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saranacbo
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Of course, as with almost every thread here, we have people using their experience as a basis for a universal opinion. In other words, here's what I've done so you should, and blah blah blah.

Of course there are appropriate and inappropriate settings for all sorts of things. And if you can't figure out the setting, that's your problem. Similarly, there are humors that we consider appropriate and inappropriate and we either use or don't use them accordingly.

As for ding-dong: I've got it and I've used it only three times in 25 years. They were for specific occasions; I knew the people and I knew the reactions--which were hilarity and just fun.

I've also seen regular, well-known "clean" performers who were amazingly offensive without any sort of sexual reference: They were just condescending, imperious snobs (and a bunch of their magic was pretty sloppily done too: they really didn't care about their audience, just their own egos and the bucks).

So we come down to personal tastes and style. The simple point is if you don't like the ding-dong or anything else, then don't do it. And if your audience hated it, then you misread it. But if I and my audience had a fun time with it, don't lay a judgement trip on it, as if there's some universal measure of "good tastes" and "appropriate humor," and you know what it is.

I don't mean to offend anyone with my reply, but I really think the world is big enough and there are enough different people in it so many humors and styles fit in beautifully. As for me never doing a trade show? Of course not. Nor do I want to. And just because I don't, but you do, does not make you any more elevated--either spiritually, intellectually, or necessarily magically--than I.
johnnymagic
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Quote:
On 2005-12-09 12:44, saxmangeoff wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-12-06 23:20, Bill Palmer wrote:
Nobody ever lost a gig for working clean. Plenty have lost them for working dirty.


I while back I read a great book by Gene Perret, who was, among other things, a writer for the Carol Burnett show and for Bob Hope. The book was "Successful stand-up comedy; advice from a comedy writer."

In the book, he discusses blue material, and the irony of the fact that every comic's ambition was to be on Carson. As a comic, if you got on Carson's show, you had arrived. These comics were in comedy clubs doing lots of blue material. But if you got on Carson, which was on broadcast TV, you had to do clean material. He heard a lot of comics say, "Yeah, when I'm on Carson, I'll do clean stuff." But they were in the clubs offering no proof to Carson's scouts that they could entertain an audience with clean material. These guys failed to see the implications of their choice, and they never got a call from the Tonight Show.

Geoff


Didn't steve martin do Flydini on the Carson show? I thought that was funny. I guess I'm glad he didn't pull one of these sponge thingies out though....
Out of all the magicians I know, you're one of 'em...

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Larry Davidson
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On 2005-12-19 15:20, johnnymagic wrote:
"...Didn't steve martin do Flydini on the Carson show? I thought that was funny....


Yes he did, and no it wasn't funny, it was HILARIOUS!!!! Remember the cigarette bit? How about the singing Pavoratti puppet? My head could explode just thinking about it.
Bill Palmer
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Flydini was funny. It never really got into the gutter.

Steve Martin knows where to draw the line.

Sometimes the worst thing you can do is to tick the management off, though.

Think back to the famous incident with Jackie Mason on the Sullivan show. They were telling him how much time he had left with hand signals. So he made fun of it. He didn't do anything obscene, but he did something stupid. He got Ed Sullivan mad at him. And that kept him off television for a long time.
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Chessmann
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Ding Dong, your career is dead.
Which career?
YOUR career!
Ding Dong, your brief career is dead!

Its gone where the goblins go,
Belooooow, below, below, yo-ho.....
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Bill Palmer
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Actually, Al Goshman did magic a service by creating this trick. First of all, it eliminates a lot of hack magicians. I'm not referring to Payne, here. Payne is anything but a hack. He knows when and how to use this item, but most of the guys I have seen who use it really shouldn't be doing magic.

But it is useful. You can hold it by the "handle," dip the other part into warm water, and use it as a window wiper.

Of course, it may cause streaking.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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PhatDad
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Personally on this side of the pond and underside of 40 I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.

I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.

It might be news to some of you but times change, people change and tastes change. There are certainly times and places that you should definatley not do this effect and the person doing the effect should realise this but to tar everyone with the same brush is just wrong.

The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.

Now judging by the posts on this thread you're all probably thinking that my friends, family and myself are English equivalents to a redneck or bum. Well we're not. My mother is in management and is in charge of geriatric care in a very large hospital. I myself was in the I.T. industry for many years until we had the family and I gave up work as my succesful partner works in an engineering company. My friends range from the unemployed to media producers.

