When you see a really great pratfall it’s a safe bet that the comic who executed it is a dancer. I’ve never been a slapstick fan, three stoogies style, but humor is an inexplicably individual thing, and there are exceptions for everything. My favorite example of a really hilarious prat fall is Dick Van Dyke’s trip over the ottoman in the opening credits of the Dick Van Dyke Show. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or you just want to see it again, here’s your chance!) Of course Dick Van Dyke was an accomplished dancer and that was why he could pull it off with such ease and charm.
Another great example is the Monty Python sketched I blogged about in April. It’s one of my favorite Monty Python sketches because you know all these guys have to be dancers to pull this off. Always a pleasure to see this one again, agreed?
OK, I know, there is such a thing as a really funny pratfall on the part of someone who can’t dance to save his life, but this is a dance blog, so don’t send me a gazillion examples of hilarious spontaneous slips. If we didn’t laugh when someone slips on a banana peel, comedians would never have taken to the idea. Like so many other things, dancers do it best!
By LaurieAnn Lepoff
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