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The Show Must Go On

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"Can anyone here play the drums? I mean someone good!"
Pete Townshend, upon Keith Moon's passing out mid-concert

Accidents happen. Sometimes, a catastrophe occurs during the production of a creative work that forces it to a halt - the writer quits, the union goes on strike, or an actor gets injured or suffers critical existence failure. In recorded works intended for later consumption, this can be remedied relatively easily - scenes can be rewritten or reshot, actors can be replaced, shooting can be put on hiatus.

However, in live entertainment, the show must go on at all costs - unlike with a movie or a TV show, a live performance has an audience of potentially tens of thousands of people, who have all paid to be there, and are rightfully expecting to get their money's worth. This forces the characters into crazy improvisations, costume changes, awkward stealth to avoid further disrupting the show and any number of desparate things to keep the show going.

It must also be remembered that for live entertainers, not only is it about making sure people get their money's worth or ensuring a production continues, performing is something they've dedicated their lives to. It's not something they do, it's who they are, and it's a point of professional pride that no matter what, the show must go on. Even for those who take a less high-minded view, they are professionals after all— meaning if the show doesn't go on, nobody gets their paycheck.

Note that the full phrase is something like "the show must go on tonight" (i.e. whatever personal tragedy happens during the day, everyone must be in place and ready to perform when the curtain rises).

Compare Throw It In. See also All Part of the Show, Deadline News, Pushed in Front of the Audience. Not to be confused (although it often overlaps) with The Show Must Go Wrong. In the worst-case scenario this can also overlap with Fatal Method Acting— which, it's sometimes been remarked, is about the only acceptable excuse for missing your show.


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    Comic Books 
  • The Simpsons: When Krusty is using the Simpsons' house as a set, and the family as co-stars, Homer automatically manages to ruin one sketch by not showing up on time, or in costume, simply wandering onto the set in his underpants and asking Krusty if he wants a beer. Then the mob, who are after Krusty, throw a stick of dynamite through the window. Homer quickly covers the dynamite with a pot and sits on it. As he waits for the explosion, Krusty bitterly thinks to himself that whatever happens, the sketch as it is has become better than what was written.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: When the bandstand starts to sink into the pond during a Holliday College band performance the girls keep playing even though they're in water up past their knees.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The Emperor's New Clothes: What's the Emperor to do when it's revealed his marvelous new clothes don't really exist and he's naked? Pretend not to have heard the complaint, hold himself up stiffer and straighter than ever, and continue with the procession, that's what.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the short sports film, Le Mans 1955, after his driver crashes into a spectator area and kills 80 spectators (and himself), Mercedes manager Alfred Neubauer refuses to withdraw the other car, saying that "The race Must go on!" However, later, he withdraws the other car from the race, saying that they proved what they wanted to prove, as said car had just taken the lead.
  • In Rock-A-Doodle, when Pinky sees that Edmund's group have infiltrated the seafloor-themed musical number to reach Chanticleer, he sends out his toad enforcers to get them. But first he puts the toads in shark costumes to avoid spoiling the show.
  • Sing: The final number is full of this:
    • When Judith unplugs Ash's guitar and orders the show to stop, Ash just takes it as the chance to rally the public and start her song unplugged.
    • Next song, when a police chopper threatens to blow him away, Mike fights against the winds so he can finish his song, which gets him to realize he really does love music more than the money.
    • In the last song, when Meena's act literally brings the house down, she takes less than a second's pause to look at the ruined stage, then keeps singing as if nothing had happened, with the night sky and the moon as her backdrop.
  • In Turning Red, despite Ming destroying their stage and much of the Skydome itself, 4*Town still puts on a performance afterwards. It's implied that this is due to Mei's friends convincing them to resume singing. The spinoff manga 4★Town 4★Real shows they also continued their world tour.

