Ancient knave with heart as black
as coat you wear upon your back,
get thee a pair of glasses, get thee
to an optometrist!
This show provides examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: Rule of Funny prevails in most cases.
- Aside Comment: Frequently, especially in Noir parodies.
- Aside Glance: Frequently, especially in Noir parodies.
- Boogie Knights: Wayne and Shuster once had a TV special that parodied fairy tales - they star as a court jester and royal physician, breaking into an impromptu softshoe dance in the dining hall, followed by a knight in armor doing a more vigorous tapdance.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: occasionally, the boys notice the audience, the sound effects, the soundtrack... Some skits involve addressing the audience, such as "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga".
- Camera Screw: an early silent sketch involving the two painting the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The camera is on an angle so that the tower looks vertical, but the pair and their equipment are constantly leaning/falling over/sliding around.
- Catch Phrase: "Julie, don't go!" from "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga" became a catch phrase on both sides of the border and was often reprised and sometimes worked into other sketches (though it's always delivered by a female character rather than Wayne or Shuster).
- Cowboy Episode: "A Fistful of Fingers"
- Deal with the Devil: The feature story of one episode was about a musician selling his soul to the Devil in exchange for becoming Canada's greatest hockey player.
- His Name Is...: A running joke in Rinse the Blood off My Toga.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Also a running joke in Rinse the Blood off My Toga.
- Large Ham: Oh, yes.
- Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Parodied in a sketch where Sherlock Holmes and Watson are holding a Summation Gathering in a stately country home. Every time that Holmes dramatically announces who the murderer is, the lights go out. When they come back on, the suspect he has just named is dead. After all of the suspects have been killed, Holmes deduces that he must be in the wrong house.
- Long Runners: Wayne and Shuster's first show, The Wife Preservers, aired in 1941. They continued to perform until the late 1980s; Wayne succumbed to cancer in 1990. Shuster continued to act occasionally and host retrospectives until shortly before his own death in 2002.
- Mind Screw: Several. For example:Shuster Are you sure we're alone?
Shuster Then who's that beside you?
Wayne Beat That's you!
Shuster Yes. But can I be trusted?
- Radio: The duo started out with radio shows.
- Running Gag: constantly, sometimes including callbacks to previous running gags.
- World of Pun: They never pass up an opportunity. Ever.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: Happens in "Comedy Olympics" special. The case in point is the gold medalist for pantomime. Here, we see a Marcel Marceau type mime doing his "Walking on Stairs" act and physically ascends about 10 feet off the stage without any physical steps in place.