Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Dying Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard

Seth MacFarlane, director and star of ”A Million Ways to Die in the West,” shares nuggets from the film’s hilarious high point: the mustache-themed musical number

Posted on

1. The Mood
The dance battle between Old West rivals played by Seth MacFarlane and Neil Patrick Harris takes up 98 seconds of screen time — but it took four days to shoot. ”We kept everyone’s energy up by playing the barn-raising dance from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers between takes,” MacFarlane notes. ”It was a grueling four days.”

2. The Mustaches
”When we were researching — yes, researching — the time period, we found a lot of old photographs of guys with all manner of massive mustaches,” says MacFarlane. ”It became, we think, very clear that the giant mustache was some kind of d— substitute. And Neil, of course, has the best mustache in town.”

3. The Music
”If You’ve Only Got a Moustache” is an actual Stephen Foster song, although MacFarlane changed most of the lyrics.

4. The Dance
The dance was choreographed by Tony winner Rob Ashford, who also worked on the 2013 Oscar telecast that MacFarlane hosted. ”Whenever we do a musical number, no matter how ridiculous the content is, we try to treat it legitimately,” says MacFarlane. ”It just makes it that much funnier.”

5. The Star
When MacFarlane cast Broadway veteran Harris, the director says he ”wasn’t thinking about the dancing or the physical comedy. When we got into it all, I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, if I had brought anyone else on board we would have been so f—ed.”’

6. The Location
The barn is part of Santa Fe’s Bonanza Creek Ranch — also the setting for 1985’s Silverado and the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma with Christian Bale.