  • Played for Laughs by P.D.Q. Bach. Many compositions include something going very wrong (The bassoonist's accompanist is running late! The trumpeter is missing most of their instrument! The lead females are cattily trying to one-up each other!) and then continuing anyhow.
  • The Wall has a song by this name, where Pink, after having a long personal journey through is past is injected with drugs and forced onstage, despite not being sure if he would even remember the songs. This goes badly, with him emerging as a neo-Nazi when the show goes on.
  • "The Show Must Go On", a song first written and performed by Leo Sayer, then covered by Three Dog Night, is all about this.
  • This is the name of one of Queen last songs, promptly titled: "The show must go on".
  • The world is about to be destroyed by a mysterious Negative Space Wedgie! What so you do? Have a cello concert, that's what! And even if the whole concert hall is crumbling and everyone's running for their lives, just keep playing and take a bow even if only the birds are still listening.
  • This is brought up in the Irving Berlin song, "There's No Business Like Show Business".
    'You get word before the show has started,
    That your favorite uncle died at dawn.
    On top of that, your pa and ma have parted.
    You're brokenhearted,
    But you go on.
  • The concept gets roasted by Noël Coward in "Why Must The Show Go On?"
    Why must the show go on?
    It can't be all that indispensable,
    To me it really isn't sensible
    On the whole
    To play a leading role
    While fighting those tears you can't control

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The World Wrestling Federation suffered this trope in 1999 during their Over The Edge pay-per-view event, due to the death of Owen Hart happening as he was making his ring entrance. Fortunately, the incident occurred while viewers were watching a pre-recorded segment, so they never saw it; when the live broadcast resumed, all they saw were the ring announcers discussing what had happened. After a brief delay, the broadcast continued, which garnered the organization some criticism later.
  • This actually happens often in professional wrestling (though fortunately rarely to the same degree as Owen Hart). The most common causes are legit injuries and/or botched moves, or in rarer cases, botched use of props, weapons or equipment.
  • We'll say that professional wrestling is like this in general. As a Cracked article put it, a wrestler is supposed to stay in character no matter what happens. Your opponent is legitimately trying to injure you? Ignore it and stay in character. You tore your ACL? Broke your ribs? Don't break character. One of the competitors died during the match, and you're being charged with manslaughter? You can't even let that break kayfabe.
    • A specific example is The Undertaker at the 2010 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, who got set on fire during his entrance due to mistimed/misaligned pyrotechnics going off. Instead of going backstage to get the injury treated, he took off his smoldering jacket and went down to the ring where he was in a pod for his cue, being handed bottles of water to douse himself with in the meantime.
      • Another example is when Undertaker faced off with Brock Lesnar in WrestleMania XXX. The match started out simple enough, until Lesnar slammed Taker's head against the floor outside the ring almost six minutes in, accidentally giving him a serious head concussion that lasted throughout the match. Both men continued wrestling, however, although Taker had to take a little longer than usual to get up due to his concussion on quite a few occasions. Yet that concussion didn't stop Taker from kicking some serious ass... and then eventually giving the Throat-Slitting Gesture as a signal when it was time for Lesnar to finish him with a third F-5 and end the Streak under Vince McMahon's decision. And when the match was over, Taker was still able to get up after a few minutes and walk out toward the backstage room, where he would immediately be taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • This happened on Raw once with Jerry Lawler, who, in the middle of a tag team match he was calling, suffered a heart attack. There were several things amiss. The commentary had fallen silent, the crowd (along with one Kane, one of the wrestlers involved in the tag team match and the referee) was looking at the announce table and something was clearly happening. The heart attack was later announced by Michael Cole, who seemed visibly shaken up. The show continued, but there was no commentary throughout the rest of the show, other than Cole providing updates on his condition. The rest of the show felt so... cold after this.
  • LuFisto had to compete for the WSU Championship after the former holder Jessicka Havok was banned(read, working for TNA) from the promotion even though she had food poisoning. They had to give her the strap because Athena got a concussion the very same night.
  • The WWE continued to create WWE Raw and SmackDown during the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, holding all their events at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, all without an audience.
    • WrestleMania 36 was initially scheduled to take place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The logo for the even is even similar to the logo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the local NFL team. But the coronavirus outbreak put a stop to those plans, moving instead to the WWE Performance Center as well. It was the first WWE pay-per-view without a live audience.

    Puppet Shows 
  • A standard trope in The Muppet Show, whether using a turned-to-stone Miss Piggy as a prop or shoving a wardrobe on stage with the guest star, Chris Langham, trapped inside to sing "Hawaiian Cowboy" (complete with a cowboy hat on top of the wardrobe).
    • One exception is when during the Glenda Jackson episode when Kermit can't take anymore and goes on stage to say "They say the show must go on, but they never explain why. The show's been taken over by pirates, the theater's sailing out to sea and I'm losing my mind..."

    Visual Novels 
  • In Melody, even after the power cuts out at the title character's concert (thanks to Steve, with Bethany's help), Melody still has to put on an enjoyable performance, especially because it's her first concert of this magnitude. She manages to hold her own with an audience participation song until the problem is fixed.

