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Funny / Bob Dylan

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  • "Positively 4th Street" is funny in just how plain BRUTAL it is.
    I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
    And just for that one moment I could be you
    Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
    You'd know what a DRAG it is to see you!
  • Most of The Basement Tapes songs have some funny turns of phrase ("the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus."), but a couple can be classified as full-on comedy and are absolutely hilarious: a doo-wop parody called "I'm Your Teenage Prayer" and a bit where Dylan and The Band deliberately slaughter a Mexican ballad.
    • They turn the Stylistic Suck Up to Eleven on the Ode to Intoxication "Bourbon Street". Bob cheers on a painfully bad trombone solo (probably played by Rick Danko): "Play it pretty now, boys! Sounds MARVELOUS!...A ton of joy! I can't take it no more!"
  • On The Bootleg Series VI: Live 1964, recorded just as Dylan was trying to break free of the Protest Singer mold, he is very clearly baked to the gills and in a very good mood. For instance, his reaction to an audience member requesting "Mary Had A Little Lamb".
    Oh my GOD. Did I record that? Is that a Protest Song?
    • At another point, he tries for a few minutes to get started on "I Don't Believe You" before Corpsing and asking the audience how it goes. Once somebody sings the opening line, he remembers the rest of the song.
  • The travails of the narrator of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" from Highway 61 Revisited get rather amusing, even if you feel sorry for the poor sap. His Screw This, I'm Outta Here! reaction to end the song caps off the tour de force.
    • Same goes for "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again", except the situations are more surreal. Don't you hate it when you go to send a letter only to find someone stole the post office?
    • Same for "On The Road Again". The house he's in doesn't sound very pleasant.
    And you ask why I don't live here - Honey, how come YOU don't MOVE?
  • '"Motorpsycho Nitemare" is literally a Farmer's Daughter joke set to music:
    I fell down to my bended knees
    Saying, "I dig farmers, don't shoot me please"
    He cocked his rifle and began to shout
    "You're that travelin' salesman that I have heard about"
    I said, "No ! No ! No ! I'm a doctor and it's true
    I'm a clean-cut kid and I been to college too."
  • "Foot of Pride", for all its Crapsack World-ness, is hysterically funny.
    He looked straight into the sun and said "Revenge is mine!"
    ...But he drinks, and drinks can be fixed.
    • It also has a great Take That! aimed at 80s evangelists
    Yeah, up on the stage they'll be tryin' to get water out of rocks
    A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say "thanks."
    They like take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in
    Sing "Amazing Grace" all the way to the Swiss banks!
  • "Pay In Blood" has some hilariously cruel lines:
    You got the same eyes as your mother does
    • and
    I've been through hell, what good did it do?
    You bastard! I'm supposed to respect you?
  • "Brownsville Girl" has some brilliant one-liners:
    She said "Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt!"
    • And
    I didn't know whether to duck or to run. So I ran.
    • And
    Dylan: I don’t have any regrets, they can talk about me plenty when I’m gone!
    Chorus girls:note  Oh YEAH?!
  • "Highlands" is a 16-minute rumination on mortality, morality and failure... in the middle of which, Dylan pops into a diner and gets into a bizarre argument with the waitress, who thinks he's a famous painter and refuses to let him go until he draws her. The section ends with Dylan running out without paying and returning to his Serious Philosophizing.
    Then she says, “I know you’re an artist, draw a picture of me!
    I say, “I would if I could, but I don’t do sketches from memory.”
    “Well,” she says, “I’m right here in front of you, or haven’t you looked?”
    I say, “All right, I know, but I don’t have my drawing book!”
    She gives me a napkin, she says, “You can do it on that”
    I say, “Yes I could, but I don’t know where my pencil is at.”
    She pulls one out from behind her ear
    She says, “All right now, go ahead, draw me, I’m standing right here.”
    I make a few lines and I show it for her to see
    Well, she takes the napkin and throws it back and says, “That don’t look a thing like me!
    I said, “Oh, kind Miss, it most certainly does.”
    She says, “You must be jokin’.” I say, “I wish I was!
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  • From a 1980 concert:
    I want to say hello to Greil Marcus, if he's here tonight. I think he's here tonight. Greil Marcus is one of the...I guess he's the top rock ‘n’ roll critic of the era. Whatever that means.
  • "Tombstone Blues"
    The sun's not yellow - it's chicken!
  • "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream". All of it, basically. Dylan tries to discover America, only to find it already occupied by Americans, escapes from jail, keeps losing his clothes, gets mistaken for The Beatles...
    I ran right through the front door like a hobo sailor does
    But it was just a funeral parlor and a man asked who I was
    I repeated that my friends were all in jail, with a sigh
    He gave me his card and said "Call me if they die!"
    • Later...
    I decided to flip a coin, like, either heads or tails
    Would let me know if I should back to ship or back to jail
    So I hocked my sailor's suit and I got a coin to flip
    It came up tails, that rhymes with ... sails, so I made it back to ship
  • "I Shall Be Free", particularly the last line.
    I make love to Elizabeth Taylor
    Catch hell from Richard Burton
  • In Scorsese's Rolling Thunder Revue, the 78-year-old Dylan trying to explain what the tour was about. And clearly pulling the audience's leg more than once.
    Dylan: I wouldn't say it was a, uh, traditional revue, but it was in the, uh, traditional... um... form of, uh, of a revue. (Beat, laughs) That's all clumsy bullshit. I'm trying to get to the... To the core of what this Rolling Thunder thing is all about, and I don't have a clue, because it's not... It's about nothing. It's just something that happened 40 years ago. And that's the truth of it. I don't remember a thing about Rolling Thunder. I mean, it happened so long ago I wasn't even born, you know?


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