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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Finger magic on Red Skelton (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jlevey
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I believe it was in he early 1970's that a magician introduced a very funny comedy bit using his fingers as the props and humming out loud a very catchy tune for background music.

I also seem to recall that this "novel" presentation was first seen on the Red Skelton show. During his 5 minute routine, the magician would hold his left and right index fingers up and start humming the tune...
Da Da DADA, DA DA DA...Da Da DADA, DA DA DA... DA DA DADADA DA DA DA DA...
DA DA DADADA DA DA DA DA... (and on and on in circular fashion).

This was the background music.

As the music hummed along, he would proceed with the comedy magic bit...
Knocking his two closed fists together (with each index finger remaining upright. As soon as the two fists touched, he would "magically transfer one index finger from one of his hands over to the other fist causing "two" fingers to appear upright. Then, he would repeat this motion, so that when the two fists touched again, one of the fingers from the fist with two upright fingers would "magically transfer" back to it's original upright position on the "other" fist.

Amazing.

During the same routine, this magician would also make the letter "o" with his fingers, by touching thumb and index finger together. He would create an ""o" for both of his hands. Clearly, they were "separate" and "unlinked". Then, magically (all the while humming away at his catchy tune, the magician would place each of his hands behind his head, only to bring the "o"'s back out in front of his head, "magically" "linked" together!!

He would then continue, placing the linked finger "o"'s back behind his head (tune humming away in the background), only to "produce them in from of his head "unlinked"!!!

Amazing.

I also recall that he went on to make one of his legs disappear by placing a cloth in front of both feet/legs and as he slowly raised the cloth upwards, one of his feet/legs had mysteriously vanished! Within seconds, the foot/leg made a "startling" re-appearance.

Now here's the million dollar question....

Who was "that" magician?

What was his name? What year did he launch this very original magic-comedy effect? and on what tv show (was it Red Skelton)??

The reason for my asking is that it has come to my attention recently that in Denmark, during a Cultural reconition event,, a high-rnaking official gave credit to a particular magician form Denmark for originating this particular magic-comedy routine... within the last ten years!!!!

This, cannot be possible, for as far as I recall this routine originated and was launched on public tv back in the early 1970's.

Any light that any Magic Café members can shed on the above would be most appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Jonathan

PS: My apologies for writing such a lengthy post.
Jonathan
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JimMaloney
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The guy's name is Art Metrano. Check out his profile on IMDB.com: Art Metrano. Back in 1989, he suffered some serious spinal injuries after falling off a ladder while making repairs to his home. He became a quadriplegic, though he has since regained some ability and can walk for brief periods with the aid of crutches. Mostly, he's confined to a wheelchair. He's recently been performing his one man show "Accidental Comedy", which deals with his accident and continuing recovery.

Police Academy fans may remember his as Lt. Mauser.

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Dave Dorsett
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That would be (now) 70 year old comedian Art Metrano. He began in the 1960's and worked steadily for years before an accident severely curtailed his appearances.

You can find more info HERE-
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0582586/

and more on the "Amazing Metrano" finger magic act HERE-
http://abilitymagazine.com/metrano_interview.html

Posted: Mar 23, 2006 1:34pm
2 minutes faster, Jim! If only I had paid attention in typing class.
Dave Dorsett
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jlevey
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Wow!

Thanks Jim. Your response was fast and informative.

Any idea what year and what (tv) show, he first appeared on?

Also, is it absolutely certain (and verifiable) that he is "the" originator?

Again, many thanks.

Jonathan

Posted: Mar 23, 2006 1:40pm
Thanks Dave for providing that second "inteview with Art Metrano" link.

Seems that we can always count on the kindness and intellect of Magic Café members for the right answers.

Jonathan
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Dave Dorsett
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You're welcome, Jonathan... but a pox on you for putting that song in my head for the entire day yesterday! Smile
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Vince Hancock
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<grin> Jonathan, I like your description of the act.

Here's a photo, in case it rings any bells. The "Police Academy" movies had a number of heavies, but I think I remember seeing Mr. Metrano.

Click here to view attached image.
jlevey
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Thanks for the kind words Vince, and for the great photo of Metrano.

All the Best.

Jonathan
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Curtis Kam
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By the way, the name of the song is "Fine and Dandy" in case you just can't live without a recording ot it.....
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jlevey
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Thanks Curtis!

Jonathan
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Steven True
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I remember him on tv doing that routine. When somebody askes me to a trick, I do that one for them. It was funny when he did it. Did not know he had an accident. Glad to hear that he is doing somewhat better.

Steven
Bill Palmer
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He appeared on "The Gong Show."
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jlevey
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Art Metrano's finger-flicking routine was definitely very original and very funny.

It was also very "user friendly"...even non-magicians could perform it with minimum skills and practice.

However, to entertain with it and do it justice, it does require good hand/eye coordination and an innate sense of timing and humor.

...And of course, the ability to hum.

Thank you Mr. Metrano!

Jonathan
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anonymousplayer
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I have been looking for a clip of this act; particularly where he uses his hankie and stuffs it into his closed hand, etc., etc. Please email me with any info.
Thanks
Michael J. Douglas
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Watch the video on his site - http://www.artmetrano.com
Michael J.
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Bill Palmer
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Cal Emmett was a cigarette manipulator who toured the USO shows and worked for the troops during WWII. He lived in Houston. I did Art's routine for him, slightly altered, once. He nearly fell out of his chair!
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optimystik
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Another bit he did...

Would slowly stuff a silk into top of his fistmand then slowly pull it out of the bottom of his fist.

That's it. No color change or vanish. Just the comedic flair...performed along with his "music" and really lampooning other generic magic acts.

Hilarious.

Stephen
GayLjungberg
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The Danish comedian doing the routine, also in the 1970-ies, in his own TV-show, (obviously ripping it off Art Metrano) was Dirch Passer (born 1926 and died in 1980)
Here is a video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1xwb2ajf1E
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REV BILL
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He did his fingers act on a Mark Wilson "Magic Circus".
Specializing in Family Entertainment,Gospel,Comedy and Educational programs for over 30 years.(Order of Merlin)
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