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I mentioned on another thread that I was starting out writing a comedy parlour style act and asked for a little advice:

I didn't get much response, maybe I was asking all the wrong questions. Opus gave me some sage advice and also suggested I put up my ideas for one of the routines as then it would give folks something solid to criticize and see if I'm going in the right direction.

Here's the first draft of the routine I put together for Sankey's "Earplugs".
I need some honest critique on it, what will work? What will not? Is the format dodgy? What should I work on from here?
Here it is:

Comedy routine for earplugs

(The first part of the routine I'm producing earplugs from either ear and then apparently pocket them, while I'm taking them out I'll vent a squelchy sound then a pop as I take each one out, a * in the script represents each production)

Are you all enjoying yourselves this evening?
Pardon, sorry? Oops, I forgot, still got my earplugs in.**
I've just come from a conversation with the girlfriend. A woman's word is never done.* Ooops, there's another. I got these from one of those freebie packs you get on airplanes. I think I got Prince Charles' set, not just the size; it's organic sponge. You don't get those packs anymore do you? * I used to love the microscopic toothbrush and toothpaste tube. You could pretend you had the mouth of a giant. "This puny brush is no match for my behemoth gob."* You don't get anything free on planes nowadays and the staff are terrible. I used Ryan Air last time I flew.
I went up to the reception and asked "Can you telephone from the airplane?"
He said "Yes, the wee plastic ting wid de numbers on it is a phone, the big tin ting wid the wings is the airplane"
(I had written more but I think I've probably already strayed to far from the trick this is my surplus patter continued from where we left off;
"No I mean can I phone someone on the plane"
"Sure who'd you phone, nobodies on the plane yet"
"Can I use the phone when I'm on the plane"
"You eejit, if you're both on the plane why'd you need to phone them?"
"Can you telephone from the airplane?"
"The phones the plastic ting you've just shoved up me a*se…")

You can fit a lot of these in here when you have a hollow head.

(I place 2 on the table then go into a squeaker routine ,I know, not very original but I do love them)

You can tell they're airplane earplugs because they have an in-built safety mechanism. If the planes going to crash and you're sitting there, oblivious to it all, with your plugs in, a member off staff can come up and go (squeak plug held up to ear) and then you won't be left out of all the weeping, wailing and trouser wetting.

Would you like a go?
Don't worry if it sticks to your finger. They're still a little waxy. (My favourite line)
They where white when I got them. Only kidding, I washed my ears yesterday…well I say I washed them, I ate a slice of watermelon, same difference.
Go into usual Squeaker gag, might add a triple bluff if I can get away with it.

(I'll then go do the usual sponge phase to spectator's hand with 2).
These are pretty speedy earplugs built for blocking out fast talkers.

(Get spectator to hold 2)
I've a spare on 'ere. Take plastic ear from pocket. Shout into ear "Go on then, paint a sunflower now, you ginger freak".
Produce another earplug from ear (as in purse frame).

(Vanishes goes to spectators hand)

Short phase to my hand, finish with production of giant earplug.
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Profile of nathanallen
Sounds like a good solid family-show routine. I like the "phoning somebody on the airplane" bit; I could see Abbott and Costello doing the act!

How about incorporating that "Tiny toothbrush" as a wand?

Maybe an Air Sickness Bag?

Or a Tray in the upright position...


In-flight movie...

Come on guys, lets brainstorm!
Nathan Allen, The Maniac of Magic

To buy a prop is nothing.
To write a good routine is something.
To really entertain an audience is everything.
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Profile of God-glorified
Tiny toothbrush wand gets another works as a visual routine since your have the ear, and it wont be so obscure when bringing everything it might help the joke go along.
I always like the big production at end but I think that no joke there would be missing something.
YOU COULD......cut out the Prince Charles in the beginning and fill it with somehting else.
Than at the end while holding two earplugs show their versatility and say something like. "sure these would be the appropriate size of a small exotic elephant but prince charles might feel a little more cozy with this" plugs turn into big one..................pause, relax, they relax, while everyone is still laughing, false transfer and say actually there not SO bad, and "stuff" it in your ear.
This is taken from an idea from Johnny Ace Palmer using a false ending. When they think its over, just before they start to clap shove the second finale in and watch the strong reaction.
Just some suggestions
hope this goes farther
Ephes. 2:8-9

