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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Smoke from thumb???? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paulo Cabrita
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Website is not working...


Paulo
David Charvet
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Type the website address in manually - the link does not "link" for some reason... David

Posted: Dec 19, 2009 5:50pm
http://www.charvetmagic.com

Posted: Dec 19, 2009 5:51pm
That did it! Forgot the "http://"
Bill Hegbli
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Thanks for the correction, I tried to 'Google' you but an actor came up.

Placed my order at once. Thanks!
David Charvet
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The actor is a distant cousin of mine - same name.

Posted: Dec 19, 2009 6:57pm
The actor is a distant cousin of mine - same name.
Pete Biro
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I eagerly await the book.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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It was really the Article excerpts in the December 'Magic Magazine' and the video clip someone was gracious enough to post on YouTube.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=217

He may have been ahead of his time in performance art of magic.
Pete Biro
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There must be another film around as I nemember seeing him do the Smoking Thumb on a clip at Snag Werris' house (Snag was a member of the Magic Castle and a comedy writer who wrote material for Jackie Gleason - hence lots of magical bits in the Gleason shows).
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
David Charvet
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There is a film - sound - black & white - of Duval performing the Smoking Thumb, Smoke in Glass and Multiplying Golf Balls. It was a Toast of The Town (Sullivan) TV show, I believe. I have a copy and also showed it in L.A. at the Magic History Conference. Duval fooled me badly with the Smoke routine the first few times watching it. His handling was superb. It is from that footage that I documented the routine in the book.
Bill Hegbli
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The DVD should have been included with the book. This is the 21st Century and publishing has to change with the times.

I know there is a place in NY that preserves all shows on television. There must be a way to get these old previous shows from this institute.
David Charvet
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I do not own the rights to reproduce the television broadcast on DVD. The Ed Sullivan estate owns and licenses the shows. The cost to purchase the rights are too costly. Some years ago John Moehring wanted to put out a tape/DVD of magic acts from the Sullivan show but the Sullivan estate wanted too much money for the individual clips for it to be a reasonably priced video for sale. They figure if the footage is to be re-sold, they want a BIG piece of the pie to make it available. They are not historians, but businessmen who understand the commercial value of the shows, which in many cases are the only surviving record of many performers from the past.
Pete Biro
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The SOLT company seems to be the agency handling the Sullivan Show videos.

I believe they did one TV special, hosted by Ricky Jay.

For a video presentation at the Magic Castle on night, Solt agreed to let the members SEE one of the clips. But to do so, they had someone 'hand carry' the video to the Castle, and when the showing ended he took it back. No chance to dupe it.

One of my FAVORITE accomplishments was to produce a live show featuring all Sullivan Almuni.

Jay Marshall, Karrell Fox, John Moehring, Fantasio, Marvyn and Carol Roy and Roger Ray.

When I put the list togther the committee all asked, "Who's Roger Ray?" I told them it was a secret, but he was my all time favorite novelty act on the show. They were also miffed when I slotted him 'second to closing' (the star spot).

Their doubts vanished when he got TWO STANDING OVATIONS.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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To bad as a very young boy I seen a Chinese dressed magician on the Sullivan Show, I have always remembered his Multiplying Candles to eight.
Levent
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Hi Guys:

First off I want to say that I am very happy to hear that Mr. Charvet has published the Ade Duval book. I ordered it (along with the Bill in Lemon book) yesterday from the CharvetMagic.com website and I'm really looking forward to studying it as I'm a big fan of Ade & True Duval (as well as Emil Jarrow).

About the "Smoking the Thumb" trick, I hope you all don't mind if I chime in with a few thoughts, opinions and stories.

I first saw the trick performed by Kaps (on video) when I was a kid and I loved it. Kaps had such a great sense of fun on stage and as a showman he was a joy to behold. When he did the "Smoking the Thumb" it was extremely entertaining and well done. But if I want to be a real technical stickler about it, I would say that in some moves it felt like he was doing manipulation and not necessarily real magic. By that I mean that his handling of the trick relies on the repeated transfer of the gimmick from hand to hand. In order to cover this, Kaps does his best to mask this by clever idomatic handling. Nonetheless, there is a lot of hand movement going on. So in my opinion Kaps is GREAT, the routine is fantastic to watch, but it is not technical perfection (at least in my opinion). On the other hand in terms of pantomime and acting, I think Kaps is as good as it gets.

That said, I think Ade Duval is a whole different thing entirely as I feel in this case the originator of the trick (Duval) is doing work that is (technically speaking) an order of magnitude better than anyone I've seen! I am confident that I know the "real work" on Duval's method and I think his gimmick is pure genius. Over the years, I've owned and built several different smoking thumb gimmicks and when I have a chance I might make a Duval style gimmick just for fun (as this is a trick that I will never perform for lay audiences).

