This is an old gag, used in the movies and on TV many times. A violin gets smashed, and the owner of the violin puts his hands on his head and cries, “My Stradivarius!” (He can’t just go, “My violin!”, it has to be a Stradivarius, otherwise not funny.)
Can anyone think of a movie or comedy short or TV show where this gag was used?
The gag itself is the accidental smashing the violin (or any other valuable object), by some schlemiel, idiot, stooge, or mean little kid, to the dismay of its owner (often a pompous snob or windbag, but sometimes just a forlorn schlimazel). The fact that it is a Strad (or Ming or Steinway) just makes the misfortune more misfortunate because of its value.
Oh, man, the accidental destruction of priceless valuables has always been one of my least favorite “comedy” devices—right down there with the painfully awkward misunderstanding leading to huge embarrassment or disappointment.
Correct. I guess that’s how you got to be a curator. Thank you for moving this to a better place.
Googling around, I see Jack Benny did have a real Stradivarius and it featured prominently in at least one television plot, though whether it was ever put in jeopardy is unknown (by me). I could see him saying the target line.