Refuge in Audacity/Theater

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  • Consider the principal clown in the Cirque Du Soleil show Mystere, Brian Le Petit. The preshow is based around him offering to usher people to their seats, and proceeding to completely fail at this task time and time again, except when he forces some people sitting in the front row to leave the theater so the people he's leading can sit there. He also has a fondness for stealing popcorn from audience members, which might be the very same popcorn he cheerily throws about. Once the show starts, he picks on the emcee, at one point tricking him into stepping off a high ledge, and then there's his lengthy final segment: he tricks a male audience member into getting into a box. Brian then locks it and sets up a candlelit picnic in the audience, because he wants to woo the man's date and needed him out of the way. By the end of this segment he's set up another man with the date as a patsy, shot a bird (dancer) over a stolen loaf of bread, tried to use a chainsaw to open the box when he loses the key - and then threatened the emcee's crotch with said saw, and when the chips are down dances to The Jimmy Hart Version of "Stayin' Alive" as one of several attempts to avoid getting tossed out. And all the Audience Participation is real; even a Cirque press book admitted this act can be dangerous for its performer.
    • Well, all the audience participation that deals with everyone except the plants in the audience. I'll let you decide who they are.
  • From Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, we have Septimus. Though he doesn't take this all the way through the entirety of the play, one exchange in particular has got to be the epitome of this trope (as well as a Crowning Moment of Funny):

Chater: You insulted my wife in the gazebo yesterday evening!
Septimus: You are mistaken. I made love to your wife in the gazebo. She asked me to meet her there, I have her note somewhere, I dare say I could find it for you, and if someone is putting it about that I did not turn up, by God, sir, it is a slander.

    • Later in the scene, Spetimus manages to get Chater to give him his autograph, and gets him to leave peacefully, whilst delivering a more-or-less constant stream of insults.
  • Hasa Diga Eebowai
  • Richard from Richard III, by William Shakespeare hits on Lady Anne, the widow to a man HE KILLED. He does this while the corpse is present, and his wounds are bleeding again as a warning from beyond the grave. He gets her.
    • But he'll not keep her long.
  • In Rent, Angel Dumott Schunard kills a dog for a thousand dollars. Normally, people would take offense to killing animals for money, but since she(he) DRUMS the dog to death without physically killing it, it's okay. She is (or was) also poor, which implies she only did it for the money. And she has AIDS. A broke musician with AIDS cannot be persecuted for trying to get money. The fact that she recounts the event through song and dressed in a Santa suit, zebra-striped tights, and stilettos--with a dose of impressive drumming--does not help the matter even if the dog was as obnoxious as implied in the musical.
    • For that matter, "La Vie Boheme" and most of the characters' other antics as well.
  • The Music Man: Professor Harold Hill.

Harold Hill: I can deal with this trouble, friends, with a wave of my hand--this very hand.