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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Learned Pigs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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thegreatnippulini
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My first experience with the tic-tac-toe chicken was in an entrance of a Chinese restaurant in NYC. I'm pretty sure we all know what happened to THAT chicken after retirement.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
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trey
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Quote:
On 2009-09-18 19:36, thegreatnippulini wrote:
My first experience with the tic-tac-toe chicken was in an entrance of a Chinese restaurant in NYC. I'm pretty sure we all know what happened to THAT chicken after retirement.


On a stick!

Trey
Kondini
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In Wiltshire the farmers in bred chickens so they had six legs.

This enabled six people to all get a drum stick on their plates.

It was a good idea but never caught on because nobody could catch the bl@@dy things to kill them.
Todd Robbins
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One of the greatest animal acts of all time. My good friend Norman Barrett:

http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/stupid-parakeets/
Utah_Showman
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I heard Bobby Reynolds talking about a dancing chicken, where they put a piece of tape on it's feet and when it tried to shake it off, they pitched it as a dancing chicken.
thegreatnippulini
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Fighting... urge... to... tape.... parents chicken.. feet.

Must.... not... laugh... ***... off....
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
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Todd Robbins
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Bobby closed his magic at with the dancing chicken. The chicken knew that Bobby would feed it, so the chicken would follow Bobby wherever he went. So in the act, Bobby would produce the chicken, set it down,let it "dance" for a few moments, then Bobby would do a little soft shoe and dance offstage with the chicken following him. Ain't show business grand?

By the way, this is how he closed the act he did at the Palace Theater in NYC in the 1950s.
Harley Newman
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Is this how he trained Jr?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Todd Robbins
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No, he just looked at his feet and left the tape on.
jondark445
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Reviving this....anyone know what the structure of your typical Learned Pig or Knowledgeable Animal routine would be? Is there a source that might have what the routine typically consisted of?
Todd Robbins
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Letters and numbers are printed on lightweight table tent style cardboard "A" frames. They are set out in a circle. Someone calls out a letter. The animal starts walking in a circle, stops and picks up that letter. After a few demonstrations of this, a simple word is called out and the animal picks out the letters spelling out that word. Then numbers are called out and the animal picks out those numbers. Then simple addition, subtraction, muliplication and division problems are called out and the animal answers them.

If the animal is a dog or horse, sometimes the act is ended with a "good night" gag. On stage is a bed. After the animal does the last stunt, the train thanks the animal and tell it to go to bed. The animal climbs into bed and pulls the blanket over themselves and pretends to sleep.

As can be imagined, it is a lot of work to train an animal to do all this.

By the way, in the circus trade this kind of act is known as a "pick out" animal. I had the fortune of hearing Buckles Woodcock explain some of the details of training an animal to do all of these things. And the great Norman Barrett also tipped a few tricks about this too.

I'm sure the Curator of the Unusual could also add to this topic.
Kondini
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Norman Barrett was a really clever trainer,,,not only with his bird act but via Betty Allen I understand he had input with Dash`s TV Chimps who went on to do the world renowned PG Tips ads.

He was also Master at the Tower Circus for many years.
critter
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Quote:
On 2009-09-17 07:37, thegreatnippulini wrote:
This makes me sad. Last week our baby pot bellied pig passed away. She never really gained weight, and after 10 weeks she only weighed 4.5 pounds. She was the sweetest little animal we have ever taken care of. In the short time we had her, she did learn lots of stuff. Pigs are 4th on the ladder of intelligent animals, just one notch under dolphins. We will miss our little Princess Buttercup.


I feel your pain man. I tried raising chickens a little while back, not a good idea when you have a Golden Retriever.
RIP: Dr.Quinn, Medicine Woman, Dr. Quinn Season 2, Marshmallow, and Nugget.

There was a pot bellied pig out at the land that grew to be enormous, his name was Hamlet. I loved Hamlet, I used to go out and feed him sandwhiches and apple slices. Still alive as far as I know.

That Ricky Jay book was good, they have it at my school library.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Rod Pringle
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Todd:

Wayne Franzen had a horse named Tonto, who could add , subtract, etc using the method you described. Waynes ending to the act was, the horse would steal his cowboy hat off his head and Wayne would chase him out of the tent. ( This horse by the way, would try to make a break for it during the act sometimes, he would just take off running right out the backdoor and in to town, with Wayne right behind him.............yelling.......) hahaha

Yes, the Curator of the Unusual can tell you more about this act, as Jim was a feature act( juggling/wire) on the Franzen Show, and worked with Wayne on a daily basis

Thanks Todd for posting this, I enjoyed it.

Rod
Rod Pringle
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I have the Ricky Jay book also, Educated pigs and Fireproof women. This is a great book with many vintage photos. I highly recommend it.

ROD
Todd Robbins
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Here's a little trivia about the book Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women that even Ricky Jay doesn't know. If you look in the section on Mortado, you will see a Kelty photo of the Dreamland Sideshow from the early 1930s. In that group photo are a number of interesting people. One of them is Willy Krieger, son of Pop Krieger and brother in law to Al Flosso. Willy was a long distance drinker and would sometimes get so drunk he couldn't do his magic act during the last turns of the show. The shill that worked the show had seen the act so many times he would jump up on the platform when Willy was passed out and do the act. And that is how Francis Finneran got started in magic. He later changed his name to Francis Carlyle. Francis is standing all the way to the left in a Panama hat and untied necktie.
Rod Pringle
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Hello Todd:

Thanks for this information, it makes the book all the more interesting.

ROD
Kondini
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STOP PRESS >> STOP PRESS....

Norman Barrett has just been granted an MBE today !
Good for him and well deserved.
Harley Newman
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Hooray!
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Todd Robbins
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This is a great day.
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