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Funny / Much Ado About Nothing

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  • The following exchange after Benedick is tricked into believing that Beatrice is in love with him. (Hint: she's not...yet.)
    Beatrice: Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.
    Benedick: Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains.
    Beatrice: I took no more pains for those thanks than you take pains to thank me. If it had been painful, I would not have come.
    Benedick: Ha! “Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.” There’s a double meaning in that. “I took no more pains for those thanks than you took pains to thank me.” That’s as much as to say, “Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks.” If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain.
    • Thus begins the Masochism Tango.
    • Benedick trying to justify going after Beatrice, despite having sworn that he's way too cool to love or get married:
      "The world MUST BE PEOPLED!"
    • Special note goes to David Tennant's rendition, earlier in the scene, of Benedick's catalogue for his ideal woman. He's getting really into it and says "And her hair... will be re-- of what color it please God," and he gets all huffy and flustered. (And Beatrice, as played by Catherine Tate, sports beautiful red hair.)
  • Shortly after Benedick's rant about his perfect woman, Don Pedro and Claudio come into the garden to trick him into loving Beatrice. Benedick's reaction to his lovesick buddy is priceless, especially in the hands of Kenneth Branagh.
    Benedick: Here comes the prince... and Monsieur Love. I will hide me in the arbour.
    • Followed not thirty seconds later by Don Pedro saying (well, practically yelling) "Come hither, Leonato! What was it that you told me of today? That your niece Beatrice was in love with Signor Benedick?!" *Cut to Benedick sitting down too quickly, breaking his chair and thwacking his head off the ground*
      • Really, the fact that they're all bellowing their lines and being really obvious about it is hilarious.
        Don Pedro: What effects of passion shows she?
        Claudio: Bait the hook well - this fish will bite!
        [Pause while Leonato stammers and looks absolutely lost]
        Leonato: What... effects, my Lord?
        [Don Pedro smiles confidently with a little nod... and Leonato keeps stammering. Don Pedro starts glaring at Leonato]
        Leonato: heard my daughter tell you how!
        Claudio: She did indeed!
        Don Pedro: How, I pray you?
        [Pause while they go into a huddle and Leonato whispers urgently, as Benedick looks on wide-eyed]
        Don Pedro: You amaze me!
        *Benedick dives into the bushes*
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    • Bonus points for Don Pedro saying that Benedick has "a contemptible spirit," to which Benedick replies with a loud and indignant noise... which he then tries to cover up by making bird calls.
    • Emma Thompson's dash between the shrubbery and statues as Beatrice eavesdrops on Ursula and Hero's conversation is pretty funny, too.
  • When Beatrice is ranting about how she wants to take revenge on Claudio for his treatment of Hero, Benedick is trying to calm her down. The script itself literally has her constantly interrupting him, so that he can't get a word in edge-ways.
  • Any time Dogberry is on stage.
    • Especially his "I am an ass" rant near the end.
      • More so in Joss Whedon's adaptation as he's played by Nathan Fillion.
      • Doubly so for the ass rant, since Dogberry is so disgusted by it that he spends several seconds trying to pull on his jacket, not noticing that it's far too small to fit him. He pauses in his rant to notice that he actually grabbed the jacket of his much smaller co-worker.
      • And in his last scene, he and Verges have done their job and exit the scene, before realizing that they locked themselves out of their car. The commentary stated that the actors improvised this off camera, and everyone loved it so much that they threw it in.
      • In the Whedon adaptation, the announcement that Dogberry caught Don John is made all the funnier since we watch him awkwardly frisking the guy via a video camera. Doubly so for Firefly fans, who will notice that Mal is frisking Simon.
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    • Nathan Fillion is all well and good, but Michael Keaton runs rings around him. Keaton has repeatedly said in interviews that he was terrified of playing Dogberry, and also said that he was sick and running a high fever during most of the filming. Doesn't stop him from riding an invisible horse around and having one of the best moments of the "I am an ass" speech. Bonus points for someone insulting him earlier in the scene and his men responding with an "Oooooh!"
      • The invisible horses get a comeback during his last scene... He and Verges take off down a road - and then about two seconds later you hear several dogs barking and they go zipping off in the opposite direction!
    • His accusation rant just might be one of the funniest moments ever penned by Shakespeare.
  • Joss Whedon's adaptation really takes the slapstick of Don Pedro's Zany Scheme up to eleven. Benedick executes completely unsubtle ninja rolls to eavesdrop on Claudio and Leonato, and Beatrice's reaction to overhearing that Benedick loves her is to pratfall down a short flight of stairs, then dive behind a kitchen counter and whack her head on the underside. It looks painful, but boy is it funny.