We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects. The generation that actually find the likes of David Blaine and Derren Brown a welcome change to the usual old fogies we normally see. So, before you go telling people that something is not suitable at all, think about where they live, who they are, what age range they are etc

Oh and give people a bit of credit that they can judge a situation satisfactory enough to do the trick to the right people. Maybe just a bit of advise on making sure they know rather than slating the people that do it and enjoy it might be more helpful.
Payne
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On 2005-12-21 13:33, Bill Palmer wrote:

I'm not referring to Payne, here. Payne is anything but a hack. He knows when and how to use this item,



I'm touched. It's not everyday I'm told I know when and how to use my Ding Dong.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
mike gallo
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The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.


Doing this for friends is one thing...for pay, it's another. Wanna introduce me to your Mother Smile...just kidding!!!!!!

Mike
Count Lustig
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Quote:
On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.

So, you're saying that you're against stereotyping?

Quote:
I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.

Oh, I guess not.
paisa23
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I am wondering, is there anyone out here who has done this routine for Friends or on the spot JUST for fun? Also would would you put the Ding Dong in with effects such as Hallelujah and Sweet Dreams? I have seen Hallelujah, Have not seen Sweet Dreams but have read things. Just curious...
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects.

And, clearly, the first generation ever to have expressed these sentiments.

Sheesh!
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2005-12-21 18:23, PhatDad wrote:
Personally on this side of the pond and underside of 40 I am quite offended by the way you all portray the people who use this effect or the types of people who would find it entertaining.

I'm guessing that those who find it nasty and believe it should not be used at any time are of a different generation to myself and maybe from the bible belt or similar.

It might be news to some of you but times change, people change and tastes change. There are certainly times and places that you should definatley not do this effect and the person doing the effect should realise this but to tar everyone with the same brush is just wrong.

The majority of people I know would find this effect funny and in no way bad taste. In fact I would be quite happy to perform this effect to my own mother.

Now judging by the posts on this thread you're all probably thinking that my friends, family and myself are English equivalents to a redneck or bum. Well we're not. My mother is in management and is in charge of geriatric care in a very large hospital. I myself was in the I.T. industry for many years until we had the family and I gave up work as my succesful partner works in an engineering company. My friends range from the unemployed to media producers.

We are the generation that get bored with the same old gags, same old presentations, same old effects. The generation that actually find the likes of David Blaine and Derren Brown a welcome change to the usual old fogies we normally see. So, before you go telling people that something is not suitable at all, think about where they live, who they are, what age range they are etc

Oh and give people a bit of credit that they can judge a situation satisfactory enough to do the trick to the right people. Maybe just a bit of advise on making sure they know rather than slating the people that do it and enjoy it might be more helpful.


You really told us a lot about yourself except for who you actually are. Most of us are not ashamed of our own identities, so we use our real names. But be that as it may, you say that you are of the generation that is tired of the same old gags. How old do you think the Ding Dong Gag is? It's been out for about 30 years. That's an old gag in most people's books.

And your description of your family and friends, as well as their qualifications does not say a thing about taste. There are people with no taste at all in every field you mention -- ESPECIALLY MEDIA PRODUCERS. If everyone in media production had taste, you wouldn't see shows like "Goodness, Gracious Me!" (Which I find very funny, but in horrible taste.)
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PhatDad
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On 2005-12-22 03:06, Bill Palmer wrote:

You really told us a lot about yourself except for who you actually are. Most of us are not ashamed of our own identities, so we use our real names. But be that as it may, you say that you are of the generation that is tired of the same old gags. How old do you think the Ding Dong Gag is? It's been out for about 30 years. That's an old gag in most people's books.

And your description of your family and friends, as well as their qualifications does not say a thing about taste. There are people with no taste at all in every field you mention -- ESPECIALLY MEDIA PRODUCERS. If everyone in media production had taste, you wouldn't see shows like "Goodness, Gracious Me!" (Which I find very funny, but in horrible taste.)



My username has been used for many years now and due to the job I do I like to stay as anonymous as possible due to the risk of reprisals. Unfortunately the internet makes it far too easy to find people and I have to get to know people first. Although after reading the forum for a while I'm pretty sure I could trust you Bill, just not sure about the others out there. Smile

I think people are a lot more easy going now-a-days and the younger generations consider things a lot less risque, rude or nasty than the older generations. Upbringing has something to do with it as well. Bad taste to some is nothing to others. There are certain websites that I find disturbing where others don't. I won't begrudge them because they don't have the same tastes. I try not to tar people with the same brush and as pointed out by someone else I still managed it in my previous post. However my defense for that was I was struggling to find the words to not offend anyone and picking out any individuals.

