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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.
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  • 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 man with a false nose 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?"

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 thereafter ("'These things do happen'? You've been here five minutes, what do you know?!").
    Piangi: Amateurs.
  • When the Phantom finishes singing '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.
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  • '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 everyone else of things they didn't do. One can imagine the Phantom spying on the resultant mess and having a good laugh at their expense.
    • '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."
  • "Carlotta must be taught to act, not her normal trick of strutting round the stage."
  • "Masquerade" includes the line from Carlotta, "No more notes."
  • 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 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 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.
  • During "Notes 2", Carlotta's entrance:
    Carlotta: Outrage! This whole affair is an outrage! Have you seen the size of my part?
  • 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!
    Mme. Giry: Signora, would you speak that way in the presence of the composer?
    Carlotta: The composer is not here! And if he were
    Mme. 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, La 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 was the 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 Evil Moustache by that point if if wasn't for, y'know...
    • 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 "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. (I know, I know, I have no soul...)
  • 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 one of the 25th Anniversary celebrations 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 her part, Sierra Boggess is clearly enjoying the show as Christine USUALLY doesn't perform the song with quite that much of a ####-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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

The miniseries

  • From the Arthur Kopit/Maury Yeston musical/Mini Series, we have the Phantom's initial reaction on hearing Carlotta (in this version, a Dreadful Musician who only gets leads because her husband is the manager):
    My God, this place really is haunted! What is THAT?!
  • Coletti's declaration that he doesn't believe in ghosts. Cue a nearby bust falling over and scaring the crap out of him.
  • This moment between Christine and the Phantom (after he sabotages Carlotta's debut). You can hear the smile on Charles Dance's face.
    Christine: Did you hear about what happened to Carlotta?
    Erik: No, what?
    Christine: Her debut was a disaster!
  • During rehearsals for Faust, the director castigates the lead actor's performance
    This is poison, not soup! You are trying to kill yourself. Not enjoy a meal. That's because you despair. Not happy!
    • He then tell the accompanist to "take it from la-la-la-la". Naturally, the man looks confused.
  • Just about anything the Phantom does to Carlotta. Her nervous breakdown after he pours rats all over her is a delight.
    • The aftermath of the rat attack. Several characters are trying to have a serious discussion about how to deal with the Phantom... meanwhile, Carlotta is dancing around them in full Ophelia mode, singing and throwing flowers over everyone.
  • Christine and Carlotta's sing off at the bistro. Christine starts performing and a jealous Carlotta joins her, essentially shoving her out of the way so as to take center stage. We get a quick cut to the Phantom's irritated reaction as she begins singing, but Christine soon outdoes her and remains completely unmoved by Carlotta's efforts to upstage her until the latter finally storms off in humiliation.