As the world chuckles, and flinches, at Madonna’s tumble at last night’s Brit Awards, we cannot help but recall comedian Mel Brooks’ words, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”
There is nothing as human and hilarious as a fall, one that has no negative consequences mind. The art of slipping and sprawling and trying to laugh it off with a self-conscious smile is one that will always appeal to us.
Runways are notorious for such gaffes. High heels, limbs up to elbows, long skirts – it’s a wonder some labels don’t send their girls out crawling. This Fashion For Relief show became infamous for its falls.
If even Amazonian Karlie Kloss can’t manage to keep upright all the time, what hope do the rest of us have?
When it comes to celebrities, Jennifer Lawrence owns this space. The actress famously fell collecting the Best Supporting Actress in 2013 for Silver Linings Playbook.
So prone is the Hunger Games star to goofiness that she repeated the move at last year’s ceremony on the red carpet.
The fall in pop culture is one of the most enduring metaphors, especially when it comes to lady stories. Remember when Sex and the City’s Carrie took part in a runway show and toppled over in front of her peers? She had some vague words at the end of the episode about being her real self. However, in our humble opinion, Carrie’s spectacular fall in Dior’s Paris store edges into the lead. This handbag scattering tumble symbolised her unease with the city of lights and new life with a light installation artist lover.
In very recent times, Fifty Shades of Grey employed the female falling narrative. The naïve protagonist Anastasia Steele first meets her kinky billionaire soulmate while spilling across the threshold of his clinically decorated office.
However, the best falling video of all time has to be the guy who fell on the ice during a RTE News cold weather report. Never forget.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun