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Funny / The Beatles

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Funny moments for The Beatles.

  • The name of their record label is Apple Corps, pronounced "Apple Core".
  • When Ringo was asked if Bob Dylan really turned the Beatles onto pot, he said "It wasn't so much he introduced us to it as much as he happened to be in the room when we first smoked it."
    • While on the topic of smoking...
      Reporter: Ringo, do you have any political affiliations?
      Ringo: No; I don't even smoke. (takes a drag off his cigarette)
  • This recording session for "Think For Yourself". "Mariiiina, Aquamariiiiina, How come you fuck up everything that you dooooo?"
    • "I will be pleased to see the earth-men disintegrated!"
    • "Do you want to hold a penis? Doo-wah-ooo..."
  • "I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MAH FINGERS!!!" (if you don't consider it Last Note Nightmare)
  • The song "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" (available on Past Masters and The Beatles Anthology). It's like a comedic version of "Revolution 9", but as a John and Paul collaboration. Includes Paul as "Dennis O'Bell."
  • At the end of the music video for "Strawberry Fields Forever", Paul and Ringo take turns throwing a stick to Paul's sheepdog, Martha. When it's Paul's turn, he stumbles and almost falls.
  • When John introduced "Help!" at a live show in the ABC Theater (Available on Anthology 2), the crowd got a little too loud, so...
    Crowd: JOHN!!!
    John: Next song we'd like to sing...
    Crowd: (continues screaming)
    John: Shut up, I'll kill you. note 
  • All the crazy ways the Beatles counted off songs:
    • "One, two, three, FAH!"
    • "One, two, three, BREAD."
    • "One, two, three, FAWWEH!"
    • "One, two, three, HAWW!!"
    • "Sugar plum fairy, sugar plum fairy..."
  • In the The Beatles Anthology outtake of "I'm Down", Paul criticizes his performance as "plastic soul". And it wasn't half bad. Allegedly, it was what Paul heard black musicians call Mick Jagger's early British blues style at the time. The phrase reportedly led to the band calling their next studio album Rubber Soul.
  • Paul in an interview, responding to people's interpretations of depravity in their songs: "We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, that's all."
  • "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" from The White Album, arguably the dirtiest and simultaneously funniest thing Paul ever did during his time with the Beatles.
  • For "Oh! Darling" from Abbey Road, Paul went into the recording studio before the other Beatles would show up for days on end to try and nail the raw vocal performance he wanted in one take. And to have fun with the tape delay, judging by this outtake. Oh, the delirium of it all!
    Paul: Experiments of a due nature being carried out on rats. And people... and rats. And ratty people. And people-y rats.
    • The Beatles were often known to have fun with delays (and other effects) in the studio, one result of which was the ending of "Lovely Rita".
  • The outtakes from "No Reply" on the The Beatles Anthology collection. Basically they keep singing "YOUR FACE!" over and over again instead of replacing it with a different lyric each time, resulting in some hilarious combinations.
    • Also an outtake from "I'll Be Back." After Lennon finds he can't sing in the current key, he continues singing like he's completely drunk.
    • And another from "And Your Bird Can Sing." Paul starts giggling, and then he sets off John. Neither of them can stop for the entire song.
    • The "Polythene Pam" outtakes from Abbey Road have John and George devolving into gibberish.
    • A Rocky Raccoon outtake is hilarious for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that Paul accidentally says 'sminking'.
    • The "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" outtake
      John: "Paul's broken a glass, broken a glass, Paul's broken a glass, a glass, a glass he's broke today"
    • "Happiness is a Warm Gun (Esher demo)"
      John: "Mother superior JUMP-oh shit!"
    • An outtake of "This Boy" has the band corpsing when they sing "thas boy" by accident.
    • "What You're Doing"
      Paul: "George, what did it sound like with the bass doing a funny thing? Did it sound any good or did it sound just a lovely crap?"
  • "Only a Northern Song", if you listen to the lyrics.
    "If you're listening to this song,
    you may think that the chords are going wrong,
    but they're not,
    we just wrote it like that"
    Even funnier in the Anthology version
    "If you're listening to this song,
    you may think the chords are going wrong,
    but they're not,
    I just wrote it like that.
    If you listen late at night,
    you may think the words are not quite right,
    but they are,
    I just wrote them myself."
  • "Drive My Car" from Rubber Soul, especially the climax:
    "I got no car, and it's breaking my heart
    But I found a driver, and that's a start"
  • "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", a delightfully cheerful song about a Serial Killer. The juxtaposition of dark lyrical content with an upbeat tune is hilarious. It's also inspiration for some... A-hem... Interesting projects in Super Scribblenauts...
