Walk this way (humor)
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"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.
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 wouldn't need talcum powder!"
As a popular visual gag, the joke has appeared in films, perhaps first in After the Thin Man (1936), with William Powell imitating the butler, and by director Mel Brooks, including The Producers, Young Frankenstein and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. 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.[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.
- The Bridgemen's Magazine, Volumes 45-46, 1945
- Mazur, Eric Michael (2011). Encyclopedia of Religion and Film. ABC-CLIO. p. 92. ISBN 9780313330728.
- Mendelsohn, Daniel (21 June 2001). "Double Take". The New York Review of Books.
- Sheriff of Rottingham asks his men to "walk this way", Robin Hood: Men in tights
- Wilder, Gene (2005). Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. Macmillan. p. 151. ISBN 9780312337063.
- Marty Feldman: Walk This Way, The Bookseller, September 13, 2011
- "Young Frankenstein: Mel Brooks, Aerosmith and 'Walk this Way'". Charleston, South Carolina: Julia Santen Gallery. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- Helitzer, Melvin (1992). Comedy writing secrets (13th ed.). Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books. p. 92. ISBN 0-89879-510-9.