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danryb
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Hi,
I put a new production together called the "Coola Buba magic show".
I would truly apreciate your going over the routine and offering any advice, tips, suggestions you might have to make this show as funny as possible.
Please feel free to add your comments on any of the various routines.
the show consists of (in this order):
20th century shorts,
grandpas top hat,
stargazer,
bubbles from thin air,
paddle routine (I'll start again)
shackel and lock escape from inside a shoulder sac type bag and then producing from the bag - ,
loudmouth and peepers (puppets from axtell)
the coola buba theme song (taught to and sang together with audience)
"coola the seal" (axtells slippy the seal)
coolas impersonations of bugs bunny, clown, old man, magician
coolas magic fishing (with wand and rope - pulls a fish out of a bucket)
magic cooking theme (produce fish from dove pan),
"chief" - (axtells bullfrog) makes funny faces
chief turns child into rabbit (ala rabbit wand)
the luna trick (sucker sliding sun in clowd) (similar to die box)
the coola buba theme song with audience
end

that's it - it runs for 45 - 48 minutes. So far the reactions have been good. Although it seems the very young ones (2 - 3 year olds aren't quite up for all that's going on) and the older ones (8 - 10 year olds tend to bore when the puppets come on). parents and adults smile and praise originality and my way of entertaining children.
I just want this show to be as funny as possible - so any ideas are more than welcome.

thanks,
Dani the magician
The Magical Duo
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The show sounds very entertaining. Are you on good terms with your puppets or is it a "dueling wits" thing? To be really funny there has to some kind of friction among all those puppets or between you and one or all the puppets. The sheer amount of puppets seems a little overwhelming for that short of a show. Humm... Just a thought, but could you do ONE puppet in the latter half of the show and focus on his specialty? Say cooking, fishing... It would be a little more personal for the audience. they need to get to know the puppet, or is he "famous" already? They need to anticipate your and the puppet's reactions. That is half the fun. For example, most everybody knows how Bugs Bunny will respond to Elmer. You're laughing before they even do anything. Also, the three stooges are very predictable. They use the same shticks over and over again!
1.The audience needs to know your character
2. they need to know your partner(s) character(s)
3. There needs to be a little friction in the show some way or another
4. DO NOT take yourself seriously

hope this helps!
You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons. Gene Wilder BLAZING SADDLES
danryb
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Thanks for getting back to me on this.
I actualy had another puppet in the beggining but, as you said, it was way too much and became too long a show.
the warm up session with the magic is good to gt the kids to know me (those that don't already). the first two (peepers and loudmouth) are kind of one and simple teach the kids the song.
then comes "coola" the main puppet character who gets great response.
I conclude with the production of the frog who in turn changes the child into a rabbit.
After that I go back briefly to do a good funny pop up - double take routine with the vanished sun peeping up from behind the clowd.
I then finish with 2 peepers and myself singing the coola buba song one last time.
in itself there is a good deal going on. I might exchange the frog routine into my verne routine instead because verne is by far funnier then the frog. I should try that.

please respond more in assistance because it is your posts that help me think up different ways of performing this show.
BenSchwartz
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You should post this in the kids section... no adult could possibly be entertained by this "comedy" magic
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
magicgeorge
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That's right, Ben, because kids laugh at what is genuinely funny while adults are too preoccupied with witty ,clever humour like "amusing" quotation marks.
BenSchwartz
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You have a puppet monkey, holding a magic wand in its mouth, and it looks like the other end of the magic wand is going up your nose..... that's genuinely funny? enough said.....
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
axtell
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Dani.. that's a LOT of stuff! It sounds fun but may be over complicated. I'm excited you are using so many of our products.

Magic George....I think that's one of the funnier photos I've seen in years.

Ax
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2005-08-13 19:08, BenSchwartz wrote:
You have a puppet monkey, holding a magic wand in its mouth, and it looks like the other end of the magic wand is going up your nose..... that's genuinely funny? enough said.....


George's picture ALWAYS makes me laugh and as far as I am concerned ANYTHING that makes people laugh is genuinely funny. Low brow, High brow, Slapstick, Bathos, Parody, Satire, Wit, Stand Up, Physical Comedy....so long as the audience laughs its fine by me. Even if this IS a child's show, why shouldn't this discussion be included in this area? He has questions about the comedy value of his act. This is the comedy section! The only people who don't belong are those with no sense of humour!

Back to the topic..

In my experience, the reason why children over 8 can sometimes lose interest in puppets is because the 'scripting' of such routines can make the humour seem forced. In order to make it work for older children and adults you need to make your material seem fresh, as if you are saying it for the first time. This is where I feel the long string of puns that ventriloquists often fall back on can let you down. My suggestions for bringing them back in would include

a) Give them a role in the show. I always tell the oldest child that they are my body guard!

b) Have a few jokes aimed at the older members of the audience particularly. Deliver them as an aside as if you are sharing a special private joke. In doesn't need to be hugely funny, just a little wink to them. For example, I have a little bit in my children's show where I say "should I keep wearing this hat or does it make me look like an idiot." All of the young children shout "IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT." I always look a little surprised and then say to the parents and older kids "Its my own fault for asking." Its not a funny line but it give me and them a little shared experience.

c) Try and avoid the patronising Mr Rogers/Blue Peter presentation. "Now boys and girls..."

In terms of general hints on being funnier, I would suggest buying The Comic Writers Handbook. It contains valuable ideas on the Rule of Three etc.
danryb
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Thanks for sticking up for me against that bully Ben.
Actualy ben - I did put the post originaly in the childrens section but to no avail.
Also, I did not say that this was an adult show - it is a children/family show and it is a fun show for all ages.

The Comic writers handbook - Available from where, who?
sounds interesting.
also I would like to point out that this is not vent. one puppet doesn't talk at all, one just ear lips me the info and another I speak for.

I would apreciate any coments you can offer to help make this show FUNNIER.

thanks,
dani
magicgeorge
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Hi,
Ha,ha, of course a monkey sticking a wand up my nose is funny, it's not clever but it is funny. There's no room for snobbery in comedy.
Even in adult comedy, the guy with simple humour presented well often beats the guy with an ultra-clever script. Don't get me wrong I love clever jokes but for entertaining most people you have to hit a balance.

Dani, it does sound like you should be getting more entertainment from each routine, that's a lot of routines for three quarters of an hour. It's quite hard to make suggestions from a list of tricks. Why not pick one of your routines and describe the presentation in full and then we can get back to you and make suggestions. Once you get used to the various methods of adding comedy and entertainment to a routine you'll find you get a knack for it and you'll be able to get more enetertainment from the rest of the act yourself.
George

P.S. I also agree puns aren't the best idea in a kid's show: if they're simple enough to understand then they aren't funny if they're clever enough to be funny then the kid's don't get 'em. I have 2 puns in my number one show, the first one is a throw-away one that the adults and older kid's get, the second one is a bad one which I pretend to find hilarious. In the second one the joke isn't the pun itself but me making fun of myself for liking a rubbish joke.
P.P.S. I'll try and post only once this time.
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