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Topic: Best Patter
Message: Posted by: msc455magic (Dec 24, 2004 07:39AM)
Which magician do you think has the best patter of all? I think I will go with Bill Malone
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Dec 24, 2004 09:00AM)
The best patter is your own. plus it has to fit your style.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Dec 24, 2004 12:43PM)
I love Aldo Colombini's style. The is as sharp and ready as can be. Very lovable ! Michael Ammar is fantastic too. Bill Malone is always entertaining. Tommy Wonder makes great connection.
Message: Posted by: ABlair36 (Dec 29, 2004 11:08PM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-24 13:43, rannie wrote:
Michael Ammar is fantastic too. Bill Malone is always entertaining. Tommy Wonder makes great connection.

[/quote]

Ammar? Really?
I've never heard anyone say that they like Ammar's patter. Unsually the opposite. I don't like his patter either. He often talks about quantim physics/particles and experiments. Things that are just not very relatable to his audience.

I definitely agree with Tommy Wonder and Bill Malone though.
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Dec 30, 2004 07:35AM)
Gazzo, he's got the lines that crack me UP!


kOnO
Message: Posted by: stephenbanning (Dec 31, 2004 12:33AM)
This is a good question. We really need to distinguish what we mean by best patter. Does best patter refer to DELIVERY or ORIGINALITY?

Also, does best patter mean best patter as percieved by all audiences, magicians, me personally, or the particular performer's target. For instance, I like Michael Ammar's patter in that much of it is original, and what is not, he identifies. I find it logical and appropriate for many of the audiences I use. It isn't appropriate for others, but it's not meant to be. Part of Ammar's appeal to some is his folksy approach that makes it appear his patter is off the cuff. People who don't like the in your face magician are more likely to like Ammar.

On the other hand you have someone like the Amazing Jonathan who has a different approach and is somewhat original (the style is very original, and much of the patter is wildly different in approach). He is very different but also interesting.

Does David Copperfield have good patter? Yes, if you are talking about delivery. Yes, if you are talking about style. Yes, if you are talking about compilation. No, if you are talking about originality. This doesn't mean DC isn't ethical. I've never heard of anyone ever say DC used material he didn't pay for.

Then the question gets even more complicated. What about the Copperfield clones who do the effects word for word as Copperfield does? Can we put them in the mix?

If we talk about someone like Colombini, you have to look at delivery. He is very funny and original in his style and presentation. He is also original in his use of jokes not commonly used by magicians today. However, many of his jokes date back to the 1920's. I used to read old joke books and recognized the jokes, but Columbini's delivery still made me laugh. His book of jokes also contains many jokes previously published.

For coming up with wild new ideas, many children's magicians are very good. I can't use far out ideas, but David Ginn has very creative patter he has developed himself as has Sammy Smith and Duane Laflin.

Doc Eason is extremely funny and glib and just nice to listen to, but doesn't write his own material
Message: Posted by: Dark Thought 13 (Jan 23, 2005 06:59AM)
I have always been a fan of Gary Kurtz, nice dialogue, a little tongue and cheek..
David Regal also has nice scripted lines and energy.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Feb 3, 2005 08:31PM)
Tommy Wonder very clever & natural& Michael Finney who has Great Script for every effect as well as the Linking of the whole act together-Very Funny& Total professional!!
Message: Posted by: foreva.infiniti (Jun 8, 2010 04:13PM)
That's an impossible question. Patter is derived from character which is derived from you. Its hard to compare those that are alike in very little ways. You see people have little similarities but infinite differences.

Perhaps if you rephrased the qustion by asking:

Which magician has the best patter that fits his character?

That of course would be me, as arrogant as that sounds. I studied the history of colors and numbers extensively and the knowledge obtained was massive so massive that I can incorporate a number and color in all aspects of my patter. All of my one liners, back ups, etc are referencing numbers and colors. Just about every thing I say is in reference to a number or a color. And since numbers and colors are usually always present knowing a lot about them helps when it comes to improving patter.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 15, 2010 05:40PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-08 17:13, foreva.infiniti wrote:
That's an impossible question. Patter is derived from character which is derived from you. Its hard to compare those that are alike in very little ways. You see people have little similarities but infinite differences.

Perhaps if you rephrased the qustion by asking:

Which magician has the best patter that fits his character?

