Old joke setup:
Character 1: Excuse me, I'm looking for talcum powder.
Character 2: Walk this way, please. (Starts to saunter off)
Character 1: If I could walk that way, I wouldn't need the talcum powder.
Alternatively, the second character may follow the first character, imitating their Sexy Walk
or Silly Walk
. This is a physical variant of Repeat After Me
There is a proud tradition
of 'walk in the way I do'; one book describes the zanni
of the Commedia dell'Arte
copying the aged miser Pantalone when told to "walk this way".
Not to be confused with the Aerosmith
) song. That's about, well
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- Mel Brooks loves this particular joke:
- In Young Frankenstein, Igor says to "walk this way", and Frankenstein follows the hunchbacked, hobbling Igor normally. Igor insists, "THIS way," and even hands Frankenstein his walking stick to help him imitate the walk.
- It's this particular instance of the joke, by the way, that inspired Aerosmith to write their song of the same name. No, really.
- Ditto Robin Hood: Men in Tights, when the sheriff sets it up, and everyone shrugs and walks this way without further comment.
- Ditto History of the World Part I.
- In Spaceballs, Yogurt says "Ha ha ha, come, walk this way, take a look", followed by "If I could walk that way..."
- Done by the mincing Carmen Ghia (with Leo and Max following) in the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of The Producers.
- Done in After the Thin Man. An elderly butler tells Nick to "Walk this way" and shuffles off. Nick says "Well, I'll try" and does so.
- At least one short (perhaps more) by The Three Stooges uses this gag; a wealthy society matron who has commissioned the Stooges (or someone for whom she has mistaken them) to do a job of some sort asks them to "Walk this way" to whatever needs fixing, at which point the Stooges shrug and imitate her stereotypically feminine gait.
- In a more elaborate set up, they are being trained to be gentlemen, and are assigned a dancing instructor. She tells them this is the latest dance and do exactly as she does. Of course, at the moment the music starts, a bee flies down the back of her dress. They follow her contortions to get rid of the bee, including all of them jumping out the second floor window into a fountain below.
- In Encino Man, as the class heads to the museum, Stoney (exaggerately) mimics the way Matt Wilson's cohorts walk, while talking behind them.
- In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel First Frontier:
'Hardly. Walk this way,' the Doctor said mysteriously, and hopped away from the car in a peculiar manner. When he saw that the women were strolling normally after him, he hurrumphed loudly and wandered off towards a low rise just to the left.
- The Clue book series did this twice; once with the guests merely imitating Mr. Boddy's normal walk, once with Mrs. White getting a pebble in her shoe and the guests all imitating her abnormal walk.
- Played with in John Varley’s Rolling Thunder:
“Follow me, please.” I was so glad he didn’t say Walk this way,” because it is such an old joke (...) and there’s no way I could have managed that sashay.
- At the end of the Ciaphas Cain* novel The Emperor's Finest, a planetary governor's majordomo tells Cain and Jurgen to "Walk this way" to meet the governor. Jurgen mutters, "If I walked that way, I'd be singing soprano."
- The War Against the Chtorr. Captain McCarthy is saddled with Major Bellus who accidentally walks near a grove of shambler trees: Man Eating Plants hosting an entire ecology of carnivorous symbiotes that swarm when they sense the vibrations of nearby prey. McCarthy points out that these vibrations are relayed by the creeper vines lying all around them, and the only way not to trigger them is to walk out of range at five meters per hour. Cue a Silly Walk that (as McCarthy enjoys pointing out to Bellus) is being relayed via cameras to an extensive internet audience hoping they'll die in an interesting and horrible fashion. Eventually Bellus breaks down under the strain and begs for his life, so to conclude this Humiliation Conga McCarthy walks out normally, saying they weren't in any danger as the shambler grove was uninhabited. This stunt destroys Bellus career; unfortunately it also earns McCarthy the ire of his superiors who try to get rid of him with an Uriah Gambit.
Live Action TV
- The "less naughty" Chemist Shop sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus:
Man: Good morning. I'd like some aftershave, please.
Chemist: Ah, certainly. Walk this way, please.
Man: If I could walk that way I wouldn't need aftershave.
[POLICEMAN enters and bundles the customer off the set.]
