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Topic: Magic "Ding Dong" sponge
Message: Posted by: NYillusionist (Dec 4, 2005 11:08AM)
Hey guys. Just wondering what reactions everyone's been getting using the "Ding Dong" sponge at the end of your sponge ball routine? A magician at a local magic shop here in New York told me it would be a great closer to liven up a disinterested crowd. So far, the reactions I've gotten have been everything from gut-busting laughter, to complete disgust. LOL. Go figure :) Does anyone else include this to their sponge ball routine regularly? I'm trying to decide whether or not to ditch the idea completely, or just save it for special occasions. LOL.

-T
Message: Posted by: Riley (Dec 4, 2005 11:18AM)
The person who is offended (or completely disgusted) might have been your next client . . .

Everyone has their own opinion, of course, but I wish this item had never been invented. If you keep the item in your set, you'll never know how much work you lose.

Now watch everyone advise the opposite . . :rotf:

Riley
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 4, 2005 11:20AM)
It's a routine that will only work for a certain type of crowd. I've even heard that Goshman lost gigs because of the routine, because it was performed in the wrong situations, but I don't know for sure if that's true.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Dec 4, 2005 11:36AM)
It is a thing that you have to be very carfull of how and where you do it. Even in the most god awfull dive of a bar it could be found very offensive.

Best advice is to not do it at all. Find a sponge ball routine you like and work from there. There are a lot of better ending then the Ding Dong.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 4, 2005 12:01PM)
I do not own it, but always thought that the perfect music to use with a routine ending with the Ding Dong was

Also Sprach Zarathrusta

which is widely known as one of the main musical pieces used in "2001: A Space Odyssey".

:^)
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Dec 4, 2005 12:38PM)
There's not many situations where this should be used.
Bachelorette parties may be one but I wouldn't consider it as something to do on a regular basis.
Message: Posted by: NYillusionist (Dec 4, 2005 01:56PM)
Yeah, I figured as much. Last time I take advise from a starving magician in NYC. LOL. Thanks for all the feedback guys. :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 4, 2005 07:28PM)
It gives you an idea why he might be starving.

There was a fellow in Houston who once told me that he was so successful because he knew the secret to entertaining a crowd. "People want sex!" he said.

He worked dives and never worked the best comedy clubs. He had a day gig.

I did magic for a living.

As an aside, I have a friend who is a clown. A local booking agent told him that he would book him into a comedy club if he could dirty the act up a bit. Three lines into the show, he realized he had messed up big time. Clowns are not intended to be dirty. This is not a matter of prudery. It just didn't fit the venue or the genre.

BTW, the booking agent is out of business now.

Sometimes things may look very good in one aspect, but actually be horrible. I had a chance to take a steady gig at a local girlie bar. This was one that had a connection to a major magazine. I was to do illusions with the strippers, etc.

I asked my agent about this, because the money was REALLY good. He said, "That's a good opportunity, but if you book it, I won't be able to book you into any corporate gigs any more."

"You see, a lot of the corporate guys go to these places. They will be afraid that you will blow the whistle on them. They can't take the risk."

So, I turned the gig down.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Dec 4, 2005 07:48PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 12:20, Alan Munro wrote:
It's a routine that will only work for a certain type of crowd. I've even heard that Goshman lost gigs because of the routine, because it was performed in the wrong situations, but I don't know for sure if that's true.
[/quote]
Here is a story that my Father the late Billy Bishop told me about when he was working a trade show. He was booked and on a lunch break and after having a quick lunch was walking back to his booth and spotted another magician working and it was Al Goshman.

They talked as they knew each other and made a lunch date for the next day.

The next day they had lunch together and Al showed my dad a one handed coin switch and they talked. As it turned out Al Goshman was booked to work that trade show booth that my Dad was working the year before. Dad thought that news was rather interesting.

Lunch was over and back to work. When my dad got back to the booth the company president said to my dad. I noticed you sitting with Al Goshman. My dad said "yes, I see you know him". The president of the firm said, Yes he worked for us at this show and several others last year but we would never higher him again".

Dad asked why?

The president said, "Because he did the ding dong sponge trick (The guy said something else more graphic) on a person that was the wife of a firm that we did big business with. And we lost that business as a client."

So Al lost a trade show client because of the ding dong trick was done on someone that took it wrong and THEY HAD CLOUT! This was a trade show that booked him several times a year at a high fee.

The moral - a performer can always control their own performing material but THEY CAN NOT control the way an audience member MAY REACT to that performing material. And if they react in a negative way a magician or an entertainer may lose business BIG TIME!

For years I have had agents and comedy club managers tell me to do a BLUE XXX sex rated hypnosis show. And to do one would be easy. But just because I can doesn’t suggest in any way that I should. The reason is in Bill Palmer's post above. I can't afford the LOSS of business that would happen if word got around.

I live in the conservative mid west and I like my show the way it is PG!
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 4, 2005 07:58PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 20:28, Bill Palmer wrote:
Clowns are not intended to be dirty.
[/quote]
Obviously you've never seen Shakes the Clown.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 4, 2005 09:15PM)
What does he shake?

:wow:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 4, 2005 10:19PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 20:58, Payne wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 20:28, Bill Palmer wrote:
Clowns are not intended to be dirty.

[/quote]

Obviously you've never seen Shakes the Clown.
[/quote]

Clowns are not intended to be dirty. Just because there are one or two that are, doesn't make it right. That's not the nature of clowns.

In fact, most clowns I know, other than politicians or the like, would dismiss him as some kind of "cancer" on the body of clowning.

Isn't he a cartoon character? I think he is on the Simpsons.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 4, 2005 11:41PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 23:19, Bill Palmer wrote:

Isn't he a cartoon character? I think he is on the Simpsons.
[/quote]

Shakes was a character in a movie starring Bobcat Goldthwait. Crusty is the clown on the Simpsons. Neither do much for perpetuating a good reputation for clowns. Both seemed to come into existence at a time when society began a rampant disregard and disrespect for pretty much everything.

Clowns are too easy to imitate poorly, probably even more so than magicians. Bored housewives in terribly applied makeup, twisting balloon doggies at school carnivals and shopping center openings, along with charity-volunteer retirees with make-up not quite disguising their yellow eyes and teeth and alcohol-breath are partially responsible for this. They became the focus of ridicule amongst the less civil children, and objects of terror among some of the very young. Society as a whole has been allowed to eloborate and capitalize on this.

Clowns were never intended to be dirty, but they have been the focus of taunts and ridicule for some time. Hunchbacks, and buffoons were the clowns of the past. Competent actors played their parts to the fullest.

