Features

The Harry Potter characters who could've been comedians

Because in a world which has Lord Voldemort knocking about, everyone could use a laugh.

The Goblet of Fire rejects the Weasley twins names.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It’s not just Fred and George who had superb comic timing in the wizarding world – quite a few characters had us rolling in the aisles on many an occasion. Should these characters give up the magic game, here are our top contenders to make a splash on the comedy circuit…

Severus Snape

Snape's black humour would almost certainly make him the perfect comedian to hit the underground comedy clubs. He may be seen as the Hogwarts killjoy, but his deadpan delivery of witticisms actually has the most perfect comic timing in both the books and the films. He would definitely go down well with an audience (particularly if said audience were made up of Slytherins, who generally seem to think the Potions professor is an absolute riot).

‘Oh, very good,' interrupted Snape, his lip curling. 'Yes, it is easy to see that nearly six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. Ghosts are transparent.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Illustration of Severus Snape from the second Order of the Phoenix infographic
Severus Snape. © JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros.

Ron Weasley

Ron, never the greatest wizard of the wizarding world, could at least laugh about it. In fact, Ron’s comic timing is perfection. His down-to-earth sense of humour, ability to be self-deprecating and cold takedowns of his peers would be perfectly suited for any panel show. Give it a few months and he'd soon have the most successful post-Hogwarts career out of all of his siblings, guaranteed.

‘Is there any point asking how you’re going to sit two exams at once?’ said Harry.
‘No,’ said Hermione shortly. ‘Has either of you seen my copy of Numerology and Grammatica?’
‘Oh, yeah, I borrowed it for a bit of bedtime reading,’ said Ron, but very quietly.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Albus Dumbledore

It would be so easy to imagine Dumbledore stumbling across a comedy festival the way he stumbled upon the room of chamber pots at Hogwarts, and improvising one hilarious situation after the other. His distinct, irresistible charm, twinkling eyes and ability to come out with bizarre one-liners would make him an immediate favourite on the festival circuit, even if people wouldn’t be entirely sure what he’s talking about half the time.

‘Welcome!' he said. ‘Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
‘Thank you!’
He sat back down. Everybody clapped and cheered. Harry didn't know whether to laugh or not.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Dumbledore smiling from the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Fred and George Weasley

It’s an obvious choice, but the fact remains: Fred and George will always be the classic Hogwarts double-act. The fact that the pair were twins was certainly not lost on them, and they used that for added comic relief whenever they could. But Fred and George were just naturally very funny people, and when they weren’t pulling pranks or relying on more physical comedy (Canary Cream, anyone?) their one-liners, sarcasm, and takedowns of their own siblings were all absolute gold too. No wonder Harry gave them a big sack of money to start a joke shop – what would the wizarding world do without Fred and George in the times of Lord Voldemort?

They leant out of the window for her to kiss them goodbye and their younger sister began to cry.
‘Don’t, Ginny, we’ll send you loads of owls.’
‘We’ll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat.’
‘George!’
‘Only joking, Mum.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Nymphadora Tonks

Tonks's comedy act would appeal to her strengths and be based around her impressions of other people. Using her awesome ability as a Metamorphmagus (and her ability to chatter away about anything), Tonks would be an instant hit. Sure, it’s cheating somewhat, but a pig snout is always a riot.

‘Do that one like a pig snout, Tonks.’
Tonks obliged, and Harry, looking up, had the fleeting impression that a female Dudley was grinning at him from across the table.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Illustration of Tonks from the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter

Harry might not be known first and foremost for his quick wit, but the Chosen One had his moments. And because Harry was usually playing the noble hero card, his one-liners were pretty unexpected when they did come along. It looks like he inherited a healthy amount of that James Potter brand of cheekiness.

‘Do you remember me telling you we are practising non-verbal spells, Potter?’
‘Yes,’ said Harry stiffly.
‘Yes sir.’
‘There's no need to call me “sir”, Professor.’
The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying. Several people gasped, including Hermione. Behind Snape, however, Ron, Dean and Seamus grinned appreciatively.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Draco Malfoy

Draco might have been a big old bully at school, but we reluctantly have to admit he also spouted quite a few witty one-liners from time to time. In fact, he had an enviably dry sense of humour – pity he targeted it in the wrong way.

‘Azkaban – the wizard prison, Goyle,’ said Malfoy, looking at him in disbelief. ‘Honestly, if you were any slower, you’d be going backwards.’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Professor McGonagall

You don’t have to wear a spinning bowtie like Peeves to be a comedian; sometimes playing it straight is actually funnier. McGonagall’s serious attitude to the wonderful and ridiculous wizarding world was often rather amusing, albeit unintentionally. McGonagall’s withering reactions to Lee Jordan’s unprofessional Quidditch commentaries were a particular joy – the pair could have been a double act. And if Lee Jordan was busy, her blunt retorts to his stand-in, Luna Lovegood, were even better.

'... but now that big Hufflepuff player's got the Quaffle from her, I can't remember his name, it's something like Bibble – no, Buggins –'
'It's Cadwallader!' said Professor McGonagall loudly from beside Luna. The crowd laughed.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince