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Theatre / The Pink Panther Strikes Again

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The Pink Panther Strikes Again is a 1981 stage play based on the 1976 film of the same name. It was written by William Gleason.

The play follows the same plot as the film. After three years, former Chief Inspector Dreyfus is to be released from an insane asylum. However, he has a run-in with now Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau and is once again driven to insanity. Determined to kill him once and for all, Dreyfus kidnaps a scientist and forces him to construct a doomsday machine, threatening to destroy the world unless Clouseau is eliminated.

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This stage play provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The play gives more background to Olga and Professor Fassbender.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Dreyfus' first name is Charles in the film, but Paul in the play.
  • Adapted Out: Several scenes and characters, including Clouseau attempting to sneak into the castle and the President of the United States, do not make it to the stage.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Olga arrives at the castle to save Clouseau.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Pink Panther stage hands. At the end of the play, they prevent Cato from ruining the date between Clouseau and Olga.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Clouseau likes to think he is suave with the ladies, but he gives women such a terrible time on dates that they keep claiming they cannot see him because their pet has died or, in one case, they themselves have died.
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  • Doomsday Device: What Dreyfus forces Professor Fassbender to build. The design of the device can vary between productions, with some having a laser like in the film or a generic prop/robot.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Expanding on the film's ending, Clouseau saves the day, arrests Dreyfus, and ends up in a relationship with Olga.
  • Monumental Damage: Dreyfus makes the UN Building disappear with the doomsday machine. Some productions may use the clip from the film to achieve this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dreyfus really lays it into Clouseau after the doomsday machine is set to explode, telling him just how much he hates him. Clouseau being Clouseau, he takes it in stride.
  • Running Gag: Clouseau keeps getting fooled by the hunchback disguise when Dreyfus and Olga wear it.
  • Save the Villain: After Professor Fassbender activates the self-destruct on the doomsday machine, Dreyfus is fully prepared to go down with it. However, Clouseau declares he intends to either save him...or die with him. The idea of going into eternity with the man he so utterly hates is enough for Dreyfus to flee and be taken in.
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  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: When Dreyfus is momentarily distracted while holding Clouseau at gunpoint, Professor Fassbender activates a self-destruct on the doomsday machine.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: As mentioned above, Clouseau saves Dreyfus before the castle is destroyed.
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