  • In Davy Jones' Day Off, the crew of the Flying Dutchman slaughter the cast of Romeo and Juliet to sabotage the play that Davy Jones and Ella Devylinn were going to see. The stage manager furiously declares that "THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!" and forces the Dutchman crew to perform the play themselves.

    Web Videos 
  • In a Public Service Announcement about stroke symptoms parodying the hit song "I Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd, Dr. Zubin Damania (better known as ZDoggMD) plays the role of a performer at a nightclub who has a stroke while on stage. The performer has no idea what's happening to him note , or why he can't move one of his arms, but because of this trope, he tries to cover up the fact that anything's wrong and continue the performance. The audience can tell something's up, though they aren't sure what, and fortunately for the performer, a bunch of paramedics happened to be in the VIP lounge.
  • Sorted Food: Ben is baking a cake for Barry's wedding, on-site and on the day of the wedding. He realizes far too late that he has forgotten the oranges, whose juice and zest are a key component in one of the cakes, at home. So what does he do? Steals a carton of OJ from the bar and two clementines from the florist's lunchbox, and gets back to work as if nothing happened. And manages to produce a good cake.

    Real Life 
  • During a 1973 concert in San Francisco, drummer Keith Moon of The Who passed out due to a drug reaction. Rather than stop the show, the band recruited an amateur drummer (the late Scot Halpin) from the audience to replace him and finish the show.
  • A 2002 performance by Counting Crows in Los Angeles saw drummer Ben Mize fall ill mid-show, requiring his hospitalization. After a brief intermission, the band switched to acoustic instruments and performed several songs without a drummer, before drummers Randy Guss of Toad the Wet Sprocket (their opening band) and Todd Roper of Cake (who was in the audience) were persuaded to appear onstage to finish the show.
  • When Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys underwent surgery to correct a congenital heart defect (it was necessary because the hole in his heart was getting larger), the group initially postponed a couple of dates for the Backstreet's Back Tour, but Littrell was back performing with the group within weeks after the surgery, with oxygen tanks on stand-by in the wings of the stage.
  • Naturally, anybody who has appeared in live performances can testify to problems involved in cast members, problems with props or any number of unforeseen difficulties. The universal rallying cry is, in all circumstances, the Trope Title. This is why it is common practice for theatrical productions to hire stand-in actors who are available at a moment's notice to cover for a performer who is forced to miss a show due to illness or other reason.
  • Comic Red Skelton, on a live 1950s show, was doing a sketch with a cow, which started defecating, for a very long time. Needless to say, the audience was in stitches, and Red spent the interval pulling faces, holding his nose, and telling the cow "No ad-libbing!"
  • On an episode of The Honeymooners, recorded live, Jackie Gleason was supposed to enter the scene but, for some reason, didn't for a couple of minutes. Art Carney, alone on stage, filled the time getting an orange from the refrigerator, peeling it, and managing to make it funny.
  • During one of his early variety show live broadcasts, Jackie Gleason himself was forced to ad-lib for close to 10 minutes when a malfunction backstage prevented the planned skit from being performed. Gleason filled time by improvising jokes and comedically tying his tie, while also taking a moment to explain to the viewers what happened.
  • Live TV broadcasts in the 1950s were notorious for running under-time. Here is an example of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis having to ad-lib material when one of their Colgate Comedy Hour appearances ran short by several minutes.
  • Reportedly, when recording "The Show Must Go On" (mentioned above), Freddie Mercury was in seriously bad shape because of his battle with AIDS. One of the members of Queen approached him and asked him if he wanted to take a break. What Mercury did was down a glass of vodka and say "I'll fucking do it, darling!" before proceeding to nail the song in one take in what Brian May considers one of Freddie's greatest performances.
  • Before opening night of RENT, composer Jonathan Larson collapsed and died. Needless to say, the cast moved on to perform the next night.
    • What's more, when the cast was told, they decided to pay their respects by just singing through it seated around a table. By the time they got to "La Vie Boheme", everyone simultaneously agreed that Jonathan would want to see the show as it was meant to be, got up, and did the entire rest of the show, sans costumes.
  • When a member of one of the Big Name Bands headlining at the Download musical festival fell ill on the night, members of several other bands performing at the festival stepped in to take his place for the set list, to prevent a possible riot if one of the bands that almost everyone wanted to see didn't perform as scheduled.
