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rossmacrae
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Prude - you named yourself aptly. You are WAY too uptight. HOWEVER - (I resisted the urge to begin this sentence with BUT[T]...) - that doesn't mean I support those who go too far the other way.

The "dog poo" props, the "squirting [pee???]" gags - WAY too much, in my opinion.

Well, it's the wide variation in opinion that seems to mark this discussion. In another genre (comedy) we had Lenny Bruce getting arrested so we could all have some freedom for actual public discourse, we had Richard Pryor telling the ABSOLUTE TRUTH about the human condition and he needed the vivid language to do it, and then, once the door was opened by far more talented people, we had idiots like Andrew Dice Clay and Howard Stern just cheapening everything they touch. Where do you draw the line? More to the point, where do YOU draw the line?

As for "Disney gets away with it in every film they make. Films like Shrek are loaded with this type of humor." I've often thought Disney was WAY too fond of butt-jokes (they get old really fast) and Shrek seems to be accepted as a delineator of what's acceptable language for kids (not in my house). My statements may seem odd considering that my whole family watches South Park, but then (1) South Park is one of those "the jester speaks the truth nobody else can" comedies despite its usual gratuitous offensiveness, and (2) my kids know the difference between what they see and how they ought to act.

I once sent back (and actually got a refund from a MAGIC SHOP, miracle of miracles!) for a balloon book that was sold as a delightful routine for grownups, and turned out to consist of a balloon dog with a urinating *** - SOMEBODY must have thought this would be acceptable entertainment for decent people ... but I can't picture anything but a mass exodus of audience and a quick firing following this routine. But, gosh darn it, it just goes to show the variation in judgments among otherwise reasonable people - I'm sure there are one or more people that go to the same church as we do, that have their clock-radio set to Howard Stern every morning, too!
Bill Scarlett
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Just because Disney and The Cartoon Network get away with it doesn't make it right. In fact, I think it is terrible to be reduced to the lowest form of humor; bathroom talk. C'mon folks, we're grownups, why don't we act like grownups. We can still be silly, joke around and be lots of fun without resorting to potty humor.

As a parent with young children, I will say that if I hired a magician and they started using bathroom humor in my home, I would not be a happy customer. Some parents might not have a problem with it but I would never recommend that magician to my friends.

Sorry if this makes me a prude, but I think there are lots of customers out there like me.
JB the Clown
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I think this whoile thread may be going a little potty <;o)
JB the Clown
a.k.a. John Broaders
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NJJ
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Bill-

What 'ranking' of humour do use to decide that bodily functions belong on the lowest rung? Read a bit of shakespeare and you'll find it FULL of this kind of humour.

To me, the lowest form of humour is that that nobody laughs at....toilet humour can OFTEN fit in that catergory if used on the wrong crowd. But kid's will RARELY not laugh at this sort of stuff.

In my academic studies I did quite a bit of research into the nature of humour. Essentially, comedy revolves around taking to mutually exclusive frames of reference and putting them together. Comedy HAS to break the rules! Often the rules are minor (like puns which find new meanings for the SOUNDS of words, breaking the rules of language) However, when you starting break rules around bodyily functions, race, gender etc, you run the risk of stepping too far outside the norm.

Rhinomax - Sorry I implied you were a prude. I was thinking more of other posts in other threads then yours.
rhinomax
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To me the ranking of humour comes from the client who has been trying to quell little Billy or Suesies fascination or preocupation with poopy, farting or whatever(if you have children you know what I mean) and suddenly the hired entertainer is pulling rubber poop from his change bag

We are childrens entertainers the art of magic is our medium. To me rubber poop taints the wounder and beauty of it

Nick no need to appologise I knew where you were coming from

but as there are prudes among us magi consider how many may be among your clients
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
Popo
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SanCho, You asked if it is bad to use the word booger in a show.No it'snot! Anyway, one joke I always use is that I ask the kids if they always wash their hands after using the bathroom. Most will yell yes but a few will say no. I tell them they should because one time I didn't and when I came out I had Poo on my hand. As I say this I hold up my hand which has a Winnie the Pooh hand puppet on it. The adults laugh harder than the kids!
Deke Rivers
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I can only speak for myself, but I would not hire a performer for my own kids who used those terms. While "offensive" may be a little strong, I think bathroom humor is in particularly poor taste for kids. Just because they use it doesn't mean it's right, and just because it gets a laugh doesn't mean it should be in a show. I think that 20 years of MTV, cable television, and reality TV has made us lower our standards. I'd hate to see them lowered all the way to kids' shows.
rhinomax
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Popo is that pronounced poo-poo Smile the poo puppet is funny! As Kyle and Ross and others stated many can pull this stuff off. your routine in its odd way promotes good bathroom hygene. I could never have come up with such a routine. funny inventive but to me still potty talk
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
NJJ
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I've never had a client complain about my 'potty' humour EVER.

Performers of all sorts tend to be over sensative about what people will and won't find offensive.

The sponge ding dong is the perfect example. A higher percentage of magicians will take umbridge at the ding dong then of the general public. In fact, the public tend to LOVE it!

not that the ding dong is in my kid's routine....

People always talk about 'resorting' to toilet humour....I see it as just another tool in the box for entertaining our audience. You use the right tool for the right job!

Take risks!
prude
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I am sorry. Nothing that is being said here justifies the use of impropriety by so called magicians. I say "so called" because anyone that uses this type of material when presenting magic has absolutely no right to call themselves a magician.

This is not a wind up on my part. I mean every word I say and I am deadly serius about it. I don't care what your "character" is. If your character allows you to use this sort of material then it would behoove you to immediately change that character.

