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Funny / The Death of Stalin

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  • The concert hall director's increasingly unhinged efforts to get the concerto recorded:
    • The conductor faints when the task is too great for him, so someone gets sent to the nearest conductor. Who is hauled in still in his dressing-gown and slippers, after thinking the NKVD came for him.
    • As half the guests have left, messing up the acoustics, the director tells his underlings to drag people in off the streets. Cue a conga line of confused peasants who spend the performance eating, knitting, or looking around instead of listening.
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    • The pianist says she won't replay due to her hatred of Stalin.
    Director: Ten thousand roubles.
    Maria: Twenty.
  • The Presidium's attempt to move the urine-covered body of Stalin. Kaganovich and Mikoyan complain about kneeling in the piss.
  • The radio broadcasters' arguments over whether the operator said "5" or "9".
  • Molotov cheerfully announcing that he's going to use the toilet amid the excitement of Beria's capture.
  • After all of the trouble gone to re-record the performance and send the record to Stalin:
    Stalin: What took you so long? You fucking walk here?
  • Molotov telling Khrushchev, mid-mourning over Stalin's death, to wait for the toilet to fill up before flushing it.
  • The "thud!" of Stalin's body hitting the floor after what is later determined to be a hemorrhage.
    Guard 1: Should we investigate?
    Guard 2: Should you shut the fuck up before you get us both killed?
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  • Vasily announcing to the Committee that they made a deadly mistake, before making an obvious attempt for an guard's gun. His effort to grab it is so feeble that everyone, including his own sister, just stands around in awkward embarassed silence, waiting for Vasily to tire himself out.
  • It’s pitch-black humor, but the gulag execution scene.
    Prisoner: Long live Stalin!
    NKVD Officer: [Nonchalantly] Stalin's dead. Malenkov's in charge.
    Prisoner: Oh. Uh, long live Malenk—BANG.
  • Beria getting Vasily’s attention by whispering, "I know about the hockey team!"
  • Mid-rant at the funeral about the American conspiracy to steal his father's brain, Vasily sees Zhukov coming for him and only has time to shout "Medic!"
    • And Zhukov's obvious lack of a single given fuck when Svetlana tries to yell at him for punching Vasily (and kicking him while he's down).
  • Vasily tries to spit at the man holding him down. The spit only hits his own forehead.
  • Zhukov's introduction:
    After shaking hands with two of his soldiers, he goes to shake hands with Aslanov, an NKVD officer
    Zhukov: Aslanov, you handsome devil. Stick you in a frock, I'd fucking ride you raw myself.
    Hits Aslanov in the stomach
    Aslanov: I will take that as a complement.
    Zhukov: Yeah, don't. Right, what's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?
    Cue slow motion coat toss while awesome music plays
    • Afterwards, Zhukov confronts Beria and Khrushchev about why the Soviet Army has been replaced by the NKVD all over Moscow.
    "I mean, I'm smiling, but I'm very FUCKING FURIOUS!!"
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  • Khrushchev awkwardly trying to shuffle past Malenkov at Stalin's funeral, and ending up standing right in front of him. Malenkov asks, "What the fuck are you doing?", and Khrushchev shuffles back to his position.
  • The naval officers trying to fit a comically large wreath through the doorway.
  • Khrushchev arrives to move Stalin's unconscious body, but had to get dressed in a hurry, so he had to put his clothes on over his pajamas.
  • On his deathbed, Stalin sits up and points at something, and everyone tries to interpret what he's saying.
  • Stalin gets his cabinet to watch a John Ford western with him, but they're clearly not interested as it's late at night and they're tired, and Molotov has dozed off in the middle of it. Made even funnier by the fact Stalin himself is not bothering to watch the film.
  • Beria tells the first and second officers who to kill and arrest, and a third to "figure the rest out."
    Beria: Shoot her before him, but make sure he sees it. Oh, and this one... um... kill him, take him to his church, dump him in the pulpit. And I'll leave the rest up to you.
  • The traffic jam caused by the confusion over who gets to leave Stalin's residence first.
    • Beria gets out of his car and puts his hat over his heart as Stalin's body leaves to get the others to do the same. The moment Stalin's vehicle has passed, he runs to his car and gets to leave first.
  • Khruschev trying to understand his own drunken rambings from the night before, including one page just saying "Molotov chhhh". He eventually remembers that he meant "Molotov (throat slitting gesture and sound effect)"
  • Khrushchev, Kaganovich, Beria, and Malenkov running flat-out to be the first to greet (and monopolize) Svetlana, yelling out endearments.
  • When the Presidum gathers the nearest doctors they can find to operate on Stalin, Svetlana remarks that they look like mental patients, since all the good doctors were killed.
    Svetlana: (to first, very young-looking doctor) How old are you?
    First Doctor: Twenty... nine?
    Svetlana: That's a lie. (to second, much older doctor) How old are you?
    Second Doctor: Er...
