeral they went to".
  • This clip from a Belgian sketch show is all about corpsing. A talk show host is interviewing people who have had operations go wrong, including a woman in a wheelchair and a man who had his tonsillectomy botched. Unfortunately, the procedure affected his vocal chords, giving him an extremely high-pitched voice. The host desperately attempts to keep it together as the man tells his sad story, only to repeatedly break down in laughter whenever he talks. The high-voiced man is offended, but whenever he tries to complain, the host only laughs more. Finally, a man from the audience decides to speak up in protest...it turns out that a botched operation gave him a deep, gravelly voice. Cue the host completely losing all composure and shaking with laughter.
  • A weird but amusing one from The Amanda Show has Drake Bell laughing at his own monologue.
  • A Norwegian comedy duo know as "Wesensteen"(Rolv Wesenlund & Harald Heide Steen jr.) once did a sketch about "The Norwegian Soup Council". The whole point of the sketch is that Harald Heide Steen jr. is unable to keep a straight face. Here it is. Subtitled in English.
    • They had actually managed to nail this skit while drunk (or at least tipsy).
  • In one Babylon 5 episode Garibaldi and Bester on a stakeout. Garibaldi's still irritated at having to work with the Psi-Cop (who was a villain in two previous episodes) and tells him to shut up or he'll string him up so they can play piñata. Bester turns the threat on its head by innocently asking if that means Garibaldi thinks he's colorful and full of gifts for small children. Jerry Doyle (Garibaldi) opens his mouth but then snaps it shut and is visibly struggling not to burst out laughing. The best part is, it completely fits because a sudden laughing fit would've ruined the stakeout!
  • On ER, Kerry Weaver storms into the lounge to chew out Carter, startling him into knocking several things over. Laura Innes promptly did a rapid 360° turn that had most viewers speculating that she was trying to hide her laughter and not ruin the take.
  • On The IT Crowd, you can see Chris O'Dowd start to break into laughter near the end of the scene where Roy is conducting Moss's sexy photo shoot.
  • In the At Last The 1948 Show sketch "Plain Clothes Police Women", Tim Brooke-Taylor as the police sergeant tries (with only limited success) to suppress his laughter when PC Staveacre (Graham Chapman) announces his drag name as "Philippa". The laughter soon spreads to the other actors.note 
  • On the Comedy Central show Viva Variety, Michael Ian Black as Johnny Bluejeans and Kerri Kinney as The Former Mrs. Laupin spend the entirety of a fake sponsored advertisement for a doll called Baby Needs a Shave fighting laughter.
  • Shaun Micallef of Shaun Micallefs Mad As Hell is prone to this, both when delivering his own jokes (a standout example is a Bait-and-Switch Comparison between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and a ventriloquist's dummy), and when performing opposite Stephen Hall as Darius Horsham.
  • In the pilot episode of Are You Being Served?, Miss Brahms says the line "Mrs. Slocomb didn't want to take down your trousers without asking you first.", and you can hear Wendy Richards' voice break at "asking".
  • On Parks and Recreation's blooper reel you see this happen often, but one example is in the season 4 episode "Born & Raised", in which Ben says "Is she going to powder her vagina?". Neither Adam Scott or Aziz Ansari can hold in their laughter and it takes several takes.
  • Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende has a yearly "No Laughing" special that thrives in this trope. The premise is that a group of actors/comedians are placed in a situation (as inmates, spies in training, news reporters, etc.) for 24 hours and are pelted by traps, jokes and sketches to get them to "Corpse", with painful results to the ones that can't keep it together.
    • Also, in one of said specials, several actors were playing dead in a morgue. The investigator examining the bodies went through lengthy measures to prove the bodies were ,indeed ,dead, causing the actors to flinch or giggle.
  • On The Jack Benny Program, Mel Blanc would regularly go out of his way to make Jack Benny lose his cool, while he himself would keep a completely straight face. Audiences loved it.
  • On The X Factor, if the audition is mind-bendingly horrible, you can start to see the judges beginning to crack and lose their composure. Part of the reason that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini became so popular on the show was that during her first series as a judge, she absolutely could not keep a straight face and broke into giggling fits. She's gotten better at maintaining her composure, but she remains the one judge who was most likely to crack first.
    • In Series 11's Halloween show, one contestant, Andrea Faustini, painted himself gold and wore devil horns for the performance. Simon Cowell himself couldn't even find words to critique the performance because he was absolutely destroyed by laughing.
  • In Veep, in the episode Nicknames, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss breaks at the end of the line "That's like trying to use a croissant as a fuckin' dildo" and can barely get her next line out with a straight face.
  • The live episode of Will and Grace featured plenty of breaking, with Debra Messing being the worst for it.
  • Today: Free Willard. Saying any more would ruin it.
  • In the case of Green Wing, the threat of corpsing ultimately shaped the whole series, in a strange case of Real Life Writes the Plot. Tamsin Greig (who played the main character Caroline Todd) was totally unable to keep her composure around Mark Heap (who played Alan Statham). They have a couple of awkward scenes together in early episodes, but after that their characters rarely interact.
  • An in-universe example in Murphy Brown Murphy tells some jokes about George Bush being stung by a bee during a commercial break. When they come back Jim Dial can't stop laughing. He gets a lot of hate mail and is worried about going back on in case he does it again. The FYI news team tries to reassure him. When he does eventually go back _everyone else_ breaks down laughing as he does his report completely professionally.
  • In the Scorpion Christmas Episode "Dam Breakthrough," the Toby/Cabe/Happy Helium Speech rendition of the chorus from "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is capped by Jadyn Wong's cracking up at the end (made even funnier by Happy being the most sardonic of the regulars).
  • The recurring Jimmy Kimmel segment where celebrities read Mean Tweets gets reactions that can be put into the categories of dirty looks like Jessica Alba and Cate Blanchett, responding in kind like Elisabeth Moss and Larry David, playing along like two of the other Jessicas (Biel and Chastain) or finding it amusing like Lisa Kudrow and Kurt Russell... or Corpsing like Ariana Grande. Most readers remain calm and collected but Ariana couldn't read that particular tweet without laughing hysterically. As you can see just from the still.
  • QI - Any number of guests have caused Stephen Fry to break down in helpless laughter. (For example, Stephen botches "They say of the Acropolis, where the Parthenon is" and none of the guests let him live it down.)
  • Occurs In-Universe in Lenny Henry in Pieces. Several sketches involve Lenny's character giggling uncontrollably after his partner rips a fart while the two are trying to stay hidden in a dangerous situation, such as when ambushing a mob boss, escaping a Nazi camp, or playing dead on a battlefield.
