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Author Topic: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?  (Read 5595 times)

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Offline SJP

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Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« on: February 23, 2009, 06:01:19 PM »
Well, I wanted to start this thread for a few reasons, mostly because I am in a bit of a conundrum myself.

I liked the way my first iRiff came out, but as, I will admit, it was experimental in a lot of ways, I want to make sure my next one is even better.  And so I come to the hard part: cutting everything down.

Looking around, I saw that, according to the Rifftrax average, there should be about 5-8 riffs per minute.  I can understand that, but going through and making a script one of my biggest fears is dead time, and there are a heck of a lot of pauses in dialogue and dead space in Mortal Kombat that I just want filled.

Trouble is, maybe TOO filled...I checked my script and found in the first 8 minutes I had 111 riffs.  That's about 14-15 per minute.  Yikes.  I know I need to weed that down, since that's just too much (and probably not all of them are that good), but a lot of the ones in the early part are ones I really, really like.  I know they'll have to go, though, and that's hard to do.

I also know that Harass Bastards had already done this one, and I wanted to make sure that my version doesn't overlap with theirs (I DID write mine first, and then listen to theirs; I swear on this book of carpet samples that I did not rip off anything, and I mean that, because I know they could kill me).  I was happy and sad to see some jokes the same; happy because that meant at least somebody noticed the same things I did, but sad because I would have to either change or completely cut my version.

So, what this thread is for, is for advice on where to really begin cutting, and for listing a few jokes that didn't make the final cut, but yet you still liked anyway.  And reason, if possible.

The first few I've got, cut because they overlapped by too much:

"Pies iesu domine, etc." (Monks walking into throne room, like the Monty Python guys)
"Yes, that hurt baby very much." (Sonya gets kicked in stomach, Kano asks, "Did it hurt, baby?")
"Chairman Mao beautifies China!" (Shot of Outworld all destroyed; couldn't keep because HB's joke was far superior)
"Kinda want that cake, it looks good." (Shot of Kano eating at table)
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Offline MattMcClowry

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 08:54:14 PM »
Superman IV originally had a running time of 135 minutes, which was hastily trimmed to about 85 after a disastrous test-screening, so the (un)finished product is *extremely* truncated. So a lot of our jokes had to be pretty quick jabs, or we're just talking over dialogue the whole time and it's "What's Up, Tiger Lilly?" Hopefully, there'll be more breathing room on future movies, but it was good for riffing in a boot camp kind of way, brevity being the soul of wit and all that. 

A few jokes that didn't make it to the final version:

- (teacher in '80s classroom: "I know you're all upset about the crisis) "...and I'm sorry Mr. Wizard couldn't be here today."

- ("Never set one above the others, love all humanity instead," Superman says, shaking his head) "...but I just don't like Mexicans."

- (Shot of Nuclear Man engulfed in flame) "I didn't know Richard Pryor was in this one, too."

-Something about a deleted scene where Margot Kidder and Mariel Hemingway kiss (joke about Hemingway's tendency towards lesbian roles)

-"I can't wait to tell Robin Williams what I did with the phone (Clark Kent after saying "hello?" into a phone he knocked off the hook)"

-Something about deleted giant gorilla subplot (screenwriters Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal co-wrote both Planet of the Apes and Mighty Joe Young)

-Burt Lancaster reference (he reportedly had a fistfight with Margot Kidder on the set of "Little Treasure")
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 08:07:31 PM by MattMcClowry »


Offline Hor-RIFF-ic Productions

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 12:30:59 PM »
Good Idea for a thread but I cannot think of any lines  The great lines we cut I blocked out in order not to dwell on the hilarity that had to die so that a sync line could live.
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Offline Indomitus

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2009, 01:39:08 PM »
The only one I can think of at the moment is one I had to trim down.  During a scene in Krull where they're riding horses around a bend, I had a kind of extended horse racing announcer gag.  It was followed by a one-line stinger joke, and I trimmed the longer one to allow some empty space so the stinger would have more impact.  That wasn't a difficult cut, though, because the first line of it was the best line anyway.

I can't think of any others off the top of my head.


Offline Steve-O

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 08:36:37 PM »
I hate having to cut out any lines, even the ones I know are insufferably lame.  They're like children to me.  Filthy, mildly retarded children.


Offline NRRork

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 10:16:07 PM »
Yeah, there are a couple that have been cut from Goblet of Fire.

The first one I can think of is the scene in the Forbidden Forest where Harry is under his cloak and Hagrid and Madam Maxine are having a somewhat romantic encounter. Harry is seen retching at the sight of this, to which the riff was: "Hey! WE'LL do the commentary, Potter!" Nixed to make room for one that I thought was funnier.

Then there was the scene where he's interviewed by Rita Skeeter. And she drags him off into a broom closet, saying "Shall we start with the youngest, then? Lovely!" The riff was "A phrase heard all too often in compounds throughout Texas." It's not because I thought it was too harsh, but because the rest of the interview is a series of escalating jokes, and next to those it didn't really seem to fit.

