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Topic: Medicine Pitch Acts
Message: Posted by: DonB! (Dec 19, 2002 04:19PM)
Hey folks,

I plan on adding a medicine pitch to the western portion of my comedy show soon, and I need some suggestions.

I love the old medicine pitch, and I have also seen some very funny medicine pitches.

I am simply asking for your advice of where to start putting material together from. I have a few smaller booklets, as well as a couple of historical references, but I NEED MORE! :yikes:

Any and all help will be appreciated.

DonB!
Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Dec 19, 2002 10:58PM)
For magic the old "Tommy Windsor Medicine Show Tonight" from the 1950's or before is probably the standard. Not sure if you can still get it. I have a copy if you cannot. Mine is from the 60's, I did that act when I was in high school. And now I am 50. wow.

quack
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 20, 2002 09:22AM)
Allen Hayden once told me that Sid Lorraine had an unbelievable medicine pitch. I don't know if it was ever pubished, though.
Message: Posted by: Sid Mayer (Dec 21, 2002 02:12PM)
Here, from fading memory, are some bits and pieces of a very old medicine pitch. Some of it comes from a radio comedian named Ransom Sherman. Ransom incidentally (or so his mother said) was the brother of Jim Sherman, a magician and owner of the long gone National Magic Company.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to take a few minutes to talk to you about Snorzmorbles' mixture of Maldren. Snorzmorbles' is a pure mixture, containing absolutely no ingredients. Very few statements can make that claim.

Snorzmorbles' mixture of Maldren comes in a nine inch bottle, can be used as a tape measure, makes a wonderful shoe dye and is good for other purposes too numerous to mention. As I hold up this bottle, you will notice that it is paper thin. In case of emergency, all you have to do is break the paper.

Snorzmorbles' mixture of Maldren will remove spots from floors, walls, ceilings and doors. In fact, it will remove floors, walls, ceilings and doors. Try it on your mother-in-law.

It is also an excellent laxative. No matter how long it's been, take one small dose and you'll find yourself heading for the little room early ... and often, too.

Snorzmorbles' mixture of Maldren will cure everything that ails you and other things as well. One of our thousands of satisfied customers had been deaf for all of her life.
In spite of this, just one day after taking a small dose of this peerless elixir, she heard from her cousin in Pittsburgh."

There was more but it's left my mind. Of course, I'm not really getting forgetful. I only marked the backs of the cards in my one way forcing deck as insurance.

I hope that some part of this material is of use to you. In any event, I am glad to be rid of it.

Sid
Message: Posted by: Magicrma (Dec 21, 2002 03:36PM)
It's not a medicine pitch but it is one of the best comedy routines about sampling your own product. Red Skelton's "Guzzlers Gin"
Gets me every time.

MagicRMA :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Sid Mayer (Dec 21, 2002 06:02PM)
I did see Sid Lorraine's medicine pitch one time. It was indeed so funny that there wasn't a dry seat in the house.

The premise I remember, 'cause I got caught on it, was that he started with what seemed an irritated throat and gradually lost more of his voice as the act proceeded. Finally, when he had reached the point of scarcely being able to talk and the audience was feeling sorry for him, he took a swig of the medicine and was instantly restored.

To the best of my knowledge, the act was never published. Perhaps it doesn't matter because Sid wrote it for himself and it was in no way "actor proof."

Sid
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Dec 22, 2002 04:02AM)
I created a pitched act that I did for a number of years based on the "Tommy Windsor Medicine Show" patter using completely different tricks and routines. Several other books have been helpful. Most published by Magic Inc.
"The Great Thompson's Original Comedy Medicine Pitch"
"The Original Doc Hokum Medicine Pitch" by David B. Coleman
"The Tie Pitch" Tom Palmer

Tommy Windsor also include "The Popcorn Pitch" in his book "Dye Box Book"

A fascinating book is "20 years a Faker" by S. James Weldon (GBS press)

I didn't see Sid's routine, but I remember hearing about it. It seems I saw pictures of it...maybe in the old "TOPS" magazine...anyway, he was always a favorite of mine..I was just a young boy when I met him and he was quite encouraging.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Dec 22, 2002 07:51AM)
[quote]
On 2002-12-21 19:02, Sid Mayer wrote:
I did see Sid Lorraine's medicine pitch one time. It was indeed so funny that there wasn't a dry seat in the house.

