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Kathryn Novak
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I've seen several comedy magicians (via television performance, live performance, etc.) and most seem to have a balance between comedy and actual magic. Most of the jokes lead into magic effects, whereas others carry a message. My question is... how much magic does your act have, and how much comedy? Is there more of one than the other, or is there about the same amount of both? This is specific to the magicians I'm asking, I know there's no perfect balance for every magician out there. As for myself- when I do use comedy in my routine, the magic far outweighs the amount of comedy I have. Smile
If anyone sees my sanity, please return it to

Vibono Magic
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It depends on the act. In my stand up act I tend to do more stand up comedy than magic but I do plenty of magic in the act.
In my stage act I use equal parts magic and commedy.
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
Neale Bacon
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When doing magic (as opposed to my clown show) I use humorous patter throughout as that's my charcter. I don't do stand up per se.

When I do my clown show, on the other hand, that is funny magic mixed with other funny clown bits making a different show entirely.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
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Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
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Here's a thought I had.

Magic is about taking something people KNOW and then breaking it into two ideas. e.g. People can't fly but that man is flying.

Comedy is about taking two ideas and combining them. e.g. a business man in a tutu, a cream pie in the face etc.

Therefore, moments comedy and magic should not be put together. Or put another way, comedy magic should not have an effect happen at the same time as a punchline.

You can't gasp and giggle at the same time.

That said, I have nine gasps in my stand up show and 273 giggles.
Smile Smile
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Harris Deutsch
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I give a definite " It depends" on,

1, What the consumer wants
2. What the audience dictates. (Although I have a very set show, it can change after doing 5 minutes or shorter) with a particular audience.
3.Depends on type of interaction that develops.
Saturday night there were a couple of great spectators in the audience. One was an obvious body builder. The other had a phone device that made her look like the Communications Officer on the old Star Trek series and movies.

They helped by providing running gags through the show that added to both the comedy and the magic.

Along with magic I do a lot of site gags, bits on current commercials and imitations of current and past celebrities. (more of images than voice)

Great thread IMHO.

Just my two liberty half dollars worth.

Harris Deutsch
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Mike Robbins
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I once asked Max Maven the same thing and his response was "Who is your audience?"

I do a lot of comedy magic. Very little of the comedy is jokes. Magic is wonderful for situational humor and that's what I use most. In the routines where I use volunteers, I have tried to set them up where I set the stage for the volunteer to say the funny thing, do the double take, etc. I also have as much physical humor (facial expressions, etc.) that I can.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Evan Williams
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For some of my kid show routines, I tell a story while introducing the effect, which will include a lot of comedy. Toward the end of the routine is when the magic happens.

This is a base for me while I create some of my routines.
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I have this problems too.

Sometimes when I use some comedy magic tricks, the audience think that I'm a foolish magician. Is it the objective of comedy magic? Or how to make it better?

Any advise please.


Budi Ha Ha
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
Lee Darrow
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Well, it seems that the crowd responding to Kathryn is right on target - when booking as show, give the customer what he wants.

Example, I recently did an audition that I initially thought was from he**. Pen Thru Anything flew to pieces, chop cup slipped out of my hand, spectator splattered cards all over, yet I soldiered on and finished.

When it came down to the interview, any time I was asked a question, like what kinds of tricks do you do, I would answer with a question - like "What kinds of tricks are you looking for?" Or "How long is your set? replied "how long did you want my set to be?"

Responding to the client's expectations in a positive and directed manner is often the best way to show that you are a PROFESSIONAL - one who can adapt to the environment and fill the perceived needs of the client.

BUT - in some instances this tactic will not work. Nightclub owners want to know specifics and expect specific answers. Trade show bookers are usually more idea-driven than club owners and adaptability is necessary.

Now that I've jumped WAY off the track, Matt Schulien used to say that a laugh is worth a thousand sleights. Don Alan tracked the number of expected laughs for each and every trick he did. Same with the great Al Flosso and I know for a fact that Karrel Fox did the same thing.

Finding the balance between comedy and the number of tricks you do is an intensely personal thing, tied directly to your personality and performance persona, as well as the kinds of audiences you will be working for.

Let's face it, you are not going to get the same reaction from a bunch of ten year-olds as you are from a club full of goths. Nor is the level and type of comedy going to be even remotely similar.

You have to play to the types you are performing for.

My suggestion would be to watch other successful people who play to the kinds of audiences that you are playing to (as well as those who you would LIKE to play to!) and work from there.

