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Funny / The Phantom of the Opera

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The book

  • Raoul confesses something he learned while eavesdropping on Christine for the second time. To paraphrase, a very annoyed Christine asks, "You were listening at my door again?" and (to further paraphrase) Raoul answers, "Of course not — I was hiding in your closet."
  • Richard's and Moncharmin's attempts to catch the Phantom the night he extorts his second payment, which includes walking backward all night and the crazy incident with the safety pin that makes the poor secretary Remy think his bosses have lost their minds.
    • When Richard and Moncharmin suspect that Mme. Giry has been stealing the envelopes of money, she reveals that she actually slipped it back into Richard's pocket when he was not aware. They ask her to demonstrate how she would have done this. So she takes the envelope and immediately heads for the doornote , prompting an "Oh, no, you don't!" reaction from the two managers as they scramble to stop her from leaving with the money.
  • Erik uses Ventriloquism to convince The Prima Donna Carlotta (and all the Opera’s audience) that she has croaked like a toad.
  • Erik's sarcastic letters to the managers near the beginning, particularly the names he calls the other performers.
  • A creepy, ugly-looking, thin man with a false nose and the face of a skull turns up at the old managers' retirement dinner. All of the unnerved diners in his vicinity are doing their best to ignore him—don't want to be rude, surely if he's here he must be somebody's friend—when he dramatically announces to the outgoing managers (paraphrased): "You know, I don't think Joseph Buquet's death was natural." The narrator himself denies that this figure could have been the Opera ghost, because nobody is that audacious.
  • Mme. Giry is missing, having been locked in the manager's office. When asked where she is, the whole time with her loudly asking someone to let her out, the managers sarcastically ask,"Do you think we ate her?"
  • Erik's favorite insult is apparently 'you great booby!', which he uses no less than four times.

The musical

  • Piangi attempting to scale the mechanical elephant in the "Hannibal" scene and barely succeeding just as the music ends.
  • In some productions, when Lefevre is trying to get people to pay attention to his retirement announcement, he fails and eventually has to beg Madame Giry for help. She bangs her stick once, and there is instant silence.
  • Carlotta's diva rant shortly after the Phantom brings down a backdrop ("'These things do happen'? You've been here five minutes, what do you know?!").
  • As Christine begins singing "Think of Me", Firmin takes a sip from his flask.
    Firmin: Andre, this is doing nothing for my nerves.
    Andre: Don't fret, Firmin.
  • When the Phantom finishes singing "The Music of the Night," he proudly unveils a life-size mannequin...that happens to look exactly like Christine, and is wearing a wedding dress. That would be bad enough (and it's pretty clear that Christine doesn't know what the hell to think of this), but then the frigging thing comes to life, jerks out towards her, and causes her to faint. Whether she ends up in his arms or on the floor, Erik's reaction generally seems to be, 'Whoops, didn't intend for that to happen.'
    • Actually, just the fact that he has a life-size doll that looks like Christine, all done up in a wedding dress, in the first place - when it's not creepy. What's the deal with that thing anyway? It's never explained.
    • At least some performances (such as the 25th Anniversary DVD) don't use the mannequin at all, meaning Christine faints for absolutely no reason at the end of the song. Which is pretty funny in itself.
  • "Stranger Than You Dreamt It" is a sad little roller coaster of a song, what with the Phantom terrorizing Christine for unmasking him, then begging her to love him. This makes it funny when Michael Crawford's Phantom delivers the last lines so quickly and calmly, as if he's quickly trying to change the subject.
  • The escalating chaos of "Notes," where everyone is bursting in and accusing each other of things they didn't do. One can imagine the Phantom spying on the resultant mess and having a good laugh at their expense. Meanwhile, Meg is adorably sneaking around and pilfering the notes from behind the managers' backs so Raoul and her mother can read them.
    • 'Notes II':
      Madame Giry: "Please, monsieur - another note."
      Everyone Else: *Collective groan*
  • This little bit in the song "Notes/Prima Donna." "And what is it that we're meant to have wrote?" (Beat) "Written."
  • During "Notes II", Carlotta and Piangi are in the background studying Don Juan Triumphant. Then Carlotta throws the score away in disgust, and it somehow ends up covering Piangi's head. As she stalks forward to shout at the managers he can be seen flailing around in the background.
  • "Masquerade" includes the line from Carlotta, "No more notes."
  • The Phantom's entrance in Why So Silent? He crashes the Masquerade ball, interrupting the previous number, casually tosses the score of an entire opera he composed on the floor, then insults Carlotta, ("Carlotta must be taught to act, not her normal trick of strutting round the stage."), Piangi ("Our Don Juan must lose some weight, it's not healthy in a man of Piangi's age"), and his managers (who must learn "Their place is in an office, not the arts").
    • When the Phantom remarks, "Our Don Juan must lose some weight," Piangi's reaction is something that, depending on the actor, ranges from looking very offended to putting down something he's eating to smile like he wasn't doing that, to sobbing dramatically.
  • It doesn't come across very well on the original cast recording (or the movie, unfortunately), but the managers can be absolutely sidesplitting in the right hands. Firmin Deadpan Snarking his lines in "Prima Donna" or Andre fumbling his way through the "ballet from Act Three" speech by speaking too fast and attempting to dance with the ballerinas as he leaves are among the many delights Those Two Guys bring to the show.
  • The 25th's managers. Everything they do is amusing in a suitably subtle way, with the two actors engaging in some very rapid line switches between each other. Not to mention "Prima Donna," an entire song devoted to satisfying her ego.
    Firmin and Andre:
    Who'd believe a diva happy to relieve a
    Chorus girl who's gone and slept with the patron?
    Raoul and the soubrette, entwined in love's duet!
    Although he may demur, he must have been with her!