For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.
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Profile of magicgeorge
Cheers guys.
The tiny tooth brush wand is a great idea, I could actually do the whole routine pulling things out of the flight bag.
I'm sure there's a phase that could be done with the air sickness bag and an ear plug. Dan Harlan has a routine with a sponge and a paper bag loosly based on the Slydini paper ball principle, I wasn't too keen on the presentation for kids but it might work great for adults.
I thought about putting the Charlie gag at the end but then I thought maybe I should let the ending just be magic and not let a punchline detract from the gasps. Not sure, watcha think?
I may do a gag as an afterthought after the final reaction, I think the prince Charles line is a little weak. Any other ideas for a remark for the final load.
I like the stuffing back in idea but is that an anti-climax from the large production?
3 things I'm not sure about from the original script:
Should I include the full telephone/airplane patter or will it be too big a break from the trick?
Could this work as an opening routine?
And if so, should I drop the sexist jokes? Might be a bad idea to get on the wrong side of the women too soon. An alternative to the "just come from a conversation with the girlfriend" Could be; Just come from a coldplay concert.

If I have an fake ear, a sick bag, earplugs and a tooth brush wand is there any danger of having too much stuff and cluttering up the routine?

Thanks again for your help with this guys, this will continue to be a work in progress.

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Profile of God-glorified
Hey George glad to help.
Let's take it one step at a time....keeping in mind that these are of course ideas that we have without seeing you perform, know your style, and such. My "edge" if you would call it is a comedian that does magic....that's a little ticked off. This doesn't go to the extreme as I will smile and laugh but NO HURT sarcasm is what I enjoy as that may come out in some of the lines (Thats obviously why I love the Prince Charles line) Also, I write so routines can be performed in a comedy venue so magic is great but Im really using that as and aid for laughs.
Knowing that it is important to establish if you want your audience to walk away saying. "WOW, what a COOL trick that was with the earplugs that would just disappear, and it was funny." OR "WOW that trick with the earplugs was SOO funny and than that big one came out, and he said that line about Charly!!"
This is something to ponder and consider. Now moving onto the routine.
In all honesty I would get away from the bag until you FINISHED pulling the earplugs from the ears. The concept here is because they are coming from NO WHERE but your ears, if you have a bag they may assume that's where you pulled it from. And its a little distracting at the beginnning when trying to get yourself established.
I think coming back from a concert would be better than the girlfriend line as well, because if you wanted to get into more jokes as you move along, the music is a better direction than sexist jokes (unless your super famous and no one cares what you say) especially a family show.
While you can come up with names that are LOUD for rock you can still find comedy potential in this. For instance, if you named a softer (?) musician you would be indicating that you don't like the music rather than it was loud! Ive never really heard someone hate a coldplay band but even if you DO like the type of music that Im about to mention it still would be funny as it is either some HATE and some LOVE it. (oh yea and I think this would be a very good OPENING routine as I don't see how you could get through the show with those earplugs in your ears the whole time either way.) Back to the idea, you could say:
" Hey there fellas good to see ya, you sir, in the caucasion shirt (Im always correct but NEVER political) what is your name?? Oh sry I couldn't hear you (remove plug)haha just came back from a music (disgust look, stick tongue out, whatever.)" Or if that's not your style you could switch the wording to " (pull plug from ear) haha just came back from a country music concert."
Or my personal favorite (just thought of it so if you like it USE IT) "(pull plug from ear) haha just came back from an Elton John concert, (look at plug, stroke your chin pondering, confused, and say:) though I think his clothes were louder than his music!!!" It all depends on your style and which one you like.
NOW you can remove the bag talking about where you REALLY got them from.
Now lets talk about the ending. You said you werent sure if you wanted the prince charles gag earlier because you would take away from the gasps. Also you thought the line was a little weak. (I disagree but heres why) Because of the nature of the routine, the earplugs would cause laugh regardless, even when they see it....let me put it this way. I did an earplugs routine about 5 or six times the other day with NO jokes, just a standard routine like with sponge balls....EVERY TIME they were seen, they laughed, and after watching them over and over, when that big one came out, WITHOUT a joke, they laughed. This is why I look at this as a comedy routine OVER a magic routine. Therefore due to my style, I don't see the big one getting gasps but laughs. So far up to this point every bit of magic has humor involved, unless you tore down many of the jokes it PROBABLY wont receive a david blaine type reaction. This is why I think it would be great to end with a finale that is ALSO a punchline, and any weakness that either the trick or the joke has will be ruled out by eachother. (If they love the joke the trick is cool, if they loved the trick the joke is funny) and they wont focus on whether they like jokes or magic, theyll have the option. However, I don't want to leave you hangin so Ill offer you an alternative joke ending if you want.
"Sure these size earplugs are great for country (or whatever) but next week the girlfriend is taking me to the opera!!" (chuckle and produce the big one)This is where you have another option, you can either let them laugh as they see it and allow them to get the joke or at the same time your produce it you can say "Haha for that Ill need one more like this!!" and END the routine there.
If you do the above routine I don't recommend throwing in the last big earplug shove in the ear as there would be no sense for it. But earlier you mentioned you thought it might be an anti-climax for the Prince Charles line. It would be if you waited until the end of their reaction. If you go with the charles line, WHILE they are clapping or laughing, laugh with them, then immediately say there not so bad and put it in your ear. Remeber it is crucial for it to be during a reaction because if there is silience theyll be expecting something, possibly watching you and see you do it, and it will just be anti climatic.
OF your three concerns I think the only one I didn't share an opinion on is the airplaine jokes. While I love comedy and your phone jokes, because this would probably be best as an opening routine, you need to establish yourself with the magic and I would say pospone the phone joke. I think if you take that out you should have enough of each to be fine. It is also an option to throw out all the plane jokes together but and it still be all right. (i like them though hehe)
Well I hope this helps you. Im am excited to see a right up or maybe even a video of the routine!
Right back if you need any help, even things you didn't like so we can all learn.
Have a funny day (??)
Ephes. 2:8-9