  • The interviews are funny as hell as well:
    • Their first time in the US, the press tried to harass them, resulting in very funny comments from the boys, the most (in?)famous one being:
      Reporter: Why does it [their music] charm the girls so much?
      John: If we knew we'd form another group and be managers.
    • The same happened in many of their other interviews. Another memorable moment was when they stated they had finished making their first movie, resulting in this:
      Reporter: Have you got time to actually spend this money?
      George: What money?
  • John's weird little story about how the Beatles came to be, and got their name. (Paul later called one of his solo albums Flaming Pie.) Here's a link to the whole thing: "Being a Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of the Beatles
    Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision—a man appeared in a flaming pie and said unto them "From this day on you are Beatles with an A." "Thank you, Mister Man," they said, thanking him."
  • The band's annual Christmas fan club records were this, when not being downright surreal.
  • The skit in which all four Beatles perform the "Pyramus and Thisbe" scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (available on YouTube here). It's one of the funniest scenes in all of theater anyway, but when the Beatles get their hands on it, well.
    • Made funnier by the two hecklers in the audience and the boys' interactions with them.
  • "Hey Bulldog". It's so demented it probably inspired The Residents.
  • "Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands, and the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewellery."
  • On Help!, the track immediately after "[I have got] Another Girl" is "You're Gonna Lose That Girl". The song titles are also heard immediately after another. There is absolutely no way this wasn't intentional!
  • "What's the New Mary Jane" from The Beatles Anthology is this (when it isn't being Nightmare Fuel-ish) thanks to some fun Spoonerisms and such. The laid-back, uber-hippietastic "Let's-do-this-in-one-take" fake children's song vibe also helps.
    "She like to be married with yeti
    he grooving such cookie spaghetti
    She jumping as Mexican bean
    to make that her body more thin"
  • The many times they took advantage of deafening crowd reactions by doing stuff like using Nazi slogans, or John acting like a "spastic" (his words) just for a laugh. And nobody ever noticed... because, seriously, how would they be able to?
  • The Rooftop Concert for the Let It Be production: a brief moment at the darkest hour as the band was breaking apart, they head upstairs and put on a performance where they're actually enjoying themselves and cracking jokes between takes.
  • At one point during the Let It Be documentary, Ringo is relaxing after a take when Paul's stepdaughter, Heather, taps on one of the cymbals, spooking him.
  • When the Beatles (minus Ringo, who hadn't joined yet) first auditioned for George Martin, he and two other Parlophone Records producers felt they weren't good enough. The other two producers were blunt about it. Martin, trying to be nice, asked the boys, "Is there anything you don't like?", meaning the recording session. George quipped, "Well, I don't like your tie." Martin cracked up. Encouraged, the Beatles just started riffing off each other for several minutes straight: they got the three producers laughing so hard they were in tears. And that, boys and girls, is how the Beatles got their first record deal.
  • Ringo's ad-lib before the solo on "If You've Got Trouble", sardonically commenting on his bandmates' rather lackluster performance: "aw, rock on, ANYBODY!"
  • Judging from the surviving recording, they were in a very good mood for what ended up being their final concert at Candlestick Park in 1966, making all kinds of silly comments in the song introductions:
    John: This one's about the naughty lady, called "Day Tripper".
    George: We'd like to carry on with something that's very old indeed. And this one was recorded about 1959 and it's called "I Feel Fine"note .
    Paul: We'd like to do the next number now, which is a special request for all the wonderful backroom boys on this tour and the song is called "I Wanna Be Your Man".
  • A quote attributed to Lennon after being asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world: "He isn't even the best drummer in The Beatles".
    • It should be noted that Lennon never stated this (and indeed felt quite the opposite as he frequently went out of his way to praise Starr's drumming). The quote was made up by a British comedian in 1983... Over two and a half years AFTER Lennon was murdered.
  • Another quote from an early press conference:
    Reporter: In Detroit, Michigan, there handing out car stickers saying, "Stamp Out The Beatles."
    Paul: Yeah well... first of all, we're bringing out a Stamp Out Detroit campaign.
  • This priceless exchange from the boys' 1964 meeting with Cassius Clay (the future Muhammad Ali):
    Cassius: You’re not as dumb as you look!
    John: No, but you are!
  • Saturday Night Live - in a nice bit of Self-Deprecating Humor, when Ringo hosted the show it opened at a Sotheby's Beatle auction where guitar picks were going for tens of thousands of dollars - then Ringo himself came up for auction, and nobody would even match the opening bid. Later we see a family had picked him up for $800, where he spends all his time watching reruns of The Jeffersons and popping sheets of plastic bubble wrap.