    You'd never get away with all this in a play,
    but if it's loudly sung and in a foreign tongue
    It's just the sort of story audiences adore
    In fact, a perfect opera!
  • The Phantom's casting directions for Il Muto:
    Christine Daaé has returned to you
    And I am anxious her career should progress
    In the new production of Il Muto
    You will therefore cast Carlotta as the pageboy
    And put Miss Daaé in the role of Countess

    The role which Miss Daaé plays
    Calls for charm and appeal
    The role of the pageboy is silent, which makes
    My casting, in a word... ideal.
    • Michael Crawford's delivery of that line on the London cast album is delightful. And try not to smile a few minutes later when he spoils Carlotta's performance and accentuates it with a wonderful Evil Laugh.
    • Ramin Karimloo can also give Crawford a run for his money with his laugh.
      • Most of the Phantom's funniest moments are actually when he's offstage; he's a savagely witty Deadpan Snarker who loves insulting people via his little notes.
  • The very long low note done by the old cuckold in "Il Muto."
    • The low note has, by now, actually earned the cuckold his own round of applause in most theatres.
    • In the Broadway production, the cuckold takes a glance at the 'maid' shaking her fanny as she cleans, and while remarking that he'd like to take the maid with him to England, he swings his cane over his arm and cheekily prods the air.
  • During "Notes 2", Carlotta's entrance:
    Carlotta: Outrage! This whole affair is an outrage! Have you seen the size of my parrrrrrrrt?!
  • Darkly funny, but this exchange during the "Don Juan Triumphant" rehearsal:
    Carlotta: (re Piangi's incorrect singing of the score) His way is better; at least he makes it sound like music!
    Madame Giry: Signora, would you speak that way in the presence of the composer?
    Carlotta: The composer is not here! And if he were
    Madame Giry: Are you certain of that, Signora?
    * cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" take into the flies from everyone onstage*
    • And when Carlotta sits back down and Piangi tries to sing his lines again, everyone huddles in close, fast as lightning, to hear him get it right. The pressure does not help.
    • The 25th Anniversary's version of this scene has a couple of gems. First is Piangi's line: "If you can call this sh-- gibberish art!" And, second of all, Carlotta parades around the scene wearing a hat that looks like an enormous Jammie Dodger on her head.
  • In addition, there is the Phantom himself. At first, he appears to be perfectly cultured and civilized, but after Raoul and Christine get together, he starts to break down into a goofy Card-Carrying Villain. First, there's "Masquerade", where he interrupts wearing, um, this. Then the mask comes off (which...wasn't a terribly good idea after what happened last time), and, well, he tries to make Christine marry him. Really, he'd have grown an Dastardly Whiplash by that point if it wasn't for his disfigurement.
    • Depending on the actor, the Phantom can be hilarious during the early bits of the Final Lair scene. Particularly if he's sitting on his throne and giggling half the time...
  • It's cruel, yes, but it's also quite funny to see the Phantom clearly getting all hot and bothered when Christine starts her bit in "The Point of No Return": trembling hands, clasping knees, the works - plus she gives him a taste of his own medicine when she starts running her hands all over him!
