The Witch is a fascinating Archetype- immediately distinctive and recognizable, capable of expanding into a collective while preserving the capacity for individualism. Nuns kind of work the same way (as shows such as Nunsense and Sister Act have discovered): there’s an “alikeness” to Nuns, balanced by an individuality to each specific Nun, that gives Nuns the same comic potential found in Witches. The Shrek movies have long since discovered the comic value of inserting a random Witch into crowd scenes: for some reason, Witches can be funny all by themselves (the sight gag of a figure with a pointed hat on her head), and few other Archetypes are established as quickly or as cleanly, as the pointed hat establishes the Witch. In the fourth Shrek installment, Shrek: the Final Chapter (also known as Shrek: Forever After), the stray sight gag of a Witch (intended to add verisimilitude to the Fractured Faerey-Tale environment of Shrek’s world) is multiplied into platoons of supporting characters, adding a Witch-infused anarchy to the scenes.
In the aftermath of a Magickal trick, the pint-sized tyrant Rumpelstiltskin gains despotic control over Far, Far Away- an authority enforced by a veritable Luftwaft of night-flying Witch-Stormtroopers. Meanwhile, he turns the palace into his own Club Empire, attended by a bevy of sycophantic Party-Witches; whom he holds cowed and terrorized in the film’s best scene, threatening each with a glass of water (which of course, eventually gets splashed into the face of one unlucky Witch, who melts away murmuring with sadness, “What a world! What a world!”) The humor of the scene builds upon an established cultural Witch-past, and the acceptance of certain Pop-Culture Witch tropes, as does the movie as a whole.
One of the curious things about comedy, is understanding how it works: what makes something funny, while something else is not. An inexact science, but a deeply intriguing one; as Shrek Forever After demonstrates, some things just become more interesting and amusing, when done by a Witch.