There are times when jokes fall flat and one has to go through great lengths to try to save them before either deciding to cut them or risk creating a “Comic Floor Drop.” For those of you unfamiliar with this phrase, the “Comic Floor Drop” is a phenomenon that occurs when a joke falls so flat that the floor feels like it descends about 5-10 feet. When these situations happen in real life, the depth of the drop increases in direct proportion to the amount of time the teller attempts to save it, much to the chagrin and empathetic embarrassment of the audience.
But in real life, these moments occur by accident. I have the power now, as I edit, to avoid these moments. And if I fail to do so, it is as if I am creating a Comic Floor Drop In Perpetuity.
So there is a joke in the so-called Marathon Man client scene, directly alluding to a line so often repeated in the film Marathon Man that it probably at one point became a working title. I’m deciding right now if the joke makes it into the final cut — if so, that means I think the joke worked. If it doesn’t, well, it will end up in the “Deleted for a Damned Good Reason” section of the DVD.