[/quote]


Brilliant reply!
Ricky Jay reciting Francois Villon’s poem, "De bonne doctrine a ceux de mauvaise vie" is something that few if any magicians could replicate with Mr. Jay’s joy of the low-life from which the poem sprang into existence.

Mr. Jay used a Henley translation of the poem – an interesting choice that reveals just how important a part personality and character play when discussing “patter.” Most translations were attempts at a somewhat literal interpretation of Villon’s 15-century French, which was made even more difficult due to his use of the criminal cant of his time.

Along came the English poet, author and critic, William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 – July 11, 1903), he of the poem, “Invictus.” Henley also collaborated with John S. Farmer in compiling “A Dictionary of Slang and its Analogues.” Farmer was an interesting person. His love of language resulted in books that, when listed, read like a linguaphile's theme park: Musa pedestris: Three centuries of canting songs and slang rhyme; Vocabula amatoria: a French-English glossary of words, phrases, and…; A Dictionary of Slang Volume 1 A-K; A Dictionary of Slang Vol 2 L-Z; The regimental records of the British Army. A historical résumé…; Recently Recovered "Lost" Tudor plays, with some others; Merry songs and ballads prior to the year; Gammer Gurton's Needle; Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English; etc, etc,…

A rare book that chronicles the prodigious scholarship behind “A Dictionary of Slang and its Analogues” by Henley and Farmer is called, “The Correspondence of John Stephen Farmer and W. E. Henley on Their Slang Dictionary 1890-1904,” by John S. Farmer, Damian Atkinson and William Ernest Henley.

For any lover of the lore of the underworld and the criminal cant of that era (much of which is still in currency to this day, even in North America), this book is a treasure waiting to be re-discovered.

Clearly, Henley had a vast ocean of words to harvest as he approached the difficult task of re-thinking Villon’s poem. Henley’s genius was to use the criminal cant of 19th century London, thereby getting much closer, counter-intuitively, to the soul and spirit of Villon.

Hearing the master card handler Ricky Jay speak the poem aloud in his show, “Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants” is a delight. Mr. Jay is enamored with the magic of the words and his deep and abiding passion is infectious.

I will start with Villon’s poem in its original French, followed by the Henley translation (best read aloud for maximum enjoyment), followed by a key that will help you to understand the criminal canting language Henley used – and that Mr. Jay alone transformed into performance art:

"De bonne doctrine a ceux de mauvaise vie."

CAR ou soies porteur de bulles,
Pipeur ou hasardeur de dez,
Tailleur de faulx coings,
tu te brusles,
Comme ceulx qui sont eschaudez,
Traistres parjurs, de foy vuydez;
Soies larron, ravis ou pilles:
Où en va l'acquest, que cuidez?
Tout aux tavernes et aux filles.

Ryme, raille, cymballe, luttes,
Comme fol, fainctif, eshontez;
Farce, broulle, joue des fleustes;
Fais, es villes et es citez,
Farces, jeux et moralitez;
Gaigne au berlanc, au glic, aux quilles.
Aussi bien va--or escoutez--
Tout aux tavernes et aux filles.

De telz ordures te reculles;
Laboure, fauche champs et prez;
Sers et pense chevaulx et mulles;
S'aucunement tu n'es lettrez;
Assez auras, se prens en grez.
Mais se chanvre broyes ou tilles,
Ne tens ton labour qu'as ouvrez
Tout aux tavernes et aux filles.

Ballade de Bonne Doctrine (1461)
VILLON'S STRAIGHT TIP TO ALL CROSS COVES
(Translation by William Ernest Henley. Key is below the poem)

I
1. Suppose you screeve, or go cheap-jack?
2. Or fake the broads? or fig a nag?
3. Or thimble-rig? or knap a yack?
4. Or pitch a snide? or smash a rag?
5. Suppose you duff? or nose and lag?
6. Or get the straight, and land your pot?
7. How do you melt the multy swag?
8. Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

II
1. Fiddle, or fence, or mace, or mack;
2. Or moskeneer, or flash the drag;
3. Dead-lurk a crib, or do a crack;
4. Pad with a slang, or chuck a fag;
5. Bonnet, or tout, or mump and gag;
6. Rattle the tats, or mark the spot;
7. You cannot bank a single stag:
8. Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

III
1. Suppose you try a different tack,
2. And on the square you flash your flag?
3. At penny-a-lining make your whack,
4. Or with the mummers mug and gag?
5. For nix, for nix the dibbs you bag
6. At any graft, no matter what!
7.Your merry goblins soon stravag:
8.Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

The Moral:
1.It's up-the-spout and Charley-Wag
2.With wipes and tickers and what not!
3.Until the squeezer nips your scrag,
4.Booze and the blowens cop the lot.

