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Alan Wheeler
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Terry Herbert (in his video on children's magic) produces the rabbit right in it's house (cage). He still gets the old imagery, though, because he takes the rabbit out and puts it in a top hat so the kids can come up, pet it, and have pictures taken with the magic rabbit. He says that for children "nothing can follow the production of a live rabbit."

alan a.k.a. alleycat
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Dare I ask . . . what's the earliest documentation of this?

Jack Shalom
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Jack; your question was one of my trivia questions in an old thread. For the English language, the earliest documentation seems to be in a book by A. B. Engstrom titled The Humorous Magician Unmasked (1836). I owned a copy at one time, but sold it for college - wish I had it back. In that same old thread, there was a suggestion that a French book circa 1820's documented the trick, but I have yet to explore/confirm that claim.
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Harry Blackstone Sr and Jr used to do a great trick with a rabbit. I don't remember, but I think I read somewhere that they used to give it away to a kid in the audience as well, although I could be mistaken.
andre combrinck
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Although a magician is commonly known to pull a rabbit out of a hat,you rarely see this anymore.I agree with using a live rabbit.Houdini claimed that producing a rabbit was always a real winner-and so it is.
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The Blackstone's gave away thousands of bunnies over the years. Sr. used to run a bunny maintee.

I helped Jr. on several occasions do the rabbit routine. I even had to go to the pet stores to find the small rabbits to work it.

It is a great audience pleasing thing to produce a rabbit. A lot of hassle keeping a live rabbit and such but really no more and in some ways less than a dog. At least, I don't have to take it for a walk with a plastic bag twice a day.

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On 2005-06-11 05:08, andre combrinck wrote:
Although a magician is commonly known to pull a rabbit out of a hat,you rarely see this anymore.I agree with using a live rabbit.Houdini claimed that producing a rabbit was always a real winner-and so it is.

He also claimed he was the King of Cards, I'm not about to believe him though.
Todd Robbins
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I remember reading years ago, in an article by Leo Benke (I think I am spelling his name wrong), in Stan Allen's old Inside Magic, a recounting of a hoax involving an English woman, Mary Toft, that claimed to give to rabbits.

This is the story of Mary Toft from the Museum of Hoaxes website:

September 1726: The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits (Hoax)

Mary Toft, a young woman in the town of Godalming located in the south of England, began to give birth to rabbits. Her condition soon attracted the attention of medical doctors who watched, to their amazement, as she produced one rabbit after another. The King sent his personal physicians to witness the phenomenon, and they reported back that it was not a fraud. Mary was transported to London, but under constant supervision she failed to produce any more rabbits. Sir Richard Manningham declared that he should surgically examine her to determine where the rabbits were coming from, and at that point she confessed that she had been putting them there herself when no one was looking. Remarkably, a year later she reportedly gave birth to a healthy human baby, despite the damage that she must have done to herself in the course of the rabbit deception.

In the article the Leo Benke wrote, he implied the rabbit of a hat came about due to the popularity of the Mary Toft story. He reported that magicians started pulling rabbits out of hats and replying that "it looks like Mary Toft had been here." The topicality of the gag played well and the trick became a classic.
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I have developed a routine based on the story of Mary Todd. I tell the shortened modified version of the story . Using a tophat silk , I try to pull a rabbit out of a hat;however, I produce a skunk silk instead. I blame the kids for not remembering to say the magic words. We try again and this time produce a 12 rabbit silk. A little child at the back of the room yells, "I bet you can't do that again!"I call up the child and he/she pokes an indentation in the mother rabbit's tummy and the child pulls out a baby rabbit silk.
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Bill Palmer
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On 2004-11-15 15:56, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Real people like to touch real rabbits.

That's why I like to perform for banquet crowds. After the meal, they are stuffed.
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HA! Good one (AGAIN!), Bill. Smile
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I went to a rabbit farm and ask how much to buy o0ne. The lady said $10.00, I said here's $10.00 I'll bring it back Monday. She said I can't give you your money back. I said fine. From now on I'll call you "Hertz rent a rabbit" It is better for me to rent than own a rabbit. I charge an extra $50.00 for a kids show with 4 tricks with a live rabbit.
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Bill noted that timing is everything in comedy. Therefore, I'm replacing my post (which duplicated his joke, because he beat me to it by a LONG time) with this lame excuse of an explanation for why there's any post here at all.

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I've only seen duck out of a hat not rabbit. I raelly do want a rabbit though Smile
Dr. Solar
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I do wear a top hat, dressed in my early 19th century attire. I would so much like to pull a ribbit out of it. Any bits I see as to how seem flawed. Chair steal, upside down hat on table, rear table steal. Albeit my rabbit is not the smallest breed. Yes, a baby would work great. The rental sounds good.

As to allergies, the axium, seen one rabbit you've seen them all. I am allergic to all breeds but the Rex and Dutch. I am allergic to white rats but not black ones. Allergies are very specific and people do tend to generalize too much.

Check it out with different breeds.

Any suggestions to me on attaining a rabbit out of the hat so as to not need a circus wagon or such always. PM me.

"look for me in all things forgotten"
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