  • In the third season episode of Supernatural, "Bad Day at Black Rock", Sam and Dean had just been swindled by Bella, and you can visibly see Jared Padalecki (Sam's actor) trying to hold in laughter. It's when Jensen Ackles (Dean's actor) yells "SON OF A BITCH", that Jared had to look away from the camera so he could laugh.
  • By the end of the "Who reads the papers" scene in Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey is attempting to make his giggling look like one of his 'very droll Prime Minister' dialogues and Bernard is laughing his head off following his brief yet hilarious one-liner.

    Music 
  • Elvis Presley had an epic one during one performance of "Are You Lonesome Tonight", following a deliberate Mondegreen:
    Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
    Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?
    • It allegedly happened because a man in the audience responded to the line by getting up and removing his toupe. Elvis saw this, and cracked completely.
  • Kid Cudi has one at the end of the Piss-Take Rap "Maui Wowie", after someone puts a fart noise effect to cap off the song.
  • Garth Brooks did this several times during the taping of his Double Live album. One turned "Unanswered Prayers" into an Audience Participation Song. Another was on "It's Your Song", a track whose studio version is very hard to find.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Albuquerque" contained some strange lyrics, so strange that if you listen carefully at the end of the song's recording, you can hear the guitarist laugh.
  • The Beach Boys break into (arguably drug induced) fits of giggles at the beginning of "Little Pad".
  • Michael Stipe can clearly be heard cracking up on "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" after the line about Dr. Seuss.
    • This is reportedly due to his mispronunciation of the name as "Zooce" instead of "Soice", despite having been informed by bandmate Mike Mills of the correct form.
  • Kurt Cobain unsuccessfully suppresses a chuckle during the second full chorus of Nirvana's "Milk It".
  • Paul McCartney stifles laughter while singing the second verse of The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", because John Lennon mooned Paul in the recording studio as he sang the line "so he waits behind". (The other Beatles hated "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" because of all the time they spent working on it, and Lennon had called it "Paul's granny shit" at one point.)
  • Bob Dylan cracks up at the start of "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" because the rest of the band misses the cue and had to start again, and this was kept in the final recording.
    • In "Please Mrs. Henry" by Bob Dylan & The Band, Dylan cracks up for unknown reasons at the start of the last repetition of the chorus, then quickly recovers in time for the song's ending.
    • In "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35", Dylan breaks out into fits of giggling several times, possibly due to shouting in the background from the band.
  • King Crimson's "Indoor Games" ends with vocalist Gordon Haskell breaking into laughter, his explanation being that he thought the lyrics to the song were ridiculous.
  • Joe Strummer cracks up in the middle of "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" as he starts to sing "They got Burton suits, Ha! You think it's funny?"
  • David Bowie at the end of "The Laughing Gnome".
  • Mentioned in character in the song "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies.
    "How can I help it if I think you're funny when you're mad, tryin' hard not to smile though I feel bad. I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral, can't understand what I mean, you soon will."
    • Literally happens in "If I Had $1,000,000" by the same band during the line about fancy ketchups.
    "And we could buy these really expensive ketchups... / (cue giggling on this line) Dijon ketchup! Mmm!"
  • New Order sometimes wrote their lyrics collaboratively, with a Round Robin approach where each member would contribute a line. The presence of "I think you're a pig/You should be in a zoo" in "Every Little Counts" caused Bernard Sumner to crack up, and he struggles for the rest of the verse to regain his composure.
  • The Revolting Cocks did a cover of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" with some altered lyrics - vocalist Chris Connelly was unable to stifle a chuckle at the addition of the line "He says 'I'm sorry but I'm out of KY jelly'".
  • Johnny Cash corpses several times during the course of the At Folsom Prison album, most notably during "Dark as a Dungeon" in response to audience laughter.
  • Prince inexplicably laughs while delivering a particularly dark lyric on the title track of "Sign "O" the Times", a Distinct Double Album not short on bleakness and disturbing imagery.
  • Geto Boys, at the very end of "Trophy".
  • De La Soul, "Potholes In My Lawn": Not in the song, actually, but in the music video... Plug 2 (Dave aka Trugoy) cracks up in the middle of lip-synching his first verse.
  • Nelly Furtado bursts out laughing a few times on her song "Saturdays", due to the enthusiastic and campy backup singing Jarvis Church provides... in a goofy falsetto.
  • P!nk causes this on the title track of M!ssundaztood, constantly grunting and groaning at the end, prompting one of the producers to ask her if she's filming an Ex-Laxx commercial.
  • Beck's "Corvette Bummer" ends with a seemingly improvised list of Noodle Implements, which goes unfinished when he's unable to control his laughter.
  • Mike Majewski missed close to half of an entire song while trying to hold back laughter when Chris "Captain Piss" Andrews first wore the infamous horse mask onstage.
  • Bunny Bennett pulled a spectacular bout of corpsing when doing the intro sequence for Captain Albert Alexander, accidentally switched the lines with the intro to another song and ended up with this beauty:
    Bunny: Show of hands! It's pretty wet huh? Oh that's not the right song! Boy, I'm just turning Steam Powered Giraffe into an R-rated show! I'm sorry! Gotta keep it PG, family friendly! Alright? Alright...Oh... *doubles over laughing*
  • In The Lonely Island's "The Old Saloon", Akiva laughs during his first line, "Cheat at cards and get thrown out! Right out the saloon door and on your butt!"
  • In the song Rockit by Gorillaz you can hear Damon Albarn stifling a laugh on the line I pulled myself together.... Probably kept in because it's a song about how the music industry is all about looks now and lyrics don't matter anymore, so it could be seen as a sarcastic chuckle at the line.
  • This is the conceit in Spike Jones' spoof of "I Went To Your Wedding." The original is a sentimental song about going to the wedding of an ex-lover, but in Jones' version, the singer keeps cracking up into increasingly hysterical laughter at how stupid the ex looked and how glad everyone was to get rid of them.
  • The end of “Faith” by the Mahavishnu Orchestra consists of a brief, extremely fast-tempo bit, followed by laughter from keyboardist Gayle Moran.
  • On Miriam Makeba's self-titled album, Charles Colman can't keep it together at all on "One More Dance". Every single one of his lines tends to have him laughing hysterically.
  • Siw Malmkvist famously could not stop laughing during her performance of the song “April, April” at the 1961 Melodifestivalen. She was replaced by Lill-Babs at Eurovision.