There is utterly no excuse for vulgarity or references to "bottoms" and suchlike.
It lowers the art and dignity of what you do. Anyone that does this is by the very doing of it a bad performer. Playing with dog poo may be fine for jokes with your friends or at the office but is certainly not quality fare for children's entertainment.

We are the practicioners of an ancient and honourable art which has been handed down to us by those who have gone before. We owe it to those upon whose shoulders we now stand to perform it in such a way as to enhance our image as artists not vulgar second rate comedy club entertainers.

If Mr Johnson recieves no complaints about his admitted "toilet humour" I can only say that his audiences think it even if they don't say it. And even if they don't think it there is still no justification for doing it.

Again quite disgraceful. Anyone who advocates the performing of Ding Dongs cannot in all honesty be considered a magician. The first rule is "If in doubt cut it out"
People who used "Ding Dongs" in performance do far more harm to magic than the most ardent exposer.

Again you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Lee Darrow
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Dignity of the art... Interesting choice of words. Soupy Sales was considered one of the best children's TV entertainers. Clean as a whistle, but FAR from dignified! in fact, his signature gags were the classic pie in the face and having one of his puppets pull him off screen and a fast repeat pucker-pop! sound came up and, when he pulled back on screen, his hair was mussed and he looked at where the puppet had come from and said "Don't kiss!"

Rocky and Bullwinkle actually broke the barrier of adult/child entertainment by doing what I call the "split level" approach - the overt, slapstick comedy for the adults, and the sophisticated jokes and puns for the adults. Exchanges like: Rocky - "Hey Bullwinkle! Do you notice who's not here?" Bullwinkle - "Well, Prince Savanapuma, for one!" alongside gags like Mount Wantchatakea Peak and Upsydaisuim, Gidney and Cloyd and the Kerward Derby prove that children's entertainment doesn't have to be dignified - but it does have to be funny - or at least fun.

Class children's entertainers, like Silly Billy (also a 100% clean act) is far from dignified, Hank Moorehouse's Mr. Bubbles, the same. In fact, many children's entertainers are nowhere near "dignified." Muppets are a perfect example. While some of the human characters are definitely "adults," the Muppets themselves are about as far from dignified as you can get and one, Sam the Eagle, even lampoons those who are overly "dignified" with his incredibly funny stuffed shirt attitude and delivery.

Given that the Muppets and Soupy have all won many prestigious awards, including Newberry Awards, National Library awards and Emmys, I hardly think that dignity is a deciding factor for children's entertainment.

Fun, engaging magic, laughter and a certain level of propriety, certainly, but dignity? Probably not.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
p.b.jones
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Nicholas,
As you are the full time performer and seem to be doing really well and most of the critisism is coming from non pro performers, persolally I would go with what works mate bo**cks to any rules, first rule of being a full time pro ... forget the rules!
Phillip
rhinomax
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Phillip how do you define nonperformer ?

I believe this thread started to discuss the use of this material or not

it seems that those who use it are most threatened by those whom simply do not and state why


I hope my humble opinion has has not offended any one

always a performer

David Anderson (my real name)
http://www.andersonmagic.com
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
NJJ
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David - I'm not threatened by those who not (like yourself) but by those who do not and wish to force others to not use. (i.e. prude aka mark lewis(?) )
p.b.jones
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HI,
sorry I never said non performer! I said non pro performer by that I meant performers who do not make thier entire income from magic/performing, I also said "mostly coming from" not that all the critism was from non pro workerrs
Phillip
Paul
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LOL.
As for that noble distinguished art of Punch and Judy.....

Yes, bring back the pre pack flat prop days and the artistry of Devant, that's what I say. Did Devant or Robert-Houdin use these words? That's the guide. But then, did childrens magic exist in those days...No it was just magic for all.

How the heck did "Ding Dong" get brought into this "The Little Darlings" thread????

Paul.
Bill Scarlett
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A magician can be plenty silly and "undignified" and have the kids rolling in the aisles without using potty humor. I'm having a hard time understanding why people don't see that this might hurt their business rather than help it. Plastic poop, peeing puppets, that's just wrong. Doesn't the possibility that you will offend your client make any difference to you?

And thanks to PJ for noting that us part-time professionals ought never have an opinion that clashes with the full-timers. I will go back to my place and try not to step out of line again. I just thought you might be able to learn something. I am not just a magician, I am also a potential customer.
NJJ
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The real question is that hasn't been answered is what is WRONG with potty humour?

If you take out EVERYTHING from your act that MIGHT offend people you'll end up with a very boring routine indeed.

e.g. I've met more people who don't like seeing animals in a magic act then who don't like potty humour.
p.b.jones
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And thanks to PJ for noting that us part-time professionals ought never have an opinion that clashes with the full-timers. I will go back to my place and try not to step out of line again. I just thought you might be able to learn something. I am not just a magician, I am also a potential customer.


Hi,
I never said you where not entitled to an opinion, just that personaly I would not listen to it! I would go with what works for me, I think Nicholas should go with what works for him. When your living depends on it you do the stuff people pay to see ... politicaly correct or not... just do what works!
Phillip
Kent Wong
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Wow!! I almost didn't read this thread because the title didn't make much sense. Am I ever glad I did. Whenever, I perform for children I know there is a very fine line that I cannot cross. For instance, I don't use knives in my show out of respect for the kids' safety and in order to ensure that they don't try the same thing at home. I also don't swear in my show because, as a parent, I wouldn't want my kids exposed to that kind of language (plus, I don't normally use that kind of language anyways). At the end of the day, it boils down to the fact that kids may get the idea such behaviour or language is acceptable - if that's not the case, don't use it.

If in doubt, ask the parent who hired you so as to ensure it doesn't offend. After all, they are the ones responsible for the upbringing of their child; they are the ones responsible for the other kids in attendance; and they are the ones who are paying you.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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