And finally there's this part where Fred and George try to trick the Goblet into thinking they're of age by using an aging potion. Hermione warns them it will not work because Dumbledore created and age line that would not be fooled by something so dimwitted. And they say "That's why it WILL work, because it's so pathetically dim-witted!"

The riff was along the lines of "Got it, so by their logic I could, say, successfully rob a bank by just walking into the vault, grabbing some sacks of money, and walking out because no one would expect me to be stupid enough to try it!"

I liked the line, but it always seemed too clunky, and I could never get it to roll off the tongue smoothly.
I used to have an image here, but Photobucket got cheap about remote linking. I guess I'll have to think of something witty instead. Which I will. Later. It caught me by surprise, in all honesty. It's hard to be clever on command, I mean, YOU try it. Be funny: NOW! See, tough. So, gimme a bit, 'kay?


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 12:13:17 AM »
There have been a few for me, but I can't remember any off the top of my head.  I might flip through my scripts later to remind myself.
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Offline Indomitus

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 07:06:51 AM »
And finally there's this part where Fred and George try to trick the Goblet into thinking they're of age by using an aging potion. Hermione warns them it will not work because Dumbledore created and age line that would not be fooled by something so dimwitted. And they say "That's why it WILL work, because it's so pathetically dim-witted!"

The riff was along the lines of "Got it, so by their logic I could, say, successfully rob a bank by just walking into the vault, grabbing some sacks of money, and walking out because no one would expect me to be stupid enough to try it!"

I liked the line, but it always seemed too clunky, and I could never get it to roll off the tongue smoothly.

Could have gone with some comment about that being the same idea behind Eddie Murphy movies.


Offline NRRork

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 05:03:54 PM »
And finally there's this part where Fred and George try to trick the Goblet into thinking they're of age by using an aging potion. Hermione warns them it will not work because Dumbledore created and age line that would not be fooled by something so dimwitted. And they say "That's why it WILL work, because it's so pathetically dim-witted!"

The riff was along the lines of "Got it, so by their logic I could, say, successfully rob a bank by just walking into the vault, grabbing some sacks of money, and walking out because no one would expect me to be stupid enough to try it!"

I liked the line, but it always seemed too clunky, and I could never get it to roll off the tongue smoothly.

Could have gone with some comment about that being the same idea behind Eddie Murphy movies.

I probably would've made it a jab at Micheal Bay instead. But that's just because I'd be more likely to think of his name if my mind drifted to turning that into a joke about someone in the movie business.

BUT, since the preceeding and following riffs are pretty close together and I don't feel like I have too great a silence to bridge, I just made "because it's so pathetically dim-witted" into a synch line.
I used to have an image here, but Photobucket got cheap about remote linking. I guess I'll have to think of something witty instead. Which I will. Later. It caught me by surprise, in all honesty. It's hard to be clever on command, I mean, YOU try it. Be funny: NOW! See, tough. So, gimme a bit, 'kay?


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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 06:18:52 PM »
We're rewriting our Lady in the Water QuipTrack, and we had to axe a really great line because the setup gets covered up by a slightly better line.

Cleveland Heap: "This is getting silly." That's a producer's note. You don't have a line.

Oh, and by the way, those Superman IV lines are really great. I'm going to check that riff out when you release it.


Offline Invisible NanoGhost

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 07:37:11 PM »
We're rewriting our Lady in the Water QuipTrack, and we had to axe a really great line because the setup gets covered up by a slightly better line.

Cleveland Heap: "This is getting silly." That's a producer's note. You don't have a line.


Heh!  I can see that working well for Lady in the Water.


Offline MattMcClowry

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2009, 09:46:03 PM »
We're rewriting our Lady in the Water QuipTrack, and we had to axe a really great line because the setup gets covered up by a slightly better line.

Cleveland Heap: "This is getting silly." That's a producer's note. You don't have a line.

Oh, and by the way, those Superman IV lines are really great. I'm going to check that riff out when you release it.

Thanks! It's out right now.


Offline Rattrap007

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2009, 10:00:42 PM »
Good Idea for a thread but I cannot think of any lines  The great lines we cut I blocked out in order not to dwell on the hilarity that had to die so that a sync line could live.

I betting there were more Vader jokes in Bloody Valentine, but Erin wouldn't let you...




Offline Hor-RIFF-ic Productions

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2009, 05:55:53 AM »
Good Idea for a thread but I cannot think of any lines  The great lines we cut I blocked out in order not to dwell on the hilarity that had to die so that a sync line could live.

I betting there were more Vader jokes in Bloody Valentine, but Erin wouldn't let you...

Well that's true. 
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Invader_quirk

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Re: Hardest jokes you've had to cut?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2009, 06:21:05 AM »
Thanks! It's out right now.

Oh, sweet. Now I need to find the movie...