  • In 1976, Bob Marley, his wife and his manager were attacked by gunmen in his home two days before a scheduled concert, "Smile Jamaica," organized by then-Prime Minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley to cool tensions between two rival political factions. Despite being injured in the attack, Marley went right ahead and performed in the concert two days later—"The people who are trying to make this world worse aren't taking a day off. How can I?"
    • Another concert in Africa was disrupted when the police released tear gas to tame the increasingly wild crowd. While his backup singers and most of the musicians fled the stage, Bob kept singing, somehow able to shake off the effects of the gas.
    • His final concert, where he performed flawlessly for several hours, including two encores, despite being riddled with cancer.
  • In 1994, The Jesus Lizard were playing a show in Texas, when an unknown audience member threw a beer bottle at David Yow's head. After several minutes spent sweeping glass off the stage, getting Yow to his feet, and making sure he was okay, they started the same song over again and continued with the show. Yow even tried to taunt his attacker into doing it again before moving on.
  • During a 1991 Judas Priest concert, lead vocalist Rob Halford collided with a drum riser while riding his motorcycle onto the stage, falling off his bike and breaking his nose. After regaining consciousness he returned to the stage and performed the remainder of the show despite the fact that he was in severe pain at the time. Halford didn't go to the hospital until after the concert was over.
  • In 1986 James Hetfield of Metallica broke his wrist in a skateboarding accident, rendering him unable to play rhythm guitar. Hetfield's guitar tech, John Marshall, filled in on rhythm guitar until the injury healed (James still sang, being the band's lead vocalist in addition to the rhythm guitarist). This incident prompted Hetfield's record company to include a clause in his contract forbidding him from riding a skateboard while the band was on tour.
  • Despite a ruptured appendix, American magician and escape artist Harry Houdini did his final performance at the Garrick Theater in Detroit, Michigan on October 24, 1926; he died on October 31st.
  • In the summer of 2012, Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer was informed of the suicide of his younger brother who he was close to. Although he had every reason to, he did not miss his next scheduled start, an interleague game in Pittsburgh.
  • Lou Costello, of Abbott and Costello fame, lost his son, Lou Jr. (nicknamed Butch), to an accidental drowning on the day that Butch was supposed to stay up and listen to his father's radio show for the first time. Lou continued with the show anyways, saying "Wherever he is tonight, I want him to hear me." The stress of performing under those conditions was so great that he fainted as soon as the broadcast was over.
  • During the filming of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Devil in the Dark" in January, 1967, William Shatner received the news that his father had died. Shatner insisted on finishing the day's work, and only flew home to Montréal after filming had wrapped.
  • 75 minutes into the 1956 FA Cup Final, Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann was injured in a collision. There were no substitutes allowed in those days, so Trautmann played on, making crucial saves to ensure City's victory in spite of being in severe pain. He even attended the post match banquet in that state. Eventually, he sought medical help: it turned out that Trautmann had broken his neck.
  • While on tour to promote the band's latest album, Animals, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters was suffering from what he though was stomach cramps (it later turned out to be hepatitis), so the band doctor injected him with a powerful muscle relaxant so he could go onstage. He said that he could have played through the pain, but whatever the doctor injected him with caused him to be barely able to lift his arm, causing him to go through "the longest two hours of my life" playing that concert. This experience inspired the classic song "Comfortably Numb."
  • During the TV play Underground, broadcast live on ITV as part of ABC's Armchair Theatre on 30 November 1958, actor Gareth Jones collapsed and died backstage. Producer Sydney Norman instructed director Ted Kotcheff to keep going and "shoot it like a football match" as the actors, who saw Jones collapsing, hurriedly improvised lines along the lines of "I'm sure if he was here, he would say..."; Kotcheff used an ad break to restructure the play to bring it to an end without the audience noticing Jones' absence. The actors were not informed of Jones' death until after transmission had ended as one of them, Donald Houston, was a close friend of his and would likely have been unable to go on if he knew.
  • After losing his wife, Bob Barker continued to host The Price Is Right, even though he had every reason to take a break.
  • During a concert in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June 2015, Foo Fighters guitarist Dave Grohl fell off the stage and broke one of his legs. He excused himself for a short period while the other Foo Fighters kept playing, then returned to the stage, carried by paramedics who put him in a chair. He kept playing for over two hours - even while the paramedics were putting his leg in a cast.
    • He then had a totally bitchin' throne made for him to sit in on stage so he could still play the rest of the tour dates. He loved the throne so much, he continued to use it even after his leg was healed enough to walk on.