    • Benedick hiding his face with a leafy branch while his body is COMPLETELY EXPOSED - apparently he still subscribes to a kid's way of playing hide-and-seek (If you can't see them, they can't see you).
    • Claudio at one point really oversells his lines, and Leonato and Don Pedro have to silently gesture for him to tone it down a little.
  • In the Joss Whedon adaptation, when Benedick has completely fallen for Beatrice, his friends walk in on him lying on his bed, grinning and staring at her picture like a love-struck teenager. Their response is a subtle fist bump.
  • Benedick tackling Claudio onto the bed, and Don Pedro walking in to find the two of them wrestling like children.
    • Claudio trying to cover Benedick's mouth before Benedick has the chance to blurt out that Claudio is in love with Hero.
  • "This looks not like a nuptial."
  • Another gem from Whedon's version: When Don Pedro unexpectedly announces that he thinks Beatrice should marry Benedick, Hero is so stunned she does a spit take.
  • After successfully sabotaging the wedding, Don John steals a cupcake from one of the trays as he's walking away.
  • Try listening to the cast commentary on the Whedon version for more than two minutes without cracking up. I dare you.
    • Starting from the very first scene, where Amy Acker introduces herself with, "I'm Amy Acker, and that's my bra." This kicks off a Running Gag throughout the introductions about who is and isn't wearing various undergarments, be it their own or other cast members'.
    • Whedon talking about how the movie was actually shut down halfway through when the police caught them filming without a license. He just kept the movie going after they left and was secretly terrified that Leonato's shouting after the failed wedding would get them caught again.
    • Alexis Denisof's...helpful translation of Shakespearean dialogue into modern English.
      Alexis: It's penis. It's all just penis.
  • On Claudio's "I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope" line. The glare the black guest gives him is good but look at Benedick's face. He visibly grimaces in an "Oh you idiot" way.
  • David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Benedick and Beatrice show us how it's done. Really, it's like watching Ten and Donna all over again.
    • The Dogberry in that version is hysterical as well - he's a Boisterous Bruiser who secretly wants to be Rambo. Hell, the show goes to intermission when he comes out with a huge shotgun and gleefully pumps it.
    • During the above-mentioned Zany Scheme, Benedick ends up covered in white paint and throws a book across the stage, while Beatrice somehow gets hooked to a cable and raised several feet into the air while she paddles madly around (and covers up her chest)! It Makes Sense in Context.
      • Plus, Catherine Tate corpsing and telling the audience to quiet down for a good few seconds, then noticing her shirt is still hanging low.
    • At one point during said Zany Scheme, Benedick is hiding behind a pillar taking a swig of beer when the Duke says something that causes him to Spit Take and spray beer all over the back of Leonato's head and the Duke. The trio then awkwardly pretend to check if it's raining in order to keep the deception going.
  • Joss Whedon's commentary brings up how, given what a gullible idiot Claudio is for most of the play, some audiences thought his line "Another Hero" indicated that he really did think he was looking at another woman identical to Hero.
  • From the Joss Whedon adaption when Beatrice eavesdrops on Hero and Ursula:
    Ursula: Having so swift and excellent a wit... (Beatrice smiles) she is prized to have (Beatrice's smile falls).
  • Beatrice's opening shot to Benedick: "I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick: nobody marks you." Supremely disdainful and funny. Not so effective if she actually wanted him to shut up, but since it's Benedick, he opened fire right back, which is her real intention.
  • Benedick and Beatrice sarcastically revealing they've figured out the joke at the end:
    Benedick: Do not you love me?
    Beatrice: Why, no, no more than reason.
    Benedick: Why, then, your uncle and the prince and Claudio
    Have been deceived, for they swore you did.
    Beatrice: Do not you love me?
    Benedick: Truth, no, no more than reason.
    Beatrice: Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula,
    Are much deceived, for they did swear you did.
    • Kenneth Branaugh says "No more than reason" in the best way. He's mocking how she said it while echoing her meaning at the same time.
  • There is a bit of Black Comedy in the scene where Benedick is trying to challenge Claudio to a duel on Beatrice's behalf... and is completely unable to get Claudio to understand that he's actually serious.
  • The heartwarming scene where Benedick and Beatrice finally confess their feelings for each other is also made hilarious in the Tennant/Tate version with both overacting, Beatrice trying to avoid Benedick by blocking him with chairs, and them both running around shrieking and giggling like idiots after Benedick says "I protest, I love thee".


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