When portrayed poorly, they have become mocked and ridiculed almost to an art, and not unlike the unchecked cruel tauntings from a group of children, society has continued to add more and more to what clowns must suffer. Are we surprised that they are now allowed to dabble in bathroom humor?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 5, 2005 12:10AM)
I'm just glad that nobody pointed out that John Wayne Gacy also did some magic.

Wouldn't that have been good for business?
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (Dec 5, 2005 12:40AM)
"Shakes the Clown" is a satirical comedy starring Bobcat Goldthwait. It's similar to movies such as "Animal House," "American Pie" and other intentionally over-the-top, outrageous, gross comedies.

Info on it in the IMDB:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102898/
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Dec 5, 2005 02:23AM)
Why would you want to make a foam *** appear in someone's hands?
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Dec 5, 2005 07:19AM)
In my ignorance, I thought this thread was referring to a spongey Hostess snack cake! Now I think I understand. I haven't heard of this before.

I'm curious as to how this particular "effect" even came into existence. Was there really some sort of void in magic that somebody thought filling it with a sponge **** was a good idea? I'm rather surprised that this ever got invented in the first place.

I guess there is really no accounting for taste. Count me out on this one.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Dec 5, 2005 09:44AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 12:08, NYillusionist wrote:
A magician at a local magic shop here in New York told me it would be a great closer to liven up a disinterested crowd.[/quote]
The advice of any magician who doesn't know the difference between a [b][i]disinterested[/i][/b] crowd - one that is objective, unbiased - and an [b][i]uninterested[/i][/b] crowd - one that not interested - should be eschewed.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Dec 5, 2005 10:46AM)
Personally I'd keep this trick to just show the wife. Maybe then she'd finally be keenly interested in your magic! How about it guys!?

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Dec 5, 2005 02:25PM)
It is this sort of trick that made my wife lose interest in magic in the first place. ;)

Let me take a guess, Matt. You aren't married, are you? ;)
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 5, 2005 03:26PM)
[quote]

Clowns were never intended to be dirty,

[/quote]

Obviously we know little of the development and history of the clown. He hasn't always been the sad red nosed ballon twister he is today.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Dec 5, 2005 03:42PM)
In Europe clowns and comedian's are the same thing. Charles Chaplin is considered to be a clown as well as a comedian. Here in America clowns have an association to the circus with Emmett Kelly and others.

The Marks brothers are clowns and comedians and so are the three stooges.

Kasperll is a clown puppet.

It saddens me when this great art is subject to being degraded to things like Shakes n a movie with Bobcat Goldthwait. Or Crusty the clown on the Simpson’s. They do this with magic as well.

I saw a movie not to long ago about a princess in LA and her grandmother was played by Julie Andrews. Their was a magician that was a student that did lousy card tricks on one of the students cable TV shows. Like in the movie shade when a magician at the Magic Castle showed one of actors the 21 card trick. Like magicians are dorks and the card shark guy was cool.

I really do not like things that degrade art. Or performing artists.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 5, 2005 04:11PM)
I can think of one type of venue where it would play big. But, that's only because what goes on there, stays there, and everyone knows it. No, it's not a strip club - guys brag too much about those places.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Dec 5, 2005 06:26PM)
Ha- Whit how could you tell??!

Then again- did you ever pull this particular effect out at the W.C Fields bar, Whit? :) May just add the look of sheer shock on some faces. Think about it, "The ultimate reaction" - every magicians dream!

Wow, just imagine the reactions. A good laugh it is...

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Dec 5, 2005 09:50PM)
The only time I ever used this was in my bartending day's,when a group was in the mood to get a little kinky and have a few laughs..the surprise can be quite hilarious.The only problem is,after the gals see that thing..the Average guy present better be a Great Dancer. :)
Message: Posted by: Riley (Dec 6, 2005 02:23AM)
[quote]
Then again- did you ever pull this particular effect out at the W.C Fields bar, Whit? :) May just add the look of sheer shock on some faces. Think about it, "The ultimate reaction" - every magicians dream!

Wow, just imagine the reactions. A good laugh it is...
[/quote]

Matt - read the thread again. It's not [i]every[/i] magicians dream to have this kind of ultimate reaction. Some magicians prefer to work regularly :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 6, 2005 03:07AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-05 16:26, Payne wrote:
[quote]

Clowns were never intended to be dirty,

[/quote]

Obviously we know little of the development and history of the clown. He hasn't always been the sad red nosed ballon twister he is today.
[/quote]

The clown of today is a far cry from the Arlecchino, Pagliaccio, Pulcinello and other characters he developed from. Circus clowns hold the "balloon twisters" in as much disdain as most "real" street magicians hold the David Blaine wannabees. Their term for them is "painted faces."

This is what most of the so-called "clown schools" crank out today -- a fellow with a painted face, a big button with his clown name on it (necessary because they are interchangeable) a big multicolored wig and an immense lack of talent.

The Ringling Clown School is a far cry from these. So are most of the European clowning masters. David Casey and the rest of the brothers Rogue, Oaf and Foole were products of the European tradition. When doing the Brothers act, David was the only one who made up at all.

David and John went on to work the Big Apple Circus for a few years, and then David came back to direct at Epcot, Disney World and the Texas Renaissance Festival. Recently, he got one of the Flaming Idiots into the Guinness Book and the Letterman show, for being able to make a ham sandwich with his feet.
Message: Posted by: Count Lustig (Dec 6, 2005 05:43PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-05 16:42, bishthemagish wrote:
It saddens me when this great art is subject to being degraded to things like Shakes n a movie with Bobcat Goldthwait. Or Crusty the clown on the Simpson’s.
[/quote]
In that case, don't ever rent [i]Killer Klowns from Outer Space[/i].
Message: Posted by: Chris Miller (Dec 6, 2005 06:49PM)
Sheesh - I just got done making an exasperated reply to a lewd comment in a different thread asking why there are not more women magicians, or at least more women posting on the Café. I suppose there might be a niche audience for anything, but I find this prop inappropriate for magicians.

