With his black tie and tails, serious expression, leading classical music, the conductor of an orchestra is the epitome of high culture. That makes him the perfect target for parody. The musicians synchronizing to every motion is why the clown can work so well with the challenge. I have found several entries that show how different comedians take different approaches. One situation, many possibilities.
This could be an animation exercise. Pick a piece of music, and animate a conductor who does his or her job in an unorthodox manner. Does he get carried away? Is she bored? Is he checking his phone while working? Below are some classic examples to broaden your exposure to this common theme.
Here is a classic example form Denis Lacombe.
What prompted this post was my viewing of “One Good Turn” starring Norman Wisdom. He happens to be wearing a tuxedo and gets mistaken for the maestro who is late for the show. He takes a clever turn by having the baton stuck to his hand and not noticing the orchestra is following him. Once he’s thrown off, he continues to milk the situation for comedy.
And here is Weird Al Yankovic with a surprisingly physical turn.
Rowan Atkinson has his version:
Jerry Lewis starts to seem mild in comparison to some of these.
Mickey Mouse in the famous Disney short, “The Band Concert”.
Do opera singers have conductors? Bugs Bunny will make it happen.
And thanks to Matt Moses, I am adding this from the great Victor Borge:
4 thoughts on “Conducting Comedy”
Where is Victor Borge in this collection of clips! He was always my fav “high culture” comedian! 😉
Updated! Thanks Matt!