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Teacher and Legend
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Profile of magicians
I think the biggest problem is.. If it's being sold, it's already old. The patter comes with the schtick, trick. In the moment banana bandana works, so do the bra, the triplebra, clatter box and all the "comedy classics". The audience almost always is seeing your roadshow of the classics for the first time. It (whatever) was funny the first time its seen, the chuckles work, the one-liners.
I love Aldos one liners, and it makes audiences laugh, and it is SOLD in a series of 6 booklets. Insert the lines in the show and the audience laughs, laughter means comedy has occurred and you are a comedian.
No is is claiming original comedy and magic, they are doing repertory comedy.
I do "borscht belt one liners" like shwartzman, and Schindler and my last name is Sutz. Sounds like a comical magic lawfirm of Schwartman, Schindler and Sutz.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
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Profile of MJP
I don't think you are necessarily born a comedian, though some seem to have a better, natural sense of timing than others. I highly recommend The Comedy Bible by Judy Carter. It is a solid book that helps you develop your comedic talents.
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Memphis, Down in Dixie
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Profile of ringmaster
Crandell said if you can stack dice and tell two funny stores, you can call yourself a magician: if you can learn another funny story, you can forget the magic crap and call yourself an entertainer.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
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Des Moines, Iowa, USA
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Profile of nathanallen
On 2007-11-06 22:43, MJP wrote:
I highly recommend The Comedy Bible by Judy Carter. It is a solid book that helps you develop your comedic talents.

I'll second that.
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 Jerskin
If you're doing the Bandana Banana you're not funny...(unless you're Tom Ogden who, I believe, it was stolen from). A comedy club in L.A. stopped using comedy magicians because they simply weren't as funny as the comics on the bill. In L.A. if Jay Leno drops in to do a set and then some guy doing "comedy magic" goes up the level of comedy goes down. The only comedy magician who I feel does both is Mac King. Funny & doing original routines that'll fool you.
GrEg oTtO

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Chicago, IL
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Profile of wizardofsorts
On 2007-12-02 16:30, Jerskin wrote:
If you're doing the Bandana Banana you're not funny...

I disagree. I've seen more then one magician do this, and some are funny and some are not. The audio portion of this trick is just that, a "portion." The comedy in this routine is your character's reaction to the situation. Imagine giving both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton this trick. There would be two completely different routines and they both would be funny.

Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event.
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Profile of bubbleburst2004
On 2007-12-02 16:30, Jerskin wrote:
If you're doing the Bandana Banana you're not funny...(unless you're Tom Ogden who, I believe, it was stolen from).

As old as Ogden is, it's much much older than him.
Rory Diamond
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Profile of Rory Diamond
I have been attending real "Comedy Clubs" (Zanies, Funny Bones, Improv,)weekly for years, and almost never see a magician. I am not talking about a YMCA or Lions Club that does a comedy night- I mean real, pay ten bucks at the door, two drink minimum Clubs, with an Opener, Middle Act, and a Headliner. I have talked to Comedy Club owners and bookers who will not hire a "comedy magician" at all! The reason for this, according to these people, is that magicians do not "get it"- they are not there to fool people, they are there to make people laugh. Sorry to tell you guys this, but even if it involves poking a little fun at an audience member, or telling a dirty joke, that is what the club owner, and the audience, is looking for. Plus, they want laugh after laugh after laugh- not just a little "guffaw" here and there. Most good Comedy Club headlining Comics have two or three different forty five minute sets, that are a guaranteed "kill". Most magicians have three or four jokes in their whole forty minute act that evoke a slight chuckle. Comedy Clubs are adult establishments, where people are drinking and smoking- there are no kids around, people want to get away from thier kids, and want to hear some adult jokes. The audiences are not in a "cerebral mode" and do not want to have to analyze how a signed card ended up in a wallet. They just want to laugh, drink beer, and forget thier problems, bills, job, spouse, kids, etc. Some clubs are now popping up adjacent to Strip Clubs! The few magicians I have seen from time to time will do mostly stand up comedy and then one or two comedy magic tricks. Usually the magic trick itself has a simple plot, and plays second to the comedy surrounding it. Some of these "Comedy Magicians" you see who advertise in the yellow pages would totally bomb at a real Comedy Club (if there are so many of these "hilarious magicians", how come I have never seen them in a Comedy Club?) In fact, many of the "comedy magicians" you see in Vegas Revue shows (or in the magic rags) couldn't hack it in the clubs (although that is probably a better venue anyway, better pay, better audience). I recently saw a very skilled, young sleight of hand perfomer totally bomb in a Comedy Club. He was doing a very intricate multiple card selection trick. Cool trick- but he wasn't funny, and nobody cared! This performer was there to "audition", and was not hired!
J Hanes
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Profile of J Hanes
This thread is hilarious.