Chris
Message: Posted by: jasonleeb (Dec 6, 2005 08:43PM)
I have heard this argument since I was first starting out in magic. Don't do it they all said and I avoided it for years til I got one by mistake at one of those great magic meeting auctions where it was in a box of stuff that had something else I wanted and I just wound up with it. Let me just tell ya folks with the right crowd it's a tuff trick to follow. Like posted earlier, the bar, or a private party of course is thee place with the right crowd and of course most important the performer. You have to be able to pull it off with your personality. Now to do this in a "business" setting like a tradeshow is dead wrong. Al made a mistake but he was known for being brash. I have come up with several presentations and at one time used the Jumbo and the mini in the same routine; you can imagine the comparison jokes. With a trick like this your audience will right your jokes for you, trust me, its funny and funny is money. I could go write a book of stories I have had with it, I will leave you all with one funny bit. One night after doing this for a private party, husbands were coming up to me saying "you have to show my wife your magic ding-dong" which at that point I would exclaim "thanks captain obvious" and would proceed with great delight. Also when I really offend someone I usually consider this a bonus.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 6, 2005 10:20PM)
Well, I hope you have a long career pushing burgers at MacDonald's. That's where you will be likely to wind up.

Funny is money, but "dirty" is not necessarily funny. People laugh when they are amused, but they also laugh when they are embarrassed. And they laugh when someone else is embarrassed. In the end, it will cost you business.

We had a lecture at our magic club last night by a fellow who calls himself a street magician. He has made a career out of ****ing people off. He says that if there are kids in the audience, he works squeaky clean, but when they are gone, he gets dirty. All you have to do is get dirty once in front of the wrong person you think is an adult, and you are "en caca profunda." There are some 13 year old girls who look much older. A friend of mine had to fight off a public lewdness case because the teenaged daughter of one of the local judges was in the audience during a particularly raw part of a show. And it wasn't as raw as the Ding Dong.

Nobody ever lost a gig for working clean. Plenty have lost them for working dirty.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 7, 2005 12:26AM)
Regarding the original post of the Sponge ball routine with the "surprize" ending, I do have this in my collection. I have only used it twice since first buying it years ago. The last time was for a birthday party for a former assistant district attorney and another lawyer (who was my ex-wifes lawyer during our divorce). Both are females.

They called me to meet with them regarding the type of magic they wanted me to do. Needless to say, I was stunned when they asked if I had any risque magic. I told them the only two is the bra trick and the spongeball routine with the surprize ending. After explaining each routine (without giving away the secrets), I was shocked to hear they wanted these included in the show.

The night of the show, my finace' came with me to the venue to observe my act. I was nervous about doing the spongeball routine, so before I did it, I let everyone know that the birthday girls wanted this particular trick. It did go over very well and the whole room was in stitches. I was somewhat embarrished after doing it, but they were kind enough to add some extra in the paycheck for me.

I cannot speak for all audiences, but this routine should be reserved for those occasions where you know for sure that no one will be offended. I am seriously thinking about getting rid of the surprize ending and keeping only the sponge balls.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 7, 2005 12:58AM)
I can do almost any trick risque. I think there is a line between risque and dirty, though. A friend of mine who ran a joke shop had an excellent line he used when ladies came into the shop and wanted to buy a gift to give at an office party. He would say, "Do you want 'dusty' or 'dirty?' " Nowadays, in office situations, you can't even think about doing "dirty," because of potential lawsuits.

I have a friend who is an office manager for a major insurance company. There was one woman who worked there who never complained about anything that went on over there. Then she quit, and filed suit because one of the agents had "created an uncomfortable work environment because of his sexual innuendo." She never complained, and she did not file suit over harrassment.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 7, 2005 04:42AM)
Bill, I know what you mean about the suits on an uncomfortable work environment. We go through training annually on the protocol for our jobs. Besides sexual harrassment, there are a few others that can be filed on us. We have to sign a form at the end of the class showing we attended the training.

Your post makes a lot of sense regarding risque and dirty. Personally speaking, I cannot do dirty stuff and do not even like doing the risque stuff. I have billed myself as a family type magician, so doing even risque magic would be considered a conflict of interest for me. Yep, I will get rid of the foam you know what. Thanks for reminding me.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: fccfp (Dec 7, 2005 01:35PM)
I used to do some local night clubs in the '70's and used the DD then. It is in the back of the trunk now, times have changed. Things I did regularly than would not go over at all now. That's just the way it is. People take offense more easily now and we live in a society where people will sue at the drop of a hat. It's just not worth it. I will use double entendre to get the point accross with the right crowd. Obviously no kids, etc. Certainly not in any kind of corporate or business setting. 25 years ago holiday parties were a lot looser, no longer. Keep your ding-dong in your pants!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 7, 2005 02:25PM)
One of the weird things I have run into at office parties is the unrestrained employee. A couple of years ago, I did a "Holiday" party for a law firm that specialized in Equal Opportunity lawsuits. When some of those lady lawyers got a snootful, they did material that I certainly wouldn't do.

The lady who booked me had me cut the show short, because her employees evidently thought the law didn't apply to them. They really "hostiled up" the environment. I was very uncomfortable. I turned them down the next year when they called back. I had "a previous engagement."

Even the D.J. was embarrassed.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 7, 2005 11:47PM)
I worked at a magic shop that also carried gag gifts and such. It always amazed me the quantity of dirty gag gifts that sold to be taken to Christmas parties... usually office/work related. Even more amazing were the people who these things sold to the best. Not the stereotypical rude dudes, but sweet little old ladies who you'd expect to meet in church. Go figure...

'Tis the season to get raunchy, I guess. The DD would mainstream at some of these parties, but I really am not an it getter when it comes to this mentality.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 8, 2005 12:09PM)
There was a time when the office party was the place that people were allowed to get rid of their inhibitions once a year and tell the CEO off.

This ended when the EEOC took over.

Now it's a chance to tell the CEO off, and look for a pink slip in your pay envelope the next day.

When I worked for Howard's Fun Shop, his biggest seller was a box of "chocolates," that was packed and thorougly wrapped. Inside was an assortment of "rambler's road apples." Basically horse fallout.

Some of the sweetest little old ladies paid $3.95 for a box of those to give to the boss anonymously. That was in 1958. Figuring in inflation, that would be about $40.00 now.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 8, 2005 01:07PM)
I was in a drug store in Bloomington, Indiana one day in 1986.

I went over to the card section, and happened to see something that caught my eye. It was a rectangular gift box - about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide.

On the tag was printed, "Here is something I made especially for you."

I opened the box, and to my surprise saw a very realistic looking 5" turd.

I was torn between laughter and the surprise I felt, seeing something like that in a "regular" drug store.