Finally, I want to mention a little story about the "Smoking the Thumb" and my late friend Peter Pit. If you didn't know him, Peter was a Dutchman who in the 1950s was coached and managed by Henk Vermeyden (who also guided the early careers of the trio of Dutch FISM Grand Prix winners: Fred Kaps, Richard Ross and Ger Copper). I believe Peter Pit won first prize in the General Magic category in the 1958 FISM. In 1960 Peter Pit emigrated to the USA and when I first met him he was entertainment director of Magic Castle in Hollywood.

During the late 1980s Peter decided to do a "Smoking the Thumb" routine with comedic patter about trying to quit smoking. The set-up was extremely clever. Peter took a copy of the "Readers Digest" and hollowed out the book. Inside the book was an electronic ignition device for the "Smoking the Thumb" gimmick. Peter fashioned his gimmick out a hollowed out corncob into which he inserted a cigarette. The gimmick was loaded into the book via a hole in the side. This way at any time in his stand-up comedy act, Peter could pick up the Readers Digest book and talk about a smoking cessation cure that supposedly was written in that issue. With a press of a secret button, the gimmick would ignite and the book would secretly load the gimmick into his right hand and them Peter would proceed to do the trick.

In 1990, I was working at the Palace of Mystery in the Magic Castle while Peter Pit was the MC. I was in the wings on Stage Left while watching as Peter was about to do the smoking routine before introducing my act. As planned Peter picked up the "Readers Digest" and then pressed the button to ignite the gimmick. As he did his jokes, he loaded the gimmick from the book into his right hand and then attempted to smoke his thumb. This night however something went wrong and Peter could not draw smoke from the gimmick. Sensing a comic opportunity I ran to Peter's dressing room and got one of his cigarettes and lit it and ran back into the wings while palming the lit cigarette (so Peter could not see it). After about a minute of sucking his thumb with no luck, Peter was exasperated and he finally gave up. The lay people were puzzled while the magicians in the audience were laughing as they knew Peter was in trouble. Finally Peter began to introduce me and while he was talking I quickly drew and held a mouthful of smoke and stamped out the cigarette. While the applause began I made my entrance to the stage, I looked Peter in the eye, I sucked my thumb and blew the smoke out of my mouth. Peter's jaw dropped and the magicians in the audience roared with laughter.

As funny as this was, afterwards I did feel bad about the gag as is was certainly no fun for Peter to have such a technical disaster and for me to get a big laugh afterwards was kind of like kicking a man while he was down. To make it up to him, the next day I found a very unusual Art Deco style cigarette case in an antique store in Melrose and gave it to Peter the next night at the Castle. Because Peter was an Art Deco / Art Nouveau collector the case many him very happy.

In the years that followed Peter became ill from a blood disorder that ran in his family and he died in 1999 at the age of 64. Not long after he died I happened to see an identical Art Deco cigarette case (to the one I gave Peter) in an antique store in Florida. I bought the case and I currently keep it on a free standing Art Deco ashtray in the library of my home. Whenever I see the cigarette case I think of my old friend Peter Pit and I laugh about the night when the smoke trick went wrong.

Sorry if I hijacked this thread with my little tale from the past,

Seasons Greetings to all my Friends at The Magic Café!

Levent
http://www.LeventMagic.com
Pete Biro
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I just got Charvet's wonderful book on Ade Duval.... it is fantastic. I'm a bit swamped with Christmas rushing, etc. and just had a chance to skim read some of it and will sit down and digest it all after the holidays. I say for anyone in magic, this is a MUST READ.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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Pete, how did you get your book before me? I ordered it 1st! I am so jealous! Smile Maybe mine will be here tomorrow, I hope!
Pete Biro
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WE GIVE OUR POSTMAN A BIG CHRISTMAS PRESENT.
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Levent
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Hi All:

Just got my copies of "Ade Duval Silken Sorcerer" & "The Bill in Lemon Book featuring the Life and Times of Emil Jarrow" in the mail today. I'm so glad to get the Lemon book, before all the copies were sold out.

Both books look fabulous, but because of the holiday's I won't be able to read them until I get back on the road next week.

I just want to make a little comment about the subjects of these books. In my opinion there are very few books written about the vaudeville era magicians (who were not illusionists) and for me as a "stand-up" magician I get the most benefit learning about exactly these kinds of performers (Jarrow, Duval, Benson, Cardini, Downs, Etc.), I thank Mr. Charvet for taking the time to provide us with this sort of information.