I think you would need to know the audience you are performing the effect for but I in no way think anything bad of those that would find it entertaining.
paisa23
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Quote:
On 2005-12-22 01:49, paisa23 wrote:
I am wondering, is there anyone out here who has done this routine for Friends or on the spot JUST for fun? Also would would you put the Ding Dong in with effects such as Hallelujah and Sweet Dreams? I have seen Hallelujah, Have not seen Sweet Dreams but have read things. Just curious...



Just wondered if anyone read that one. that's All. LOL
Bill Palmer
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I agree with you on this. However, the one caveat that is most important to realize is that you must know your WHOLE audience. If you have one or two individuals in a group of, say, 20 that are offended by your performance, you can write the whole show and anything you might have gotten from it completely off.

Let me make something clear. I have been in the entertainment business for most of my life. I performed in bands before I performed as a full time magician. Some of the material we did back in the 1960's was awfully strong. But we relied on double entendre rather than out and out dirt. When you make your audience come to a conclusion about what you are saying, then they think they are really clever. When you force them to come to a conclusion, they don't think you are clever.

And in some circumstances, depending on where you are, it can cost you money. One of my friends who I worked with for years at various Renaissance Festivals is a very talented singer/composer. He came up to me one afternoon and said, "I keep losing my crowd during one of my songs. What's wrong?" So I asked him to sing the song for me. He told me at a certain spot where the crowd started to disperse. Now, granted, there were children in the audience, so this is a little different than when you are performing for an all adult crowd, but the principle is the same.

He had a short narrative stretch during one verse where he said, "And they would go through the woods and be attacked by great horny beasts." And when he said the word "horny," he lost his crowd. I suggested that he change the word to "horn-ed."

I explained it this way. "When you say 'horny,' you are giving them one choice, and they might not like it. When you say 'horn-ed,' most of them will figure out what you mean, but they will think they are clever because they figured it out."

So he tried it. It worked. He kept his crowd. He made money.
"The Swatter"

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Payne
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Quote:
On 2005-12-22 12:23, Bill Palmer wrote:

He had a short narrative stretch during one verse where he said, "And they would go through the woods and be attacked by great horny beasts." And when he said the word "horny," he lost his crowd. I suggested that he change the word to "horn-ed."



Much like when. on our Armada 400 tour of England, we had to convince our minstrels to change the lyrics of an Elizabethian tune from "He gives me golden showers" to "He showers me with gold".
Things change menaing over time. In fact the Ding Dong would have played very well in the 16th and 17th centuries. Even amoungst the "upper crust".
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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Sounds like "Nonesuch." I made up some really awful lyrics to that.
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saranacbo
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PhatDad makes a great point. It's all about diversity: There are all kinds of people and all kinds of audiences; humor will vary according to country (and section of country and socio-economic strata and blah-blah), religion and so on. It's the same with nudity. Americans are, as a group, pretty uptight about nudity (look at all the fuss a nude beach provokes); they're simply considered a fact of life in most of Europe. I realize for most mainstream American audiences, the ding-dong is offensive. But all American audiences are not mainstream, and if you're not giggin for one, then guess what? It might be a wonderful bit.

As for using as a standard of acceptable humor that you might offend one or two of twenty people? Well, if your humor is totally neutral, then you've got a guarantee, I guess. Of course, while your humor might be perfectly tasteful, it might also not be all that funny, or at least the audience might not find it all that funny.

As for the ding-dong being an old trick: Well, I guess it is (though not compared to cups and balls, certainly). But an new tricks are like new jokes--they're the ones you haven't seen or heard before.

And finally, as far as what's offensive or isn't: THE most offensive performer I ever saw was a big name in magic. He had a great rep; his ticket prices were pretty high. And as far as I was concerned, he was a total jerk. He condescended to the audience the whole time, and even worse, he treated his volunteers poorly. One of his "comedic" bits consisted of doing a rope trick, with the volunteer holding one end. And of course, he'd ask the volunteer to yank the rope and then commented about "the jerk at the end of the rope." He did it repeatedly. His magic also was pretty half-baked (a couple of bits didn't work because either they were cheaply made or he just hadn't rehearsed them well enough). Compared to him, the ding-dong was the apex of class and refinement.
Police Magician
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I agree with Bill that you must know the "whole" audience. Even when I give law enforcement lectures, there are always some negative Ned's and Nellies in the audience. These type of people live to complain at the drop of a hat. I had my say with one such person after a crime prevention lecture. Funny though; he did not complain to my chief after I told him off.

I am 52 years old and I got embarrassed the two times I did the Magic Ding Dong effect. You would think a seasoned cop would be tougher than that. Anyway, do know the people to whom you do this effect. Both times, I was asked to do it.

Glenn
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