Never Work with Children or Animals
"Never work with children or animals."
Sometimes, those little monkeys just don't behave the way that you were hoping for. The same applies to animals
. Sometimes Hilarity Ensues
. (Or Hilarity In Zoos
A common type of Hilarious Outtakes
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- In a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, a bomb would explode in a place with many unsuspecting people around. After the scene was made, one could see that a little boy had put his hands on his ears before the explosion happened. Hitch proclaimed that after this, he'd just work with people who were either adult or deaf.
- As well (not sure if it's the same example or not), the same thing happened in North By Northwest before Thornhill gets shot towards the ending.
- Stephen Colbert interviewing the oil industry on The Daily Show - it agreed to speak only if it could be represented by an eight-year-old girl. The girl was Madeleine Colbert, his daughter, and the outtakes are adorable.
- In an example that made it into the show proper, infants Winnie and Nelson on The Cosby Show would frequently look at the studio lights, boom mike, or other overhead machinery. Bill Cosby (as Cliff Huxtable) would look in the same direction and ask what was so interesting about the ceiling.
- In-universe example: In The Simpsons, Bart intentionally sings the wrong lyrics to "Jingle Bells" at the school Christmas show and is promptly (and literally) yanked from the stage.
- Taken to the extreme in "Bart Gets Famous", in which he has to perform in a Krusty the Clown show skit. He trips and brings down much of the set, and when he innocently declares "I didn't do it", the audience loves it. For a few weeks, the "'I Didn't Do It' Boy" is a regular on the show and a national phenomenon.
- Parodied in Film Film Film.
- Real Life example with the Balloon Boy. When asked by his father why he didn't come out of his hiding place when everyone was looking for him, he replied: "You said we were doing it for a show." On national television.
- Mamoru Oshii's crew just couldn't get the performance they wanted out of the actress in Avalon. They ended up faking it by morphing several of her performances together.
- The aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind were played by young girls, who were hyperactive and incredibly difficult to control.
- In 2009, Chris Columbus talked about the progress of Harry Potter kids:
"My biggest pride is seeing the pictures now, and watching the three of them from a distance, and seeing them do an entire scene in one shot. Seriously, I know that sounds funny, but in the old days — and, you know, the old days meaning eight years ago — and in that first picture in particular, it's filled with cuts because they couldn't really get beyond the first line without either looking into the camera, laughing or looking at the lights."
- Project Runway occasionally has challenges featuring children. One season the designers had to make complementary mom-and-child outfits, and in another designers had to make outfits based on paintings from students at Harlem School of the Arts. The designers' reactions are often just as fascinating as the kids', as even the designers with really temperamental and drama-prone personalities tend to be on their nicest behavior.
- And episode 11 of season 10 forces the designers to take care of baby dolls that cry (the type given to high schoolers in Scare 'Em Straight sex ed classes) while working on their garments to simulate taking care of an actual child (not to mention being a fairly obvious Ratings Stunt) but the actual babies are more cooperative, minus Dmitry's, who falls asleep and has to be carried by his mom while "walking" the runway.
- Top Chef has had kids on as well. Though the kids are usually well-behaved and happy to taste the food, several contestants had trouble coming up with dishes that the kids and the professional chef judges will all like. They either make their dishes too complicated, or they assume kids don't eat anything but chicken nuggets and make a dish the adults hate. Season 1's Tiffany in particular was adamant about her dislike of cooking for children.
- Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow ran on getting a bunch of kids to play silly games and throw gunge over each other, live. It's not surprising they sometimes got a bit overexcited. One boy, Raja, almost broke the hosts- he wouldn't stop running round and hitting them. Dom stopped being an Excited Kids Show Host and started just telling him off and asking the producers what to do next; they even got him on the Clip Show Da Dick And Dom Diaries, four years later, to explain himself. ("I'm a really nice guy when you get to know me".)
- The little girl of perhaps ten or eleven, on a Saturday morning zoo show, who was innocent of the subtleties of French pronunciation. Given a link to do concerning the afternoon's sporting attractions, she read off the autocue
And this afternoon at two, we go to Murray Walker who will commentate on the Grand Pricks of South Africa..
(Producer) I think you'll find it's pronounced "Grond Pree"...
(Little Girl, after a second's consideration) Well, it says "Grand Pricks" here!
- On an episode of the kids' game show Family Challenge, host Ray Combs learned the hard way something that Bob Barker once told him: "never let the contestant hold the microphone." He handed the mic to a five-year-old contestant who socked him in the head with it hard enough to make him bleed. He spent the rest of the episode with a band-aid on his head.
- Even the act of a baby tearing up a cake is too much: a recent segment on Good Morning America had a competition to see what baby would make the biggest mess, with cakes provided by Buddy Valastro. The babies were evidently distracted by the cheering crowd and camera/lighting equipment and barely touched the cakes.
- One of the Hilarious Outtakes from the film Cheaper by the Dozen is of one of the child actors freaking out as the frog he's supposed to be holding attempts to escape.
- NoŽl Coward once attended a play featuring an irritating child actor, in which a horse also defecated onstage. Supposedly, he quipped, "If they had shoved the child's head up the horse's arse, they'd have solved two problems at once."
- In a making-of special for Labyrinth, Jim Henson states that he'd been told never to work with children, animals, or puppets. Labyrinth contains all three, and apparently it was quite a challenge getting everything to work out properly. Going by the special, the puppets were easiest to deal with (helped by the fact that those responsible for the puppets were neither children or animals), followed by the baby with the animals being the hardest, with the special showing Jim Henson having trouble with the chickens in an early maze scene.
- Emma Thompson's diary during the filming of Sense And Sensibility relates difficulties with both sheep and babies. The period sheep gave such trouble that Ang Lee at one point declared, "No more sheeps. Never again sheeps." (Except ten years later he did Brokeback Mountain, where apparently the sheep were even more of a headache). The babies presented an unusual problem: the scene called for a crying baby, and none of them would cry.
- She also mentions one day when the horse she was on had an audibly bad case of gas, and a shot involving a dog that was fascinated by the camera and kept staring directly into the lens. The people who were offscreen in each shot had to all wave dog treats at it to distract it.
- An In-Universe example occurs in Space Jam, where Daffy, after escaping Michael Jordan's dog with the help of his children, quips "This is the last time I'm working with dogs or children!".
There have been some who have heeded this advice. They include:
- Mister Rogers (that, and making his show seem more intimate)
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, in the TV series, is at least knowledgable about it, as they have Quark do VERY little in the show. Though, at least one episode includes quite a lot of reaction shots from him...
- In Gorillas in the Mist Dian Fossey described one of her early attempts that resulted in her then-best photos. When she approached a group of sunbathing gorillas, they hid in bushes. She decided to climb a nearby tree to get a better view. Since she had little experience climbing trees, wasn't in her best shape and was encumbered with cameras and other stuff, it took her a lot of time, and the process has been quite noisy. She expected the noise to scare the gorillas away, but instead "I was amazed to look around and find that the entire group had returned and were sitting like front-row spectators at a sideshow. All that was needed to make the image complete were a few gorilla-sized bags of popcorn and some cotton candy!" She quickly learned to use the apes' curiosity to overcome their fear and keep them where they are best visible.