Best regards to All,
Levent
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Bill Hegbli
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Dang! Must have sent my DuVal book by slow mail, I ordered before both Biro and Levent. No influence I guess. Nothing in the mail today!
Pete Biro
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Wm... you gotta live in a bigger town.
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Bill Hegbli
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I received the 'Ade DuVal Silken Sorcerer' book yesterday. I purchased the none collectors edition. It is hard bound even though the author regards it as soft bound, I guess because the Jacket is actually printed on the cover. It is a fantastic design cover and back cover of the book. It depicts the period very well and draws interest to see what is inside.

I found the book good and the story line interesting. Approximately half the book is the history and storyline, the last half is a reprint of the small book currently available from Magic Inc. about the silk act.

In between these 2 sections is the Golf Ball Routine and Smoking a Thumb Routine that DuVal used later in career as a second act.

I found the paper to be very thin and the printing from the opposite page to show through the page currently being read. The 'font' chosen was not the best choice as the lines were very thin and disturbed me as I was reading the text. It could have been the printer using less ink as well.

The pictures are all excellently printed in 'gray scale' and adds to the quality of the book. The Magic Inc. publication's pictures are very poorly reproduced in their small book offering. As the author states, he was able to obtain the original photos taken and use them, a big plus for the book. You can tell the book was composed on a Computer as the the spell check worked but the typing was poor, hitting the 'e' key instead of the 'd' key as an example, caused the wrong word to be inserted. The word was correctly spelled, but the wrong word was in the sentence. This is throughout the book, not a big thing but kills the flow of reading.

Besides the 'Smoking a Thumb' routine I ordered the book as I had taken it also contained information on the 'DuVal Silk Blow', I only found an old reproduction of the advertisement and 2 references given as to other sources that it may be found.

This I did not expect and decreased the value of the book as incomplete. I dislike when you pay for a magic book of anykind and all you get are references to other books for the details. There is actually no good reason to leave this important information out of the book, as all copyright laws are well past, if there were any filed in the 1st place. Tannen's don't even make the trick any longer to my knowledge.

As I figured, so I am not to disappointed, the 'Smoking' gimmick is a best guess by the auther. It was not sited that any investigation of the gimmick was researched, except to ask a well known magician.

On occasion, I watch the History channel on television and they have a series of hunters of people from long ago days. These Genieoglist track down family, what seems very easily and usually come up with a good solution. No attempt of this nature was taken by the author to find family and attempt to find out more of the gimmick.

I was not stated in the book, if DeVal had any children, so maybe this was not possible, but and note of the attempt would have been interesting to read about the hunt as well. Everyone likes a good mystery, as it is, it is still a mystery.

The book is well worth the asking price, and should be on anyone shelf that wants to perform on stage or in front of people. The store line is good as you see the rise and fall of a magician that took full advantage of the prospering times of the period. Buy this before you miss out as only 500 of each was printed. Mine is numbered 101 and autographed by the author. That means there are only 399 left of the soft bound version. Hurry!!

(Note: I have Owen Magic Catalog Number 7, 9, and 12. In # 9, they credit "Amrein" as the creator of the 'Smoking a Thumb' gimmick they use to sell. This was DuVal's real last name.)

Posted: Dec 29, 2009 10:08am
Being this thread is about 'Smoking a Thumb', I thought I would comment on the gimmick and routine a bit more.

The routine in the Ade Duval book suggest the gimmick is in the pocket. I do not see how this could be true, as the cigarette would go out, and to days mandatory requirement by the United States Government, requires all cigarette paper to extinguish if not puffed on in a reasonable time.

Even with the old cigarette paper, having the lit gimmick in the pocket without enough oxygen, would cause the cigarette to extinguish. No method was given or even mentioned as to when the gimmick was lit.

I purchased years ago an Owen Smoking a Thumb gimmick, after seeing Fred Kaps performance on television. With the set is 2 gimmicks and a holder to be pinned to the clothing. This also has asbestos type material (I assume) to protect the clothing from the heat.

The 2 gimmicks are a little different from each other, one has a bell shaped opening on the end and the other does not have this feature. In the instructions, it is said the bell shaped gimmick is used to facilitate manipulation of the gimmick from hand to hand.

The wood turned gimmicks get very hot and cannot be handled, I have tried many methods and always wind up with a burn or give up before being burned.

I find it interesting that there is a lot of speculation on the lighting and design of the gimmick, but no one knows for sure. It is truly a mystery how Duval and Kaps kept their method totally secret from anyone surrounding them.

One of the most important parts to the effect is not known by anyone, anywhere. A mystery to be solved, I think.

Posted: Jan 3, 2010 10:38pm
Was Ade Duval Right or Left handed? I seems from reading the book he was Left handed.
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