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daffydoug
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During my comedy magic act, I devote one whole section, several minutes to comedy impersonations, specifically, impersonations of the Looney Toons characters, ala Mel Blanc. Pat myself on the back, I do them extremely well, to the point where most folks can't tell the difference between me and the original. I have been perfecting the voices since I was a kid. My main voice, the centerpiece is the rabbit himself, Bugs Bunny. Daffy Duck is second, thus my name "Daffy Doug" (Clever, eh?)

Well anyways, folks seem to eat it up, grownups as well as kids.

I also include other characters, that are not Looney Toons, like Popeye, Bullwinkle, Yogi Bear, Barney Rubble, and believe it or not, the Wizard of Oz Characters, including the Wicked witch, Cowardly Lion, Munchkins, etc.

I also include humans such as Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, Jimmy Stewart, Johny Carson, etc

For many of the characters, I use props, such as antlers for Bullwinkle, A witches hat for the Wicked Witch, and a derby for Laurel and Hardy.

I do this before I get into the magic part of the show, because it warms the audience up and gets them laughing and liking me from the start.

Now for my question: Do you guys know of ANYBODY else doing what I just described? Seriously! I need to know if I am original in what I am doing, or if I could someday possibly be construed as an imitator of someone whom I don't at the moment know about.

Consider this post as research for me!

By the way, when I advertise, I bill myself as "The Cartoon Voiced Magic Man". Creating this USP was an attempt to describe in one phrase what I offer in my magic show, that I believe sets me apart from the crowd.

So anyways, my question: Am I alone?

Thanks Guys, any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Daffy Doug
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
magicgeorge
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I do a Scooby-doo and a Popeye impression. I don't often do them in my shows but do them occasionally when I'm doing walk-about.

They're just one-offs and are no way my big selling point or theme. I have never heard of a cartoon impressionist/magician before so you may be the first.

Then again, you might not. Sounds like it's working well for you, so good work. Wether it is original idea or not I'm sure most of your audiences will never have come across anything like it before.
C Christian
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I know of a great young magician here in the city of Angels by the name of Robert Gunton who's tag line is, "Make the voices stop!" He does an amazing job at voices such as Jimmy Stewart and Johnny Carson. He does voice overs for commercials when he is not doing magic. Anyway, I don't think he does any cartoon voices in his act just contemporary folk in his show. Hope this helps...

PS. A great magician once told me to stick with what you know! If that means voices heck do them!!
Cheers Chris
daffydoug
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Chris, that's a positive response, and I'm gonna go with it!
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Trois
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I think that is a great talent to have. I hate you guys. Durn wish I could do it. It can be a real novelty that could work very well for you. Outside of Rich Little and Jeff Dunnam , who could most like do an act like this, the closes thing I can think of is a stand up comedian which does a bit of changing voices of different collage's (sp) football players. Likes southern ones named Bubba , then one from San Francisco State using a lisp and so on. Stick with it man. Trois
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
ChrisZampese
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Even if there is someone out there doing the same thing, I don't think you could be accused of imitating them, as both of you are imitating someone else!!

The only way you could be accused of imitating is if both of your acts turn out to be very similar i.e. have the same voices, in the same order with the same script.

I think you are safe with what you are doing, and it sounds like a great act!

Good luck!
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daffydoug
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All of these responses so far are very encouraging, and I feel a new boldness and confidence taking root on the inside of me.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Leo B. Domapias
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I think voice impersonation has practitioners all over the world. It is, therefore, not original to you in the sense that you’re not the first entertainer to perform it. Your act, however, can be considered original, depending on how you generate and use the ideas of your show.

When I was in high school, someone who billed himself as “The Man with a Thousand Voices” made waves with his ability to make all types of sound effects. He could imitate the sound of steam engines, whistles, birdcalls, gunshots, woman’s voice, child’s voice, animal sounds, etc. His act was a 10-minute one-man comedy, detective or love story with him playing all the characters off a script. He provided all the background sound effects and music (he could imitate the sounds of violin, trumpet, etc.) The act not only entertained but also amazed audiences for the seeming impossibility of one person producing all those different sounds.

Today the top performer of this type of entertainment in my country has gained national prominence by impersonating political figures. He copies not only their voices but also their appearances and mannerisms, down to the winking of the eye, gestures and even swagger. The results are very funny clones of the original politicians, mouthing platitudes that give audiences across the country laughing fits.

I imagine impersonation is a very difficult type of entertainment to master. Besides the ability to write humorous lines and build comedy routines, the performer has to study for months the voice and physical mannerisms of the person to be impersonated before the act is ready for its first public performance.

I, too, think you have a smash hit in the making (that is, if your act isn't a smash hit yet). Good luck.

Ben Benjay
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kihei kid
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Daffydoug, just curious, at the end of your show do you do porky pig saying “th-th-th-th-th-that’s all folks.”

Also do you do anything special with the card-toon deck?

Sounds like to me you are very talented and have a real winner on your hand.

Keep up the creativeness...

Kid
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AJP807
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Hi Doug, I don't really do what you do, but after my magic act while I'm sitting with the kids making balloons, I will slip into my Eddie Murphy, A.K.A. Donkey from Shrek voice, or possible Johnny Bravo (who is really an Elvis knock off) If I make a Road Runner balloon, as I hand it to the kid I have to give out with the obligatory "Meep meep!" or "I thought I thaw a putty tat" for a Tweety balloon. The same is true for Popeye, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Daffy, Donald, Bugs etc.
Unfortunately my best impressions will go unutilized as I still cannot make a Cagney, Bogey or Jimmy Stewart balloon. Not that most of my kids would be familiar with those actors, even though there parents probably would. But it sounds like you are definitely on to something there with your warm up act. And I love the idea of using hat's and antlers to accentuate your characters. I use a lot of hats in my children's shows too. And the kids just love them. Good luck with the act!
Best regards. Tony Parisi
daffydoug
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Leo,

Thank you for your very kind words. Your words are encouraging to me, as are all the answers in this forum so far. Everyone is encouraging me to keep this up, and I feel really strenghtened on the inside from reading all these answers.

You are correct, impersonation is a difficult art, but for the most part, it comes pretty easy for me. I seem to have a natural ear for HEARING exactly the qualities that various voices posess, and then I can hear them in my head in detail, so then imitating that voice becomes a matter of reproducing what I hear with my vocal chords. that's kind of oversimplifying, I suppose, but that's it basicly.

Some folks can do it, some folks can't. I'm lucky, I guess.

Kihei,

I do do Porky during my show, but, I never considered using it as the very last thing in my show, until now, after reading your suggestion.

I think that is a wonderful idea, and I just might try that! Thanks!

Mel Blanc, who created Porky's voice, has th..th..thats all folks inscribed on his tombstone.

You can find a picture of it on the net by doing a search.

Porky was also the last voice he recorded before he died when he was doing some voices for the film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" back in 1988. Th..th..th..thats all nfolks was his last recorded words.

One time when he was in a real bad car wreck, he was in a coma, or at least a semi coma, and doctors would talk to him, and he would respond with "What's up Doc?"

(In Bug's Bunnies voice, of course)

Anyways, sometimes during my act I'll go into the famous dialog between Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer called Wabbit Season, Duck season", alternating between the characters. I'll often do conversations between characters, many that I lifted directly from the films. I can do a conversation between, for instance, Bugs and Taz, or Daffy and Bugs, or Yosemite Sam and Bugs, (Yup, Bugs gets in a lot of the dialogs, because he is the king!) He's kinda like Elvis to the cartoon world)

It helps to put my self INTO the characters bodies as much as possible, so for instance, when I do Foghorn Leghorn, I'll swing my arms alot, and use broad gestures, because that is what is what he does, amd that is how he expresses himself.

Bug's body language is more subdued and cool, and so I adopt that.

You can see that I've studied the characters in detail alot.

That comes from my childhood sitting in front of the T.V. set on Saturday Mornings, eating huge bowls of cereal, taking in every cartoon I could absorb.

These guys were my childhood heros!

I don't do anything special with the Cardtoon deck, but I did create at least one close up card trick, where I lay pictures of all the Looney toons characters on the table. then I have the spectator choose one, then I will call out each character in that characters voice and have them eliminate it, until only one is left, it being the chosen one.

That is for close up.

Foe stage or platform, I sometimes adapt the characters into their own little routines.

For example, some girl is allowed to choose a card from the deck, and is instructed to sit on the deck!

Then, Marvin Martian Martian pulls out a ray gun (One of those toy guns you get in a department store that makes space noises and flashes with lights)

He aims the gun at the girl and pulls the trigger saying "I'm sorry earthling, I'm afraid I shall have to disentegrate you!"

Of course the girl gets up, and removes the deck, and the card is GONE, having disapeared from under her posterior, and winds up in a glass of water that has been inverted on a saucer on stage in front of the audiences eyes all the time.

It's just crazy little things like that that I do the best.

Basically, I have a blast, and that in turn helps the audience to do the same thing.

Thanks Tony!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
magico
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Ron Frost does impressions in his act
Bill Hegbli
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Sylvester the Jester does many cartoon impressions in his act. He is a professional in comedy clubs.
daffydoug
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Sylvester the Jester is a LIVING cartoon!

But as far as I know, he doesn't specifically impersonate any particular famous character.
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JJDrew
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Quote:
On 2004-02-10 05:55, kihei kid wrote:
Daffydoug, just curious, at the end of your show do you do porky pig saying “th-th-th-th-th-that’s all folks.”



Didn't Porky actually say,
a-buhdee-a-buhdee-a-buhdee-a-buhdee...That's all folks!

I thought the point was that he would try to say one word (in this case, "Bye") and give up and use a different word or phrase when he couldn't get the first one out.
Daniel Faith
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I do a large number of cartoon voices as well. I use them in my show too but in no way make it the focal point of the show. I use them as funny bits and that's it.
Also, I like doing Curly from the 3 stooges. He's my favorite. Hey Moe!

You know, what it all boils down to is this.
Is it you? Does it fit your style? Are you comfortable doing it? If yes, Keep doing it!
If no, drop it.
Daniel Faith
daffydoug
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I don't forsee myself dropping it for a long, long time!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Bill Palmer
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Babe Pier was one of the best impressionists I ever saw. He did challenges. That's right, during his act, people would call out the names of various celebrities and he would do an impression of them. He could nail all of the cartoon voices.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't continue on the path you have chosen.

You will find something that really sets you apart someday. Could be the magic, could be something else.

Just don't marry Melinda. Then you would be copying Rich Little's act.
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daffydoug
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Whos Melinda?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Popo
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Art for the sake of art is art. Art for the sake of entertainment is magic. I would say that if you feel comfortable doing the voices then do them. However, the best guage of whether to keep them in your show will be how much they truly add to the entertainment in the show. If they add then great! If they don't then they're just filler and may actually be less than good for the show. It does sound as if they add to the entertainment. And, of course, my personal preference would be to hear the voices.(Oh wait, I already do hear voices!)
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