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Funny / Mary Poppins

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The books

  • When Mr. Banks returns home to find Miss Andrew gone, Mrs. Banks (not knowing that Mary Poppins scared Miss Andrew into leaving) explains that the children acted so rude, she left early. Mr. Banks scolds Jane and Michael, but also gives each of them sixpence as thanks.
    "I'm a most unfortunate man," he went on, putting his hands into his pockets. "Here am I slaving day in and day out to bring you up properly, and how do you repay me? By being rude to Miss Andrew! It's shameful! It's outrageous. I don't know that I shall ever be able to forgive you. But——" he continued, taking two sixpences out of his pocket and solemnly offering one to each of them, "I shall do my best to forget!"
  • While Jane and Michael call each other ugly, Mary Poppins ends the fight by telling them that the most beautiful person in the house is "nobody by the name of Banks!"

The movie
We love to laugh/Loud and long and clear
  • Katie Nana is a One-Scene Wonder, refusing to let Ellen talk her out of staying.
    Katie Nana: I wouldn't stay in this house another minute, not if you heap me with all the jewels in Christendom.
    • Mrs. Brill's reaction?
      Mrs. Brill: Well hip hip hooray. And don't stumble on the way out, dearie.
  • "Sister Suffragette":
    • The story of how Glynis Johns was hired: she would only do it if she got her own song, so the Sherman Brothers quickly changed the lyrics of a Mary song that they'd discarded. The song, of course, was "Sister Suffragette", and Glynis sang the hell out of it, despite her limited vocal range. She would later go on to originate the role of Desiree in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, where she sang "Send in the Clowns" to great acclaim.
    • During the song itself, while Mrs. Banks and her servants are singing about this noble cause, Katie Nana is trying to get their attention, to no avail. When the three start parading around the room, she's forced to chase after them.
    • There's also the high-pitched squeal from the other ladies as Winifred lifts up her skirt to reveal her bloomers.
    • And Mrs Banks gets a taste of what that's like quickly after. As George comes home and starts singing "The Life I Lead", Winifred is trying to tell him the children are missing. But he's too busy singing to pay attention.
  • The sheer fact that Winifred sings an entire song about the suffragette movement and then as soon as she hears her husband coming home, she hisses at the servants to put them away "You know how the cause infuriates Mr. Banks"
  • Admiral Boom, especially when he orders the attack on the "Hottentots"
    • Anytime the cannon is fired and what happens in the household before and after it happens.
    • Whenever he's about to fire the canon, someone will usually shout, "POSTS EVERYONE!", prompting everyone to hold something down.
    • Even funnier is Mr. Banks' utter lack of reaction to the cannon firing. Doesn't even blink.
      "Ellen, it is now 8 o'clock."
      • Not even when he arguing with his wife about Mary Poppins.
    • When Admiral Boom breaks up the rooftop "Step In Time" with fireworks, Bert sends one back by using his sweeper like a cricket bat. The pipes Michael stands behind look like wickets, making him the wicket keeper. Boom yells, "Well hit, sir! Very well hit!" then realizes what's happening and ducks frantically.
    • When he's introduced, Bert says he likes his house "shipshape". Then, the camera pans over to his house and it's revealed to be literally shaped like a ship.
    • His name is Admiral Boom and he makes explosions.
  • After Mr. Banks sings the 'British Nanny' song, outlining his qualifications for a nanny in musical form, Mrs. Banks replies "Splendid, George! Inspirational! The 'Times' will be so pleased!" Apparently, she transcribed the whole song as a newspaper ad!
    • Followed by his attempt to call the paper:
      Mr. Banks: [on the phone] "Operator, I'd like the office of the Times. No, I do not know the number!"
  • During Jane and Michael's letter of the perfect nanny, one of the requirements is "never smell of barley water"note . Michael enthusiastically says he thought of that and George has a very disapproving look on his face. But Winifred is trying to restrain herself.