  • The 1975's band member Matty does this (silently) at the end of their "Girls" video.
  • In Bastille's cover of" We Can't Stop", during the randomly-inserted chorus of "Achy Breaky Heart", Dan Smith chuckles slightly and has to stop himself from laughing.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • An infamous example of corpsing in pro wrestling occurred on an episode of WCW programming where "Macho Man" Randy Savage was having a fit backstage, flipping tables and whatnot. During this segment, he came across a giggling Torrie Wilson, and to stop her from corpsing, he smacked her across the face. Botchamania turned this clip into a bone fide meme:
  • Booker T cuts a promo with Mene Gene. At the end of his rant, Booker accidentally "goes ghetto" for a second and refers to Hulk Hogan by the N-word. Not only does Booker barely maintain composure, keep a close eye on Sherri behind him.
  • The Rock's rock concert on the March 12th, 2012 edition of WWE Raw, dissing John Cena, Cena's fans who are grown men (calling them all nerds who dress like Kirk and Spock), and even Cena's mom. The Rock clearly almost trips on his own laughter a few times, and even Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole start losing it towards the end.
    • During his "serenade" to Vickie Guerrero. You could see her trying her hardest not to smile.
    • There was also the now-legendary Rock concert in Sacramento in 2003, where The Rock was sitting in the ring and dissing Sacramento (with his classic "when the Lakers beat the Kings in May") line. At the time, he was in a fierce rivalry with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who was seated outside in his truck. Stone Cold was supposed to be reacting with bitter anger to the Rock's songs, but each time they cut to him in the truck he was struggling harder and harder not to laugh. By the time The Rock started dissing Austin himself, he had to roll up the truck's window so the camera wouldn't catch him cracking up.
  • Paul Bearer just barely made it out of the camera's sight before cracking up in this interview before the 1992 Royal Rumble, where he was acting so hammy he made himself laugh. The Undertaker remaining stoic as usual was an impressive feat. Paul Bearer has stated in interviews that he often tried to make Undertaker give in and laugh on camera, though it is unknown how many times he succeeded.
  • Juventud Guerrera corpsed during an edition of WCW Thunder when Vampiro's blood from the ceiling missed Kevin Nash and landed on fans in the front row.
  • In Ring of Honor, the camera slowly passed by Amazing Phenomenon (AJ Styles, Amazing Red and Alexis Laree) to get their reactions to the nonsensical ramblings of Paul London but quickly panned away when reaching Laree who had a huge grin on her face.
  • Paul London was allegedly "Wished the best in his future endeavours" for corpsing during the scene where Vince McMahon's limo got blown up at the end of the "Vince McMahon Appreciation Night" Raw, June 11, 2007. Before he was let go Jerry Lawler suggested London was in on it.
  • During John Cena's in ring promo with Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston and Mike Tyson when Cena starts talking about Mike Tyson's Punch-Out Orton can be seen crouching down and leaning on the ropes clearly trying not to laugh. Bear in mind he was playing a psychotic villain at the time.
  • At Survivor Series 2007 Melina Perez went to perform her normal splits entrance but slipped and fell off the apron. She was playing a heel at the time but burst out laughing straight away and was trying her best to keep a straight face when she performed them again. Beth Phoenix is also giggling for a bit.
  • During an in-ring promo between Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix and Natalya, Eve shoves Beth which leads to an unfortunate Wardrobe Malfunction. The camera tries to stay off Natalya who is desperately trying to keep a straight face. She tries to hide it with a look of outrage but some chuckles seep through.
  • Kane
    • On several occasions, he started laughing his ass off when his ring pyro malfunctioned, making his entrance look somewhat... less dramatic than intended. Making this worse (or better, depending on how you look at it), Kane is supposed to be a sadistic Demon coming straight from Hell.
    • Kane had to hide his laughing during Blackjack Lanza's induction speech for Bobby Heenan into the Hall of Fame when Lance Storm started playing with his tie the same way Lanza does to signal when a match needs to end.
  • During a John Cena promo on the 5/14/12 edition of Raw, GM of both Raw & SmackDown John Laurinaitis could clearly be seen corpsing when Cena starts making faces at him and calling him a "loser".
  • Mick Foley wrote about some examples in his autobiographies.
    • When he, as Dude Love, and Owen Hart faced off against each other in singles matches through 1997 (after Hart had broken "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's neck at Summerslam), the sole purpose of these So Bad, It's Good bouts (including antics such as making snow-angels using popcorn) were to get Austin to break character by corpsing. If the book was any indication, it worked.
    • At one point Foley worked out a Ho Yay-themed gag with the Rock (in which the Rock would deny being gay in such absurd ways that it started to seem pretty gay) that involved a series of hilarious pantomimes. Unfortunately, it was so funny that in the ring Foley couldn't even get through the first sentence without cracking up. The Rock tried to come to his rescue, but soon he was cracking up too. At this point they threw the whole bit out and just tried started ad-libbing, including a series of send-ups of the Godfather's "Pimpin' ain't easy" punchline that was so funny even Stone Cold got in on it.
    All of this got me thinking, maybe it's true. Maybe The Rock really does suck after all.
  • John Cena didn't (or couldn't) even attempt to hide his laughter in the middle of his "WWE Star Wars" promo.
  • John Cena also slowly turned to the hard-cam before corpsing after hearing R-Truth tell him that "usedta is a roostah from Brewstah."
  • On SHIMMER Volume 24 during the main event, Cheerleader Melissa boots Sara Del Rey right in the face prompting a massive corpsing fit from both Portia Perez and Dave Prazak on commentary. They even replay the spot twice to have a good laugh at it and Portia keeps asking to see it more times.
  • This from the 1000th episode of Raw. Also doubles as a Callback to one of the most infamous angles in pro wrestling history.
  • Happened during a match on RAW between Team Hell No and Rey Mysterio Jr. and Sin Cara between Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and the Prime Time Players once Cole used the term "washrag." It goes on for the rest of the match. It would later become a mild running gag between Cole and the PTP.
  • Mean Gene Okerlund
    • He famously had to turn his back to the camera during an interview with Ken Patera, because Patera's promo skills... weren't exactly great.
    • He completely lost it during a promo with Doctor D David Schultz here.
    • A promo with The Iron Sheik.
  • The JBL & Cole Show
  • While on the subject of Bryan Danielson, there's this promo cut by him and Paul London for a Pro Wrestling Guerilla event. London has clearly jettisoned his connection with reality when he starts talking about walking on the beach before the event; at the :55 mark is when Danielson can't keep it under control. To his credit, they work through their giggles. Especially when...
