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Funny / Rush

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As a band from Canada, Eh?, there's no doubt that living in Rush's limelight is pretty funny:

  • The improvised song "No Guitar" when Alex's guitar malfunctioned at Boston's TD Garden. Even better, when Rush returned a year later fans held up signs saying "Play 'No Guitar'!"
  • According to Neil, when his wife Jacqueline was dying from cancer, Alex was one of the few people who could make her laugh. When she lost a ton of weight from chemotherapy and straight-up refused to eat, Alex said "Well, you can start a new career as a supermodel."
  • Geddy Lee's stage equipment.
    • A bit of backstory on that: From 1996 on, Geddy preferred to plug his bass into the venue's direct sound output, therefore only requiring one amp as opposed to a stack of them like Alex Lifeson. However, Geddy felt uncomfortable with such a big empty space behind him, so he put a fridge behind him. In 2002 he used a row of clothes dryers, which were miked and filled with T-shirts to be thrown out to the audience. On the 2004 R30 tour, he replaced one of the dryers with a fully operational vending machine, and in 2007-2008, a row of rotisserie ovens would be behind him, actually cooking chickens (at some points, a chicken suit dressed roadie would come out to baste the chickens). In 2010-2011 he used a sausage maker.
      • And on the Clockwork Angels tour, he uses... something manufactured by a fake company called Geddison. It's a large horn, a brain in a jar, an array of smaller horns... and a popcorn maker. Along the bottom, words light up like the sausage maker's "real time, half time, bass time, sausage time": bassy, brainy, horny, corny. An alternate, rarely-seen Geddison had "basstime, brainiac, horntime, have a snack."
      • And now taken further on the 2015 R40 tour: They started with the Geddison, but then gradually replaced the stage equipment with the dryers and chicken roasters and kept working their way through simpler equipment/props as the show went on. By the time they got to the encore, they just had a couple of tiny amps on chairs like the band would have had to make do with in the early 1970s. A disco ball descended from the ceiling and the big screen displayed a graphic simulating a high school gymnasium, as a Shout-Out to the band's early life playing school dances.
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  • On the Time Machine Tour, they start playing "La Villa Strangiato" with a polka version of the song's second segment.
  • The videos that introduced the two halves of the Time Machine shows. In the first video, Rush appear as Gershon, Slobovich, and O'Malley, a Polish-Jewish sausage maker, a fat Eastern European "musical scientist", and an Irish cop. Actors make up the polka band Rash that plays at Gershon's Haus of Sausage. They're a younger Rush that only get it right through the use of Slobovich's 'Gefilter' which changes them from polka to disco to country to prog rock. The second video (which begins at about 50 seconds in and ends at four minutes and 12 seconds in) is even better. Rush appear in their 1980 incarnation, attempting to film a video for Tom Sawyer. Geddy appears as Cecil, a snooty British filmmaker, Alex as Ray Danniels, Rush's manager, who is also fat like Slobovich and possesses an implacable (vaguely Russian) accent. One of the barmaids that is moving pitchers pushes the time machine button on the Gefilter (but only after Danniels does it first), transporting Rush through time as they try to film the video. Behold, baby Rush, little kid Rush, caveman Rush, wizard Rush, current-day-but-the-instruments-are-all-mixed-up Rush, and possibly the best, chimpanzee Rush.
    • The DVD/Blu-ray release of the Time Machine Tour features an outro video of the three members doing a polka version of "Closer to the Heart" - in character as Gershon, Slobovich, and O'Malley.
  • The History of Rash, the videos that opened the two sets of the Time Machine tour, were given blooper reels when the Live in Cleveland blu-ray was released. The Running Gag of Geddy/Gershon being unable to keep his monocle on while filming the Haus of Sausage segment gets pretty funny- especially since it seems to happen most often when they proclaim Slobovich/Alex to be a "musical genius".
    • The best part? During some of the second segment's bloopers, with Geddy as the snotty director and Alex as Ray Danniels, if one looks in the background, they can see the actor who played a younger Neil turning several shades of purple while trying not to laugh. He fails miserably.
  • During the Snakes and Arrows tour, whenever Tom Sawyer was about to start, this happened.
  • Clockwork Angels concert:
    • Turns out Neil really is a machine. Who can still catch his drumsticks thrown in the air while his head isn't attached.
    • A tax collector (Jay Baruchel) draws a number, waiting to see The Watchmaker, now serving #102. The number the taxman draws? 2112.
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    • We find out the Watchmaker is a perverted dwarf who spends all his time avoiding work, and dances to a vaguely ragtime version of "Tom Sawyer".
    • The gnome costumes. Geddy, Alex, and Neil don costumes that make them look rather like goth members of The Lollipop Guild. They also insist that "gnome" is pronounced with a hard G. Guhnomes. (Well, Neil and Geddy do. Alex plays a troll, apparently.)