- Later episodes reference this joke too, with the person delivering the second line being given a meaningful look and apologising before finishing.
- "If I could walk that way" is also part of the Overly Long Name of the Very Silly candidate in "Election Night Special."
- In another sketch, about the Royal Society of Putting Things On Top of Other Things, when the president instructs the members of the society to "run this way". They begin to say "If we could run that way-" and then apologize and follow him.
- In Are You Being Served?, a visiting Arab sheikh's interpreter after being told to ask his master to "walk this way" stared at Mr Humphries' mincing walk and replied, "It's more than my job's worth!"
- The Lucy Show: Jack Benny guest starred, and answered Lucy's "Walk this way" with "I already do." (Benny had a notoriously swishy hip-swinging gait.)
- On "Ru Paul's Drag U", Ru Paul instructs the contestants to "walk this way" and starts to walk in an exaggerated manner. Then, he turns around and tells the contestants he expects them not to merely follow him, but to imitate his gait.
- Naturally, The Muppet Show can't stay away from this one. In one Pigs In Space sketch, Link Hogthrob tells First Mate Piggy (Fozzie in a costume) this, and the literal-minded bear does this trope.
- In an early episode of Rugrats, Grandpa is told to "walk this way" by a butler who maintains a ridiculously obsequious bowing stance while walking. Grandpa imitates his stride.
- Memorably averted in Garfield and Friends, where a butler does a Silly Walk and says, "Walk this way," followed by Jon, Odie and Garfield pointedly walking after him in their normal fashions. "Don't worry, we won't do that old joke."
- In the cartoon The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Itsy is told to "walk this way," by a fat waddling ladybug, but gets a smack in the face when he actually does walk that way.
- One episode of Duckman had a character say this and prance away. Duckman to his companions: "Do it and you're off the show."
- Speaking of ducks, Daffy once followed the Silly Walk of a butler.
- Used and Lampshaded in Avenger Penguins:
Caractacus P Doom: "How sad. I can't believe people are still using the old 'walk this way' gag."
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the 2003 series, pilot episode. Splinter says "walk this way." Michelangelo begins the obvious joke. Donatello smacks him upside the head with his bo staff.
- Done to death with the Red Guy from Cow and Chicken. Especially remarkable since he has one of the silliest walks imaginable. If you could call jumping on your buttocks 'walking' that is.
- In at least some episodes, it's subverted, as he doesn't even say "Walk this way", but rather "After me", and they still do the joke.
- Danger Mouse got in on it, too. One episode had Colonel K meet with DM and Penfold, and the Colonel told them to "Step this way" to the meeting room and walking with an odd waddling walk. Penfold starts to imitate him and DM says reproachfully "Penfold...", to which Penfold replies "Ah, you never let me have fun".
- On another occasion DM said "Quick, Penfold! Step this way!" before doing his famous long stride off screen. Penfold replied, "I can't step that way, chief; my legs aren't long enough!"
- An episode of Muppet Babies had this joke when visiting Fozzie's imaginary comedy theme restaurant:
Fozzie: "Your table is ready. Wocka this way!"
*walks off in a silly pose, which the rest of the group imitates as they follow.*
- An episode of Animaniacs had the Warner siblings visiting a vampire's mansion. After their introductory antics left him stunned, he used the line and led them with a wavered stagger, which the Warners happily imitated.
- A particularly demented variant in Bob Clampett's cartoon "The Big Snooze": Bugs tells Elmer (who is in drag, trying to escape Hollywood wolves. It Makes Sense in Context. Sorta.) to "Quick! Run this way!" Has to be seen to be believed. (Occurs at 5:45)
- Beetlejuice did this when he turned into Sherlock Holmes when Doomie was stolen. Lydia just shrugs and crawls on all fours after him. She does humor the bum alot.
- In an episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, Felix and Sheba visit a haunted Rock and Roll Museum. The zombie tour guide tells them to "Walk This Way". Felix and Sheba get into pose then go "Nah!" with Sheba declaring "That gag's cooked, man".
- In one episode of Blue's Clues, Steve (the host of the show, who's live-action), is interacting with some crudely-animated puppets made out of pieces of felt. When they ask him to follow them by saying "Walk this way," he imitates their stiff, two-frame-loop, sideways walking style.