15 of the Funniest Lines and Moments from ‘Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story’ for Its 15th Anniversary
It’s no secret that we love Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, the 2007 parody of Walk the Line/every biopic of every notable male musician of the 20th century, starring John C. Reilly and the actors who best resemble The Beatles.
We’ve even argued why the story of Dewey Cox and his tortured journey through life is the best music biopic ever created, and we stand by that statement. So, on the 15th anniversary of the Judd Apatow-produced cult classic, let’s think about Dewey Cox thinking about his entire life before he plays. (But just the funny stuff.)
Jack White As Elvis Presley
At first, you're impressed by White's impression of the King of Rock ‘n' Roll. Then, you start smirking at that head roll and the fact that his hair never moves, and by the time he repeats the word "millions," it's game over for keeping the laughter on the inside. It's a tight little scene that sees White eventually reducing his Elvis speech to just vowels because the King doesn't need to use any pesky consonants.
The Beatles Scene
This scene doubled as a smorgasbord of cameos, giving us Jack Black and Paul Rudd's Paul and John voices and Jason Schwartzman's wonderful wobbly lip acting. In our heart of hearts, we really want Justin Long to always wear his hair like that. He truly is the prettiest Beatle.
”He Needs More Blankets, and He Needs Less Blankets!”
Dewey eventually goes from his jail cell to rehab because, as he explains, ”Prison has changed me. I understand the common man the way I never did before. I gotta get out of here! So I can bring joy to the men back in here, but I don't wanna live with them!”
In rehab, there's a hilarious bit around his feverish recovery and needing blankets… but also not needing blankets. Bonus joke: The camera work making his nose look gigantic at the end.
”People Come Here to Dance Erotically!”
Paul Bates plays a club manager desperate for a new act after losing his headliner to the combo of a broken hand from punching his landlord and laryngitis. When one of his staff says, ”I guess there's just no music tonight, boss,” Bates' character bellows, ”Bullhickey! People come here to dance erotically!” It's a great joke, followed by the very white Dewey stepping in and performing exactly like the Black bandleader because that's how you get folks to dance erotically.
When we first meet Jenna Fischer’s Darlene, the very-hot-for-each-other duo of her and Dewey perform their song, ”Let’s Duet.” Not only is the song dripping with double entendres of pure horniness, but the scene becomes a montage of the ”will they, won’t they” trope, played to perfection as Darlene basically tortures Dewey because, as she passionately yells, ”I can’t! We’re friends!”
Tim Meadows repeatedly complaining about Dewey never paying for drugs ”not once” is hysterical. Still, there’s even more going on in this scene where Dewey’s crew confronts his new, psychedelic approach to music he now calls ”schmusic.” Dewey’s definition of a metaphor being ”a secret” is a classic, as is the chorus of ”F—k nobility. F—k Ancient Egypt. F—k cats!”
Dewey Directs a Goat
Leading up to the scene above, there’s the ”Black Sheep” sequence showing Dewey deep into his ”schmusic phase.” And it has a lot: Some trampoline jumping, a bit where he records Darlene giving birth only to add her agonizing screams to his trip opera and that wild moment where Dewey is explaining to a goat how to bleat like, ”I’m about to die.”
”We’re Smoking Reefer, and You Don’t Want No Part of This S**t”
Dewey slowly gets sucked into the world of drugs, starting with the Devil’s lettuce and ending with Viagra. Tim Meadows’ character Sam tells Dewey not to smoke weed with them but then proceeds to tick off all the great things about it. This bit continues as Dewey’s drug of choice escalates, never losing its hilarity.
Dewey Smells Again
Fischer’s unhinged scream of ecstasy is next level, and so is Dewey going from smelling flowers to smelling literal horse s**t.
”Who the Hell Is Frank Sinatra?”
Kristen Wiig is a natural here as she plays Dewey’s wife Edith, who, at first, follows Dewey as he pursues his music career, only to later tell him that no musician has even made any money and that she doesn’t know who the hell Frank Sinatra is. Her line, ”I do believe in you — I just know you’re going to fail,” is a Jordan-level slam.
Dewey Cox Goes Full Bob Dylan
Sure, watch the hilarious clip below, but also note that the lyrics feature lines like:
Mailboxes drip like lampposts in the twisted birth canal of the coliseum
Rim job fairy teapots mask the temper tantrum
O say can you see ’em
Stuffed cabbage is the darling of the laundromat
’N the sorority mascot sat with the lumberjack
Pressing passing stinging half synthetic fabrication of his — time
The mouse with the overbite explained how the rabbits were ensnared
’N the skinny scanty sylph trashed the apothecary diplomat
Inside the three-eyed monkey within inches of his toaster oven life
”You Know Who’s Got Hands? The Devil, and He Uses ’Em For Holdin’”
Dewey plays the sweetest, innocent 1960s song imaginable at a high school talent show, only to be accused of playing the ”devil’s music.” He’s then kicked out of town by both the local preacher and his Pa, but not before Pa reiterates that hilariously morbid line, ”The wrong kid died!”
”The Wrong Kid Died”
It’s the line that gets said the most throughout the film, as Pa just can’t deal with the fact that Dewey killed his brother Nate and lived. It’s macabre and dark and gets played up so well that it never gets old. This movie perfectly nailed the art of joke repetition.
”You Leave Me My Monkey!”
You’re not really a famous musician if you don’t have some exotic animal living in your house or whatever. It’s just such a great line with absolutely no hidden meaning whatsoever.
”Dewey, I... I’m Halved!”
In what might be the best inciting incident in any movie, Dewey cuts his best-in-everything brother, Nate, in half with a machete. It’s totally bonkers, and so is the fallout of the accident — what with Pa losing his mind about which kid died, and it ultimately causing Dewey to go ”smellblind.” It’s just a fantastic and incredibly funny setup for a fantastic and incredibly funny movie.