Posted: Dec 8, 2005 2:08pm
On a similar note, I suppose someone could manufacture a sponge turd and call it a "Dung Dong".
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 8, 2005 04:27PM)
And somebody would use it at kid shows!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 8, 2005 11:30PM)
No doubt. It never fails to amaze me the utter stupidity of some performers. I once met a busker clown fresh up from NOLA's Mardi Gras. His product was balloon doggies. His best gag (by his own admission)... a large pinback button that said, "I'm a Moonpie. Eat me." I wouldn't be surprised if his act was called, Crack-Pipe, and his cardboard home.

He was one scary dude... made Shakes and Crusty seem like Mother Theresa.
Message: Posted by: saxmangeoff (Dec 9, 2005 11:44AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-06 23:20, Bill Palmer wrote:
Nobody ever lost a gig for working clean. Plenty have lost them for working dirty.
[/quote]

I while back I read a great book by Gene Perret, who was, among other things, a writer for the Carol Burnett show and for Bob Hope. The book was "Successful stand-up comedy; advice from a comedy writer."

In the book, he discusses blue material, and the irony of the fact that every comic's ambition was to be on Carson. As a comic, if you got on Carson's show, you had arrived. These comics were in comedy clubs doing lots of blue material. But if you got on Carson, which was on broadcast TV, you had to do clean material. He heard a lot of comics say, "Yeah, when I'm on Carson, I'll do clean stuff." But they were in the clubs offering no proof to Carson's scouts that they could entertain an audience with clean material. These guys failed to see the implications of their choice, and they never got a call from the Tonight Show.

Geoff
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 9, 2005 03:21PM)
I worked comedy clubs for a long time. I started at the Laff Stop, which was a really high class comedy club. I played the opening weekend there. I continued to play the Laff Stops in Texas until they sold them out.

When I first started working in comedy clubs, there were about 25 comedy clubs in the US, and there were 75 comics on the circuit. This meant that everybody got work. At the peak of the boom, there were about 2,000 comedy clubs...and 75 comics. The rest were really bad wannabees. I have seen the gamut, and I have worked with the best and the worst.

I have worked with Louie Anderson, who is a real gentleman. I met Ellen DeGeneres when she was showcasing in various venues. Also Jeff Foxworthy, Bob Saget, Kip Adotta, Biff Maynard -- the whole "Make Me Laugh" bunch. I was working one night when one of the comics I mentioned found out there was an ad agent for a major beer company in the audience. He pleaded for an audition for a job and finished with, "I can work clean." He didn't get the gig.
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Dec 10, 2005 09:25AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-08 17:27, Bill Palmer wrote:
And somebody would use it at kid shows!
[/quote]

Only at Wonderland Ranch.

[quote]
On 2005-12-08 13:09, Bill Palmer wrote:

Some of the sweetest little old ladies paid $3.95 for a box of those to give to the boss anonymously. That was in 1958. Figuring in inflation, that would be about $40.00 now.

[/quote]

Just think of the profits I could have here in Amish country.
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Dec 11, 2005 05:55PM)
I seen it and think it would be a great ending. But I think people would find it innapropriate for a kid my age to be doing stuff like that. But it looks great.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 12, 2005 10:11AM)
After being in magic for over thirty years I may have to finally invest in one of these as I've been hired to do a Tarts & Vicars themed birthday party in a few months. A venue where it would be more than appropriate I'd wager.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Dec 12, 2005 12:59PM)
Personally, I think the trick is rather lame. Not so much because it’s offensive (it’s meant to be), but because it’s such an easy laugh, like farting in church. And there is no denying that for some audiences, or at least part of some audiences, it’s wonderfully amusing.

A friend tells me about one evening at his upscale restaurant gig:
He’s has just finished a wonderful trick and said something along the lines of “Isn’t that amazing?” and the large gentleman at the table says “if you want to see something amazing... show him Dianne.” and his female companion pulls up her shirt exposing her rather sizable endowments.

Obviously, at that point he wished he [i]had[/i] the aforementioned item to perform for them. As it was he simply said “I can’t top that.” and left.

The problem is you will never know who in your audience isn’t hiring you because of the trick. And you’ll always have to wonder about the gigs you DO get from people who saw it.
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Dec 12, 2005 04:26PM)
Wow! That is pretty nifty! Why don't I get that when I perform???
Message: Posted by: Jeff Haas (Dec 12, 2005 04:47PM)
Payne, what's a "Tarts & Vicars" party? I can take a guess, but fill me in...
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 12, 2005 04:58PM)
I actually know a knucklehead who had a gig at a restaurant and regularly performed the effect there. One customer he performed it for told the magician that he was offended, and the magician, who had the IQ of styrofoam, replied, "Oh, you're probably an engineer or something like that," to which the customer said, "Actually, I am an engineer, and where's the manager?" The magician didn't perform at that restaurant again...he learned firsthand Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Lozoff (Dec 12, 2005 07:08PM)
I appreciate all of the thoughfulness in these posts, and agree with most of it.

I think, however, that a few of you may mis-understand Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons. He is an extremely complex character, as are most of the characters in this series. In many ways he is a symbolic representation of different aspects of the past and present in the world of entertainment.

The Simpsons are like Shakespeare. Don't assume you understand the characters or what they are trying to say to the world on your first or second time watching.
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Dec 12, 2005 07:22PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-12 17:58, Larry Davidson wrote:
I actually know a knucklehead who had a gig at a restaurant and regularly performed the effect there. One customer he performed it for told the magician that he was offended, and the magician, who had the IQ of styrofoam, replied, "Oh, you're probably an engineer or something like that," to which the customer said, "Actually, I am an engineer, and where's the manager?" The magician didn't perform at that restaurant again...he learned firsthand Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.
[/quote]

WOW! Who in the right mind would perform THAT in a resturaunt enviroment? He was definatley not thinking!
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 12, 2005 07:57PM)
Nobody is his right mind would. As the saying goes, he was a few fries short of a Happy Meal. You can hear him talk [url=http://www.nonstick.com/wsounds/beaky1.wav]here[/url].
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 12, 2005 08:39PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-12 20:08, Joshua Lozoff wrote:
I appreciate all of the thoughfulness in these posts, and agree with most of it.

I think, however, that a few of you may mis-understand Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons. He is an extremely complex character, as are most of the characters in this series. In many ways he is a symbolic representation of different aspects of the past and present in the world of entertainment.