    • Also during their letter, they promise not to give the nanny "cause to hate [them]." Then, they go on to specify the things they won't do: hide her glasses, put toads in her bed, or pepper in her tea.
  • When Mary Poppins arrives and begins reading the children's advertisement, Mr. Banks goes over to peer into the fireplace where he'd thrown it. He then bumps his head on the fireplace, splutters, and mimes tearing up the letter. Mary Poppin's reaction - "I beg your pardon, are you ill?" Then Mrs. Banks comes in a few moments later and calls "George!" Mr. Banks bumps his head on the fireplace again.
  • Mary Poppins pretending to be confused about Mr. Banks' small crisis on how she got the children's advertisement.
    Mary Poppins: I beg your pardon, are you ill?
  • When Jane and Michael gape upon seeing Mary Poppins slide up the bannister:
    Mary: Close your mouth, Michael, we are not a codfish.
  • After Mr. Banks hires Mary Poppins, he tells Ellen to tell the other nannies that the position has been filled. Ellen is understandably confused, because Mary Poppins was the only one at the door after blowing the other nannies away, but she goes to the door and tells the dog she finds standing there, "The position has been filled." The dog (who happens to be Ms. Lark's dog, Andrew) looks disappointed and leaves.
  • After Mary Poppins measures Michael, Jane is giggling at what she says. Then she says about Jane "rather inclined to giggle" and she abruptly stops and looks furious.
    • The pun about the tape measure determining how people "measure up".
  • Michael trying repeatedly to snap his fingers during the "Spoonful of Sugar" sequence, through the entire thing. Then he finally succeeds...and Jane promptly sends a wagon after him that knocks him over and wheels him into the closet. The closet then proceeds to repeatedly open and close while Michael tries in vain to get out. All while Mary looks completely unamused by the whole situation of everything reaching beyond her control. All the other little details like the Jack-in-the-Box going haywire and the ball bouncing on the dresser drawers adds to the silliness.
    • And then when she tries to settle things down, as she says, "Well that was very..." but the commotion keeps going. She tries again saying, "Thank you, now..." but it still keeps going. At this, she has enough and shouts, "WHEN YOU'VE QUITE FINISHED!" That's when it finally stops. When it stops, she says, "Thank you" again, but this time it's sincere.
    • Also during "Spoonful of Sugar", Mary's reflection starts crooning. Mary's response is to sternly exclaim, "Cheeky!".
  • The chalk drawing segment:
    • When Bert attempts to take the children into his chalk drawing, they just land on top of it. There's a beat before Jane asks quite innocently "is something supposed to happen?"
    • Then after that, Mary's completely irritated attitude about magicking them all into the chalk drawing. She treats transporting four people to a magical world like it's a chore that she doesn't like doing, but has to because no one else does it properly.
    • After they enter the chalk drawing, Mary matter-of-factly admonishes the children, "Don't fall and smudge the drawing!"
    • While Mary, Bert and the children ride the carousel horses across the countryside, Bert has the audacity to look bored with their little adventure, sitting on the horse and idly twirling his cane.
    • When Mary thanks the turtles for helping her across the river, they say, "Our pleasure, Mary Popp—" but the last syllable of her surname is garbled because they sink under the water.
    • The scene that precedes the fox being saved from the hunters.
      Man: "View haloo!"
      Horse: "Oh, yes, definitely: a view haloo!"
      Fox: "View haloo?!"
  • The expression on Ellen's face when she witnesses Mary and the children sliding down the railing is priceless.
  • When Bert is dancing with the penguins, after he pulls his pants back up, the face he makes is hilarious. It's at 1:20 in this video. It's even funnier because he makes that demented face for literally no reason.
  • During "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," this bit of dialogue:
    Mary: You'd better use it carefully, or it could change your life!
    Musician: For example?
    Mary: Yes?
    Musician: One night, I said it to me girl, and now me girl's me wife!
    Musician: Ow! And a lovely thing she is, too!
