It’s a term that originated in the theatre for those moments when the characters in a play acknowledge the existence of their audience, as with Puck’s final speech in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’  Motion pictures have been using the technique since their earliest days, but you can’t beat the utter demolition of the conceit in ‘Blazing Saddles,’ which not only references the audience but has the final showdown in a movie theater, after which the main characters sit down to watch the rest of the movie that they’re in.  (It’s Mel Brooks, it gets weird.)  Perhaps as impressive an achievement is Grant Morrison’s ‘Animal Man’, which manages to turn breaking the fourth wall into A Plus drama, with A-Man actually meeting his maker in a very touching sequence.  It may be my fave-rave comics fourth-wall-breaking experience, which leads us to today’s query that can see you…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still loves the days when She-Hulk was Deadpool before Deadpool was Deadpool, asking: Which is your favorite example of a character breaking the Fourth Wall?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Lemmy Caution (@_Lemmy_Caution) on

    The only time I have ever enjoyed this in comics is John Byrne’s Sensational She-Hulk. Can’t stand Deadpool.

    Out of comics, it’s Ferris telling everyone to go home!

  2. Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles: Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr –
    “You will only be risking your lives, while I will be risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.”

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