5 Random Accidents That Led to Classic Comedy Moments

Where would the world of comedy be without screwing up?
5 Random Accidents That Led to Classic Comedy Moments

Accidents happen, be they fender benders, toe-stubbings, or hazy boxed wine-fueled mistakes that most of us owe our existence to. Fortunately, screw-ups aren’t always negative; in fact, they have occasionally led to some of the greatest moments in comedy history. Seriously. Don’t believe us? Well, how about the time that…

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The Inspiration For ‘Airplane!’ Was Inadvertently Taped Off of TV By the Filmmakers

Airplane! famously based its story on an old ‘50s thriller called Zero Hour! using its unrelenting seriousness as a jumping-off point for wacky gags and even lifting lines of dialogue from the original. But apparently, the directing team of Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker stumbled upon Zero Hour! by accident…

Back when they were writing live sketch comedy, the team would, according to David Zucker, “leave the VCR on all night and see what turned up.” While they used this strategy to parody commercials of the day, one fateful morning, they became more interested in “the actual movie that was on,” which just so happened to be Zero Hour!

Eddie Murphy’s Iconic Red Leather ‘Delirious’ Suit Was a Last-Minute Replacement

When you think of Eddie Murphy in the ‘80s, chances are you’re either picturing him wearing an old hoodie and wielding a banana or in a tight red leather suit, as if he’d made an outfit out of the walls of Pee Wee’s Playhouse

Murphy’s fit for his 1983 comedy special Delirious is as memorable as any of the actual jokes, becoming one of the decade’s iconic fashion moments. But the red suit wasn’t always part of the plan as, according to Murphy, the look was an “accident” that came about after his original ensemble got “messed up.” He had to go to the mall for a last-minute replacement, quickly throwing together pants and a jacket that weren’t even the same shade of red. “That’s how much of a fuck I didn’t care,” Murphy said bluntly.  

‘Home Alone’s Most Famous Moment Was a Misunderstanding

The image of young Macaulay Culkin going full Edvard Munch’s The Scream in Home Alone was a defining moment of the ‘90s, getting plastered everywhere from the film’s poster to t-shirts to even video games in which Kevin McCallister may or may not end up being brutally murdered. 

But the moment, as it appears in the film, where Kevin tries aftershave for the first time was a total fluke. According to director Chris Columbus, Culkin “wasn’t supposed to do that” because “If you put something on your face that burns, most people move their hands right away.” But the young actor misunderstood Columbus’ directions, resulting in movie/marketing magic.

Groucho Marx’s Mustache Was Thrown Together After His Son’s Birth

Comedy legend Groucho Marx’s iconic greasepaint mustache was created not through a stroke of artistic genius or an inability to sprout facial hair but due to the birth of his son. Marx was appearing in a stage show that required him to wear a false mustache – when he showed up late one night after rushing to the theater straight from the maternity ward, he had no time to glue on the fake “whiskers” and instead quickly slathered on a layer of greasepaint. The theater manager was pissed, but Marx’s idea “got laughs,” so he kept on doing it.

The ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ Began as an Attempt to Get Free Ice Cream

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s three cinematic collaborations (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) are colloquially known as the “Cornetto Trilogy” due to the inclusion of Cornetto ice cream treats in each film. 

However, unifying their films with frozen desserts wasn’t always part of the plan. As Edgar Wright later admitted, after Shaun of the Dead featured a Cornetto product, the company handed out “free Strawberry Cornettos” at the film’s premiere. So when it came time to make Hot Fuzzthe pair “contrived to mention Cornettos… as a way of getting more free ice cream.” Which sadly didn’t work. But a growing number of fans took notice, ensuring that the final film maintained the series’ delicious connective tissue.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 

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