In psychology, this is what we call "modelling success."

Hope this helps, rambling though it might be.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Jason Wethington
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How about turning it around and only working where you will work best?

I do exactly as Kathryn mentioned using comedy as lead ins to effects, as an interlude and as a prologue. The only place I rarely use it is at the conclusion.

Have to go but more later,
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If you have a character of being a "funny guy", that´s your persona, you should keep the comedy pace of the show. In my case I need to keep that pace, my style "calls" me to make the magic happen in a classic manner, but I add the comedy touch. That might change things a little bit.
I trust jewish magicians and bagels
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Due to the great topics and talk in these forums, I've really gone over my shows and have revitilized them for my audience and myself by working jokes (verbal, sight, etc) into the routine. The kids and their parents love it. Thanks to everyone!
Aragorn the Magician
aka: Bob
ps: How many of you can jump higher then this house?
Oh Yeah.....well all of you can, house's can't jump...YUK, YUK, YUK....LOL Smile
aka: I used to be BOB (It's Cellini's fault)
"All Right, Who's Volunteering to be Turned into a Frog???"
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(All pompous like) Your comedy should lead into your magic, and your magic should lead into your comedy. (ok, enough pomposity)

For me, I do perhaps twice as many 'jokes' as 'tricks', although what I'm talking about when I'm 'being funny' relates to the trick itself.

Someone once said that comedy is all about being able to fail in an amusing manner. When I do 'Disarmed' or 'Sword through Arm' (because mah neck's too thick for it to be 'sword through neck') I play it up for comedy because otherwise it's some guy ramming metal through his body and that's it. Situationally, don't be afraid to 'look silly' while you're earnestly attempting to perform a trick.

It worked for Carl Ballantine, it works for Johnny Tompson, and it certainly works for Whit Haydn and the Amazing Jonathan (albeit in different ways).

"Now, according to the guy who sold this to me.. the first blade -" >shove< "should-" >shove< "go ... right..." >THUNK< ".. in." >smile winningly. pause. Let eyes go glassy, look over at arm.. look back at audience with eyes like saucers< "... the most important thing... when you're performing this trick... is to ... remain... CALM!!!!!"

Sometimes it's just a matter of having enough humor to gently buff the edges of the trick. Or, if you're like me, there's enough comedy to downplay the apparently impossible or painful effect and make it into a little chunk of farce. YMMV.
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - - you know you want to.
Peter Marucci
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As a "magicomedian", for adults I do about 60 per cent comedy, and 40 per cent magic.

For kids, it's about the reverse.

No jokes at all; all comedy routines, situation comedy, sight gags that are part of the magic, etc.

And no message. I agree with movie mogul Sam Goldwyn who -- in being against movies with a message -- said, "If you want to send a message, call Western Union!"
Pete Biro
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Situation comedy, comeback lines, reaction lines... depends on the audience. Smile
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Hmmm. I can't remember who it was who first said that, "A Comedian is a person who says funny things, while a Comic is someone who says things funny." Think there's such a delineation in magic?

Think I know how to spell 'deliniation'?
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - - you know you want to.
Dan Monroe
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In my show that I am now doing there are 10 effects that I do and all of them use at least one volunteer.
6 of these effect are straight out comedy. The others
are not comedy effects but with my character being the
the way it is people will snicker a little. I don't tell jokes I just say or try to say funny things. And
with using as many people from the crowd as I do there
are always funny moments that happen that you just don't expect. But to me that's what makes a show good.
More than a few times the spectator has made me laugh.And that gets more laughs from the crowd.
They see that I'm having as much fun as they are,and
I'm not just doing another job to get there money.
It makes you real and I think people like real. Smile
The power is within us all...I'm just a little more full of it.
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Don M.. You scooped me... that was what I was going to say... briefly to interact with the audience in front of the audience is where I get most of my on the spot laughs.. with much empathy and er ..gulp a little uh gentle teasing at times this mixture...gets everyone involved and almost everyone to take part (parlor setting). Stock lines a trick with lots of emotion helps. but regular patter to me is almost incidental to playing off the reactions of individuals in the crowd

Marty S.
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I use magic and comedy. I'm far more with magic. I've seen some comedians who use a little magic.
Vibono Magic
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The late and great Mark Nathan Scicher once said,
" For those of you who have seen me perform may have noticed that I'm not a very serious performer. I am however very serious about performing".
So true. Smile
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
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