  • It's certainly a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment and so on...but honestly, the Phantom's bug-eyed shock when Christine kisses him in the Final Lair scene is kind of funny as well.
  • This expression on Carlotta's face at the end of the 25th Anniversary's rendition of "Prima Donna," after the Phantom has made his threats about "A disaster beyond your imagination!!!" Doubles as a Moment of Awesome for someone who, up until now, has so far been a Joke Character.
  • A video of the 25th Anniversary celebration on Broadway shows four Phantoms (Ramin Karimloo, Peter Jöback, John Owen Jones, and at-the-time current Phantom Hugh Panaro) singing the title song to Sierra Boggess. She gives each one her attention as they sing their individual lines. Each one maintains chemistry with her, with Ramin Karimloo (who starred opposite Sierra in Love Never Dies and the 25th Anniversary Albert Hall production of Phantom) seeming to be trying to out-chemistry the others. One commenter described it as "the classiest pissing contest" she had ever seen.
    • For their part, Hugh Panaro and Sierra Boggess are clearly enjoying the show as they USUALLY doesn't perform the song with quite that much of a shit-eating grin.
  • One of the casts released this song as part of a Christmas Broadway benefit. It's a retelling of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" using different items from the show: "Six geese-a-laying" becomes "Lot 666, a chandelier in pieces," etc. What makes it hilarious is that the actors gradually change the song; for instance, the two actresses who play Christine (a Mythology Gag: it's a tradition for two different women to play the part on different days, as it's way too demanding for one actress to do multiple shows a week) argue over who will do what performances, with their understudy repeatedly butting in to take part in the conversation; the Phantom describes his mask as "a sweaty piece of porcelain on my face" and tells the Christines that "they have to kiss the funny lip thing" he wears; the Carlotta sings "Five high Ds" with an example every time, only for the Christines to show her up by singing an "E" instead (she exhaustedly tells them to shut up); the corps de ballet girls badly sing as they call themselves "eight tone-deaf dancers"; and Raoul brags that he gets to kiss both Christines. It's hilarious.
  • Sierra Boggess' vlog, Daae Days, has its moments. Vlog #2, in particular, has great moments like Sierra waking up Jeremy Hays (Raoul) in the Red Death costume and she and Norm Lewis enjoying some pre-show gospel music.
  • The lines about how they wouldn’t “get away with all this“ unless everything was “loudly sung and in a foreign tongue” gets funnier in a meta context to audience members for whom English isn’t the first language. They are indeed watching a musical (not a straight play) that’s loudly sung in a foreign tongue and got away with its plot to become a beloved theatre sensation!
  • When "Il Muto" resumes after the Phantom's interruption, they start at the moment the Countess removes Serafimo's skirt and hat. Unfortunately, as this has already been done, all Carlotta and Christine can do is stand frozen until they both irritably resolve to just mime the actions without the items in question.