    Paul: I need a pod. A two-person pod. Say hello to my pod partner...
    (The camera pulls back to allow Bryan back into frame, whereupon he stares at the camera for a long moment)
    Bryan: Hello.
    Paul: Hello. (Bryan starts cracking up again) That was good.
  • Survivor Series 2013 Zeb Coulter demonstrates what twerking is. Cesaro, normally The Stoic, finds it impossible not to grin and chuckle. Jack Swagger kept a straight face.
  • During the Invasion, Kurt Angle cut a promo from the stage on the Alliance in the ring, and said the he was going to kick "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "tex-ass", which made Austin bury his face in the turnbuckle for a few seconds.
  • During Stephanie McMahon's introduction of Triple H as "the greatest wrestler of all time" on December 12, 2013, CM Punk completely gave up trying to take it seriously.
  • In 2005, Chris Jericho mocked Shelton Benjamin by singing "Shelton is a Little Bitch". Shelton can be seen struggling not to laugh before he composes himself and acts insulted like he was supposed to.

    Radio 
  • The hosts of The Mark & Brian Program made it a point not to pre-record their sketches precisely because they understood the entertainment value of their frequently corpsing as they performed live on the air.
  • Getting Jack Benny to corpse was easy. In one instance, it may have resulted in one of the contenders for "longest audience laugh" on the show (the other one being the legendary "Your money or your life?" "I'm thinking it over!" exchange). Don Wilson early on in the episode in question flubbed the name of famed newscaster Drew Pearson, calling him "Dreer Pooson". Later, during an unrelated murder-mystery sketch, Frank J. Nelson (otherwise known as the "yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?" guy ad-libbed during the following exchange:
    Benny: Are you the doorman?
    Nelson: Who do you think I am — Dreer Pooson? (Benny collapsed in a heap laughing, falling off the stage in hysterics.)
    • Later in the same episode, Mary botches a line ("Carlton Quince was quilled...I mean, killed!"), cracking up and causing Benny to yell "One lousy rehearsal, that's all I ask!"
  • Tom and Ray burst into laughter many, many times in every single episode of Car Talk.
  • The News Quiz has a tradition of getting Radio 4 newsreaders to sit in and read out newspaper cuttings sent in by listeners, which regularly leads to this, the best and most frequent example being Charlotte Green. This will often be far funnier than the actual cutting in question, as there is something inherently funny about hearing one of the most precise, measured voices on radio breaking into fits of uncontrollable giggling. This would often cause Green to start laughing all over again leading to 5 minutes plus (on a 30 minute show) just of Charlotte laughing.
    • If we are to speak of Charlotte Green corpsing, this must be heard. Someone on her talkback compared the sound they were playing to "a bee in a jar", which set her off. The next story was an obituary notice.
  • Famous radio announcer Gary Owens memorably lost it completely when reading this ad, upon realizing that the warm and sincere holiday wishes he was delivering were sponsored by Preparation H.
  • A famous example came about between commentators Jonathan Agnew and Brian Johnston on Test Match Special. England's Ian Botham had been given out Hit Wicket after a failed attempt to avoid hitting the stumps. This led to the accidental Double Entendre that Botham (known for his sexual exploits) had "failed to get his leg over". Cue a minute of helpless giggling from both of them, with Johnston occasionally managing to gasp "Stop it, Aggers, stop it". Legend has it that this incident resulted in a two-mile traffic jam as thousands of commuters listening on their radios were forced to pull over from laughing so hard.
  • On BBC News, the newsreader once made an unfortunate Spoonerism when introducing Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary. This unfortunately left him in an inconvenient position to discuss the rest of the news items that followed as he couldn't get a sentence out, and tried to pass it of as a 'coughing fit' unconvincingly.
  • On The Goon Show, the entire cast was apt to break into giggles, with Harry Secombe being particularly audible.
  • Common in clips heard in Pardon My Bloopernote , whether the announcer flubbed a line, realized That Came Out Wrong, or just got the giggles.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Ironically, part of the charm of Pete Holmes' stand-up is that he allows himself to laugh at his own jokes, and invokes this trope multiple times per show, and in most non-standup things he does. Most people would think this would detract from their effect, but it only adds relatability.
  • It's also a standard of Jeremy Hotz's routine. He uses odd posture and his right hand to stifle his laughter at his own jokes. It works because his routine is filled to the brim with humiliating situations and Black Comedy it makes him look less like he's laughing and more like he's about to cry.
  • Red Skelton was also famous for laughing at his own jokes. See an example here
  • Eddie Izzard, Vic Reeves and Harry Enfield did a retelling of the "Four Yorkshiremen" skit that more or less devolved into a competition to make the others corpse through improvisation and intentionally terrible Yorkshire accents. By the end, the only one able to keep a straight face was Alan Rickman.

    Theater 
  • Panto traditionally features at least one scene where the Dame or the Villain (usually) will try and force each other, or the rest of the cast, to corpse. This frequently becomes the subject of backstage score-keeping too.
  • Martyn Green recounted a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore that was interrupted when a sudden loud orchestral chord in the number "Carefully On Tiptoe Stealing" startled a theater cat, which ran screaming across the stage. The cast might have been able to recover and carry on with the show, if only the next two lines hadn't been:
    CHORUS: "Goodness me, why what was that?"
    DICK DEADEYE: "Silent be, it was the cat!"
    • And cue complete cast corpsing.
  • A Very Potter Senior Year: Watch Darren Criss as Harry Potter Hagrid bounces him. There are times when he can barely get the words out.
    • In the same play, Joe Walker (Tom Riddle) is watching the dead Moaning Myrtle get dragged offstage. There are three problems with this: One, Moaning Myrtle is played by, um... this guy. Two, Madam Pomfrey isn't able to drag him off so he has to push himself around with his feet while pretending to be dead. Three, his wig falls off and he has to crawl back onstage to get it. While being dead. Poor Joe can't hold back a grin.
  • The play Oblomov is based on a Russian novel about a character who almost never leaves his bed, briefly has a romantic attack, finds out he's incapable of love and goes back to bed. Theatrical presentations would have necessarily been grim had it not been for the most famous presentation casting Spike Milligan as the lead. Milligan proceeded to act up to such an extent that they renamed it Son of Oblomov, and apparently considered it his job to try and corpse his fellow actors whenever possible. Only one - Joan Greenwood - managed to keep her dignity intact despite Milligan doing things like rowing the bed offstage with an imaginary oar or - on one occasion - conscripting the Boulting Brothers (twin filmmakers) to sit in the bed with him for the entire play.
  • Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson are infamous for their corpsing in the Bottom live shows.
  • This happened a lot during Kristin Chenoweth's final performance on Wicked.
    • Picture it: a tense scene during the second act of Wicked, when Fiyero has his gun trained on the Wizard, Glinda and Elphaba are both telling him to flee, and he admits he loves her and is going to go with her. Cue a little girl in the audience going "Yay!"—clear as a bell and quite loud in the silence. Everyone in the theater busted up—and while the actors were quite professional and did not break character or the scene, the actress playing Elphaba was visibly struggling not to burst out laughing, and giggles were in fact audible. Unsurprisingly, the same was true of Glinda's actress.
    • The "toss-toss" near the end of "Popular" usually has the actresses breaking down into laughter with the audience.
  • David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the final performances of Much Ado About Nothing seemed to make it their mission to get each other to do this. At one point, during Benedick's monologue following the scene in which he is tricked into believing Beatrice is in love with him, a member of the audience said "Yes!" following the line "Love me? Why it must be requited". David Tennant stopped and laughed before walking over and performing the rest of the speech to the audience member, pausing to allow him to answer "Yes" or "No" to the questions. When Catherine Tate walked on stage, she was clearly trying not to laugh. Later in the play when Beatrice agrees to marry Benedick, the two actors kissed for so long and in such an over the top fashion that the entire cast were visibly having to stifle their laughter.
  • Jessica Chastain told a story about while performing The Heiress on Broadway, during a kissing scene with Dan Stevens an audience member's cell phone went off right at the moment they kissed, with a ringtone that sounded uncannily like a musical cue. Jessica had to grab Dan and extend the kiss because she was shaking from having to hold back her laughter.
  • It seems to be the mission in life of the actors in the London version of Spamalot to get each other to do this.
  • This supposedly happened in Lunacharsky State Institute for Theater Arts in Moscow, Russia around 1980. After some conflict students decided to prank their tutor, who combined teaching with acting in theater. He was reading a long and serious monologue in some 19th century drama, at some point opened a wardrobe (the insides of which were not visible to the audience) and saw a naked butt of a student. Being a seasoned professional the tutor continued his monologue without a flinch. But the students were persistent and started taking turns mooning him from the wardrobe. A month later they gave up. When the tutor did not see a usual naked butt during his next performance, he broke his monologue with laughter and could only say "Where's the ass?!"
  • A much repeated joke about how to get a singer in The Ring of the Nibelung to corpse is to ask her how she likes her eggs just before the aria "Weiche, Wotan, Weiche". note 
  • Seems to happen in Too Many Cooks where Micky is scripted to get up at the end of the first act, before the lights go down. Of course, this happens because he isn't actually dead...
  • The final performance of the 2014 Monty Python show One Down (Five to Go) saw a fair bit of corpsing, but the topper was probably Gilliam, Cleese and Idle all losing it during the Crunchy Frog sketch.
    • One performance of the legendary "Parrot Sketch"by Cleese and Palin feature so much corpsing and cue-missing that it practically became a different (albeit still hilarious) skit altogether.
  • A theatre production of Henry V, starring Kenneth Branagh (nonetheless) became hilarious because the whole "glove sequence" went awash at some point, and Branagh/Henry adlibbed a servant to go off stage to retrieve the said gloves. This took some time, and Branagh improvised a mourning session for all the fallen soldiers at Agincourt, one at a time, while every single corpse shook from suppressed laughter. The fact that the servant returned with the wrong pair of gloves didn`t help much.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • Furry rant show 2 Sense featured the hosts learning about an Ax-Crazy lunatic writing a Narm-tastic poem called "I Ruined Your Face." The hosts, 2, the Ranting Gryphon and Jibba, couldn't stop laughing about it, and jokes about it through the rest of the episode sent them both into hysterics. If that wasn't enough, footage from after the show was over proved that they'd actually been holding back. Watch it here.
  • A brief one in The Christmas Revenge when Doctor Pandemia says "Cheer up, it's Christmas!".
  • Ashens normally keeps a perfect British Stiff Upper Lip, but he has lost it on camera quite a few times when something incredibly absurd catches him by surprise. One notable time was when he discovered that one of the games in his Pop Station was titled "Chanticleer Hegemony." Another time, when he discovered that the knockoff iPhone he was reviewing had an old-fashion television aerial, he laughed so hard he had to cut the recording and thank god for this gift to improvised comedy.
    • One violin toy had him laughing so hard at the Engrish description inside the box flap that he had to completely stop the recording and start over in a new video the next day.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd
    • James released a Hilarious Outtakes video for his Crazy Castle review in which he struggles to keep a straight face during the "muck spread" rant.
    • In episode three of Cinemassacre Mailbag, he received a letter from a writer on the blog Fight Hard Yeah! As is the case on the blog, the letter was filled with horrible Engrish. The last line of the letter was so terrible that it caused James to burst into laughter. He couldn't say the line without laughing. See here.
    • His review of The Wizard of Oz on SNES. When Mike Mattei shows up in a lion costume hyper-actively ranting about things like 'wiping his ass with his tail', you can see James literally straining to keep from laughing. Take a look.
    • When he reviewed The Toxic Avenger games, James is visibly struggling to hold back laughing at Lloyd Kaufman's audacious and crude antics.
    • Two outtakes at the end of his Battletoads review have him bursting out with laughter after a couple of Kyle's spontaneous lines.
    Nerd: Battletoads is not a—
    Kyle: I'm going behind the couch!!!
    Nerd: Well good then you (starts laughing) Fuck!
    • In the Ikari Warriors review (not the outtakes), he audibly corpses two or three times at Kyle's comments.
    • In the Hong Kong '97 review, he corpses during the game's intro, due to the sheer absurdity of the plot.
    • In the review for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, he corpses so hard that he starts crying when the "YOU'RE WINNER" screen pops up.
  • Doug Walker
  • Obscurus Lupa, she of crude humor, made highbrow Oancitizen corpse constantly in their crossover review of Hamlet The Vampire Slayer. This led to her mocking him over having been in film school but not being able to keep a straight face, her giving him tips on it, and him begging her to stop being funny and at one point exclaiming "This person! This person is just like hitting me at certain points in my - neurons and just making me burst out laughing and I don't know how she's doing it, but it's pinpoint! And it's uncontrollable and it's - I'm never working with you again." "Pinky promise!"