Comedy and magic are 2 very different things and that was summed up well by Rory Diamond. But I'd like to add one thing.

Magicians, on the whole, are hacks.
And a lot of "comedy" magicians are underskilled, undereducated, and are good at neither magic or comedy.

This is all true.
If you're mad that I say this, then it's pointed at you.

gadfly3d wrote:
Here is my suggestion: If you get laughs you're funny and if you don't you aren't.

Nope. Lot's of unfunny people get laughs with other people's material.

Dannydoyle wrote:
When I am in the audience I darn well have the right to say who is and is not funny. No doubt.

Cute. That works for American Idol, but it doesn't play in the clubs. I hope you keep to yourself. I feel so bad for hecklers.

Thanks for the laughs.
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Profile of Magicmsilver
I'd like to add my two cents worth on this subject. There are too many magician who call themselves comedy magicians just because they own a break-away wand or get some laughs with the Banana Bandanna trick. The real test is this: go to a comedy club and do your material. If you're not getting at least four laughs a minute (which is slow for a comedian) go back and re-work your material. When I say material, I don't mean your tricks, I mean your jokes. A comedy magician weaves jokes around his trick. The simpler the trick, the better because people in a club don't want to have to focus. Your trick plot should be so simple that it can be summed up in one sentence (and not a three hundred word sentence with lots of commas and semicolons). When an audience member leaves they should be thinking "That guy was just as funny as the other comedians."

I recently did my show with Robin Williams and learned a very painful lesson about what funny is and isn't. I also learned that as a magician a little slack can be cut for not getting ten laughs a minute or more but not much. After that show, I went home, licked my wounds and decided not to give up but to try harder...simple tricks and lots of laughs based on original material is my current mantra. And let me add that a show filled with one-liners, stock material, and "built in comedy" isn't going to work, folks. You can pick up a roll of toilet paper and not be funny even though a roll of toilet paper has "built in comedy." Same with the breakaway wand.

To be funny is going to take a lot of work. Chip Lowell says that for every joke you write, write ten times as much. Over-write. In doing so you will find that you haven't really scratched the surface of your subject.

There is a difference between a funny object and making something funny. A breakaway wand can be a funny object but is not necessarily funny. When I did the show with Robin Williams, he came on after me, grabbed the roll of toilet paper I had used in my show and proceeded to show me what the true nature of the force was all about. He got three or four minutes out of my prop...I got two laughs.

If people in the audience are saying things during your show that are getting laughs, it's time to go back and review your material. Certainly, from time to time people are going to say funny things and get a big laugh (and those, are gifts from the comedy GOD ny friends) but you should be the one getting all the laughs. If they are saying stuff it's because of one of two reasons: you're not funny and they're being kind humans and wanting to make a fun situation, or you're so funny you've infected them and taken them to a new level.

If you want to b a comedy magician, go to open mics at comedy clubs and be prepared to suck for a very long time until either you give up or you get it and can consistently make an audience laugh.

Michael Silver
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Profile of ptigue
On 2006-07-12 23:09, Trois wrote:
Be what you is, don't be what you ain't. Cause if you is what you ain't, then you ain't what you is!!! Read this but don't use it...

ted french beat me to the punch. See da mammy...
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Profile of gabelson
After working stand-up as a straight monologist for 30 years, I can tell you that the only comedy club magician who garnered tremendous respect from the annoyingly elitist comedy "purists", (and could follow a Seinfeld or Rock for an audience who came to SEE comedy) was Mac King. Someone on this thread mentioned that Mac does "stock" material. This is not the case. While he might throw in a stock line here and there, no one is more original than Mac. I would also add to that list: John Archer, the Amazing Jonathan, John Ferrentino and the legendary Carl Ballentine. Funny is funny, and those guys are ***ed funny.
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