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Chris Becker
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Hey, this is just an observation I made and I was wondering if you have any thoughts you wanna share.

I'm from Europe, thus my magical upbringing took place outside the U.S. I mention this because it might not be a "cultural" issue generally but may be restricted to the magic scene. So, my observation was this:

In 85% of the cases, when I see an American stage performer, I'm devastated, dumbfounded and appauled by his incredible rudeness. The humor is vulgar, insulting and offensive. Many posts I find here in the "Now that's funny"-section confirm this theory. I - as well as my non-American colleagues - recently couldn't believe our ears when we went to see a local show here in Cambridge. It featured a couple of well-known, local performers and(!) Simon Lovell, who was not only out of shape in the magic he performed but also mindbogglingly rude. For example, he asked one of my friends up on stage and greeted her with the remark: "Hey, nice tit***!" WHAT ??? This is completely unacceptable! There were several kids in the audience (as if this would make a difference). He also advised a teenage boy (i.e., someone who got the point) who was there with his mum that he knew who his real father was, etc. David Oliver stood out as a wonderfully funny, TEASING BUT POLITE(!!), intelligent performer. Every audience member I talked to after the show agreed that he was by far the best magician and entertainer that night!

The reason why I'm writing this right now is because I just saw a couple of pertinent messages in this section today ("Mr. Rabbit, is that a carrot in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?"). What mindset does it take to think that's anything else but totally idiotic? It's not FUNNY, it's not creative (we made this joke as 6th graders in school), it's just utterly vulgar. But it is NOT humour. The second reason is the booklet "Gazzo's Street Cups and Balls" that I received recently. While the routine itself sounds very interesting and I'm going to work on it, the patter suggested is ... I run out of adjectives in English (my second language). Don't tell me "it works for him" or "it works for Simon Lovell". Maybe it does and another magician recently posted here on the Café: "No one has ever lost by underestimating the intelligence of the American public." But it is not in line with the heritage of Hofzinser, Annemann, Vernon, etc. etc.

Thanks for listening,
Christof
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
snap
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Hey,
I'm 17, and was born and raised in the united states. as an american, I totally agree with you. I've watched many performers that give us a bad name. also, as a girl, I am frequently offended by this show of crude humor. you are absolutely right, and I don't know if it's just in the united states, I have yet to go to europe (i'm going this summer) but either way it is offensive and rude, and I would never use it in my performance.
**--snap--**
tctahoe
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Every country has rude, blue or just plain crude comedy. I don’t think it’s a culture thing. I think it’s a lowest common denominator thing. I think it’s a lack of creativity on the performers part kinda thing. There will always be those who take shortcuts and using this type of humor (the cheep laugh) is an easy short cut.
bitterman
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I agree that Simon Lovell's show in Cambridge was a total disapointment, and he was painfully rude (like when his very dusty Shakespeare jokes bombed he actually told the small crowd they were too dumb to get 'his joke')but I was under the impression that Lovell was from the UK, not the US. Please correct me if I'm wrong. John Stetson, the night's MC and an American, was far and away a better performer.
If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

Dutchco is about to put out some new Ebook: DUTCHCO. Get 'em while you can.
jlibby
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Christof, can't say I disagree with you. I DO NOT work blue, although I will say that blue humor can be funny in the right hands.

Still, sounds like the show you saw was not in the right hands. Come see my show sometime. Smile)

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
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Corona Smith
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Excuse me,

Is this the funny bit?
magicalaurie
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What tctahoe said, pretty much. Smile

Cheap. Smile
bitterman
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Quote:
On 2006-03-20 19:48, tctahoe wrote:
There will always be those who take shortcuts and using this type of humor (the cheep laugh) is an easy short cut.


I would beg to differ. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Michael O'Donohue, Bill Hicks the list goes on and on of folks who use 'blue humor' to genius effect. Humor, like anything else in the wrong hands, can be very poorly done, but to blanket all 'blue humor' as cheep (sic) or a short cut is to not understand the nature of humor at all.
If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

Dutchco is about to put out some new Ebook: DUTCHCO. Get 'em while you can.
magicalaurie
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Perhaps it's more about the nature of TASTE than the nature of humor- where one draws the line. What price cheap? Smile
Funny they call it "blue" Smile .
bitterman
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Can you honestly say that Richard Pryor was just out for cheap laughs?
If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

Dutchco is about to put out some new Ebook: DUTCHCO. Get 'em while you can.
magicalaurie
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I can't say what he was out for, but that may be what he got.
mike gallo
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Christof, it's rather funny that the 2 magicians you named as being blue...neither of them are from this country!

Mike
magicalaurie
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That's the funny bit. Smile

Need a new title for this thread, maybe.
HarbinJr.
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It really is odd that in this day and age it seems funnier to make the spectator the butt end of the joke and humiliate them to get that "laugh" instead of realizing what real comedy is and to have the audience love the performer for who the performer is but that is exactly what is going on. Then of course the people that keep their shows clean are labeled as being old fasioned. Strange indeed! It just tells me how far "entertainers" hvae come doesn't it to you?

