Walk this way (humor)

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A "Walk this way" sign on a brick building in Holt, Norfolk, indicating the way to the Holt Foot Clinic.

"Walk this way" is a recurrent pun in a number of comedy films and television shows. It may be derived from an old vaudeville joke. It refers to the double usage of "way" in English as both a direction and a manner.[original research?]

One version of this old joke goes like this: A heavy-set woman goes into a drug store and asks for talcum powder. The bowlegged clerk says, "Walk this way," and the woman answers, "If I could walk that way I would not need talcum powder!"[citation needed]

As a popular visual gag, the joke has appeared in films by director Mel Brooks,[1] including The Producers and Young Frankenstein.[2] According to Gene Wilder, who co-wrote the script of Young Frankenstein and played the title character, Brooks added the joke while shooting the scene, inspired by the old "talcum powder" routine.[3][verification needed] Marty Feldman, who played the hunchback Igor in Young Frankenstein, later said:

It's a terribly old music hall joke. I did that to make the crew laugh and Mel Brooks said, 'Let's shoot it' [...] [Gene Wilder and I] both said, 'Mel, please take that out', and he left it in. He said, 'I think it's funny'. Audiences laugh at it. Gene and I were both wrong. Mel was right.[4][page needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mazur, Eric Michael (2011). Encyclopedia of Religion and Film. ABC-CLIO. p. 92. ISBN 9780313330728. 
  2. ^ Mendelsohn, Daniel (21 June 2001). "Double Take". The New York Review of Books. 
  3. ^ Wilder, Gene (2005). Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. Macmillan. p. 151. ISBN 9780312337063. 
  4. ^ Ross, Robert (2011). Marty Feldman: The Biography of a Comedy Legend. Titan Books. ISBN 9780857686022. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Helitzer, Melvin (1992). Comedy writing secrets (13th ed.). Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books. p. 92. ISBN 0-89879-510-9. 

External links[edit]