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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Now that’s funny! » » Stand Up Comedy in Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Roger Kelly
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Inner circle
Kent, England
3327 Posts

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Quote:
On 2008-12-04 08:22, Jarod wrote:
IMO some of the best Comedy-Mentalism-Magic can be seen from John Archer and Mel Mellers!

Hear hear!! A great inspiration - particularly Mel Mellers. What a funny guy!
Jerskin
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Inner circle
2500 Posts

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Steve Martin did his Flydini act on Carson. Probably on YOUTUBE
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
Kent Wong
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

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I'm not a full-time comedian, nor am I a full-time magician. However, I do perform approx. 180 paid shows per year. Over the years, I've come to the fairly obvious conclusion that magic and comedy are two very different genres of entertainment; and often, they don't look kindly upon one another. Many professional comedians look down upon comdedy magicians as being too reliant upon their props. They also tend not to be able to generate as many laughs per minute that the "true" comedians are judged by.

But if you go to the other extreme, you have magicians allowing their magic to be completely overshadowed by an unending series of jokes (that are often completely unrelated to the magic at hand). The comedy becomes a distraction to the magic. The principles that drive a stand up comedy act are very different from the principles that drive a comedic magic act. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both types of entertainment, but I don't think they should be compared against each other.

Now, I've always injected a lot of situational comedy in my act, and the audience has a great time. But, the comedy is always built around the routine I'm performing and drives the routine to make it stronger. The comedy would never stand on it's own (and it wasn't meant to), and the magic would lose much of it's personality without the comedic elements I have injected into the routines. Am I a comedian? NO. Just because I can create a fun situation that makes people laugh, does NOT make me a comedian. I would never survive an open mic night at any one of our local comedy clubs; nor would I want to.

But I do consider my show, light hearted, humorous and very entertaining. By admitting I'm not a comedian, I no longer feel constrained by the rules and expectations by which professional comedians are judged. Instead, I am free to use situational comedy to add entertainment value to my routines and to texture to the show as a whole. So, IMHO, just because a person isn't an accomplished stand-up comedian doesn't mean he can't be a very entertaining, comedic magician.

Again, this is just my personal opinion, without any disrespct for the accomplished comedians among us.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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<BR>www.kentwongmagic.com
RJE
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1848 Posts

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I think it is a mistake to try and differentiate between comedian and stand up magician. A funny act is a funny act.

I have been performing regularly in both fields for a long time, with and without props and the only people that it seems to concern is the performers themselves. The audience sure doesn't care about how you're labeled. The people in the seats just want to be entertained.

On learning comedy, I learned the job by doing it. Getting on stage and performing. I personally don't understand how people can learn to be funny by reading books or taking courses, but if it works for you...

On the topic of stock lines, other people's routines etc..., avoid them at all costs if you can.

These may work fine if you are doing shows for venues that are not on a regular circuit. However, if you try doing this in comedy clubs or comedy nights, you will regret it. A veteran audience will crucify you if they recognize your material or have heard it performed by someone else.

Magicians often take pride in mastering and performing somebody else's routines that they've learned. In the comedy world this could get you killed or at the very least, it will keep you from getting work.

Entertain them. Make them laugh. Get paid. Go home.
Rusty Z
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Albuquerque
7 Posts

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I agree with RJE. Just because someone like Aldo publishes books composed of stolen lines that comedians spent sweat and energy creating, doesn't mean you should use them. Learn to write your own. That's what I did when I was a little girl.
magicnorm
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269 Posts

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I think it's all in the delivery. I've heard defferent performers deliver the same lines on many occassions and I don't remember thinking to myself " hey, he stole that line and should be killed" O contrare, I just appreaciate the ones that can deliver them entertaininly.
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