    Svetlana: (to third, even older doctor) You look dead!
    • Vasily isn't any more impressed when he shows up.
    Vasily: (to the young doctor) How old are you?
    Young Doctor: I'm, uh, old.
    Vasily: You're not old! (to a bald doctor) You're not even a person, you're a testicle! (to a third doctor with wild hair) You're made mostly out of hair!
  • Nobody really takes Vasily seriously.
    Vasily: I want to make a speech at my father's funeral.
    Khrushchev (sarcastically): And I want to fuck Grace Kelly.
  • Zhukov's reaction to the plethora of hair gel on Malenkov's head.
    Zhukov: Jesus Christ. Did Coco Chanel take a shit on your head?
  • Malenkov trying to find the right little girl for his appearance on the balcony, and said little girl being too short to be seen.
  • Malenkov waiting for Khruschev to raise his hand in order to have a unanimous vote.
  • Zhukov trolling Khruschev, pretending he's going to report him for their conversation:
    Zhukov: "Look at your fucking face!"
  • Zhukov referring to the others as "girls" and "ladies".
  • Vasily's description of his role in the funeral.
    Vasily: "I know the drill. Smile, shake hands and try not to call them cunts."
  • The unexpected and unwanted arrival of the bishops. Really, it's how everyone in the committee share the exact same petty dislike for them.
    Bulganin: "Jesus Christ, it's the bishops."note 
    Kaganovich: "I thought we'd banned those freaks."
    Molotov: "Sneeze on the bastards as they go past!"
  • Khrushchev and Beria arguing and insulting each other as they stand around Stalin's corpse at the funeral, in front of thousands of mourners, via relaying whispers down the line of Politburo members, with Malenkov and Bulganin stuck in between.
  • After his first Villainous Breakdown in which he declares that he has files of dirt on all of the committee members, Beria calms down and agrees to pick some scapegoats for the 1500 mourners shot by the NKVD. Khrushchev happily assures him, "See? No harm done!" Never mind that those scapegoats will be shot...
  • Beria becomes quite confused when he hears the charges against him of working for foreign powers:
    Beria: Which one, the fucking moon?!
  • Khruschev's comments as they cremate Beria's corpse flirt with crossing the line twice.
    Khrushchev: You smell like a rendered horse, you...burning asshole!
  • The arrest of Beria. Beria runs to a window to yell for his own guards. Zhukov and his men bust in waving AKs at the table, while Zhukov declares, "Hands up, or I'll shoot you in the fucking face." Khrushchev awkwardly points to the window off to the side where Beria is still yelling. Annoyed at his Failed Attempt at Drama, Zhukov sheepishly mutters "Oh. Shit." before walking over to punch Beria in the face.
  • When Khrushchev tells Malenkov of their plan against Beria, and that the rest of the presidium think he’s already on board with it.
    Malenkov: Is that why everyone keeps acting like they want to fuck my sister?
  • Following a montage of NKVD troops rounding up prisoners, looting and massacring the staff at Stalin's dacha, it ends with two guards sending the last truckload of prisoners away, when one guard casually shoots the other in the head for seemingly no reason in the background (likely because he outlived his usefulness and he's a potential witness to Stalin's condition).
  • The assistant of a Chinese guest translating Vasily's rant to him, being sure to specify the exact size of the "zionist cocks and balls" that the Presidium is supposedly sucking on, which Vasily repeats to make sure the guest gets the meaning.
    • The Chinese guest in question being Zhou Enlai, foreign minister of China and ambassador to the Soviet Union. No wonder the Sino-Soviet Split happened...
  • The suspension of executions happens just seconds too late for one prisoner. The next guy in line doesn't even look relieved, just glancing at the corpse as if thinking "Poor bastard."
  • One in the book: The American-made medical equipment is rejected, not (just) for Made in Country X reasons, but because Stalin's dacha doesn't have the right power outlets.
    • When the committee react with shock to the revelation that the equipment is American, one of the doctors points to the other and says that it came from his hospital. The other immediately points back at the first and says that it was his idea.
  • Malenkov awkwardly trying to console Khrushchev after he gives a very over-the-top display of grief, and Beria joining in even more awkwardly.
  • After Beria finds out about Malenkov's habit of wearing a corset, he makes a remark about "loosening the Union's great corset" the next day after the meeting has concluded. Malenkov's reaction is the icing on the cake.
  • Upon arriving at the sick Stalin's side, Beria orders the guards outside his office to stay at their posts. Some time later, while he's throwing a fit over Stalin's apparent recovery, it's shown that the two are still there, awkwardly asking if they can be relieved yet. Finally, when the NKVD are looting the place and rounding up the staff, the two are finally relieved and sent to get some food in the kitchen... and then immediately run back the other way, an NKVD officer chasing and shooting at them.
  • The fact that Josef Stalin is portrayed as a Cockney. Seriously, even knowing everything the man has done, it's hard not to chuckle at the sound of his voice.
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