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Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

Here’s to The Mucus Man

June 9, 2018:  Ask anyone for the funniest moment they’ve had in the theater and you’ll get a lot of different answers. Many scenes from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest come to mind. Others may think of spoofs like Spamalot or The Producers. For me, the funniest moment came years ago at a student production.

Here’s to The Mucus Man

June 9, 2018:  Ask anyone for the funniest moment they’ve had in the theater and you’ll get a lot of different answers. Many scenes from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest come to mind. Others may think of spoofs like Spamalot or The Producers. For me, the funniest moment came years ago at a student production.

Although I can’t remember the name of the show, it had something to do with the Plague in England. And it went on, and on and on… Then somewhere in the middle of the play one of the actors, in the heat of intense emotion, made a sort of snort, which resulted in a large gob of… well… snot bursting from his nose.

The poor actor, a youth not quite old enough to shave, recovered remarkably well. He caught the offensive green slime in his hands and turned around abruptly. What he did with it I don’t know, nor do I want to. He then turned back and went on as if nothing had happened. Bravo! But we all hoped the rest of the drama did not call for him to shake hands with any of his fellow actors.

Now it’s important to remember that because this was a student production, the audience was filled with young people. And if it would be difficult for adults to control their hilarity, it was indeed impossible for these young people to keep from giggling, whispering and outright howling with glee. I actually feared the young lady sitting a few seats away from me might need CPR.

What’s worse, as the play continued to go on and on and on, every once in a while the mind of someone in the audience would return to that primal scene, causing another uncontrollable (often infectious) spate of laughter.

I don’t know what happened to that unfortunate young man. I sometimes wonder if he stuck to acting. I worry he might still be in therapy.

But wherever he is and whatever he’s doing, I’d like to lift a glass to him in gratitude for the very funniest moment I’ve ever had in the theater. So here’s to you, Mucus Man, may you and your nose live long and prosper.