(Close Window)
Topic: Origin of the "Ham Sandwich" theory
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (May 9, 2018 09:55PM)
Anyone know who coined this?

Message: Posted by: JNeal (May 10, 2018 01:31AM)
Henning Nelms in his book Magic and Showmanship
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 10, 2018 08:59PM)
[quote]No matter how astonishing a trick may be, it suffers from one major fault - it has no point. Suppose you could work miracles. Suppose that, without coming near me, you simply gestured toward my pocket and told me to put my hand in it. I did so and took out a ham sandwich. This would no doubt amaze me, but after I had recovered from my surprise my only feeling would be, "So What?"

But suppose I say, "I'm hungry," and you reply, "I can fix that. Look in your left coat pocket." When I do so, I find a sandwich. This has a point. It makes sense. You cannot work that sort of miracle, but you can add meaning to your conjuring.[/quote]

There's another two hundred plus pages of goodies in that book waiting for you.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (May 11, 2018 11:58PM)
Thanks guys,

For the life of me I couldn't remember who to attribute it to. Wonderful book!

Message: Posted by: magicfish (May 24, 2018 12:12PM)
Don't tell Mark Lewis that. He hates that book.

This reminds me of John Cornelius' brilliant effect of making a pint of beer appear in his hand.

Picture this: You're a little late and your friends are standing in the busy bar area and they already have their drinks. They see you and offer to help by gesturing to the occupied bar maid. You wave it off and say it's Ok, you'll take care of it. You merely turn 360 degrees where you stand and when you've turned full circle to face the group you are holding a frothy pint of ale and you raise it to your lips for a sip as though it's business as usual and begin socializing. Awesome.
This is magic with a point and with social context that is miraculous and reputation making.
...and I would definitely do this even if I had real magic powers. Just like The Ham Sandwich.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 28, 2018 02:06AM)
Magicfish, where is the production item in print? I vaguely recall a cigarette item in his lecture but not a pint production.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (May 30, 2018 12:11PM)
I believe it is in his large hardbound book?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 30, 2018 10:20PM)
Mark Lewis might enjoy the H. G. Wells story "The Magic Shop" :)
Message: Posted by: MagicMattMan (Dec 26, 2019 02:34PM)
Robert Strong brings this theory up in his latest TedxTalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gchZMjRfL8
Message: Posted by: Robert Strong (Jan 5, 2020 01:58AM)
Thanks MagicMattMan for sharing my TEDxTalk!