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Profile of Tyler_Magician
Does anyone have any ideas for inexpensive running gags? A lot of people don't have the money to buy props to use, such as a Lota bowl. Any ideas?

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Inner circle
Hattiesburg, Ms
2735 Posts

Profile of TomBoleware
Hey Tyler,

You can almost make a running gag out of anything. Dropping a silk, tripping on your foot, looking at a prop in a certain way, etc. After a couple of times the audience will catch on and sort of wait on you to do it again.

"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Profile of Cheshire Cat
Or you can make easily and cheaply assembled low-voltage electrical devices, so when you lean on say a table you complete a circuit that makes a phone ring, or a lamp illuminate. Another way is to have remote controls in your jacket, etc.

If you are going to buy, I personally don't think that floral tricks can be beaten as running gags - whether it's the water operated wilting flower or the plant that only blooms once every hundred years, etc.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Has anyone written a book devoted to running gags?
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02

That is a good question. I am not sure that anyone has done a book on just running gags. There are books one one-liners that are out, but I am not sure I have ever come across a running-gag type of book.

Simple running gags that I use are:

- Comedy wands - They never work or I pull out a rubber chicken, etc., until finally in the end the wand turns into a roll out wand with a rabbit picture. You can simply even use a break away wand as a running gag if presented well.

- Cell Phone - I do this a lot at holiday shows where the phone rings, and each time it is Santa or the Easter Bunny getting closer. It has comedy in it and cost me nothing to do as a running gag.

Just a few ideas.

Kyle Peron

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Fast Eddie P.
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What do you use to make the cell phone ring (other than having someone call you on it, of course)?
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Profile of PROFED
There are toy phones that look real and have a realistic ring.
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Profile of todd75
I personally use the cell-phone gag in all of my shows, and it gets a great response. I do the "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance" line and the "can you hear ne now?" line as well. There are many more that go well with the phone act. Adapt it to your style, and you'll get a laugh every time.

Cheap. You can get one for $1.00 at any dollar store, just about!
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Profile of Tyler_Magician
These are all great ideas. Any more?

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Nashua, NH
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Profile of olivertwist
You could get a pocket squeaker and make your 'shoe' squeak between tricks. Pull out an oversized oil can and lube the shoe. Squeak goes away only to come back after next trick. Now you just need a climax that ties in with it.

Tom Stevens
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Oliver, that is really good!

I've used the squeaker, for squeaking kid's noses to show that they are also growing into a clown. But the oil can---that is just superb!
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Chicago, IL
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Profile of wizardofsorts
This isn't expensive but it gives you climax to your oil can/ squakey shoe idea:

What's the trick where you destroy the shoe and it comes back (Whizcote? maybe). How about that for a climax. You destroy the shoe accidently trying to fix it. And they you restore it put it on, walk, walk, (no squeak), then Squeak!, you look back at the audience and shrug! Or after the restore it sqeaks more or louder?
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event.
Gideon Sylvan
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Deerfield, IL
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An easy free gag would be to call the Birthday Kid by the wrong name, or mis say his age (how are you all feeling at Bob's 88th birthday party? Ate? No I didn't already eat, thanks for your concern).
You know you are a magician when you have boxes full of lecture notes you have never read, but still are excited about going out and buying more.
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