The Simpsons are like Shakespeare. Don't assume you understand the characters or what they are trying to say to the world on your first or second time watching.
[/quote]

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
:rotf: :rotf:
:rotf:

We used to say the same thing about the Firesign Theater. But then we came out of it.
Message: Posted by: Gary Dayton (Dec 13, 2005 09:13AM)
Just wanted to let you all know that this is a very amusing thread. Every day or so brings new entertainment. Thanks everyone!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 13, 2005 09:47AM)
I think we are flogging a dead... never mind.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 13, 2005 10:11AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-13 10:13, Gary Dayton wrote:
"...when do you think they will start manufacturing vagina spongeballs?"
[/quote]

Never, it's Gosh[b]man[/b], not Gosh[b]woman[/b].
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Dec 13, 2005 11:03AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-13 10:47, Bill Palmer wrote:
I think we are flogging a dead... never mind.
[/quote]

I sincerely mean that I believe this quote to be brilliant for this context.
:bg:
Message: Posted by: Gary Dayton (Dec 13, 2005 03:04PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-13 11:11, Larry Davidson wrote:

Never, it's Gosh[b]man[/b], not Gosh[b]woman[/b].
[/quote]

LOL, Larry. I guess we're lucky it wasn't Ickl Pickl!
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 13, 2005 07:08PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-13 16:04, Gary Dayton wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-12-13 11:11, Larry Davidson wrote:

Never, it's Gosh[b]man[/b], not Gosh[b]woman[/b].
[/quote]

LOL, Larry. I guess we're lucky it wasn't Ickl Pickl!
[/quote]

Or Johnston Products. :baby:
Message: Posted by: saranacbo (Dec 19, 2005 12:22PM)
Of course, as with almost every thread here, we have people using their experience as a basis for a universal opinion. In other words, here's what I've done so you should, and blah blah blah.

Of course there are appropriate and inappropriate settings for all sorts of things. And if you can't figure out the setting, that's your problem. Similarly, there are humors that we consider appropriate and inappropriate and we either use or don't use them accordingly.

As for ding-dong: I've got it and I've used it only three times in 25 years. They were for specific occasions; I knew the people and I knew the reactions--which were hilarity and just fun.

I've also seen regular, well-known "clean" performers who were amazingly offensive without any sort of sexual reference: They were just condescending, imperious snobs (and a bunch of their magic was pretty sloppily done too: they really didn't care about their audience, just their own egos and the bucks).

So we come down to personal tastes and style. The simple point is if you don't like the ding-dong or anything else, then don't do it. And if your audience hated it, then you misread it. But if I and my audience had a fun time with it, don't lay a judgement trip on it, as if there's some universal measure of "good tastes" and "appropriate humor," and you know what it is.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my reply, but I really think the world is big enough and there are enough different people in it so many humors and styles fit in beautifully. As for me never doing a trade show? Of course not. Nor do I want to. And just because I don't, but you do, does not make you any more elevated--either spiritually, intellectually, or necessarily magically--than I.
Message: Posted by: johnnymagic (Dec 19, 2005 02:20PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-09 12:44, saxmangeoff wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-12-06 23:20, Bill Palmer wrote:
Nobody ever lost a gig for working clean. Plenty have lost them for working dirty.
[/quote]

I while back I read a great book by Gene Perret, who was, among other things, a writer for the Carol Burnett show and for Bob Hope. The book was "Successful stand-up comedy; advice from a comedy writer."

In the book, he discusses blue material, and the irony of the fact that every comic's ambition was to be on Carson. As a comic, if you got on Carson's show, you had arrived. These comics were in comedy clubs doing lots of blue material. But if you got on Carson, which was on broadcast TV, you had to do clean material. He heard a lot of comics say, "Yeah, when I'm on Carson, I'll do clean stuff." But they were in the clubs offering no proof to Carson's scouts that they could entertain an audience with clean material. These guys failed to see the implications of their choice, and they never got a call from the Tonight Show.

Geoff
[/quote]

Didn't steve martin do Flydini on the Carson show? I thought that was funny. I guess I'm glad he didn't pull one of these sponge thingies out though....
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 19, 2005 04:35PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-19 15:20, johnnymagic wrote:
"...Didn't steve martin do Flydini on the Carson show? I thought that was funny....
[/quote]

Yes he did, and no it wasn't funny, it was [b]HILARIOUS[/b]!!!! Remember the cigarette bit? How about the singing Pavoratti puppet? My head could explode just thinking about it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 20, 2005 06:03PM)
Flydini was funny. It never really got into the gutter.

Steve Martin knows where to draw the line.

Sometimes the worst thing you can do is to tick the management off, though.

Think back to the famous incident with Jackie Mason on the Sullivan show. They were telling him how much time he had left with hand signals. So he made fun of it. He didn't do anything obscene, but he did something stupid. He got Ed Sullivan mad at him. And that kept him off television for a long time.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Dec 20, 2005 11:15PM)
Ding Dong, your career is dead.
Which career?
YOUR career!
Ding Dong, your brief career is dead!

Its gone where the goblins go,
Belooooow, below, below, yo-ho.....
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 21, 2005 12:33PM)
Actually, Al Goshman did magic a service by creating this trick. First of all, it eliminates a lot of hack magicians. I'm not referring to Payne, here. Payne is anything but a hack. He knows when and how to use this item, but most of the guys I have seen who use it really shouldn't be doing magic.

But it is useful. You can hold it by the "handle," dip the other part into warm water, and use it as a window wiper.

Of course, it may cause streaking.
Message: Posted by: PhatDad (Dec 21, 2005 05:23PM)
Personally on this side of the pond and underside of 40 I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.

I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.

It might be news to some of you but times change, people change and tastes change. There are certainly times and places that you should definatley not do this effect and the person doing the effect should realise this but to tar everyone with the same brush is just wrong.

The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.

Now judging by the posts on this thread you're all probably thinking that my friends, family and myself are English equivalents to a redneck or bum. Well we're not. My mother is in management and is in charge of geriatric care in a very large hospital. I myself was in the I.T. industry for many years until we had the family and I gave up work as my succesful partner works in an engineering company. My friends range from the unemployed to media producers.

We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects. The generation that actually find the likes of David Blaine and Derren Brown a welcome change to the usual old fogies we normally see. So, before you go telling people that something is not suitable at all, think about where they live, who they are, what age range they are etc

Oh and give people a bit of credit that they can judge a situation satisfactory enough to do the trick to the right people. Maybe just a bit of advise on making sure they know rather than slating the people that do it and enjoy it might be more helpful.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 21, 2005 05:26PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-21 13:33, Bill Palmer wrote:

I'm not referring to Payne, here. Payne is anything but a hack. He knows when and how to use this item,

[/quote]

I'm touched. It's not everyday I'm told I know when and how to use my Ding Dong.
Message: Posted by: mike gallo (Dec 21, 2005 08:57PM)
The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.