    • In an early episode Lorne Michaels does a bit offering them $3000 to reunite on the show. He mentioned they could pay Ringo less. On a later episode George Harrison showed up to collect it, but he did get $250 to say the opening line. Paul mentioned it years later when he appeared. note 
  • "Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say..."
  • This leaked outtake promoting the band in Australia. John and Paul pleasantly talk up Australia with plans for a future visit, while George levels a deadpan closing joke, leaving Ringo feeling as though there's nothing for him to say:
    John: Hello, Australia! This is John Lennon of the Beatles here, and we hope you're all having a great time over there...
    Paul: This is Paul speaking. We're hoping to come over soon and visit Australia...
    George: This is George. That's if you move it a few thousand miles nearer...
    Ringo: [Beat] Hello. (Everyone proceeds to burst into uncontrollable laughter)
  • Paul on "cranberry sauce" being heard by conspiracists as "I buried Paul":
    That's John's humour. John would say something totally out of sync, like cranberry sauce. If you don't realize that John's apt to say cranberry sauce when he feels like it, then you start to hear a funny little word there, and you think, "Aha!"
  • As much of a Tear Jerker as “Yesterday” is, it becomes hilarious when you find out Paul was desperate to hold on to the melody after it came to him in a dream, so he hastily scribbled out some lyrics about scrambled eggs that filled the meter.
  • In response to a reporter, asking when they would get a haircut:
    George: I had one yesterday.
  • In response to a commentator referring to them as "un-American."
    John: Well that's very observant of them because we actually aren't American.
  • Neither John Lennon nor Brian Epstein were particularly good drivers. John didn't get his license until 1965, was regarded by everyone who knew him as a terrible driver, and gave up driving after an accident in Scotland on July 1, 1969. Brian, however, manages to outclass him in the terrible driving department. Pattie Boyd, in her autobiography, remembered Brian driving through red lights and stopping at green lights (he was colorblind). His personal assistant, Alistair Taylor, wrote, "Brian and the Beatles were always fun to be with in those heady early days, but I tried not to travel in a car with Brian driving too often. He was a truly terrible driver, although I never knew him to have an accident. He caused plenty, mind you."
    • His book, With the Beatles also gave us this gem:
      "Brian announced we were going for something to eat and eventually we spotted a restaurant. Fortunately, there was a parking space just outside which would have happily accommodated an ocean-going liner. But this still represented a considerable challenge to Brian.
      He reversed at speed until we heard a sickening crunch from the rear. Brian grimaced and turned the radio up a notch. We lurched forward and gave the bread van in front a friendly nudge. By then, the curb was just about within walking distance so I took the opportunity to abandon ship before Brian's manoeuvring did anyone any lasting damage.
      As I got out, I saw the figure of a very large policeman looming over me. At first, I thought from the tears in his eyes that he was upset about something. Then I noted from the heaving of the shoulders and the spluttering sounds that he was laughing.
      When Brian got out with as much dignity as he could muster, the policeman was in such a state of hysteria he couldn't find the breath to tick him off."
  • In the video for "Ticket To Ride", John messes up his lip-sync twice because he can't remember which verse ends with a "yeah!" The first time he mouths a word that doesn't exist, and the second time he misses it entirely, which makes him laugh and yell "yeah" completely out of time, which of course is completely muted by the overdub. This messes up George's lip-sync for his closeup shot to the point it almost looks like he's singing a different song. And then we have the Funny Background Event of Ringo not putting any effort into miming playing his drums, to the point that it looks like he's apathetically tossing a salad with his drumsticks.
  • In the video for "Revolution", John starts to sing with incredibly choppy sound quality. George, either not knowing or caring that he's right in the center of the camera, turns to Paul and clearly says, "John's mic is shit!"
  • Brian Epstein's biography, A Cellarful of Noise, gives us this gem regarding how stacked the odds were against the Beatles becoming as big a sensation in America as they did:
    Always America seemed too big, too vast, too remote and too American.
  • In "Hey Jude", between the lines "The minute you let her under your skin / Oh, then you begin", one of the members yells "Whoa! Fucking hell!" Geoff Emerick, The Beatles' longtime sound engineer, wrote in his memoir Here, There, and Everywhere that it was Paul reacting to a botched note. Emerick claims that John insisted they leave the swear buried in the final mix.
    John: Paul hit a clunker on the piano and said a naughty word. [...] Most people won't ever spot it...but we'll know it's there.
  • George appeared on Eric Idle’s Rutland Weekend Television show and started playing "My Sweet Lord" when the vocals came in he was singing “Oh, I’d like to be a pirate…”