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Topic: Need help with different type comedy magic?
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Feb 12, 2003 11:53AM)
Hello everyone,
Does anyone know anyone who has a book out with more of a gag type performance of magic?

Let me explain:

Today, Mac King comes close to what I am looking for, but that's not quite it.

When I was in High School, (in the Dark Ages, lol) A senior put on a show at a school Carnival that was Hilarious.

It was in a seperate room from everything else, set up as a night club.

The act was all silly stuff (linking fingers, disappearing ball in mouth, fingers teleported from one hand to the other, etc...) done in a serious manner.

The guy performing did the act in a dinner tux, and you can see Steve Martin doing this act when he first started. (He may have Stolen it from him, as I am not familiar with his early stuff.)

Anyway, I am going to recreate this type of thing for a dinner party at church soon and I need ideas. Anybody know of Books, videos, old movies, anything where I can get ideas?
Or, if anyone has ideas that would work in this type of venue, send them.

Carl Ballantine did an act like this, but I have never been able to find anything much on his act.

So, if anyone can help me, I'd sure appreciate it.

Steve :baby:

:banana: :cucumber: :pepper: :carrot: :banana: :cucumber: :pepper: :carrot:

I feel that I may have offended people with my post. This has been up for a while, and gotten several lookers, and no response.
Perhaps I have used the wrong terminology and offended someone/everyone.

I don't actually use anyone elses act(s) verbatim. I am not looking to steal anyone's routines/ideas/stuff.

Sorry for the poor use of terminology.

I do however, Watch other people to get ideas for things that I can do. Sometimes the things are close, but I make them mine for use with my own distinct style and in ways that will fit whatever format I need.

If we didn't all do this, then only the person who originated the trick would perform it.

Again, I do hope I didn't offend anyone with my poor use of wording, but I could really use some new ideas, as I have a freebie gig that I am doing in a couple of months.

Steve :baby:

P.S. Actually all my gigs are free, it's the only way I can get an audience :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Mar 1, 2003 12:52PM)
I doubt very much if you offended anyone; it's just that there may be no one with an answer that might help you.

There are so many variables in this sort of act -- the date, the location, the type of audience, the type of performer, etc.

Believe me, I know! I've been doing this sort of thing for decades!

I like the concept of the act but don't know of any of Carl's material on tape.

Can't really be of any help, but I did want to reassure you that you probably didn't offend anyone.
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Mar 1, 2003 04:57PM)
Thanks Peter, That must be it. I'm still relatively new here, and know that the people who frequent this site are, if nothing else, extremely helpful.
Thanks again,
Steve :baby:
Ps I'm not giving up, somebody somewhere knows where to find what I am looking for. If it is you (whomever :lol: you may be)
HELP!!! please
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 16, 2003 10:15AM)

There is an old book called Smart Stuff by George McArthy that may help you. It also may be out of print.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 17, 2003 12:47AM)
Comedy Magic, a book by George Blake.

Actually, it is best if you can put your own imagination to work.

Spend at least an hour a day writing down ideas, concepts, etc.

Take what you know and build on it.

Also, are you naturally a little funny? If not, forget it. :coolspot:
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 8, 2004 10:16PM)
Thanks Pete. They told me it was very unnatural for someone to be this funny.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Jan 9, 2004 01:04PM)
I was thinking of developing a show similar to such a thing as you posted.

Only it will involve bad magic...dumb magic tricks that your uncle does. But a good comedy routine...mess up some bad tricks on purpose...

I have tried it...and if you do it right...you get some great laughs.
Message: Posted by: Aperazor (Jan 9, 2004 03:05PM)
This may be of no help at all, but I ran across the page and bookmarked it.
I never read it yet but was hoping it would link to other sites...
Hope it helps a little.


Good Luck
Nick Zender
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Jan 13, 2004 08:27AM)
Whew Bob, sorry for the lapse in time. Guess I thot this thread had died. Thanks for reigniting it.

I'll look for the book,
"Smart Stuff" by George McArthy.

Do you remember when it was written, or even the era it was from?

The name "George McArthy " seems vaguely familiar, but I don't have the foggiest as to why.

Thanks again for restarting this thread, looks as though I've gotten some good responses that need replies.
Steve :baby:

I think most everyone thinks they are funny, and in certain circles, I believe, anyone can be funny. I believe I have the raw material to work with.

I don't always know what type reaction a bit will elicit. But if I can go over material, I can tell if it has potential.

I like your ideas:
"Spend at least an hour a day writing down
ideas, concepts, etc.
Take what you know and build on it."

That is the great common sense type stuff I need.

But even with the best material in the world, if the delivery isn't good, you bomb.

Any suggestions on coming up with a good delivery method/style?

Thanks again Peter
Steve :baby:

I have seen that people respond well to that type magic, but you have to be careful, I bought an old magic magazine with an article on Carl Balantine.

In the article he states that he booked a show and explained to the people who booked him what he was going to do, explaining that it was a comedy show.

After the show he heard the people who booked him say something to the effect of "that guy has to be the worst Magician in the world."

Just make sure that people know ahead of time that yours is a comedy show. :rotf:

Steve :baby:

Thanks for the website referral:


It has a wealth of useful information, that I will definitely try and absorb, and it does lead to other very useful links.

Wish I could place JC Sum. That name also sounds familiar, but again I am in the dark as to why. :confused:

Thanks again for the post.
Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 19, 2004 11:58AM)
Art Metrano was the fellow who really got famous doing the "finger manipulation" bit on the Gong Show. If you are familiar with the Police Academy movies, Art was one of the regulars on those.
Message: Posted by: Dario (Sep 11, 2004 06:12PM)
The work of Tommy Cooper, a British comedian can be inspirational to you. He is not the serious guy but he did a lot of nonsense dressing a formal suit (except for the hat).

The problem with this kind of act is that is not easy to do because is all a question of personality and how you are introduced. Sometimes the spectators can think that you are not realy doing magic, so be sure that you have a strong and comical (by opposition in this case) character.
Good luck!