    • Oancitizen and The Nostalgia Chick did a crossover review of Freddy Got Fingered; in [[hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg 7 Sbrxi Q0c the bloopers]] he accuses her of "Lupa-ing".
    • Amusingly, he later causes this at his review of Tromeo and Juliet with The Cinema Snob, as the Snob is clearly holding/hiding laughter as Kyle lists some Parallel Porn Titles based on Shakespeare.
    • Kyle gets another turn while watching Mister Lonely. After bringing up a subplot featuring Werner Herzog leading a convent full of nuns in an unspecified country, he "discusses" its connection to the main plot (which is about celebrity impersonators) by staring at the camera for a period while smiling awkwardly. His friend and title card artist Ven Gethenian leans in, comments "A moose once bit my sister," and Kyle's fixed expression dissolves into giggling.
  • The Nostalgia Chick and Todd in the Shadows :
    • In their comparison video of Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally..., you can see her fighting not to crack up when he says "Sleepless In Seattle made my balls shrivel" and later ranting at a Sleepless character who just lets his fiancee break up with him.
    • You can also see her fighting off a smirk at the end of Todd's "NOW KIIIIIIISS!" bit from the From Justin To Kelly review.
    • Their review of Crossroads cuts to the credits just as Lindsay is about to laugh at Todd ordering her to leave his house.
  • LittleKuriboh did a Vagina Monologue remake of the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. He did it all in one cut and makes it about half way through before he broke into a fit of laughter.
  • Homestar Runner has an in-universe example of this in "Videography." Strong Bad is trying to create an advertisement for his video editing service with a straight face, but when he starts listing occasions that would make good videos, and gets to "droopy drawers", accompanied by a picture of his younger brother's low-riding underwear, but cannot continue without chuckling.
  • Mook on Epic Meal Time is prone to corpsing when Harley is on camera. Examples include the Gentlemen Beef Wellington, and Candy Sushi episodes.
  • In almost every set of Hilarious Outtakes for Red vs. Blue, there's at least one of Matt Hullum (Sarge, Doc, and Wyoming's voice actor) cracking up in the middle of his lines, not only because they're usually hilarious, but also because he often doesn't read them before recording.
  • In the bloopers for a crossover review with other European reviewers, Film Brain starts laughing and cannot stop for over four minutes. Eventually the others have him cover his eyes and pretend he's crying, so they can keep filming while he's in utter hysterics.
  • During Retsupurae's Crappy Pasta videos, slowbeef and Diabetus are both prone to cracking up during the worst parts. In Slowbeef's House of Horror: Recipe of Death, there's a couple of outtakes where slowbeef burst into laughter when trying to read it.
    • There's one incident where, while reviewing one of Billy MC's videos of Super Mario All-Stars, both slowbeef and Diabetus dissolve into laughter on the initial take when Billy mentions his mom getting McDonald's while she was doing Christmas shopping.
    • During Newgrounds Hunt Live! - Where's My Family?, slowbeef completely loses it when the bad writing and poorly drawn art culminate in a ridiculous(-looking) note from the Murderer.
  • Jack (understandably) does this quite often In Jacks Films' "Your Grammar Sucks" series. People are ''supposed'' to send him comments that are filled with horrible grammar, and as one can imagine, they're often pretty darn funny on their own, even without Jack's dramatic reading of them. He even ended up turning it into a drinking game.note 
  • On one episode of RedLetterMedia's "Best Of The Worst", none of the panelists can get through a list of Nick Millard's films without cracking up.
  • Even though it's common for the Game Grumps to burst into laughter, Danny pretty much spends the entire episode of Mickey Mousecapade laughing so hard he's actually heaving in pain and begging Arin to stop doing his intentionally bad imitation of the Angry Video Game Nerd.
    Arin: Geez, walking chairs?! What's he in a hurry for? To get sit on?
    Danny: (Literally crying with laughter) Stop!!!
  • On The Ricky Gervais Show, Stephen Merchant was reading an excerpt from Karl Pilkington's Diary about when Karl got a piece of junk mail addressed to a "Mr. K Dilkington". It's not shown in the animated version, but in the original podcast Stephen spends nearly two minutes beforehand trying to compose himself to actually say the word "Dilkington" because he was laughing so hard.
  • During the Clock Tower episode of JonTron, Jon sees a weird purple... thing, which causes him to vomit candy corn... and immediately he starts laughing, clearly out of character. Soon joined by the cameraman.
  • It's almost ridiculously common for raocow to burst into laughter when something in-game amuses him. This is probably his most famous, where a silly looking boss sprite causes him to spend nearly two minutes laughing uncontrollably.
  • The Co-Optional Podcast:
    • This is often bound to occur, particularly when there have been moments where Jesse Cox would attempt to make the relatively stoic TotalBiscuit crack.
    • An early instance occurred in TGS Podcast #10, where in the middle of discussion a woman enters Jesse's room and starts cleaning the shelf behind him. Jesse promptly loses it (albeit silently) and points her out causing TB and Dodger to start dying with the latter leaning out of frame to compose herself while JonTron sits there oblivious to it for a good fifteen seconds. He finally notices and starts laughing just after Dodger gets a hold of herself and leans back into frame causing her to start again. Finally after the woman leaves only to come back moments later causing Jesse to turn his webcam off and the others start laughing all over again. It's a full minute and a half of continued laughter from all four of them and a shining example of how contagious TB, Jesse, and Dodger's laughter can be.
  • Cox n' Crendor: The two hosts tend to crack up in certain moments. One notable example involves Jesse, who was sick at the time, losing it at the mere mention of goat heads.
  • Zero Punctuation: Yahtzee's usual Deadpan Snarker shtick falls apart in his review of Catherine, where, as he puts it:
  • Speaking of Yahtzee, during his Let's Play of Normality, Gabriel says the phrase "Booby-Booby-Bum-Bum"... which sends the normally stoic Yahtzee into crazy laughing fits.
  • In the Super Best Friends Play Let's Play of Parasite Eve Pat forgot to turn off his notifications, causing a pop-up for the download of Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!!. Pat and Wooly promptly spent a solid thirty seconds laughing uncontrollably.
  • Monster Factory involves hosts Justin and Griffin McElroy screwing with the character editors of video games to make the most ridiculous-looking avatars possible... typically followed by at least one of them losing it over the results.
