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Topic: How do I make my magic routine funny?
Message: Posted by: purpulhaze (May 15, 2003 01:28AM)
Can someone please tell me how I would go about incorporating comedy into my magic? I am not new to magic but I've never really tried to combine the two. Could someone suggest a book, video or something that would help me in this process? I'd like to make my magic more memorable and entertaining. I think comedy would be the best way of doing this. Any suggestions? Anyone! Please!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (May 15, 2003 05:21AM)
If you aren't funny to start with, it's all but impossible to make you funny!

First of all, what sort of magic do you do? And for whom? And where? And tell us a little more about yourself.

I don't think any book or video is going to be much help; remember, the authors generally have successful comedy routines but the reason they are successful is that they are being done by the person who wrote them! To try to graft them onto someone else usually doesn't work.

So, Purpul, give us some more details and we may be able to offer some advice.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (May 15, 2003 06:30PM)
Read every book you can get your hands on by Dave Barry, Tom Bodette, and George Carlin.

They all have a way of taking a look at everyday things and making them funny. Try to look at things the same way they do.

Listen to monologues by Jay Leno or Dave Letterman. Those will help too. The funniest things are things around us that we see in a different light.
Message: Posted by: ferraroj (May 17, 2003 09:05AM)
You might want to look at a book called [i]Stand-UP Comedy The Book[/i] by Judy Carter.
Message: Posted by: Schaden (May 17, 2003 09:19AM)
I think Aldo had a great book with some really funny one-liners. That book alone helped me create my own material. If you're just a witty person that can't really sit down and make up something funny, I would just let the act take you. If you're not funny, don't try to be.

Message: Posted by: wassabi_87 (May 17, 2003 10:48PM)
If you crack a joke, don't forget to make it clear what you are saying.
Message: Posted by: tkuhns (May 19, 2003 01:21AM)
This may sound pretty general, but whatever you do, BE SINCERE. Be yourself. Good to pull a few ideas off of others, BETTER to think of what you would do if you were trying to be funny in a social situation. We all have an innate sense of humor to some extent. Try to tap that.

I think it helps if you physically DO your routines over and over again, ad libbing as much as you can. Often, you will stumble across something funny that just pops up.
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (May 19, 2003 06:11AM)
Most of the above information is correct, but I`m not very funny. I can't tell jokes, yet my act makes people laugh. When I do a serious trick it doesn't go so well.

Most of the major comedy actors are actors not comedians. Silent films are remembered for comedies not action.

Silly things like miscounting and dropping things. Corny jokes delivered straight. Let the magic be funny not you and listen to the audience. They will feed you lines and you can act as straight man.

If they like you and you are relaxed and they are having a good time they will laugh. Find a comedy magic trick where you do not seem in control and see what happens. Sit-coms are not funny in themselves. Just try it gradually and don`t try and force it. Remember Buster Keaton!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 19, 2003 06:19AM)
Ways to incorporate comedy into your show:

[*] 1. Purchase novelty effects like Pro Viper II, Vanishing Bandana, Professor's Cheer, Man-Eating Plant, etc.
[*] 2. Add comedy props that are naturally funny such as snake in a can, giant tooth brush, Large
Here is a list of things you can draw upon to make your magic funnier:

1. Do things that are [b]Physically Funny[/b].[b][list][*] Clumsiness
[*] Facial Expressions
[*] Gestures
[*] Klutz
[*] Movement: Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Freeze, Robotic
[*] Physical Injury: Slapstick
[*] Walking
2. Use things that are [b]Visually Funny[/b].
[list][b][*] Baby Toys
[*] Butt Stuff
[*] Competition
[*] Costumes
[*] Crying
[*] [url=http://www.greatbigstuff.com/]Extremely Big Things[/url]
[*] Extremely Small Things
[*] [url=http://www.foamprops.com/?source=GreatBigStuff] Foam Objects[/url]
[*] Funny Pictures
[*] Funny Props
[*] Funny Wands
[*] Hats
[*] Magician in Trouble: Trick Breaks
[*] Noise Makers
[*] Nose Stuff: Boogers (Gross Stuff)
[*] Puppets
[*] Running Gags
[*] Sight Gags
[*] Stinky Stuff
[*] Strange Goofy Props
[*] Underarm Stuff[/b]
3. Say things that are Verbally Funny
[list][b][*] Bodily Function Noises: Burping, & Farting
[*] Crying
[*] High Pitch Voice
[*] Loud Voice
[*] Low Pitch Voice
[*] Musical Jokes and Comedy Limericks
[*] One Liners
[*] Puns
[*] Running Gag Lines
[*] Saying Funny Things
[*] Silly Magic Words
[*] Silly Names
[*] Slow Talking
[*] Telling Jokes
[*] Verbal Mistakes, (Blue silk called red)
[*] Whining
4. Use Music or Audio sounds
[b][list][*] Funny Songs
[*] Noise Makers
[*] Sound Clips
[*] Squeakers
[*] Fart Machines (use with an appearing rabbit or Rocky Racoon if this is your thing)
Message: Posted by: The Donster (May 19, 2003 11:19PM)
Why not just do an act where everything seems to go wrong?
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (May 20, 2003 04:48AM)
The great Carl Ballantine started out many, many years ago with an act that was beautiful, difficult— and very reminiscent of Cardini's.

Trouble was, at the time, just about every magician was doing the same thing and in the same way.

While clowning around in a magic shop one day, someone suggested to Carl that, since he was so good at comedy, he should combine comedy with the magic, instead of doing a sophisticated manipulation routine.

He did and, as they say, the rest is history.
Message: Posted by: purpulhaze (May 20, 2003 11:59PM)

Thanks guys. You guys have given me some pretty good ideas. I just went to my first SAM meeting last week and one of the guys performing was quite entertaining as far as incorporating comedy and magic. I spoke with him after his performance and he pretty much said some of the same things you guys have said. I think I'm going to brain storm tonight with my pen and pad to come up with some more ideas. Thanks!