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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Think A Drink Hoffman (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Rick Fisher
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Rick Fisher
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Here is a neat Think A Drink Hoffman video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okGBeX-BTD8
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mtpascoe
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This great. I always heard about this artist, but thanks to this video, I can get a glimpse on how he was like. Amazing!
Lawrence O
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It cannot be physically the real Professor Hoffman: it's only a rendition.

The cinema was invented and patented in February 1895
Angelo John Lewis aka Professor Louis Hoffman was born in 1839:
The Scot John Baird presented his television invention in 1926 and sold the first receiver in 1930 allowing the first transmission in France in 1931 At best the Professor Hoffman would have been 98 years old: the gentleman on the film is clearly not... and Angelo John Lewis had died in 1919.
Well,it could be asked whether the show could have beeen a film which was then presented on TV; but cinema (let alone television) was invented when the Professor Hoffman was already 56 years old (patent of the Lumière Brothers) and the first speaking film was presented in October 1927: Professor Hoffman would have done a great trick since, as indicated, he had died in 1919.

Congratulation for searching, sorry for the disappointment
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Rick Fisher
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This isn't Professor Hoffman..This is Think A Drink Hoffman....old vaudeville magician act...
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jkesler
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"Think A Drink" Hoffman performed a lot during the 1940's and 50's...Hotels and Night Clubs...I believe his first name was Charles...I will check my files for more info...
Bill Palmer
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This is, indeed, a different performer. His real name was Karl Hoffmann, but he changed it after WW I, because it sounded too German. He made his fortune during Prohibition.

At the time, Burling Hull was selling his drink essences, which he purchased from Schenley's in Canada. They were so nicely concentrated that a tiny droplet of the essence in the bottom of a glass, when mixed with a special mixture of gin and water, produced a drink that looked very much like the one requested. It also tasted a lot like them. During prohibition, though, who was going to complain if a free drink didn't taste exactly like it was supposed to.

According to a story I wrote up earlier, but which I cannot find via the search function, Charles Hoffmann complained to Burling that people never asked for the drinks he could pour.

So Burling told him, "Don't have them ask for a drink. Tell them to think of a drink. You could call yourself 'Think of a drink Hoffmann.' No, that doesn't sound right. 'Think A Drink' Hoffmann. That's better."

As a publicity stunt, Hoffmann took out a full page ad in Variety claiming that he would sue anyone who was doing a similar act. So Burling was caught unable to perform his own material until Hoffmann gave him a letter of release!

That story is somewhere around here, including the method Hull used to get Hoffmann to release the material to him.

I found the thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=130
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Rick Fisher
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Hey Bill that is great stuff!
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epoptika
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Does anybody have any info on a performer named Carlton King? I have a photo of him & a lady, which appears to be from the 40's - 50's, with a cart full of glasses and bar apparatus. Looks like a set-up for the "any drink called for" act.
Also; does anyone know of an act called Floretta & Boyette? I have a photo in my collection that has those names written on the back ( with a ? mark) but I am certain it is, in fact, Think-a Drink Hoffman with a blonde assistant.
jkesler
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Carlton King (William Davison) was originally from England...He came to the states in the 1930's...at one time was a partner Laurie Ireland of Ireland Magic...He latter lived in the NJ area....played a lot of the Night Spots in NY...
Lawrence O
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Great story Bill. Thanks for sharing it.
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Stanyon
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Quote:
On 2009-01-18 05:58, Lawrence O wrote:
It cannot be physically the real Professor Hoffman: it's only a rendition.

The cinema was invented and patented in February 1895
Angelo John Lewis aka Professor Louis Hoffman was born in 1839:
The Scot John Baird presented his television invention in 1926 and sold the first receiver in 1930 allowing the first transmission in France in 1931 At best the Professor Hoffman would have been 98 years old: the gentleman on the film is clearly not... and Angelo John Lewis had died in 1919.
Well,it could be asked whether the show could have beeen a film which was then presented on TV; but cinema (let alone television) was invented when the Professor Hoffman was already 56 years old (patent of the Lumière Brothers) and the first speaking film was presented in October 1927: Professor Hoffman would have done a great trick since, as indicated, he had died in 1919.

Congratulation for searching, sorry for the disappointment



Did you watch the clip Lawrence? Nice history lesson, but...I don't think that anyone thought that this was the real Professor Hoffman. Just Chuck doing a trick!
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Josh the Superfluous
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Tarbell discusses him in Volume 2 on pages 42 and 43.
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Moxahalla
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Anyone here who thought the above video was of "Prof. Hoffman" (of "Modern-More-Later Magic" book fame)...needs to educate themselves about basic magic history & magicians of the recent past (20th century). Charles "Think-A-Drink" Hoffmann was a very well-known night club performer in the 1940's.

The above video is from the 1950's TV program: "You Asked For It" - Charlie Hoffmann..., who also had a legal judgment against any performer using variations of his "Think-A-Drink" name (but, legally other magicians could still do a "bar act").

Some of you might want to stop watching DVDs, and pick up a magic history book for a change of pace.
epoptika
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Hey, lighten up Moxy! We all make mistakes.

Thanks for the info jkesler ( and the rest of you who left helpful comments).
mtpascoe
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At first I was surprised at Lawrence O's insight, but when it was pointed out it was a jest, then I realized what he was trying to do. Lawrence is too experienced to make a mistake like that. He was pulling our legs. I'm sure Lawrence O has read many magic history books.
Bill Palmer
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You would all be surprised what history books Lawrence O has read, and in what languages, as well. He is probably one of the best-educated magic historians I know of. I'm going to be delighted to finally meet him face to face in about a month.
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niva
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Where can I read more about this effect. I know a version of it but the drinks need to be s******d before they are drank. Here it did not seem the case.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Yours,

Ivan
Bill Palmer
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Bear in mind that when Charles Hoffmann originally did this routine, the main reason people liked it was that they were getting free booze. They didn't really care if it tasted exactly like what they ordered.

Besides, most people, after they have had a few, cannot tell the differences between the good stuff and the cheap stuff. The exceptions would be trained oenologists and sommeliers.
"The Swatter"

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DStachowiak
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Quote:
On 2009-04-01 21:46, Bill Palmer wrote:

Besides, most people, after they have had a few, cannot tell the differences between the good stuff and the cheap stuff. The exceptions would be trained oenologists and sommeliers.

Any "educated" bartender will bear Bill out on this. It's not uncommon for unscrupulous bartenders to switch heavy-hitting customers to the bar booze after 3 or 4, while still charging them for the expensive "call" drinks they started with.
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mumford
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Apparently Steve Cohen does a creditable version in his New York show.
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