Doing this for friends is one thing...for pay, it's another. Wanna introduce me to your Mother ;)...just kidding!!!!!!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Count Lustig (Dec 21, 2005 09:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.
[/quote]
So, you're saying that you're against stereotyping?

[quote]
I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.
[/quote]
Oh, I guess not.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Dec 22, 2005 12:49AM)
I am wondering, is there anyone out here who has done this routine for Friends or on the spot [b]JUST[/b] for fun? Also would would you put the Ding Dong in with effects such as Hallelujah and Sweet Dreams? I have seen Hallelujah, Have not seen Sweet Dreams but have read things. Just curious...
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Dec 22, 2005 01:16AM)
[quote]On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects.[/quote]
And, clearly, the first generation ever to have expressed these sentiments.

Sheesh!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 22, 2005 02:06AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
Personally on this side of the pond and underside of 40 I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.

I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.

It might be news to some of you but times change, people change and tastes change. There are certainly times and places that you should definatley not do this effect and the person doing the effect should realise this but to tar everyone with the same brush is just wrong.

The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.

Now judging by the posts on this thread you're all probably thinking that my friends, family and myself are English equivalents to a redneck or bum. Well we're not. My mother is in management and is in charge of geriatric care in a very large hospital. I myself was in the I.T. industry for many years until we had the family and I gave up work as my succesful partner works in an engineering company. My friends range from the unemployed to media producers.

We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects. The generation that actually find the likes of David Blaine and Derren Brown a welcome change to the usual old fogies we normally see. So, before you go telling people that something is not suitable at all, think about where they live, who they are, what age range they are etc

Oh and give people a bit of credit that they can judge a situation satisfactory enough to do the trick to the right people. Maybe just a bit of advise on making sure they know rather than slating the people that do it and enjoy it might be more helpful.
[/quote]

You really told us a lot about yourself except for who you actually are. Most of us are not ashamed of our own identities, so we use our real names. But be that as it may, you say that you are of the generation that is tired of the same old gags. How old do you think the Ding Dong Gag is? It's been out for about 30 years. That's an old gag in most people's books.

And your description of your family and friends, as well as their qualifications does not say a thing about taste. There are people with no taste at all in every field you mention -- ESPECIALLY MEDIA PRODUCERS. If everyone in media production had taste, you wouldn't see shows like "Goodness, Gracious Me!" (Which I find very funny, but in horrible taste.)
Message: Posted by: PhatDad (Dec 22, 2005 05:43AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-22 03:06, Bill Palmer wrote:

You really told us a lot about yourself except for who you actually are. Most of us are not ashamed of our own identities, so we use our real names. But be that as it may, you say that you are of the generation that is tired of the same old gags. How old do you think the Ding Dong Gag is? It's been out for about 30 years. That's an old gag in most people's books.

And your description of your family and friends, as well as their qualifications does not say a thing about taste. There are people with no taste at all in every field you mention -- ESPECIALLY MEDIA PRODUCERS. If everyone in media production had taste, you wouldn't see shows like "Goodness, Gracious Me!" (Which I find very funny, but in horrible taste.)

[/quote]

My username has been used for many years now and due to the job I do I like to stay as anonymous as possible due to the risk of reprisals. Unfortunately the internet makes it far too easy to find people and I have to get to know people first. Although after reading the forum for a while I'm pretty sure I could trust you Bill, just not sure about the others out there. ;)

I think people are a lot more easy going now-a-days and the younger generations consider things a lot less risque, rude or nasty than the older generations. Upbringing has something to do with it as well. Bad taste to some is nothing to others. There are certain websites that I find disturbing where others don't. I won't begrudge them because they don't have the same tastes. I try not to tar people with the same brush and as pointed out by someone else I still managed it in my previous post. However my defense for that was I was struggling to find the words to not offend anyone and picking out any individuals.

I think you would need to know the audience you are performing the effect for but I in no way think anything bad of those that would find it entertaining.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Dec 22, 2005 11:16AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-22 01:49, paisa23 wrote:
I am wondering, is there anyone out here who has done this routine for Friends or on the spot [b]JUST[/b] for fun? Also would would you put the Ding Dong in with effects such as Hallelujah and Sweet Dreams? I have seen Hallelujah, Have not seen Sweet Dreams but have read things. Just curious...
[/quote]


Just wondered if anyone read that one. that's All. LOL
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 22, 2005 11:23AM)
I agree with you on this. However, the one caveat that is most important to realize is that you must know your WHOLE audience. If you have one or two individuals in a group of, say, 20 that are offended by your performance, you can write the whole show and anything you might have gotten from it completely off.

Let me make something clear. I have been in the entertainment business for most of my life. I performed in bands before I performed as a full time magician. Some of the material we did back in the 1960's was awfully strong. But we relied on double entendre rather than out and out dirt. When you make your audience come to a conclusion about what you are saying, then they think they are really clever. When you force them to come to a conclusion, they don't think you are clever.

And in some circumstances, depending on where you are, it can cost you money. One of my friends who I worked with for years at various Renaissance Festivals is a very talented singer/composer. He came up to me one afternoon and said, "I keep losing my crowd during one of my songs. What's wrong?" So I asked him to sing the song for me. He told me at a certain spot where the crowd started to disperse. Now, granted, there were children in the audience, so this is a little different than when you are performing for an all adult crowd, but the principle is the same.

He had a short narrative stretch during one verse where he said, "And they would go through the woods and be attacked by great horny beasts." And when he said the word "horny," he lost his crowd. I suggested that he change the word to "horn-ed."

I explained it this way. "When you say 'horny,' you are giving them one choice, and they might not like it. When you say 'horn-ed,' most of them will figure out what you mean, but they will think they are clever because they figured it out."

So he tried it. It worked. He kept his crowd. He made money.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2005 11:31AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-22 12:23, Bill Palmer wrote:

He had a short narrative stretch during one verse where he said, "And they would go through the woods and be attacked by great horny beasts." And when he said the word "horny," he lost his crowd. I suggested that he change the word to "horn-ed."

