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Topic: Harry Allen's Comedy Bits & Magic Routines
Message: Posted by: bekralik (Dec 7, 2002 04:48PM)
The ad sentence on the back says, "Take this video ... please!" For one of the first sets of DVDs I've purchased, this 2 volume set was, in my opinion, AWFUL.

I guess it may depend on what you expect to get out of it. There's supposed to be a big emphasis on comedy, fine. I felt so sorry for the audience because his insults would totally alienate an audience. And although we see the same crop of L&L audience participants that grace most of their videos, he seemed to be exclusively fixated on 2 or 3 of the more attractive female audience members. I thought one girl was going to cry after his repeated insults of her intelligence. And yet, isn't this a canned audience? There are absolutely NO tips here on performances.

And the routines are all gimmicky. It seemed more like a dealer's advert showing a ton of completely unrelated items that need you to buy stuff. Fine, I should've known better after looking at the routines listed on the back. There were some new products I was curious about, figuring that he'd add some original presentation to the effects. They were performed totally by the instruction, to the letter. Ok, one routine using snow powder was good.

Items like these, of course being released in a despicably pricey two-volume set yet, should have their prices HALVED. Can't anyone base the price of these things on the quality of the content, rather than based on some standard somebody set years ago that all videos must be priced at such-and-such an amount? It's getting disgraceful when all sorts of hacks spew out drivel and charge a premium.

I have his book Sleight of Mouth, and I thought there was some decent one-liners in there that were not totally offensive and even usable. If anybody has a different opinion, please come to the rescue. I only see it as yet another nail in the coffin that magicians should not force comedy onto their audiences (there are notable exceptions to this; for example, David Regal has struck a fine balance, with whom this works effectively because of his natural personality).

In my opinion: don't buy this video ... PLEASE! Ugh ... TWO DVDs!

Message: Posted by: Phil B (Dec 8, 2002 04:24PM)
I bought the "sleight of mouth " book a long time ago and thought that it was terrible. Really old bad jokes. Nothing I hadn't heard many times before and generally the type of humour used by awful old-school comedy performers.
However, since then I have met a few people who loved the book, so I guess it depends on your personal taste and possibly the amount of comedy you've studied.
After the book there is no-way I would buy anything else by Harry Allen, but then comedy is a very subjective thing.
Thanks for your review of the video anyway.
Message: Posted by: RC4MAG (Dec 8, 2002 10:13PM)
I agree with Brian, this was certainly not what I expected when I bought these DVDs. The Explanations section just told you how the props worked, not how to get comedy out of it.
On the otherhand, the Rich Marotta Vol. One tape has his comedy routine performed live followed by his explaining not only the working of the unique effects, but the how and why that make it comical. He explans how every item introduced has to get it's own laugh, a wallet, a piece of rope, even the deck of cards, everything is introduced to comedy and latter tied in. Even Rich explains the whys and whats for the jokes between effects.
I was hoping for this type of lecture from Mr. Allen on these DVDs and didn't get it.
Message: Posted by: toomuchmagic (Dec 23, 2005 06:59PM)
This was basically a video catalog full of unoriginal, over used jokes and banter. And the insults were not appropriate at all, nor were they funny. He was more degrading that girl instead of making "fun" of her.

These are the worst magic tapes I ever saw. Waste.
Message: Posted by: deputy (Dec 25, 2005 12:12AM)
I agree, stay away from it, although I met at a convention and he was very funny, that's why I bought the video