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All-Knowing Singing Narrator

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In many musicals, there is a character who acts as the narrator, knowing everything about everyone's business despite the fact that he often is a character in the story himself, and shouldn't really be able to know this.

See also Greek Chorus, Fourth-Wall Observer.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Clopin in the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He establishes this in the first five minutes of the film, considering he opens it with the story of how Frollo killed Quasimodo's mother and "adopted" Quasi — despite the fact that he wasn't even there at the time, and the two men (or possibly more, if you count the staring masonry) who were certainly wouldn't have told anyone about what happened.
  • Alan-a-Dale the rooster minstrel in Disney's Robin Hood.
  • Arne in Terkel In Trouble.
  • The Muses of Hercules, starting their takeover for the original narrator, who they say is too boring.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Grave Robber from Repo! The Genetic Opera. Of course, he's reading a newspaper about the events of the Opera, so even though he wasn't there, he still knows about certain events. Unfortunately, however, they don't do the same when explaining how he knows all about Blind Mag's contract problems. He actually hands off the newspaper to Shilo while Mag's rival is standing right there at the time.
  • The Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of course, he doesn't actually sing.
  • In a non-musical version, the Radio DJ from The Warriors mostly fits into this category.
  • Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole in Cat Ballou.
  • In Rancho Notorious, the ballad "The Legend of Chuck-a-Luck" is heard during the opening credits and throughout the film, using the lyrics as narration. According to the American Film Institute, this is the first American film to use a song in this manner.
  • The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men: Alan-a-Dale wanders through the early parts of the film singing about events that have just taken place. Even after he joins the Merrie Men, he plays no real part in the action.

    Literature 
  • A book of Classical Mythology featured a script-version of the story of Achilles. "Chorus" is described as the "Narrator who knows everything".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used (and Lampshaded) in "The Day They Shot Agarn" episode of F Troop.
  • Doctor Who: "The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon" in "The Gunfighters".
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    Music 

    Theater 

    Western Animation 

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