  • In 1994, in spite of the severe injuries suffered by Ayrton Senna, Formula One decided to restart the San Marino Grand Prix after cleaning up his wreckage and taking him to the hospital. He would be declared dead a few hours later.
  • During the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, driver Allan Simonsen was killed on the third lap in a one car crash. The organizers let the race continue even after his death, and, at Allan's family's request, the Aston Martin team (which he raced for) stayed in the race.
  • During a performance of The Barber of Seville, American mezzo-soprano Joyce Di Donato fell onstage and broke her fibula. Ignoring the pain, she finished the rest of the act hobbling around the stage and used crutches for the rest of the opera. And as if this wasn't enough, Di Donato refused to let her injury prevent her from singing in the rest of her scheduled performances and sang the role of Rosina from a wheelchair for the five remaining shows in her schedule. If one is familiar with the insane difficulty that is inherent to singing the works of Gioacchino Rossini, even while standing upright and in no pain whatever, the respect level for Di Donato's dedication can't help but go higher.
  • The great French actor and playwright Moliere was in the middle of a performance when he collapsed in a fit of coughing and haemhorrhaging. He recovered, completed the show, and died a few hours later. Ironically, the play he was performing was The Imaginary Invalid, in which he played a hypochondriac.
  • Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy performed an entire 3+ hour concert while suffering from a mixture of exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition, and stress, collapsing once the show was over. Said concert was recorded and released as a live album, Live Scenes from New York.
  • In the 2005 remake of Fun with Dick and Jane, Dick and Jane steal from a coffee shop in one scene. According to the DVD commentary, Tea Leoni, who played Jane, dislocated her shoulder while shooting the part where she slides on the counter, but kept going anyway. You'll see that when the scene ends that she's struggling to hold the things they steal.
  • In 2018, vandals did nearly a quarter of a million dollars damage to the Omaha Community Playhouse. Between borrowed equipment and rushed repairs, the performance of Singing in the Rain scheduled for the day after the damage was discovered went off without a hitch.
  • After Robert Wickens' horrifying crash at Pocono in 2018, The Indycar community said that they would finish out the season, even with heavy hearts, giving the trope name as the reason. They said they owed it to the fans and to Wickens, Dan Wheldon and Justin Wilson (the latter two dying in motorsports crashes in 2011 and 2015 respectively) to keep going.
  • In the All Night Nippon 2003, GACKT walked near the end of the stage while singing until he missed his step and fell off. Luckily, he landed on the tarp and continued to sing while the security help get him back on the stage.
  • During the BUCK-TICK Parade Tour 2007, the lead singer, Atsushi Sakurai, suffered a Wardrobe Malfunction where his pants ripped off from knee to groin. He removed his coat and put around his waist to cover the damage while singing. After the song, he informed the audiences about his ripped pants much to their laughter and amusingly apologized if they actually took a glimpse of whatever they saw in his pants.
  • The day before a Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre learned his father died from a heart attack. Even though he was offered the chance to sit the game out, Favre decided to play anyway, believing it was what his father would have wanted him to do. He went on to have one of the best performances of his career, throwing for 399 yards, 4 touchdowns, and achieving a passer rating of 153.9 enroute to a 41-7 victory.
  • The 2019-20 Coronavirus outbreak caused several conferences, events, concerts and music festivals to be cancelled or postponed (Monster Jam did some shows as scheduled but postponed others), however some events (for example the Philadelphia Flower Show) went on as scheduled.
  • During the weekend for the 54th Annual Grammy Awards and only hours before music executive Clive Davis' well-known Pre-Grammys party, singing legend Whitney Houston drowned in her bathtub of an overdose at the Beverly Hills Hotel where the festivities were to be held. Although there was plenty of shock and grief over her death, Davis controversially continued on with the gathering. While industry heads and some journalists defended his decision, citing the inopportune timing of the circumstances and the business that would have been lost otherwise, other journalists, fans of Houston and several recording artists criticized it, especially since she was his protégé and in turn made him and his record labels plenty of money over the past two and a half decades.
  • Rammstein had a rather scary incident of this trope when a burning metal prop melted its riggings and fell into the crowd, severely injuring several people. The guitarists immediately stopped playing, though the keyboardist, drummer, and bass player continued with the song. Flake, the keyboardist, eventually ran forward and grabbed a guitar, prompting cheers from the crowd, and the concert resumed even as roadies frantically attempted to extinguish the burning prop and tend to the injured. This incident eventually resulted in Rammstein completely rewriting their policies around pyrotechnics.
