15 Comedy Movie Lines We Didn’t Know Were Improvised
Often times, improvising in a movie allows for so much humor that the writer could never capture, because they aren't in the scene, in costume, with all the characters. Here are 15 great examples of classic comedy lines that were actually created by the actor on the day.
"I wish I had a theater that was only open when it rained."
Tootsie pop quiz.
In Tootsie, Bill Murray was asked to improvise lines that make it seem like he's been sitting at a table and talking all night. Murray delivered, by contributing some of the funniest lines in the film.
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"I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie."
Rob Reiner is famous for letting his actors improvise, and When Harry Met Sally, is no exception. The scene where Crystal leads Ryan through a silly voices lesson is all straight from the dome.
Who knew Billy Crystal could improvise!?
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"I’m a zit. Get it?"
Belushi's famous “I'm a zit” joke in Animal House was a completely improvised moment that solidified him into the comedy mainstream.
John Belushi's impersonation of a human zit in Animal House was a totally improvised moment that brought both gross-out comedy and Belushi himself into the mainstream.
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"I want my pink shirt back!"
Actor Daniel Franzese, who played Damian in the cult classic Mean Girls recently told Insider that he was eventually given a lot of freedom to improvise on set. He said improvised the line “I want my pink shirt back!” while riding away in a car, but wanted to add “B***h” to the end. Director Mark Waters advised against it, compromising on Damian just saying the phrase twice.
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Marty Feldman's incredible performance as Igor the Hunchback in Young Frankenstein is one of Mel Brooks finest characters. But did you know the famous “what hump” line was completely improvised?
Igor must have thought he was just “Igor the Normalback.”
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"I’m hearing this. And I want to hear this."
Emily Blunt added this line to the film The Devil Wears Prada because she heard a mother say it to her daughter at a shop.
Right place, right time, Blunt.
"And he invented the mobile disco."
Nick Frost was given the freedom to improvise his descriptions of the Pub-Goers in Shaun of the Dead leading to a genuine laugh reaction from Simon Pegg.
"Uh oh. Somebody found a souvenir."
The Bridesmaids cast is stacked to the top with fantastic improvisers, but one of the best improvised exchanges has to be between Melissa McCarthy and her real life husband Ben Falcone.
Stick around for the end credits to see their unforgettable sandwich love-making.
"It’s a Cinderella story."
Harold Ramis, the director of Caddyshack, told Bill Murray to improvise a monologue in the style of a sports commentator. What results is this classic speech.
Bill Murray, please don't die soon.
"Why Male Models?"
Ben Stiller ended up improvising this line in Zoolander because he forgot what his actual line was supposed to be. So staying in character, he repeated the question he had just asked as if he wasn't listening at all. Luckily no one broke, so it stayed in the final cut.
Where is THIS Ben Stiller? Come back to us Benny, we miss you.
"Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?"
Much of Dumb and Dumber was improvised, thanks to the quick whit of Carrey and Daniels. Even the famous “most annoying sound in the world" line came straight from Carrey's noggin on the day.
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The famous waxing scene from The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, was completely improvised because…they are really waxing Steve Carrell on camera. Carell's screams, and jokes from the other actors were all done in real time.
Now that's committing to the bit.
"Alright alright alright."
Mathew McConaughey came up with his most famous phrase “Alright, alright, alright” on the day according to an interview with McConaughey by George Stroumboulopoulos. McConaughey said "So right before we're about to go I'm like, 'What is Wooderson about? He's about four things: He's about you, know, his car, he's about gettin' high, he's about rock 'n' roll and pickin' up chicks.' I go, 'I'm in my car, I'm high as a kite, I'm listenin' to rock 'n' roll ...' Action ... and there's the chick. Alright, alright, alright ... three out of four."
"I love lamp."
Steve shows up on the list again for his arguably his best exchange from the first Anchorman movie. Apparently director Adam McKay wanted more Brick lines, but didn't have any written so he encouraged Carrell to say whatever he wants. According to Vulture, Carell said "The 'I love lamp' thing was just me at the end of a scene staring at a lamp and I said 'I love lamp' and Will picked up on it and said, 'You're just saying things you're looking at.'"
"Have fun storming the castle!"
In the book As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, it's said that Crystal was given a script for his character Miracle Max, but Crystal immediately started going off page for his lines. Crystal confirmed this saying "We ad-libbed a lot of stuff: "Have fun storming the castle." "Don't go swimming for an hour — a good hour."
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Top Image: Dreamworks Pictures