From adolescent awkwardness to brash, full-blown rants, comedy has something for everyone in musical theatre. Comedy cleverly critiques everyday situations while occasionally lightening the mood of more serious shows. While each voice part, especially tenors, has its fair share of comedic showstoppers, some of them are as overused as an overheard knock-knock joke. If you’re a tenor looking for something new, here are 15 overlooked comedic audition songs:
1. ‘My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada’ from ‘Avenue Q’
The musical “Avenue Q” is the contemporary epitome of “funny-because-it’s-wrong” humor. In this scene, Nicky, who suspects that Rod is gay, learns about Rod’s alleged girlfriend from Alberta — or was it Vancouver? Range: B2–G4.
2. ‘I Am Aldolpho’ from ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’
In this tango number, the famed Latin lover Aldolpho attempts to seduce the actress Janet van de Graaf. Range: E2 (optional)–A4.
3. ‘I Don’t Understand the Poor’ from ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’
A more classical-sounding piece, Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith drives Monty, a newly discovered nobleman, out of his house as he pontificates on the lower and working classes. Range: B2–G4.
4. ‘You Won’t Succeed on Broadway’ from ‘Spamalot’
In this much loved Monty Python musical, Sir Robin explains to King Arthur in a patter song that it is not possible for him to have a hit Broadway show without the involvement of Jews. Range: E3–G4.
5. ‘Life, Life’ from ‘Young Frankenstein’
At this part in the Mel Brooks musical, Frederick continues his experiments to create a monster from dead body parts. Although not traditionally comedic, there is an opportunity to exaggerate the mad-scientist character in your performance. Range: B2–F#4.
6. ‘In the Arms’ from ‘The Addams Family’
In this Lippa musical, Mal proclaims his love for Alice once more after spending time with a passionate squid. Range: G2–F4.
7. ‘My Unfortunate Erection’ from ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’
Chip, an unsuccessful Spelling Bee contestant, explains to the audience that he lost after being distracted by Leaf Coneybear’s sister. Range: C3–Ab4.
8. ‘Grow For Me’ from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
In a witty and slightly morbid number, the character Seymour realizes the plant he is growing requires blood to stay alive. Range: Bb2–Eb4.
9. ‘What Do I Need With Love?’ from ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’
While in jail, Jimmy realizes, after much denial, that he has feelings for Millie. Range: D3–G4.
10. ‘I’m Calm’ from ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’
Hysterium, the chief slave for the house of Senex, struggles to keep his composure. Range: D3–F#4.
11. ‘Quasimodo’ from ‘When Pigs Fly’
This musical revue features various LGBT-themed sketches, including a group of men assisting a man in drag feeling desperate to save musical theatre. Range: D3–A4.
12. ‘King Herod’s Song’ from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
In this depiction of Jesus’ last days, the campy, flamboyant King Herod tries to entice Jesus into performing miracles for him. Range: B2–G4.
13. ‘In Short’ from ‘Edges’
This Pasek and Paul cycle features a snarky, hilariously vitriolic breakup anthem. This can be performed by men or women. Range: A2–Bb4.
14. ‘And I Breathe’ from ‘Next Thing You Know.’
This Salzman and Cunningham number is about a man in a relationship who tirelessly struggles to quit smoking. Range: Db3–Db5.
15. ‘Generation Apathy’ from ‘Glory Days’
Skip, an Ivy League student, expounds to his friends his recent musings about their so-called “apathetic” generation. Range: C3–G4.