  • Toni Braxton experienced a Wardrobe Malfunction during a concert in New Jersey in 2013, and covered for it by rapping the first verse and chorus of The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa."
  • When Axl Rose broke a leg during a show, instead of canceling the concert or the remainder of the tour, he just continued singing sitting down (Dave Grohl even lent him his throne for Guns N' Roses' 2016 Coachella performance).
    • He also managed to get through 20 out of 29 songs in a concert in Abu Dhabi in 2018 despite throwing up for five hours and needing to be on IVs just to replenish his fluids. Both Slash and Duff McKagan praised him for managing to get that far into the show.
  • Averted by Emilie Autumn, who would pause shows if something went wrong on stage.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic was on tour when he heard that both of his parents were found dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning. He continued with the tour, later commenting that doing that (along with the support he received from fans) helped him to get through it.
  • In 2006 Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie was knocked unconscious by a water bottle. After recovering enough to perform, he got back on stage and finished the set, picking up from exactly where he was cut off.
  • It was revealed only after his death that Chadwick Boseman was fighting stage III followed by stage IV colon cancer during his entire run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Shortly before 1776 opened on Broadway in 1969, Howard da Silva, the actor playing Benjamin Franklin, suffered a heart attack. Back then, journalists were invited to three or four different "opening day" performances for their write-ups. Da Silva told no one, performed all three shows, and then skipped the cast party to check himself into the hospital. His understudy, Rex Everheart, had to perform Franklin for the Original Broadway Cast soundtrack.
  • Betty White was to have an 100th birthday event released in theaters on January 17, 2022. However, she died on December 31, 2021. Despite this, Fathom Events, who hosted the event, held the event as scheduled with a different title.
  • Aqours had two incidents of this type happen at their concerts:
    • On the second day of the first Aqours concert, Step! Zero To One, there was an incident in which Rikako Aida messed up her piano solo during "Omoi Yo Hitotsu Ni Nare", causing her to break down into tears. She eventually continued the performance with no issue after the other members of Aqours and the audience calmed her down by cheering her name.
    • An August 13, 2022 fan meeting and live in Numazu still went on as scheduled despite Typhoon Meari affecting the area. Refunds were issued to those who couldn't attend the show.
  • A few months after John Lennon's death, a fan jumped onto the stage during a live performance of The Rolling Stones and made straight for Mick Jagger, singing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". Security was not there, so Keith Richards hit the guy with his guitar while Mick carried on singing, then put it back on and returned to playing. After the show, Keith went down to the police station and paid for the man's bail.
  • During the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards, Do Kyungsoo of EXO sprained his ankle while jumping on the chair during the introduction of the song, "Growl". Regardless, he keeps on singing and dancing while enduring his sprained ankle for about 10 minutes of the group's performance.
  • During a 1999 performance of "Earth Song" in Germany, the wires lifting the suspended platform Michael Jackson was on gave out, and Jackson fell fifty feet towards the floor at breakneck speed, getting severely injured in the process. Despite this, Jackson somehow remained standing, and finished the show; before finally passing out backstage after the last song. This incident not only permanently injured Jackson's back, but was cited as a factor in his death 10 years later; as Jackson, already heavily addicted to Demerol at that point, was prescribed more to dull his back pain.
  • On 5th July 2003, two suicide bombers attacked the entries to the «Wings» festival in Moscow, killing (by official count) 15 and injuring a few tens of people. Entry was blocked, but the show went on for hours with crowd slowly dwindling. The bands were told not to let the audience know about the tragedy (and mobile phone networks were also brought down at the location). Some considered it an example of While Rome Burns, some a minimisation of stampede risks.
  • On November 22, 1963, the Boston Symphony was about to perform a concert, to be broadcast live on WGBH radio, when conductor Erich Leinsdorf came out on stage and announced that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. He then led the orchestra in the Funeral March from Ludwig van Beethoven's Third Symphony.


Video Example(s):


Judy Takes the Lead

With Steven and his understudy unable to perform and McNamara planning on cancelling the play, Judy steps up to fill in for Steven while singing Chrissy's part at the same time.

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Main / TheShowMustGoOn

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