The Key:

Stanza I
Line 1. Screeve: forge.
Line 2. Fake the broads: cheat at cards. Fig a nag: make an old horse seem lively by stuffing a fig saturated with ginger up its backside.
Line 3. Thimble rig: old shell game, modern three-card monte.Knap a yack: steal a watch.
Line 4. Pitch a snide: pass counterfeit coin. Smash a rag: pass counterfeit bills.
Line 5. Duff: fence goods. Nose and lag: inform, "rat," collect evidence for the police.
Line 7. Melt: Spend. Multy: bloody. Swag: Goods
Line 8. Booze and the blowens cop the lot: drink and the women (debauchery, i.e. syphilis) will kill you off.

Stanza II
Line 1. Fiddle: swindle. Fence: deal in stolen goods. Mace: steal, go back on one's word. Mack: pimp.
Line 2. Moskeneer: to pawn for more than the pledge is worth. Flash the drag: wear women's clothes for an improper purpose.
Line 3. Dead-lurk a crib: house-break during the time when folks were in church. Do a crack: burglary with violence.
Line 4. Pad with a slang: join a travelling troupe. Chuck a fag: strike a blow under the chin
Line 5. Bonnet: Act as the “inside man.” Tout: solicit business or employment in an importune manner. Mump and gag: beg and talk with the intent to double-cross.
Line 6. Rattle the tats: roll the dice. Mark the spot: identify the victim of a con.
Line 7. Bank: save. Stag: piece of money.

Stanza III
Line 1. Tack: approach.
Line 2. On the square: legitimately. Flash your flag = set up a trade; or perform on the streets.
Line 3. Penny-a-lining: hack writing. Make your whack: Earn your money.
Line 4. Mummers: Christians. Mug and gag: make faces, gesticulate, preach.
Line 5. For nix: For nothing. Dibbs: Paltry amounts of money. Bag: collect.
Line 6. Graft: job, activity, trade.
Line 7. Goblins: money. Stravag: go astray, leave your pockets.

The Moral:
Line 1. Up the spout: Pawn. Charley Wag: pickpocket.
Line 2. Wipes: handkerchiefs. Tickers: watches.
Line 3. Squeezer: hangman's noose. Scrag: neck.

Again - this translation was around for a long time.
ONLY RICKY JAY’S RECITATION TRANSFORMED IT INTO A PIECE OF MAGICAL PERFORMANCE ART!
Message: Posted by: foreva.infiniti (Jun 15, 2010 07:23PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-15 18:40, panlives wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-08 17:13, foreva.infiniti wrote:
That's an impossible question. Patter is derived from character which is derived from you. Its hard to compare those that are alike in very little ways. You see people have little similarities but infinite differences.

Perhaps if you rephrased the qustion by asking:

Which magician has the best patter that fits his character?

[/quote]


Brilliant reply!

[/quote]

...Eternity!
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 1, 2012 10:47AM)
David Blaine, haha. "Watch."
Message: Posted by: motown (May 4, 2012 08:21PM)
Ricky Jay.
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (May 17, 2012 09:42AM)
Gregory Wilson, Jon Allen, Jon Armstrong, and James Brown all stand out, IMO, in the patter department. Wilson and Armstrong because of their fresh wit, and Allen and Brown because they just seem to have a terrific way of interacting with spectators. They don't do long stories, but their manner, choice of words, delivery, etc., all greatly enhance their performances.
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 20, 2012 08:33AM)
Yes, ricky jay is a good one.
Message: Posted by: John C (Jun 7, 2012 12:15PM)
TELLER
Message: Posted by: Magicmike1949 (Jun 9, 2012 11:51PM)
David Regal, Eugene Burger, Tommy Wonder, Master Payne.
Message: Posted by: MagicGirl1536 (Jun 13, 2012 04:35AM)
For me it would have to be Bill Malone and Penn & Teller because of their ability to "break out of character which Malone explains breifly in his On The Loose Series, wich you should get.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Jun 16, 2012 05:58PM)
Watch some Tommy Cooper videos on youtube. Then watch Ade Duval here:
http://charvetmagic.com/