The premise I remember, 'cause I got caught on it, was that he started with what seemed an irritated throat and gradually lost more of his voice as the act proceeded. Finally, when he had reached the point of scarcely being able to talk and the audience was feeling sorry for him, he took a swig of the medicine and was instantly restored.

To the best of my knowledge, the act was never published. Perhaps it doesn't matter because Sid wrote it for himself and it was in no way "actor proof."

Sid
[/quote]

Sid, that's the exact routine that Allen Hayden related to me. He told me that it brought the house down. Funny how magic can be created through nothing but a superb acting job. If that's not a lesson in the importance of presentation, I don't know what is.
Message: Posted by: spatrick (Dec 28, 2002 07:55PM)
Lou Zocchi, who is a fantasy games dealer in Gulfport Mississippi has about the funniest "Pitch" routine I have ever seen. He took bits and pieces from all those mentioned and put in his own flavor. He goes all out for the routine and even dresses the part. Not only does he do the pitch but he also does carnival stunts, and plays the saw.

The funniest line from the pitch is when he is walking out in the crowd looking for a volunteer he says "oops, sorry for knocking over your whiskey bottle lady!" Truly classic comedy!
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Dec 29, 2002 06:39PM)
I just remembered Doc Wayne marketed an "Old Time Medicine Show Pitch" (1996) that came with a bunch of small prop signs to hold up for the audience to respond to ("Hooray!" "Oohhh-h-h nooooo" "Hot Dawg & Gosh Darn" "Yahooooo!"). I still have it, but didn't use it. Has some fun ideas.

By the way, I found of picture of Sid Lorraine presenting his pitch in a small scrap book about him published by Abbott's.
And thanks Sid Mayer for sharing your bits with us. Very enjoyable!
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Dec 30, 2002 06:58PM)
Check out the movie, "Young Harry Houdini." I was able to grab and adapt several lines from this for my own pitch act!

Click below to view my pitch act character, "Professor Lyndel!"

Lyndel
Message: Posted by: Bilwonder (Dec 30, 2002 09:21PM)
Speaking of movies...There is a nice bit in "The Trouble With Girls" with Elvis Presley in a traveling tent show. Some character ideas there...
Message: Posted by: DonB! (Jan 4, 2003 09:48PM)
Thanks to you all for your input. It has all been very helpful, as I now go onto web auctions and try to round up some of these booklets.

DonB! :fruity:
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 6, 2003 08:21AM)
Greetings and Salutations DonB,

I have at various times toyed with the idea of putting together a medicine pitch/magic at.

You may want to check out Doc Dazzal at
http://www.docdazzal.com/

Hope this helps.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure,
choose an interesting life!
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Mar 19, 2003 10:45PM)
I do a medicine show pitch. There are bits of my script scattered about on my web site:

http://www.memoryelixir.com

Check out The Show and History for bits of the script.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: MOTO42 (Mar 28, 2003 06:10PM)
A semi-random line I came up with while reading this thread.
"Professor Moto's Oil of Ambrosia, the most powerful placebo on the market today."
Message: Posted by: drjeckyll (Apr 26, 2005 08:26PM)
The bit with gradually losing your voice during the medicine pitch, then taking a slug of the stuff, ... and boom! your voice is back loud & clear is a W.C. Fields routine. It's at the very end in one of his movies.
Message: Posted by: sclitsome (Apr 28, 2005 04:45PM)
Gene Gordon had a great magic pitch act. You can find the full script for it, along with tons of jokes in David Ginn's book "Laughter Legacy"

I got it at one of his lectures. I'ts a great book full of laughter.