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Profile of samuelchong
Terry Herbert did mention what makes children laugh in his Children's Magic The Herbert Way, however, for adults, besides jokes, what else makes them laugh?
Harry Murphy
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Profile of Harry Murphy
The situation! I don’t tell jokes but I do make my audiences laugh. I end up in situations and use props that garner laughter. hink about Prof. Cheer’s Rope trick. It is full of situational comedy. Rope being exposed (magician in trouble), rope coming out of the wrong places, full of noises, grunts, mugging (that is making faces), and physical gyrations, then the rope seemingly coming out of an impossible place (magic!). Finally the rope pulling out of your pants leg with your shorts/brief's attached.

There are any number of tricks that are just funny or amusing. The situation and the prop does it for you. Another example would be the Card Stab trick. You could perform it straight or you could add a silly blindfold, and keep missing the cards before you got the right one (see Martin Lewis’ version for a good idea on this).

A simple straightjacket escape can be made very funny.

I can go on and on but I am sure that others will also chime in with numerous ideas.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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Profile of olivertwist
Steve Allen defines comedy as "Derailing the audience's train of thought". It's the unexpected, surprise twist that makes them laugh. Lead them down a path and then pull the rug out from under them is a startling and amusing way.

Steve Taylor, magician and ventriloquist, has an excellent tape called Humouring Your Dummy. It gives great ideas on creating humour in ventriloquist dialogues but it can be adapted to comedy magic as well.

Oliver Twist
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Profile of naturalturn
I like watching and studying Buster Keaton classics such as Our Hospitality, current sitcoms (Friends, etc.) and all the great comedy magic acts of our times, to get a feel of what makes adults laugh... and why it works for these performers/actors.

Of course, comedy and humour is very subjective at times... and the response could vary greatly depending on what type of audience you have (their age, demographic and cultural breakdown, etc.).

Just some thoughts!

When Magic Went WONG!
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Profile of ventman
I agree with Harry—go for situation—not jokes. Sitcoms have been popular for most all of television history. While they may have an occasional joke, the bulk of the entertainment pertains to the outlandish situations the characters find themselves in and how they handle the problems (sometimes handling the problems in a similar manner that all people would—or wish they would—if in that same situation).
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Profile of muzicman
Laughter is the bodies response to something that moves them emotionally in an odd way. It's amazing once you get a crowd going, that you can say and do just about anything and they will laugh. I once proved this to my family. Once, I had the laughs rolling freely, I hesitated for a moment and then said the word "lightbulb". The crowd (already primed) busted up! It was a word my mother chose freely that I was to use to prove to her I could say ANYTHING and get them to laugh. She understand my point after that night.

The #1 best comedy/magic show I have ever done, was a quirk, and I have struggled to make it happen whenever I can. What happend was I actually started laughing and I had to keep turning around to compose myself. Everytime I turned back around in character, their laughing would make me break character and I would first struggle from smiling then laughing, at which this kept repeating itself. The laughter rolled for 3 minutes straight. It was the funniest darn thing. It was as though they were laughing, just to get me laughing. That was a first. Normally, I find the perfect chance to repeat this "Roll Fest" is when someone, usually a small child makes a great comment that sets it all in motion. It's something I wish I could recreate at each show but I don't know why sometimes it works and sometimes it dies down too fast. I wish I knew the secret.
C Christian
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Profile of C Christian
Jerry Lewis once said..."Find the conflict and try and get out of it!" How you get out of it will be funny. For example you have a choosen card lost in the deck. You the magician, try and find it and can't. How do you get out of it?? Do you go to your trusty invisble deck (Not funny) but works. But what if you put on an inspector hat and a magnifine glass and state you'll pull the card out of the spectators mind with the worst Sherlock Holmes impersonation ever. Still using the Invisible deck, this will work.
Mind you I never have tried this but I think it gets the point across.
Cheers Chris
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