  • The Clockwork Angels tour also brought something special before the encore. They gave Neil a t-shirt cannon. It's so powerful, it launches t-shirts to the very back of the arena. Neil's expression when he fires it for the first time (and stumbles back from recoil) is hilarious.
  • Failing their own song in Rock Band on The Colbert Report.
    • Neil remains completely stone faced while using the tiny plastic drum kit. Alex just looks confused and Geddy is trying not to laugh while singing.
  • On the Show of Hands performance of "2112", Alex is late on playing the last notes of the intro and Geddy stumbles as he tries to sing the first lyrics in time while pointing at Alex in a sort of "His fault!" motion.
    • Earlier during the same song, Neil tosses a drumstick in the air after finishing a fill, catches it perfectly, and genuinely looks surprised at the fact that he caught it, as if he was expecting to have dropped it.
  • There's a brief moment in Beyond the Lighted Stage where Alex and Geddy go out to lunch together. The waitress recognizes Geddy and asks for his autograph... while completely ignoring Alex, and even making him scoot to the side so she can get in next to Geddy. Made even better by the fact that Geddy asks her if she wants Alex's autograph too- he is, after all, the leader of the band! The exchange between the three of them when she first recognizes Geddy is golden, too:
    Waitress: Geddy, right?
    Geddy: That's right.
    Alex: Oh my God, that's Geddy?!
  • Alex Lifeson's "speech" at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, even considering that everyone expected Alex to do something funny. In spite of that, they certainly didn't expect him to do this. He manages to tell the whole story of Rush and the Rock Hall... without ever using more than one word. It's even funnier than it would be normally because of that beautiful troll smile of Alex's as he steps up to the podium.
    • Geddy got a bit of humor in as well:
    "I have to say, this is a little overwhelming for a Nice Jewish Boy from Toronto."
    • Even Neil managed to slip in a couple humorous lines:
    "For the longest time, we've been saying this wasn't a big deal. Turns out it kind of is."
    "All the previous inductees into this pantheon of rock are like a constellation of stars in the night sky. Among them, we're one tiny point of light. Shaped like a maple leaf."
    • Alex's CMOF got better. Neil confirmed in one of his blog updates that Alex had a normal speech prepared, and ad-libbed the whole routine... and didn't inform his bandmates of it. Geddy and Neil had absolutely no idea Alex was going to do that.
    • Geddy later stated that the entire time Alex was talking, he and Neil were contemplating ways to make him stop. Watching them in the background, one can see Geddy mouth "I'm gonna fucking kill you", and he and Neil lift up their trophies as if to whack Alex on the head with them.
  • Any time Neil and his riding partner, bodyguard, and Heterosexual Life-Partner, Michael Mosbach, interact. Just read some of Neil's news updates. Gems include Michael proclaiming to an elderly woman in Virginia selling them tickets to a ferry who asked if they were traveling together that they were on their honeymoon (she was unamused) and his constant taunting/guilt tripping of Neil after he hit a deer and broke its back, forcing Michael to give the poor thing a Mercy Kill. While on the aforementioned ferry, he proceeds to write "Just married!" in the dirt crusted on his bike's luggage cases. Neil proceeds to dot the i with a heart. For them, that's entirely normal.
  • During the 2010-2011 Time Machine tour, the band used an outro video after the concert, involving the main characters of I Love You, Man faking backstage passes and sneaking into the band's green room post-show. They make fools of themselves. Neil only shows irritation when they insist he's pronouncing his own name wrong, but the whole faking-the-laminates and sneaking-into-the-green-room thing doesn't seem to bother him... until he notices they've eaten half of his sandwich. Only then does he threaten to get someone down there to beat them up and throw them out if they don't leave!
    Neil: (holding a walkie-talkie) I'm going to call someone to come down here and kick your ass if you don't get out of here, now!
  • Geddy Lee doing the ice bucket challenge? Pretty funny. A bobblehead Geddy Lee, speaking in a Mickey Mouse style falsetto, doing the ice bucket challenge, before panning to the real Geddy, who gets ice dumped on by Alex Lifeson after saying he'll get away with it? Hilarious!
    Geddy: Wa wa wee wa!
  • On the R30 tour, the Darn That Dragon Intermission video. It features bobblehead versions of the band trying to fight a dragon. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The outro video for the R40 tour shows the band going back to their dressing room, only to be denied entry by the puppet from the cover of A Farewell to Kings, and their dressing room being filled with other characters from their previous album covers. Alex's line surprised most of the crowd:
    Alex: This is nuts. Fuck you, puppet!
  • When Dan Rather interviewed him, Geddy gave a fairly standard interview. Until he mentioned that for the first few years of his life, he thought his middle name was Lorne instead of Lee and so did his mother! It was only when they looked at a copy of his birth certificate that they realized what his middle name was.
  • Neil's Yosemite Sam mustache from the '70s is a wonder to behold.
  • Behold the Blues talents of Old Chokin' Al Lifeson.
    Neil, flatly, in response to this: I gotta go now, it's time to play.

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