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peteyboston
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I'm looking for information on "Think a Drink". I believe is was developed in the early 1920s. Can anyone help. I would like to know Who, Where and When.
Thank You in advance for any help.
peteyboston
hugmagic
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The act "Think a Drink" was performed by Charles Hoffman. I believe there is a tape of a short excerpt of his performance on one of the "You Asked for it " television shows.

I believe the time frame for this act was the 1940-50's during the nightclub era. I am away from my library right now.

Mystic Craig (William Vagel) also did this act in the 1920's. It was called the "magic bar" or "any drink called for" I think David Devant also did this with a tea kettle.

Richard
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Ed Hutchison
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I was just a kid in the early 1950's, but about that time I can recall seeing someone--perhaps Hoffman--doing the famous "Think-A-Drink" routine.

There was a brief revival of vaudeville in those days and a theater in my home area of Syracuse offered this magic act along with other variety acts. The other acts that I recall featured Buddy Ebsen--later to become Jed Clampett--doing a dance routine, and the Three Stooges--or maybe a knock-off act--doing a skit in which they played inept carpenters trying to build something.

Funny what one remembers--and what one forgets--over a half-century.
Edward Hutchison

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peteyboston
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Richard,
Thank You. Any suggestions on locating subject in books?
peteyboston

Posted: Oct 1, 2005 12:36am
Ed,
Thamks, I follow up on Hoffman.
peteyboston
David Charvet
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I believe the late Al Sharpe ended up with Hoffman's bar and props used in the act. The act entailed a LOT of preparation. Hoffman had several imitators (Val Voltaine, for one) and sued one in the 40's over the billing "Think A Drink." Hoffman won and ran big ads in Variety and also Sphinx. He billed himself as "The highest paid bartender in the world."

Milt Larsen told me once that Hoffman was on an SAM show at the Wilshire Ebell theater in L.A. (1950's.) Everyone took a break to go to lunch before the show. Before Hoffman left the theater, he sealed the edges of his dressing room door with strips of wide, gummed paper tape. He wanted to know if anyone tried to get into the room while he was gone to see how the act was done.

Then there's the story (apocrypal, I'm sure) of the person casually standing arond backstage once before Hoffman's act and polishing the glasses on the bar to get the "spots" off of them! Little did they know, the "spots" were the secret.

I've heard Hoffman was very temperamental and rarely hung-out with magicians. I think he got tired of protecting his act all of the time.

Today, there are simpler ways to do the bar act. Alan Wakeling's method (in his book) and Jim Steinmeyer's "Hospitality" (which we build) are both a lot easier. I remember Magic Hands in Germany sold a bar act, with essences, in the early 80's.

Still, I would have loved to have seen Hoffman's act. I understand it moved fast - lots of beautiful girls handing out the drinks to the audience, and Hoffman's big finish with the production of a giant glass of "Bromo Seltzer" and then tossing the glass - and contents - through the air to an assistant - for his final bow. Must have been a showstopper!

Ah, those were the days!
peteyboston
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David,
Sounds like Hoffman is/was quite a guy. Thank You for the information.
I'm going ot read up on Hoffman, any suggestions which books.
Thanks,
peteyboston
David Charvet
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I believe Hoffman died in the 1970's. He was born in 1896 in Providence, Rhode Island. There is a little bit about him in David Price's book, "Magic." A few articles in Sphinx and Genii. Not much else, sad to say.
peteyboston
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Thanks,David
It seems such a interesting person would have a great deal more written about him.
I'll check out your suggestions.
Again Thanks.
peteyboston
hugmagic
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Great post David. I love these kind of stories.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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DonDriver
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I have footage of Hoffman doing his "Think a Drink" on You asked for it with Art Baker as host. It's one of my favorite TV magic footage.
Later, Don
peteyboston
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Don,
Your a lucky man. It would seem you have some very rare footage. It must have been tapped in the 50's or very early 60's. You look to young to have tapped it yourself, how did you find it?
peteyboston
DonDriver
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Peteyboston,
Hmmm don't remember I've had it so long. Thanks for "you look too young to have taped it yourself" I didn't tape it myself but I'm surely old enough to have.
I sent you a PM that you haven't read yet.
Later, Don
hugmagic
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It might be included on BIll McIlhanney's Mystic Craig tapes.

I have the same clip in my files and I did tape it myself. And I look old enough too.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Vandy Grift
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That really is a mind boggling act. I've also seen the "You asked for it" footage. When I watched it I figured that the drinks weren't real. I didn't believe that they grape-ade really tasted like grape etc. But the guy who gave me the video (You know who you are, Thanks) tells me that the drinks were really what he says they are.

At first it seems easy enough to figure out. The fruit drinks don't seem so hard to do, but then he does milk and coffee. It's excellent.

Hugmagic is correct, I've read that this was a favorite of David Devants which would put it before 1920 for sure. I think I also read somewhere that Dell O' Dell did a version of the trick?
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Todd Robbins
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The weird Docc Hilford has been making some coin at Florida country clubs with his Dr. Cocktail think-a-drink act. I hear it's great and really fits the whole neo-swing scene.


Quote:
On 2005-09-30 21:19, Ed Hutchison wrote:
and the Three Stooges--or maybe a knock-off act--doing a skit in which they played inept carpenters trying to build something.

Funny what one remembers--and what one forgets--over a half-century.

That carpenter act was Willie West and McGinty. There's footage of them doing that act in the Big Broadcast of 1930.
Pete Biro
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Todd: Nice work on Mindfreak.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
dan bivaldi
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Can anyone supply the footage to the think a drink effect,I have the steinmeyer book but would like to see a performance of somekind.
Shane Baker
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Of course, Steve Cohen does a nice job with a version of Think-a-Drink in his Chamber Magic show. He uses a tea kettle, for what it's worth.
Todd Robbins
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Somewhere I have an old Supreme Magic manuscript on the act. I don't know who wrote it, but it had a nice version of the act.

Thanks Pete for the nice words about the Mind Freak stuff. Criss needed some help and I was glad to do it. He took good care of me. We are now talking about season two of the series.

Todd
John Pezzullo
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Quote:
On 2005-10-19 00:04, Todd Robbins wrote:
Somewhere I have an old Supreme Magic manuscript on the act. I don't know who wrote it, but it had a nice version of the act.

"The Magic Kettle: Any Drink Called For" by Jeffery Atkins.

Published in 1972.
"One arrow. One life."
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