  • There's also this bit of dialogue, also from "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious":
    Mary: [mock-serious] You know, you can say it backwards, which is "dociousaliexpiisticfragicalirupes", but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?
    Bert: Indubitably.
  • Jane's little squeal when Mary Poppins pours the medicine. Made even better by the fact that the bottle was a working prop and it was Karen Dotrice's genuine reaction.
  • George tells Ellen to shut the window because the singing robin is giving him a headache. Ellen obliges but she scolds the robin, saying, "Quiet! You're giving the master an 'eadache!" What's funnier is that the robin actually obeys her. And chirps an apology.
  • This exchange:
    Mr. Banks: And one more thing, when I sit down to play the piano, I expect it to be in tune!
    Mrs. Banks: But don't play.
    Mr. Banks: Madam, that is entirely beside the point!
  • The 'I Love To Laugh' scene.
    • Bert's joke to Mary's old uncle Albert is funny despite the fact that it really wasn't a very good joke.
      Bert: I always say there's nothing like a good joke.
      Uncle Albert: [sobbing] No, and that was nothing like a good joke.
    • The other jokes:
      • "I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith." "What's the name of his other leg?"
      • "My grandfather had a nightmare and was so scared that he chewed his pillow to bits. I asked him, 'How do you feel, Granddad?' and he said, 'Not bad. A little down in the mouth.'"
      • "My brother has a nice cushy job in a watch factory?" "What does he do?" "He stands around all day and makes faces."
      • "The other day it was so cold and my friend went to buy some long underwear. The tailor asked how long he wanted the underwear and my friend said, 'From about September to March.'"
    • The ending where Bert makes what Van Dyke referred to as his Stan Laurel face. (Van Dyke was a huge fan of Laurel.)
  • When Michael tries to tell Mr. Banks the "wooden leg named Smith" joke, he replies, "Smith?! We don't know anyone called Smith!".
  • When Mr. Banks speaks to Mary Poppins regarding his concerns about the activities the children have been telling him about.
    Mr. Banks: I am disturbed to hear my children talking about popping in and out of chalk pavement pictures, consorting with racehorse persons, and fox hunting! (beat) Yes, well I don't mind that quite so much. At any rate, it's traditional.
    • The running gag of Mr. Banks berating Mary for doing things such as "popping through pictures" and "having tea parties on the ceiling"... without even questioning how she did them.
  • Mr. Dawes Sr.'s reasoning why Michael shouldn't spend his tuppence on the Bird Woman is just glorious:
    "Fiddlesticks, boy! Feed the birds and what have you got? Fat birds!"
  • Mary and Bert's mildly-concerned reaction when Michael goes shooting up the chimney:
    Mary: [blandly] "Oh, bother."
    Bert: "Well, that's a bit awkward, I must say."
    • And then immediately afterwards Jane shoots up the chimney:
      Mary: And there goes the other one!
      Bert: Shouldn't we go after them?
      Mary: Well, we can't have them up there gallivanting like kangaroos, now can we?
  • "Step In Time":
    • When Mary gets up to join in, she pulls out a makeup compact and smudges more soot on her face.
    • Mrs. Brill: She sees an army of chimney sweepers and screams, "THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!" Then tries to fight them with a frying pan, to which they respond "They're at it again! Step in time!" What's not to love?
    • Or when Ellen screams, and they respond? "Aaah! Step in time!" Although Ellen tries to run, the sweeps flip her onto her feet, and she needs very little persuasion to start dancing with them afterwards.
    • Or when Ellen sees Mr. Banks walk in... and is horrified.
      Chimney Sweepers: It's the master! Step in time! It's the master! Step in time!
      Mr. Banks: What's all this?
      Chimney Sweepers: What's all this! What's all this! What's all this! What's all this!