Robert
magicalaurie
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Full circle. Smile
Skip Way
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Being American Born and Bred and having had the incredible opportunity to live in Europe for 12 years, I seriously have to challenge this precept. I always thought Benny Hill's humor went way beyond good taste...and I laughed my way through every show. In fact, his television show was extremely tame compared to his live Cabaret appearances...and the television show was far cruder than anything on American Telly at the time.

I also worked closely with the RAF in Italy and attended many of the RAF-hosted shows...similar to our USO shows. I went to a Punch-&-Judy show expecting a "South Park" style in-your-face humor fest and was feted to some VERY foul mouthed puppets and a very busty snake charmer...Oh, to be that snake for five minutes...but I digress.

One of my idols, Aldo Colombini, has been known to toss choice adult double entendre and innuendo bits into an all adult audience...to classic effect...and Italian Telly and clubs are loaded with baudy humor and flat out raunch comedy.

And don't even get me started on the Germans and the Greeks! Oy! Let's just call it what it is...a matter of perception based on cultural differences.

Skip

Posted: Mar 21, 2006 8:46am
On the "Blue" line. I perform a 98% clean comedy adult act. Few comedy clubs will book me for evening and night shows because the college and dinner crowds want something more earthy. But I work more gigs and earn higher pay than the majority of my "blue" buddies because I can work more places outside of the comedy clubs. I work more family gigs, more banquets, more festivals and even churches and PTA's...because I can twist adjust my routines to 100% clean with no effort at all.

Two buddies and I were booked for a local sheriff's dept. Christmas party last year for very good pay. We were each slated to do 20 minutes. The agent apparently felt that the blue comics would appeal to the adults and I would handle the family humor...as if THAT made any sense at all. It turned out to be a VERY conservative department with an old handlebar moustached, Colt six-shooter toting, cowboy hat wearing, Walter-Brimley-type of Republican Sheriff and a very conservative group of officers. My buddies tried to modify their routines on the fly...and managed to pull about five minutes of relative silence each before giving up.

The kicker came when the best of us started his "Winston Sponsored NASCAR" bit where he impersonates a NASCAR official thanking Winston through his tracheotomy larnyx voicebox...and the Sheriff's father-in-law was in a wheelchair in the front row with a tracheotomy bib in place. He just shrugged, shook his head and walked off stage. That left me to mop up with 20 minutes of prepared material and 30 minutes of off-the-cuff clean comedy and magic bits.

If you do "blue", practice and present a clean version of the act regularly. You'll earn more, work more gigs and progress through the biz. Lots of comedy clubs are beginning to offer family and teen matinees on weekends now...and are expecting comedians to fill that market niche.

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-03-21 08:46, Skip Way wrote:
It turned out to be a VERY conservative department with an old handlebar moustached, Colt six-shooter toting, cowboy hat wearing, Walter-Brimley-type of Republican Sheriff


You mean Wilford Brimley, Skip? He's cool. Smile
Vandy Grift
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Quote:
On 2006-03-20 22:07, magicalaurie wrote:
I can't say what he was out for, but that may be what he got.


No, what he got was belly laughs, almost universal acclaim as a comic genius and accolade upon accolade from practically every single stand up comic then, and since then. The impact that Pryor had on his contempories and those that followed is almost incalculable. Even comics that would never dream of working blue (Bob Newhart for example) have given credit to Pryor for his groundbreaking work in comedy.

Now, we could talk about the use of "blue humor". But if we are going to approach it from the standpoint that this only happens in "American Humor" , well then, why bother.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Simon Lovell
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Well I'll simply say that you can't please all the folks all the time. I will, however, add that people are warned before my show that it has adult language and adult humor. At my own show here in NYC we have a strict adults only in the audience policy. If parents chose to bring their children to another show where I've been asked to do the Hobbies show then that's not my fault but I won't compromise the requested show just because of that.

Not everybody will like the show but that's OK with me. I don't expect to be universally liked. However the fact that the one-man show has been running for over a year here in NYC shows that there is an audience for this type of material!

I'm not sure what was meant by being off magically ... I think the tricks all worked pretty well that night! And, the Shakspeare stuff is just for me. Sometimes I do stuff just for myself!

Simon
bitterman
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That’s funny because the arrogant ‘this one is just for me’ attitude didn’t come across from the stage. It felt more like a ‘wow, you people aren’t laughing at these old jokes. It couldn’t be the material or the delivery; you all must be too dumb to understand my wit’ kind of vibe that you were going for. This, I think, was most apparent when you tossed out the witty bon mot, ‘Don’t you people read’.

I glad for your success in NYC, and you should be proud. A year’s run in an amazing feat, but when you took the show north it felt like you didn’t bring your A game, and, as I told you in an email several months ago; it was almost as if you had woken-up from behind the bar minutes before the show started.

I think the original thread here was that American stage performer have become vulgar, insulting and offensive, and your show in Cambridge was held up as an example. While your show was insulting, like you say, that’s your style; but again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t think your were an ‘American performer’. It seems vulgar, insulting and offensive crosses over jingoistic boarders, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
If you are not cheating, you are only cheating yourself.

Dutchco is about to put out some new Ebook: DUTCHCO. Get 'em while you can.
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