[/quote]

Much like when. on our Armada 400 tour of England, we had to convince our minstrels to change the lyrics of an Elizabethian tune from "He gives me golden showers" to "He showers me with gold".
Things change menaing over time. In fact the Ding Dong would have played very well in the 16th and 17th centuries. Even amoungst the "upper crust".
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 22, 2005 05:00PM)
Sounds like "Nonesuch." I made up some really awful lyrics to that.
Message: Posted by: saranacbo (Dec 22, 2005 06:41PM)
PhatDad makes a great point. It's all about diversity: There are all kinds of people and all kinds of audiences; humor will vary according to country (and section of country and socio-economic strata and blah-blah), religion and so on. It's the same with nudity. Americans are, as a group, pretty uptight about nudity (look at all the fuss a nude beach provokes); they're simply considered a fact of life in most of Europe. I realize for most mainstream American audiences, the ding-dong is offensive. But all American audiences are not mainstream, and if you're not giggin for one, then guess what? It might be a wonderful bit.

As for using as a standard of acceptable humor that you might offend one or two of twenty people? Well, if your humor is totally neutral, then you've got a guarantee, I guess. Of course, while your humor might be perfectly tasteful, it might also not be all that funny, or at least the audience might not find it all that funny.

As for the ding-dong being an old trick: Well, I guess it is (though not compared to cups and balls, certainly). But an new tricks are like new jokes--they're the ones you haven't seen or heard before.

And finally, as far as what's offensive or isn't: THE most offensive performer I ever saw was a big name in magic. He had a great rep; his ticket prices were pretty high. And as far as I was concerned, he was a total jerk. He condescended to the audience the whole time, and even worse, he treated his volunteers poorly. One of his "comedic" bits consisted of doing a rope trick, with the volunteer holding one end. And of course, he'd ask the volunteer to yank the rope and then commented about "the jerk at the end of the rope." He did it repeatedly. His magic also was pretty half-baked (a couple of bits didn't work because either they were cheaply made or he just hadn't rehearsed them well enough). Compared to him, the ding-dong was the apex of class and refinement.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 23, 2005 01:48AM)
I agree with Bill that you must know the "whole" audience. Even when I give law enforcement lectures, there are always some negative Ned's and Nellies in the audience. These type of people live to complain at the drop of a hat. I had my say with one such person after a crime prevention lecture. Funny though; he did not complain to my chief after I told him off.

I am 52 years old and I got embarrassed the two times I did the Magic Ding Dong effect. You would think a seasoned cop would be tougher than that. Anyway, do know the people to whom you do this effect. Both times, I was asked to do it.

Glenn
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 23, 2005 10:16AM)
"Diversity" is a load of rubbish and an excuse for people who don't know how to be funny in the first place.

If the one or two people you offend in your audience are the one or two who do the hiring and firing, you are in deep trouble. I'll be willing to bet that most of the people who justify using dirty humor in their acts are guys who do not do this for a living. Professional performers can't afford to do offensive material. It costs them money. That's the bottom line.

Maybe you have to work a little harder to get a laugh without whipping out the Ding Dong. But that's part of WORK.
Message: Posted by: Riley (Dec 23, 2005 10:46AM)
Absolutely.

Well said Bill.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 23, 2005 11:13AM)
Thanks, Riley.

Now, I'm going to make a controversial post. I'm going to ask "PhatDad" and "sarancbo" a couple of questions.

1) You make a point of how "different" American audiences are from audiences elsewhere. Have YOU ever worked for an American audience?

I've worked for audiences in England, Scotland, Austria, Germany, the US, Canada and Mexico.

2) Do you actually do paid gigs, or is this just something that you do at parties when the host allows you to get away with it?
Message: Posted by: PhatDad (Dec 23, 2005 02:07PM)
You got me there.

1) I was refering to the fact that the british seem to be somewhat more liberal than the americans appear. That is a perspective I have taken from reading forums like these and the evidence provided by the media. I also realise that a lot of things I could get away with in my youth I can't get away with now. Although I can still flirt the night away there are some things I have to be careful doing else appear a pervert/dirty old man etc. This change could quite easily be the reason why the older generation of magic can't do the ding dong without it being seen as dirty/nasty while someone younger could. This comes down to reading and knowing the people you perform it for.

2) I never perform. I practise in private when I get a chance. Family, work, study are keeping me from practising too. So I read a magic book when I get a chance and hope that one day, when I'm of the older generation I'll have enough time to go through my magic collection. I don't even own this effect due to the fact its not real enough looking. If I did try the effect on people I'm scared they'd look at it and say 'What's this? What's so funny about an arrow?' The arrow in the amazon.com sign looks more phalic than that.

One thing I think we agree on is that you need to know the people you perform for. A paid gig would be risky but in the right place and setting it can be a valuable effect. I was just trying to suggest to the person asking the original question that they shouldn't necesarily take the 'No NEVER do it' posts as law. He may be like me and have a group of friends he wants to perform this for at a party and never work profesionally as a magician.
Message: Posted by: saranacbo (Dec 23, 2005 02:21PM)
Bill,
For what it's worth, yes, I have indeed done paid gigs--to the tune of about one a week for ten years. I'm not a professional magician, and have no urge to be one, so what you say about being a full-time pro, while of course true, doesn't apply to me. I do magic when, where and how I want to, so I don't have to worry about pleasing everyone all the time (and just FYI, I do get invited back). As for your comment about do I do magic only at parties when the host allows me to get away with it? Your condescension and sarcasm is uncalled for--though I don't expect you to see that, since others' points of view don't seem to be your strong suit. This is apparent with your comment about "diversity being a lot of rubbish." For someone who prides himself on his sophistication, this is a rather telling comment.
Message: Posted by: David Bilan (Dec 23, 2005 03:14PM)
We all have the ability to do what we want without worrying about pleasing everyone.

However (most of the time), if we are trying to make a living, we do worry about pleasing our boss/customer/audience.

The argument here seems to be whether we are performing for a small venue where we know our audience or are trying to make a career for the public at large.

Performing at a comedy club is very different from performing on TV for a kid's show. Red Skelton could probably get laughs at both places. I don't know that Lenny Bruce would have fared so well.

I didn't find Bill's post condescending or sarcastic, but saranacbo found it offensive. And so it is with "adult" humor or magic. It all depends whether the individual finds it offensive and whether the performer/author is willing to take the risk.

I'd rather risk being bland than crude (even though my personal tastes are open and liberal). Your mileage may vary...

David
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 23, 2005 03:20PM)
Sarancbo:

You are being awfully testy, aren't you. Wow! One whole job a week for the past 10 years. Why that's 520 jobs.

When I said "Diversity" was a load of rubbish, I meant that in the context you were using it. It is the very fact that an audience may contain all kinds of people that dictates that you must be very careful how you present yourself and your effects.

Not many people can get away with "Larry the Cable Guy."

When you do this to keep a roof over your head, you can't afford to offend your audience. That doesn't mean you can't be funny. If you don't know how to do that, then you shouldn't even try.