For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.
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Profile of magicgeorge
Cheers for all the insight and ideas, Roger,
The style I'm aiming for at the moment is Funny Magician rather than comedian that does tricks..........I think, it's kind of borderline. I want to be able to adapt it for a comedy act later but when I get around to performing it it wil be at venues where I am hired as a magician so I have to play the magician card to some extent. But I think I'm looking for a David Williamson kind of reaction rather than a David Blaine type. Style: edgy as in energetic and a little chaotic without being overly so so as to maintain a certain amount of a professional aura.

I agree about the bag, I want to start apparently empty handed. I think I'll leave the whole flight bag idea alone. The whole idea intrigues me, I think it would be an interesting novelty act. Turn up claim you've just come from the airport and they've lost your baggage and therefore you do your whole act with the airplane freebies. Maybe someone can use it but at the moment I think I'll just add the airplane theme to this one trick.
Unfortunately, I think I feel the same about the toothbrush, I just can't see anywhere where I can add the prop to the act without it getting in the way or being surplus to requirement, again one to save for the all in novelty act. However the sick bag phase could be added at a later part of the routine so long as it doesn't stretch the whole thing out too much.
I think where coming from the same direction with the band suggestion, Coldplay aren't particularily loud but rather whiny opinion is divided on them in the UK at the moment and a lot of people hate them. I could also throw in a Gwyneth Paltrow joke or something to do with there fruity offspring. So I think that's just one that didn't cross the Atlantic too well. I was going to write folk concert before I wrote Coldplay. Loud clothes pretty funny, whenever I meet anyone in a colourful shirt I usually pretend I can't hear them then blame their shirt.
I kind of agree about the phone gag, which is why I took some of it away (the part in brackets) I think I was probably kidding about all of it and kept it in because I like it rather than because it fits. The link was rather stretched lke a Bob Monkhouse set-up. If I cut it out from after the toothbrush gag inbetween "behemoth gob" and "you can fit a lot of these in here" would that be neater? If I do find somewhere for a phase with the sickbag I could put it in there.
I suppose I could cut the plane bit out all together, there's still a fair bit left.
I'm kinda fond of all the waxy ears gags.

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Profile of God-glorified
Hey george,
yes I agree some of the plane is still good. I couldn't help but laugh when it clicked that you are in the UK, and our music preferences around are different (ex. of people hating coldplay lol) I hope you get great reactions! (maybe ill use the elton john line!)
anyway let us know how it pans out
Ephes. 2:8-9

For by GRACE are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.
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