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Funny / A Midsummer Night's Dream

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"This is to make an ass of me!"

  • The Wall's monologue in the play within a play.
    • In fact, any time that the Rude Mechanicals are on stage. Bottom and Quince are made of funny.
    • Here's an especially impassioned production of the Play Within a Play, by a talented group of humorists.
    • In the 1935 film version, Starveling the tailor as the moon keeps getting mocked and interrupted. Lysander kindly tells him to proceed, and then Starveling sighs and speaks very quickly: "AllIhavetosayistotellyouthatthelanternisthemoonIthemaninthemoonthisthornbushmythornbushandthisdogmydog."
    • Really, if the show-within-a-show isn't the funniest part of your production, your mechanicals are doing something wrong.note 
  • Specific to a certain production (London, in 2006, by the Royal Shakespeare Company), but...
    • "'I go, I go; look how I go,/Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow!' Puck delivers this line with great enthusiasm... before plodding slowly off stage right.
  • "I am amaz'd and know not what to say."
  • Oberon's "I am invisible, and will overhear their conference" is pretty funny considering he's been on stage, completely visible, for an entire scene.
    • One Shakespeare By the Sea production does one better by having Oberon, upon hearing the mortals approach, dramatically jump-dive behind a prop set, only to sit up and say: "I am invisible," then sit normally to overhear their conference.
  • The 2012 production in Washington Dc had Puck eating popcorn while watching the effects of the Love Potion.
    • The DC production also cast Lysander as an awkward loser of a guitarist. Cringe Comedy ensues.
  • "I say I love thee more than he can do!"
  • In the 2013 production at the Globe Theatre: Puck's pointing out that Oberon's instructions weren't clear enough ("Did not you tell me I should know the man by the Athenian garment be had on?"), and thus that the entire mess is his fault, was met by a subdued "Oh yeah."
    • For that matter, Oberon and Puck in this production are simply hilarious. For starters, after hearing that Titania would fall in love with a donkey-headed mechanical, Oberon was so pleased he kissed Puck fully on the mouth and dipped him so low, his feet were dangling in the air.
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    • After it transpires that Puck got the wrong Athenian man he tries to silently creep off the stage to avoid Oberon's rage. He notices and quickly holds him in place with magic, then, after Demetrius laid himself to sleep, asks in the most deadpan tone ever "What hast thou done?"
  • The 2014 production at the Stratford Festival made the above scene even funnier, given that Lysander was being played by a woman. After Puck asks Oberon "Did you not tell me I should know the man...?", the actor playing Oberon gave Puck an aside glance, as if to say, 'I trusted you to be able to tell, Athenian garments or not, that that was not a man you found'.
  • Lysander's deadpan solution to the problem of Egeus' decision:
    You have her father's love, Demetrius,
    Let me have Hermia's. Do you marry him.
  • Bottom (James Cagney) in the 1935 film wanting to be Thisbe in the play.
    Quince: No, no, no!
    Flute (Right beside Bottom): No.
  • The Mood Whiplash of Lysander "Demetrius loves not you" and Demetrius waking up and giving Helena a declaration of love - especially if the actor playing Demetrius decides to ham it up.
  • Helena accidentally finding a bear in the woods in the 1935 film. She sighs that it'll probably eat her. While she's Wangsting, the bear is casually minding its own business like it couldn't care less.
  • Nick Bottom gets his donkey's head and walks back into his rehearsal, trying to say his lines, oblivious to why the others are gawking at him.
  • Hermia tries to insinuate that Helena seduced both Demetrius and Lysander against her in the space of less than an hour using of all things her height. This line is kept in the 1935 film, but Jean Muir (Helena) is only about two inches taller than Olivia de Havilland (Hermia).
    • The 1999 film has that scene turn into a Cat Fight, where Hermia pushes Helena into a mud puddle. While they're mud wrestling, Lysander and Demetrius start fighting over who gets to help them out. While all this is unfolding, Oberon gives Puck a withering look that says "you are an idiot".
    • Before the mud fight unfolds, Helena is trying to flee on her bicycle. Lysander and Demetrius merely lift the bike off the ground so they can declare their love - as she cycles in vain, desperate to try and escape.
      • Also the 1999 film keeps the line about Puck knowing who Demetrius is by the "Athenian clothes" he wears. When he mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, Lysander has stripped naked. So presumably Puck somehow thinks "Athenian clothes" is a slang term for naked.
  • In one production, the director announces that Ian McKellen will be playing the role of Bottom. Only for a stage hand to come on and say that he’s been stuck in the lift and they won’t be able to free him for several hours. Thus, a man from the audience is drafted to play the role at short notice, with his groceries used as ammunition in fight scene.


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