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Profile of MikeJRogers
Hi everyone,

I remember seeing a comedy thumb tie routine on one of the magic specials some time ago. I cant remember who performed it though, it might have been Mac King.

The performers thumbs were bound using bread ties. During one part of the routine the performer reached for a chair and it linked onto his arms. The circle that's made with his arms became linked with the top of the chair.

Does anyone remember who the performer was?

Also, where could I learn these comedy based thumb tie routines? Any books, DVD's ect that you suggest? I'd love to include a thumb tie routine in my up and coming standup show. I'd also love to learn the chair gag if possible.

Thanks a lot for your help,

Mike J Rogers Smile
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia -
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Evan Williams
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Profile of Evan Williams
As far as I know, Mac King performs the routine you are talking about with the chair, etc.

I remember a Mac King quote during an interview about his show where he said "The trick was originally suggested to me by a few mentors of mine, but they always used pipe cleaners instead." I wish I could remember who these mentors were since they might have a book out that teaches it...

Also, you do not exactly have to learn the chair gag. Once you learn the basic handling for a thumb tie routine you will know exactly how to do it as well as hopefully have a lot of more ideas!

Hope this can get the thread going a little bit, I wish I knew who those mentors of his were,

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Profile of 0pus
Doesn't Mac do the "Jaspernese Thumb Tie?"
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Profile of RayBanks
On 2004-01-16 10:20, 0pus wrote:
Doesn't Mac do the "Jaspernese Thumb Tie?"

I believe you are correct. It is close enough at any rate.

You can get the Jaspernese Thumb Tie from Magic, Inc.
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

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Paul Romhany
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Profile of Paul Romhany
There are a couple of routines out there. Harry Anderson has a version on the market using handcuffs which is very funny. In his book McComb's Magic - 25 years wiser published by Supreme Magic Billy has a funny routine with card in wallet and thumb tie where he gets caught up in a chair. Well worth checking this out because it's very funny.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog
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Profile of ralphdean
Great question. I was not able to learn the thumb tie from "Jaspernese Thumb Tie" book. Is there another source that someone can suggest?
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Profile of templemagic

I love the thumb tie routine and currently use Steve Bedwells Bracelet wrist tie (which is great) but I was wondering if anyone here knows that name of the thumb tie that Alan Shaxon uses. Ive never seen it in any books, just similar ideas.

"The Power to Amaze"
Marc Levine
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The performer you are referring to is indeed Mac King. He performed the routine on a magic special titled "Houdini - unlocking his secrets" This was an abridged version of the routine he is currently performing in his Afternoon show in Vegas(Highly recommended!). If you can get your hands on a copy of that tv special and study Macs moves, you should be able to figure it out. However, it is to my understanding that Mac King is a firm believer in sticking to your own material or material sold on the market. He strongly feels that other should not perform his material that he rightly owns. If you can create your own routine, however, I feel that no harm is done in figuring out the method from the special.
Bill Hegbli
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The routine is a dealer item, I think Magic Inc. sold it years ago. It may even be a Jay Marshall item. I remember researching it years ago but have forgotten my resources. I think the Jay Marshall thumb tie used pipe cleaners.

It is not Mac Kings trick, but his comedy is his genius routining.
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Rob Johnston
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I just got back from Mac King's show in Vegas and was laughing histerically at this routine. His comedy is amazing and the routine was perfect.
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Profile of Pete Biro
Mac does a variation of Jay Marshall's "Jaspernese Thumb Tie." The chair bit comes from Billy McComb, who combined it with card in wallet. It is in one of McComb's books.

As a side note, Jay Marshall and I were in Japan and watched Mr. Tenyo (at the time quite elderly) do the traditional thumb tie. Jay and I were onstage to help.

I can't tell you how incredible this was. Jay and I figured the only way he could have been doing it was to have a thumb that really came off. There was no perciptible movement... it looked like the penetrationn with a samurai sword was instant, no get ready, no clean up moves.

Later, Takagi and one other pro magician, Maki Kitami, in Japan, gave me the real work, including the correct cord to use.

It is, in fact, the same handling that Dai Vernon published. The only REAL difference is in the studied choreography of the Japanese. In their hand's it is pure art and magic.

Meanwhile, those of us that are lazy... BUY A SET OF THUMB CUFFS.
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Profile of sctcarts
Kenton Knepper's "Black Tie" thumb tie is excellent. Uses single lock black cable ties or "zip ties". The same ones used by the police. He tips the "work" and gives great suggestions for audience managment. There's not a "routine" per se in this, but it's published as a great "behind the scenes" resource to get started. Definitly worth checking out-my favorite of all the thumb tie effects.
Hideo Kato
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Profile of Hideo Kato
On 2004-06-05 21:06, Pete Biro wrote:
Jay and I figured the only way he could have been doing it was to have a thumb that really came off. There was no perciptible movement

Very luckily, I was taught Thumb-Tie by Tenyo Syokyokusai. I have practiced it every day about three months and gave up. Once in ten trial, I could do it invisibly as Tenyo did.

I think very few people know real secret in preparing the cord. It is not cord, but cord covered with some material. This enable easy release of thumb and inserting of thumb.

Hideo Kato
Paul Romhany
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New Zealand
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Profile of Paul Romhany
Another great routine was one I bought from the late Ricki Dunn. This one used red electric tape but had a gimmick that made it look incredible. The effect is the same. Your thumbs are tied using red electric tape and can be bound up as much as the spectator likes. The gimmick involved is very simple but very clever. The performer is able to get in and out of the tie very quickly. I am not sure of the name of the effect but it was for sale a while back.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Profile of Pete Biro
The Red Tape tie was, I THINK, invented by Irv Weiner.

Kazato-san... you are correct about the cord being prepared. Takagi-san gave me a supply of this many years ago. Kitami Maki is very good with this.

Tenyo-san was incredible. It was the MOMENT of in and out that was beautifully covered by his body language.

"The hands fly like a bird" is what I recall being the real secret.

I never really could do it properly so I would not try to do it for the public.

As I said, the Dai Vernon description is very accurate as to how to tie the thumbs.
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Profile of busterjuggler
Which versions can you do similar things to Mac King with? eg get caught on a microphone stand? Please post dealers
James BuSTAR
Australia's Comedy Juggling Superstar
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Texas (USA)
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Profile of RandyStewart
Which Dai Vernon book covers the thumb tie?
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