    • However, Mrs. Banks really takes away the gold for that scene. She walks into the room, acting as if everything is normal: "Oh, Ellen, when you have a second." Then gets grabbed by the sweepers and all she can say is, "Oh no really, not at the moment." But the best part is right after, when the men cry out, "VOTES FOR WOMEN" at the top of their lungs. What does she do? Naturally, she joins in, and the tune switches over to "Sister Suffragette" without missing a beat.
    • The fact Mrs Banks's reaction to her house being invaded by chimney sweeps is to yell, "Votes for Women" at them.
    • That bit at the end with the last sweeper running to catch up with the others was good, too.
    • Michael tries to sneak out dressed as a sweeper (saying, "Good luck, guvna." to boot) It almost works! The look on Mr. Banks' face is priceless.
  • This exchange, after the "Step In Time" sequence, in which Mary Poppins would make Groucho Marx and Bugs Bunny proud:
    Mr. Banks: Would you be good enough to explain all this!
    Mary: [in a stern tone] First of all, I would like to make one thing quite clear.
    Mr. Banks: Yes?
    Mary: [Beat, then smiles]: I never explain anything.
  • Mr. Banks relates a summary of the English perspective of the Boston Tea Party, and tries to toss in a joke to lighten the mood. Video.
    "As the ship lay in Boston Harbor, a party of the colonists, dressed as Red Indians, boarded the vessel, behaved very rudely, and threw all the tea overboard. This made the tea unsuitable for drinking, even for Americans." (George smiles awkwardly at his joke, but everyone else glares at him)
    • Made funnier by the fact that the movie was produced and mostly done by Americans.
  • The Overly-Long Gag of Mr. Banks getting summarily fired is pretty funny overall, but the best part is probably the moment when Mr. Dawes Jr goes to turn his umbrella inside out and some of the bankers gasp in horror.
    Banker 1: [starts to get up] No! Not that!
    Banker 2: [holds him back] Steady on.
    • Dawes Jr. punching out Mr. Banks' hat.
  • Mr. Dawes Sr. (Dick Van Dyke) muddles over Bank's joke and really starts to get into it. It's awesome watching him shoot up into the air like a rocket laughing only for Jr. to cry, "FATHER! COME DOWN!"
    • He even carries it on a little farther than that. His next line? Wailing like a toddler, "DADDY! DADDY, COME BA-HA-HA-HAAAACK!"
  • Mrs. Banks had another good moment with her line:
    "Oh, George! You didn't jump in the river! How sensible of you!"
  • The Constable talking to the Inspector over the phone:
    Constable Jones: He's been found! No, alive... while I assume he's so, he's here kissing the missus.
    • then:
      Constable Jones: (on the phone to the Inspector) That's what I said, sir. Go fly a kite! No.. sir, I don't mean you personally.
  • The umbrella mouthing off, and Mary Poppins clamps his mouth shut.

The musical

  • During Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, after Mary says it in reverse:
    Michael: She may be tricky, but she's bloody good!
    [Cast, save for Mary, are in shock]
  • As Mary reads the kids' letter to Mr. Banks:
    Mary Poppins: Rosy cheeks and fairly pretty
    ....[stern] There's no objection on that score, I hope.
    • And Mr. Banks assures her there isn't - before hurriedly checking Winifred's reaction anxiously.
  • Mr. Banks' reaction upon seeing Miss Andrew, his old nanny:
    Mr. Banks: THE HOLY TERROR!
    • And when her name gets mentioned at the bank, the entire staff of bankers shudder. The bank chairman dubs her the Holy Terror, noting that she was his nanny as well.
  • After being asked if she was going to go to the bank with their father, Winifred tells her children that she wishes she could, so that she can stand up for him:
    Jane: Why can't he do that for himself?
    Winifred: Because he's a man. And a very proud one.
  • Meta example: during one performance, when Mary and Mrs. Banks were supposed to leave through a door, Mary found that the door was stuck, and suggested they take the other way (as in, exiting stage left). The audience applauded.
  • Bert says not to talk to mutts if you want to speak Dog, as they use too much slang.