  • Since the podcast episodes are recordings from a live stage show, The Thrilling Adventure Hour has its share of corpsing during shows. The most famous example would be the episode "The Thing From This Same Planet," a Sparks Nevada episode where faithful Martian companion Croach the Tracker (played by Mark Gagliardi) is being impersonated by Jupiter spy Jib Janeen (voiced by Paul F. Tompkins). Tompkins' comments when Sparks Nevada is singing the theme song causes Sparks' actor Marc Evan Jackson to crack up mid-song.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: In Episode 19, if you listen closely after Belinda say that "[She]'s had a few miscarriages [herself]", you can hear Bill Sindelar and Lily Vonnegut falling apart a bit in their following lines.
  • In an episode of Midnight Screenings where Dave and Brian review Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, Dave refers to a character as "Cunty McMomface". This causes Brian's wife, Leddie, who usually hides quietly in the back seat, to burst into laughter.

    Western Animation 
  • Happened to Madeleine Peters (Scootaloo) in episode 18 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic during the cringe-worthy rendition of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' Theme Song. It's hard to catch because it's somewhat covered up by a fan.
  • Voice actor giants Frank Welker and Peter Cullen got in on this during the run of The Transformers, though it was one-sided (and amusingly, instigated by the one who played the evil leader). Apparently one of Frank's goals while playing Megatron was "to get Peter to laugh water out of his nose."
  • Batman: The Animated Series had the memorable episode "The Man Who Killed Batman", where Joker holds a funeral for his rival, complete with Harley Quinn playing Amazing Freaking Grace on a kazoo. Harley's voice actress Arleen Sorkin actually did the kazoo herself, and reportedly they had to do this bit (and Joker's follow-up line "Well that was fun! Who's up for Chinese?") in one take because the entire cast was laughing too hard to try again.
  • The legendary Thunder Cats BlooperReel has several instances of the actors cracking up mid-line, such as Panthro's actor breaking down during a long string of Techno Babble to remark "What the fuck am I even saying?!"
  • Daria had a moment which didn't occur in the show itself, but on one of the six answering machine message tapes given to fan C.E. Forman during MTV's Cool Crap Auction in 1999, which were personalized and read by Daria herself. The third one ("Hey, it's Daria Morgendorffer. Whenever I'm in Peoria, I like to answer Chris's phone calls. It's how I get my jollies. How do you get yours?") had Tracy Grandstaff (Daria) laughing while saying "Peoria".
  • Happens in the Blooper Reel on A Bug's Life with Atta shrieking "YES!" in response to Hopper asking "Are you saying I'm stupid?" before utterly cracking up.
  • During the live action scene near the end of Yellow Submarine, you can see Paul McCartney trying to supress laughter just as John Lennon hammily delivers his first line.
  • Rick and Morty: The episode "Rixty Minutes" has Rick tuning the TV so as to get channels from parallel universes. It's quite evident that several if not all of these shows and commercials were improvised by the voice actors on the spot, and they don't even bother to cover the fact that they cracked themselves up with it.
    • As seen in the first clip, the titular characters are even kind enough to lampshade it beforehand.
      Morty: Huh, seems like TV from other dimensions has a somewhat looser feel to it.
      Rick: Yeah, it's got an almost improvisational tone.
  • In the Clip Show from near the end of The Legend of Korra, when Varrick's fictionalized retelling of the show gets to the part where all the villains get together on a conference call, it's obvious Henry Rollins is struggling not to laugh as he delivers Zaheer's lines, and you can even hear what appears to be someone laughing outright in the background. This was all left in, probably because the scene isn't remotely serious and is in fact very "meta".
  • On episode 41 of Animaniacs, during the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" segment, narrator Tom Bodett (yes, he of the Motel 6 "We'll leave the light on for you" ads) clearly cracks up when delivering the line "Bad idea: Whistling while you eat."
  • A famous Cold Open on Family Guy portrays Osama Bin Laden trying to record an anti-American propaganda video, but breaking up into laughter when he mispronounces a word. He's unable to regain his composure and eventually degenerates into outright clowning. Then Stewie shows up and kicks his ass.

    Real Life 
  • Ever watch a war movie where there's always the one guy who starts giggling uncontrollably when Drill Sergeant Nasty is in his face? That happens in real life. All the time. Inappropriate laughter is a fairly common reaction to stress. There's a reason many scoldings will include the line "wipe that smile off your face".
    • Marine Corps Drill Instructors will actively TRY to get recruits to corpse, typically by shouting incredibly outlandish threats, to either a) help the recruit practice to hold their bearing, or b) give the DI an excuse to punish the recruit or platoon. They also aren't immune to corpsing themselves. That's why they wear such big hats.
    • Can also be used, as ironic as it sounds, to actually LIGHTEN the mood during certain parts of boot camp. In some situations (particularly in later phases of boot camp, when the recruits are more respected by the drill instructors), D.Is may increase their use of "comedic" hazing of recruits for nothing more than a brief easing of the mood, and some platoon lore to bounce around among recruits. Can also help to build camaraderie.
    • This is actually known as a "grin of fear" and is believed to be holdover from early in our evolution, since many primates similarly display this characteristic whenever frightened or stressed.
  • Blood stain pattern analysis classes (or sometimes, Interview and Interrogation classes) involving photos of actual, altogether gory crime scenes. Fits of giggles all around. Though some students might be expecting to be told that the entire spiel regarding the background of that particular crime scene was made up, and are just waiting for the teacher to break character (they don't; Interview and Interrogation students then get to watch the video of the killer's interrogation).
  • Anyone who's ever done live theater can attest to this. It's not that something is funny, it just happens. One of the points of rehearsals is try and get it all out of your system so you don't do it during the show itself. Of course, getting it out of your system during rehearsal only helps so much. Sometimes the audience reaction only makes things worse. Especially if you have someone especially loud in the front row who cackles like a chicken at every joke. And, of course, things can still go hilariously wrong during the performance....
  • Multiple times, this happens at band rehearsal. When you're standing at attention for five minutes while one squad is fixed, someone's bound to break out in hysterics.
  • Anyone who's ever been in a silent classroom - perhaps doing an exam or having to work without speaking.
    • Or a church during the sermon or silent prayers/meditation.
      • There's an especially critical part in German when the parson says "And he took bread, and gave thanks" which in German is "Und er nahm das Brot, dankte". The problem is that "dankte", meaning "thanked", sounds exactly the same as "dunkte", meaning "dunked", leading many kids to remember the old joke of Jesus being the first basketball player in the most inappropriate moment.
    • Or, if you’re Israeli, you've probably seen some arsim/frekhot laughing at your school’s memorial service for fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism during the Israeli Memorial Daynote  or for the Holocaust during the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day. School staff is often very unamused.
