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Topic: The Vault - The Endless Chain - A Review
Message: Posted by: RCarruth (May 7, 2019 11:50PM)
The Vault - The Endless Chain - A Review
Murphy's Magic, L&L Publishing and The World's Greatest Magic Masterclass

Johnny Thompson, Bobby Bernard, and Phil Matlin teach this magic standard. If you aren't familiar with this magical con, or if you need tips from three consummate professionals, read on... The Ad Copy reads:

Something Totally Different!

The underground con game known as the Endless Chain has its roots in an old gypsy swindle from the 1500s called "Pricking the Garter." It was subsequently adopted by magicians in the 1800s and has been used to delight, captivate - and humorously frustrate - audiences to this day.

In this video, you'll meet three different performers who each take a turn at demonstrating this classic scam. Johnny Thompson leads off with a three-phase routine coupled with a very funny kicker ending while providing additional moves and subtleties in the explanation segment. The UK's Bobby Bernard also demonstrates and teaches a three-phase routine but also supplies an ending that can add a bit of magic to the effect. Finally, Canada's Phil Matlin performs a three-phase routine with a pseudo-explanation segment that brings his version to a very satisfying end.

Audiences are enchanted by tales of con men and swindlers and with the help of the world-class performers featured here, you'll be able to add a routine to your show that is not only inherently interesting, but is something that your spectators are unlikely to have ever seen before.

Download the video and learn this today!

My Thoughts:

Although I've seen The Endless Chain performed numerous times by both professional and amateur magicians, I can honestly say I've never tried to learn it or perform it... in part because it seemed too easy for the audience to surmise its performance. Although the audience would be wrong, without the finesse taught by Johnny Thompson and friends, I didn't realize I, too, was wrong with my silly assumptions.

For those of you not familiar with The Endless Chain.. The magician introduces the audience to a fairly long loop chain. The chain is quickly manipulated into a figure eight and an audience member is asked to place his/her finger inside one of the loops formed by the eight. The magician pulls the chain, and if it 'catches' around the spectator's finger, the spectator wins. If the chain doesn't catch on the finger and comes free.. the magician wins. It is a betting move, and it is a con.. The spectator only wins when the magician wants him to win..

After a series of bets, the magician is confirmed King of The World.. and the effect is over.

Unless you learned from Johnny Thompson... He adds one final move that seems impossible for the spectator to lose.. but he does.

This move made the video worth the cost.. to me. It transformed The Endless Chain from a 'cute' little trick into a mystery. Suddenly, I could see the possibilities.. and I could see why a magician would devote six or more performance minutes to this innocuous little scam. It went from a 'trick' to a 'performance'.

Each of the performers added something personal to the effect, but it was Johnny's performance that stood out to me. The download is just over thirty minutes and is typical L&L production values... Nothing earth-shattering.. and nothing distracting. Although this is a
re-introduction of a World's Greatest Magic selection, it's timely, with the interest in gambling sleights/demonstrations and the recent passing of Johnny Thompson.

All you need to perform this effect is an inexpensive chain somewhere between 36 to 48 inches, and an afternoon's practice. It's not difficult to learn, just a few timely twists, and can be performed with something like para cord or thick string to get you going. I recommend the chain when in front of an audience, partly because of the 'flash' and the visual quality.. making it much easier to see from a distance.

The Endless Chain is very similar to, performance wise, 3 Card Monte. If you perform, or want to perform, 3 Card Monte because of its gambling qualities.. The Endless Chain is the perfect addition to your routine. It's much easier to learn, for sure, but establishes the same persona of a skilled gambler -if- you learn the Johnny Thompson method.

This is definitely something I will add to my repertoire.. I recommend you guys do the same.. If you aren't familiar with the Endless Chain, check out the video on Murphy's Magic site..

$14.95.. From Murphy's Magic and their associate dealers...


Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (May 8, 2019 05:20AM)
Johnny Thompson does add a little something to this effect that makes it a winner.
Message: Posted by: RCarruth (May 9, 2019 08:20PM)
My thoughts exactly.. It changes everything from a 'trick' to a 'mystery'..

Message: Posted by: bropaul (Jul 5, 2019 08:17AM)
I've been doing the "Endless Chain" for close to three decades. It is by far one of the most fun and engaging routines that I share with folks.

Being a street performer, I found that it fits exactly what I want to share with a small crowd. I use it when I'm waiting for a spot on the main area to pop my stand-up show. The above mentioned DVD is gold. That one Johnny Thompson move is remarkable. I save it for the last part of my routine where I give the mark "just one more shot at keeping the money." I don't use it all the time, but when needed, it's a MAJOR convincer.

I've worked my routine so the phycology puts 4 to 8 bucks in my pocket every time, legally. It's crazy, but people just love to give me their money at the end. During my years of working this routine, I've dug up some great resources such as the above mentioned video and of course Fast & Loose by Whit "Pop" Haydn. I call mine "Get A Job" and put out a little download of 32 min.

If you are into the monte, street gambling or even tic tac toe, check out L&L's Endless Chain. Classic work on a classic swindle. You will not be disappointed. (That move from Jonny Thompson. What a killer.)

Have fun. Thanks RCarruth for bringing this up. It is truly an amazing game and a great grind money maker. "No bets, tips only." For entertainment purposes only. ;)
Message: Posted by: RCarruth (Jul 7, 2019 09:00PM)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brother Paul ! I have to agree and I'm glad to get some feedback from folks who have actually used Johnny's move in the real world. (Thanks for subscribing to the Roadshow also.. ;-)
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Aug 1, 2019 03:40PM)
Message: Posted by: magicarnival (Aug 17, 2019 01:10PM)
Bobby Bernard refers to medieval fairground conjurers as “hankyomy” spelling? I’ve search various spellings but can’t find it. Does anyone know what he’s saying?
Tom McDonagh