Both performers are being themselves rather than a scripted personality. The hardest thing to be in your life is yourself, because you think you have to live up to someone else's expectations. After you watch the above videos, go to this website and learn about Lee Strasberg's Method Acting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Method_acting

If all that becomes too complicated for you, just be yourself. Most people respond to someone who is authentic, rather than an actor trying to be someone they are not.
In in case, be happy and don't worry.
Message: Posted by: link8822 (Jul 25, 2012 02:26PM)
I have not seen a lot of live magic shows, but Penn & Teller's show left me inspired and really got me thinking. It was a delightful experience, especially the closing effect which was mostly nothing but patter.
Message: Posted by: Ola (Aug 26, 2012 09:48AM)
Best patter? My girlfriend! She has amazing hands.... :)
Message: Posted by: ApprenticeWizard (Sep 16, 2012 08:46PM)
I think Eugene Burger has some of the best scripted presentations I know of. Also Rene Lavand has some great lines and a masterful delivery. Malone is fast and humorous, but Burger and Lavand are the ones I tend to emulate now.
Message: Posted by: Atte (Jun 25, 2014 01:23PM)
What a good but hard question to answer...

I really like Gazzos patters and his confidence so if I have to say one I would say Gazzo. Michael Finney and Bill Malone as well as many others are also doing really nice work.

~Atte
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Jul 8, 2014 04:36AM)
It's probably a pedantic and unnecessary distinction to make, but none of the people I would list as having the best presentations do what I would call "patter." Eugene Burger, Penn & Teller, and Ricky Jay, for instance, have some of the best presentations in the world as far as I'm concerned, but it seems to diminish what they accomplish to call their words "patter."

I believe the term originates as an abbreviation of "Pater Noster," which is another name for the Lord's Prayer, and conveys a sense that the words are repeated mechanically without any sort of emotion or sincerity behind them. Even if the script is precise and repeated verbatim in each performance, it should convey some emotion or at least some interest in what's happening. So I don't much care for the word.

But to answer the question, as I said, I'd put Eugene Burger, Ricky Jay, and P&T up at the top of my list, along with several others.
Message: Posted by: bofx (Jan 11, 2018 06:42AM)
[quote]On Sep 17, 2012, ApprenticeWizard wrote:
I think Eugene Burger has some of the best scripted presentations I know of. Also Rene Lavand has some great lines and a masterful delivery. Malone is fast and humorous, but Burger and Lavand are the ones I tend to emulate now. [/quote]
Eugene Burger and Rene Lavand were 2 masters !
I'm also fond of Max Maven presentations. All is very well scripted and pronounced in an extremely limpid way.
Message: Posted by: warren (Jan 21, 2018 04:52PM)
Whilst this is all down to personal taste I always thought Daryl's presentations were first class he could make the most boring trick in the world entertaining, he really was a true magical legend..... sadly missed.
Message: Posted by: Bad jelly (Mar 2, 2018 04:59AM)
The rule of thumb since becoming aware of the 'Funny Characters' within the professional league was, Michael Finney is one to watch.
At some point in the distant past, I briefly saw a performance of his and I did find him amusing. On the strength of that performance, I bought a DVD of his stand up material.
I was friggin horrified.
Filmed in Lake Taho, he was 'Performing Stand-up' in a room filled with the infamous L&L crowd, you'd really to see this to get how shockingly bad it was.
The difference between stage persona and reality is brought into stark focus here.
The point brilliantly made in this thread about "Pater Noster" is never better demonstrated in Finny's example of learned lines and actions. Well rehearsed, honed, polished on stage he's brilliant. As writer and performer of his own observational material .... Dear god.

I'd say watch it to see how bad he was but why put yourself through that.
I asked for a refund from the magic dealer I'd bought it from and got one no questions asked. Made me think he may also have watched it.
Message: Posted by: alan1954 (Apr 14, 2018 07:54AM)
Eugene Burger, Daryl, Michael Finney
Message: Posted by: debjit (Aug 22, 2018 06:09AM)
I love Greg Wilson! He's just so funny, confident and cool :)