  • Believe it or not, this is how Elisabeth Sladen met her husband. She was making her first stage appearance at the Liverpool Playhouse - as a corpse, naturally - when a certain young actor, playing the doctor, whispered "respiration nil, Aston Villa two" into her ear. That actor's name was Brian Miller, and she married him three years later.
  • You'll occasionally run across a news anchor who can't keep a straight face while delivering grim and gory news reports. Although in the case of this news story, it'd be hard for anyone not to laugh after seeing the crazy-eyed picture of the accused murderer. This one must have been particularly embarrassing for the anchor, who started giggling at his picture while describing how he dismembered his victim.
    • On that note, it's often very hard for anchors to keep a straight face when a suspect has a funny mugshot. Something similar happened during a news report on the Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter, whose mugshot was seen grinning dementedly like something out of a cartoon.
    • 20/20: Following the verdict in the Lorena Bobbit case, Barbara Walters, Hugh Downs and Ted Koppel all completely lost it after Ted's presumably unintentional pun of "It cuts both ways". It got so bad that they had to cut to a commercial. When it came back, they appeared to have calmed down, only for them to barely keep it together during the "goodnights" before losing it again just before it cut to the ending credits.
  • This famous Russian (subtitled) video. Of course, it's nigh-impossible to read "a marijuana plantation guarded by 13 black bears (along with a dog, a pig and a raccoon)" without going into a fit of laughter.
  • Amongst skippers on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, this is a game called "Drop the Mic": try to get someone to break so badly that they can't continue spieling and have to put down the microphone. Occasionally results in people falling into the river if you do it to someone on the dock who isn't paying enough attention.
  • During the absolutely silent, very tense sequence where Ethan breaks into the vault at Langley in Mission: Impossible, many a crowded cinema had one small noise of stifled laughter set off most of the audience.
  • A Brazilian news reporter started laughing while reporting this (particularly when the culprit says she thought the smuggled ecstasy was Viagra). In a bit of Self-Deprecation, a few years later she saw the clip again during an interview.
  • Anyone, maybe even you, who has heard that really good joke the other day, and now remembers it when they are in public, waiting for the bus or walking down the road. Cue every other passerby staring at them as they try to hide a sudden inexplicable burst of giggles and/or grinning.
    • Human nature being what it is, this is also especially likely to occur during quiet or solemn moments such as funerals.
    • Similarly, if you listen to a funny song on your iPod and start grinning/laughing, people will look at you weird, especially if they don't realize you have headphones in.
      • And you should never listen to a podcast in public. Especially when you're sitting face-to-face someone in public transport.
  • Try playing "Park bench," in which the entire point is to sit beside one of your friends, and act out a routine or do shenanigans, all in order to make the subject laugh, or even just smile.
  • Isaac Asimov did this while defending his Ph.D. dissertation when one of his examiners asked a question relating to one of his fictional stories (written as a parody of a peer-reviewed journal article). The story was supposed to be published under a pseudonym, but the publisher slipped up and attached his real name to the piece.
  • During the 2003 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Katie Couric briefly does this when she spots her own daughter on one of the floats. ("Who is that cute little girl?") This is followed by the other presenters breaking into audible laughter.
    • The parade has had its share of this, depending on the number of wisecracks the hosts pull at each other. For instance, Katie had to go through this literally all the time when trying to put up with Willard Scott's antics when they hosted together from 1991-97. Nowadays, the corpsing only happens when Al Roker is in the booth.
  • This poor weatherman had the misfortune to fart just before coming back from commercial, setting him giggling helplessly and the other newscasters snickering. After enduring some ribbing from the other anchors, he managed to regain his composure just long enough to read the forecast: "Winds coming out of the south with cloudy skies the rest of the day." At which point everyone in the entire studio collapsed in hysterics.
  • In a similar vein, future Today weatherman Willard Scott once went into a fit of laughter due to an unfortunately timed audio clip when he was about to introduce a radio news broadcast in The '60s (as told by a radio person who used to work with him).
    There was an engineer, Arthur Semmig, who would put together sound effects and crazy audio-sketches at his little home studio before he came in to work the Joy Boys [Willard's popular radio comedy with Ed Walker] in the evening. Arthur had a tape of Colonel Sanders (KFC), and on occasion Arthur would play parts of the tape as a reaction to what was on the air at the time.
    In those days Willard was the announcer for the NBC Radio News intros. One night there was a local Ford dealer spot which ended with a sexy female voice, saying "and tell them I sent you." The engineer (Arthur) was then supposed to open Willard's mike for the NBC Network Radio News intro — instead he opened a switch where the Colonel's tape was still running, and (heard only locally following the sexy voice) was: "And it's finger-lickin' good, folks!"
    Now Willard was trying to introduce the news and he was laughing like you have never heard him laugh. Then newsman Dave Rush begins to laugh, because he also heard the local audio. If you were anywhere else in the country listening to NBC news, you hadn't heard the local spot or the Colonel, all you heard was Willard and Dave laughing almost out-of-control. They never did regain any composure. It was the funniest newscast I had ever heard...
  • Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Cavaliers, November 2014. "Nothing says college like singing Journey while holding onto a goose." Cue the trope by announcers Joe Tessitore and Brock Huard.
  • Mike Judge has said that one of his inspirations for Beavis and Butt-Head was hearing some classmates giggle when the priest said "eat this" during Communion at his Catholic high school's Graduation Mass.
  • This anchor just couldn't hold it together as she reads the story about a rather large cat forced to take swimming lessons.
  • Ceremonial guards such as the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace are trained and drilled rigorously to maintain an absolutely stoic demeanor whatever is happening around them. That said, they're only human so it is sometimes just possible to get one of them to break up if you really make an effort, as this guy discovered.
  • At the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, Tom Hiddleston showed up in full costume and character as Loki, lapping up the attention from his rather vocal fanbase without breaking character... Until a random guy in the crowd yelled "My wife loves you!" Cue Tom trying desperately not to crack up laughing and instead just grinning like a maniac.
  • This news anchor laughing at the name of a pig.
  • Middle school sex education. It is physically impossible for a room full of twelve-year-olds to keep a straight face when the word "vagina" is mentioned.
  • Politician Keith Hill suffered a corpsing fit in the House of Commons whenever he had to say the phrase Short Sea Shipping.
  • When Ellen DeGeneres was interviewing Ben Affleck on her show, a Wonder Woman crossdresser popped out of a box to scare him. When Affleck is shown a replay of his reaction, he collapses into hysterical high-pitched giggles.

Alternative Title(s): Corpsed

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Corpsing