PhatDad.

You are basing your opinions of American audiences on hearsay.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 23, 2005 03:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-23 11:16, Bill Palmer wrote:
"Diversity" is a load of rubbish and an excuse for people who don't know how to be funny in the first place.

Maybe you have to work a little harder to get a laugh without whipping out the Ding Dong. But that's part of WORK.
[/quote]

I agree, Bill. Cheap is cheap and the payoff is too.
Message: Posted by: PhatDad (Dec 23, 2005 11:27PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-23 16:20, Bill Palmer wrote:

PhatDad.

You are basing your opinions of American audiences on hearsay.

[/quote]

I am basing the oppinion that there are far more people open to such an effect without being offended than the blanket statement that it should never be done at anytime for anyone that was at the start of the thread the oppinion the original poster was receiving.

I'm think we're all correct here. You're correct in what you say under the circumstances you do your magic, the rest of the guys saying 'no don't do it' are also correct and those of us that are saying 'hey, the circles we move in aren't as easily offended as some and would allow us to use this effect with no offence taken to anyone so if you're the same why not try' are also correct.

I just don't think someone should write off an effect because he's listened to nay sayers who don't actually know the whole story. The information given wasn't really that informative as to the type of person the original poster is and what his circle of friends/customers are.

If I had come on here with the same question and was told not to do it then I'd feel really bad, 20 years down the line when I realise that I could have got a lot of laughs out of it. Maybe if the people that told me not to do it had known my situation better they'd have not said don't do it.

I'm not sure if what I said above makes sense as It's very early in the morning and I need my bed. My apologies if its gobble-de-gook.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 24, 2005 10:03PM)
Let me clarify my position on the UK "media experts" and their opinions of "the American audience."

The UK is an interesting group of countries. It has a total land area of roughly 92K sq. miles and a population of about 59 millon people. Roughly 1/5 of them are concentrated in once city, London. If you have travelled all over the UK, you know that audiences in one part may react differently to a given piece of material than the audiences in another part. The High Church people in Stornoway are certainly not going to find the Ding Dong as funny as, perhaps, the yobs at a comedy club in London.

The continental US -- sans Alaska and Hawaii -- is roughly 3.7 million square miles. Although we have one city that is roughly the size of London, New York City, a much smaller percentage of our people live in that area. Our population is roughly 300 million people. We have several well-defined population centers that have their own cultures and their own audiences. For example, Los Angeles has a different "atmosphere" than San Francisco.

To assume that an audience in Houston will react the same as an audience in, for example, Dallas, is totally wrong. Audiences in Nashville react differently than audiences in Chicago. The basic cultural structures of these areas are radically different. But all of these are relatively large cities, much larger than anything else in the UK other than London, itself.

In fact, audiences in one section of any large town may be completely different from audiences in another part of town. It depends on local demographics. Corporate audiences are usually quite diverse. But if you really want to see "diverse," you should do a strolling gig at an open house for an industrial supply company. Before I retired, I did a lot of these. I still do one occasionally. The audience will contain a wide variety of ethnic groups, including people from Europe, Asia and South America. You are likely to see bikers, cable installers, and CEO's of major corporations. And you have to know how to communicate with all of them. This is a skill that you don't learn overnight.

The idea of a generic, monolithic "American" audience is really rather laughable.



If I got my opinion about the US from English television, I would probably think the same way that many of the Brits on this forum think. In fact, if I got it from American television programming, I would have a different opinion. American programming is directed almost entirely towards Los Angeles and New York City. When they go out to other areas, such as Atlanta, there is always an kind of condecension to the area implied in the scripts.

My objections to this kind of material in general and this particular piece of material specifically are not based on some kind of personal prudishness. Not at all. There was a time when I worked dirty. It cost me money. Now I don't.

I found it far more satisfying to get a "real" laugh from "real" humor, than to get an embarrassed guffaw from someone who would never hire me back again.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 25, 2005 12:29AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-04 12:08, NYillusionist wrote:
...it would be a great closer to liven up a disinterested crowd....[/quote]

If the audience is disinterested by the sponge balls as is, they might go all the way to disturbed or disgusted when confronted with a sexual reference. If you are performing in a venue where folks are playing spin the bottle and strip poker, perhaps the prop would be an ice-breaker. Outside such a context, the prop may provoke some uncomfortable comparisons as regards size, color and texture. Usually not a good thing in polite company.
Message: Posted by: Mtripp (Jan 1, 2006 12:33PM)
It is always interesting to see people attempt to justify this kind of garbage.

Here is an example, believe it or not.

One fameous magician did a trick like this. His was to blow up a balloon, make an animal, give it to a woman, then pop the middle with a pin so she had gentalia in each hand.

Har de har har....

Well, if you are old enough, remember the first mini-van promotion? Doug Henning did the ads? Karrell Fox was to find magic talent for the NATION WIDE mall promotion.

I was always slated to be one of them. The second slot was between two other magicians, one of them the guy I spoke of. So Karrell, the agent, and a rep from the Auto Company, all went to see them work. They went to the guy I spoke of first, and what do you think he did for them as his BEST trick???

Yep, har de har har......

As they walked out, having never even seen the second guy, the auto rep said to Karrell and the agent, "Hire the other guy"

Do as you wish, but just think, why do you think so many people have a poor opinion of magicians?
Message: Posted by: PhatDad (Jan 1, 2006 12:57PM)
Can I ask what year this was in?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 1, 2006 01:22PM)
The year doesn't really matter.

NO CORPORATE EXECUTIVE WILL HIRE A PERFORMER WHO AUDITIONS WITH MATERIAL LIKE THAT.

Corporate promotions have to be squeaky clean.
Message: Posted by: Mtripp (Jan 1, 2006 01:43PM)
1983 - Plymouth Voyager Promotion

But Bill is right....

...and I can tell other stories if need be.
Message: Posted by: cinemagician (Jan 1, 2006 01:52PM)
Phat Dad, what is "magical" about this effect at all? What specific supernormal power is being exhibited with a performance like this? What "magical effect" is taking place? If one really were a magician with any kind of mystical powers why would he waste it on a demonstration like this. What meaning could an effect like this have if any? I feel sorry for someone who has to resort to a gag like this in order to get a cheap laugh or shock reaction from an audience. Why not just kick your legs over your head and light one of your own farts? - it would work just as well.
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jan 1, 2006 04:04PM)
Well it appears that the Magic Sponge Ding Dong definately has some staying power in this thread :)

Jake