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Funny / Do Not Adjust Your Set

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  • "How to Eat" is a hilarious parody of instructional films, and a brilliant example of Mundane Made Funny:
    Terry: [over a title card] "How to Eat": a Do Not Adjust Your Set guide to living.
    Michael: [behind a lectern] Good night. The lecture today in the series How to Live concerns the problem of eating. In eating, as in everything else, there is a right and a wrong way to set about it. So let us start at the beginning with the approach. [David, as a diner, strides past on his way to a table with two chairs and a plate with what is obviously a large pile of shaving foam on it] Note the confident stride as the eater approaches the table. He pulls the chair out firmly, and sits down. [... on the table, right in the plate of shaving foam]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: Wrong. [David looks at Michael, then stands up again; a waiter (Terry) picks up a plate of food and walks over to the table as David backs up to try again] This is the wrong approach. Let us try it again. [the waiter whistles to himself as he puts down the plate of food and cleans up the pile of shaving foam] He strides to the table, pulls the chair out smoothly, and sits down. [David does as Michael describes, but is about to sit down two feet to one side of the chair] ON THE CHAIR. [David quickly stands up again, then moves across to the chair and sits down] Right.
    Caption: RIGHT
    Michael: [as David unfolds his napkin and puts it on his lap] Now he is ready to begin, and we come to the choice of utensil. [David smiles as he picks up a fork and knife next to his plate] Arrayed before the eater is a wide variety of utensils, [David puts down the original pair and picks up other utensils, one at a time, his brow furrowing in confusion] each with its own particular use. The choice of the correct utensil is made carefully and discreetly. [David finally sets down the utensils and begins grabbing food off the plate with his bare hands and wolfing it down]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: And intelligently. [David stops eating and gives Michael a sheepish smile; the waiter replaces the plate of food with a bowl of soup, and David looks at Michael as he proudly holds up a soup spoon] Phase three: the delivery. The utensil is slowly dipped into the food, and with a graceful sweep, the correct amount is carried to the appropriate place. [David proceeds to tip the spoonful of soup onto his ear]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: NO... [David looks puzzled, but takes another spoonful and empties it onto the front of his shirt, smiling at Michael]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: NO... [David looks puzzled again, then takes another spoonful and empties it into his sleeve]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: NO... The MOUTH. [David gives Michael a "You must be joking!" grimace, but tries it, and seems to approve] Right.
    Caption: RIGHT
    Michael: [as the waiter replaces the bowl of soup with another plate of food] Finally, phase four, the appreciation. [David hungrily picks up his knife and fork] Having finished a delightful meal, [the waiter takes the plate away, and David ends up spearing his knife and fork into the table] the eater must show his appreciation in a subtle, yet definite manner. [David belches, then slouches down in his chair, scratching his head and body as he does so]
    Caption: WRONG
    Michael: Wrong. The correct method is a slight pursing of the lips, with the eyes upwards, a dab with the napkin, and a slight, egregious smile. [David's attempt at the last of these makes him look as though he is in pain]
    Caption: RIGHT
    Michael: Well done. [David cleans the soup off his ear] Finally, we have the problem of etiquette. [Eric, as a second diner, joins David at the table as the waiter sets down a plate of two pastries] This occurs when two or more are dining together.
    David: [gesturing to the pastries] Which one would you like? The big one or the little one? [Eric grabs the big pastry and begins devouring it] That's very rude! Now if I'd had first choice, I would have chosen the little one!
    Eric: [gestures to the plate, speaking through a mouthful of pastry] You've got the little one!
    Michael: In this way, you have seen how it is possible to come to an understanding of food, and how to deal with it. [Denise, as a third diner, walks past to another table with a plate of spaghetti on it] And next week, we shall be tackling the problems of foreign food. [Denise sits down, tucks her napkin into her collar, and begins twirling a forkful of spaghetti... only to notice several strands are moving off the plate and across the table, sparking her into attacking them with her fork]
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  • "Two of Us" may feature a simple premise, but it's Eric and Michael's reactions as more and more of their castmates join in what is supposed to be a duet that really makes it a side-splitter.
    Eric, Michael: [wearing fur coats and straw hats over their suits] Two of us, just the two of us
    Not too many or too few of us
    Two of us together, in every kind of weather
    Two of us forever, just the two of us
    Two of us, just the two of us...
    [at this point, David appears behind Eric and joins in the singing; Eric shoots an annoyed glare at him]
    Eric, Michael, David: There's not a single thing we wouldn't do for us
    Through troubles thick and thin, we'll meet 'em chin to chin
    The two of us will win, just the two of us
    [they turn around to walk back across the stage; Michael finally sees David and does a double take]
    Three's a crowd... [Eric glares meaningfully at David]
    When there's just the two of you, you feel so proud
    Two of us, just the two of us...
    [now it's Terry's turn to come in behind David; David initially joins Eric in glaring at Terry, but shrugs it off and goes back to smiling]
    Eric, Michael, David, Terry: Not too many or too few of us
    Two of us together, in every kind of weather...
    [as Michael gets the same annoyed look as Eric upon seeing Terry, Denise comes up behind him and joins in the song]
    Eric, Michael, David, Terry, Denise: Two of us forever, just the two of us
    Three's a crowd...
    When there's just the two of you, you feel so proud [Dennis Cowan, on tuba duty for The Bonzo Dog Band, appears behind Terry]
    Two of us, just the two of us [Roger Ruskin Spear, on tenor sax, appears at Denise's end of the chain]
    Not too many or too few of us [Eric and Michael keep singing, but begin gesturing at each other regarding the uninvited extra singers]
    Two of us together, in every kind of weather [Eric holds up two fingers on the next word]
    Two of us forever, just the two of us
    Three's a crowd... [by now, "Legs" Larry Smith on tambourine and Viv Stanshall on muted trumpet have joined Dennis' end of the chain]
    When there's just the two of you, you feel so proud
    [at this point, Eric pulls Michael out of line by his tie; meanwhile, Rodney Slater on clarinet and Neil Innes on guitar join Roger's end of the chain]
    David, Terry, Denise: Two of us, just the two of us... [they continue singing as Eric and Michael begin arguing over which of them invited their castmates to join the "duet"]

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