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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Bongo Hat (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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reikiman
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I have heard a lot about this item. What is the effect and is there a particular routine that should be recommended?
Spellbinder
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The Bongo hat is a commercial version of Lu Brent's Growing Hat. You begin with a small folded paper hat, try it on a kid's head and discover that it is too small, so you unfold it and change it into a bigger hat (also changing the color of the hat at the same time). You ask the audience if the hat should be bigger, and being the clever kids performer that you are, they will all agree that "bigger is better." You keep increasing the size of the hat and each time it gets bigger, it also changes color. Finally you have a hat that almost completely covers the child helper. You turn him around and on the front of the hat is a large "monster" face (in the Ali Bongo version). That's the effect in a nutshell. My own version of the Growing Hat (The Wizards' Journal #8 - A Hat for All Seasons - on my site) teaches you how to make your own hat and it includes a second ending with one more hat you can unfold. Also, because you make it yourself, you can choose your own colors for all the hats, and change the Monster face into Santa Claus or a Pumpkin, or whatever you wish. The double ending allows you to have (for example) a frog face, which when "kissed" turns into a king (or into Shrek - which is popular just now).

To learn the best routine for presenting ANY form of growing hat, Bongo's version or mine, check out "The Wit and Wisdom" book by a certain person who cannot be named here on this forum. You'll find a link to the book on my site, as well.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
eddieloughran
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I use it in almost every children's show !

It isn't really a routine, its a bit-of-business, like breakaway wands.
But it does last a few minutes and gets lots of laughs, and is often photogrophed.
It doesn't work for some magicians though; I'm not sure why.
Danny Hustle
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I use the bongo hat routine from that book in every show. It is a GREAT routine! There is a picture of me performing it around here somewhere....I'll have to look.

Best,

Dan-
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flimnar
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Salt Lake
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David Ginn has a funny routine called "The Troll Hunt" by Gale Alexander in his book "Kidbiz" that uses the Bongo Hat.

Flimnar
"This one goes to eleven..." Nigel Tufnel
Tony James
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I seem to have known Ali Bongo for a very long time - over forty years and his Bongo Hat for almost as long.

Here it is, being discussed as if it was new. That tells you something about it. As Eddie says, it doesn't work for everyone but that is true of every magical effect you can name.

We all have effects we consider cast iron and then up pops someone really good who can get nothing out of your particular dead certs. What works for one does not always work for another. 'Twas ever thus.

What makes a dead cert is partly the effect but also the way you handle and present it. The Wit & Wisdom routine needs to be read and it may well give you another angle on this excellent children's item. The Letter, Wallman Business and lots more in there.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
rossmacrae
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When I used it, I got a good response using it as a comedy prop along the lines of how you'd use a breakaway wand.

That is, I'd give the hat one extra fold, to set it up (needed that extra-small size). Then I'd tell the volunteer that he needed a magic hat, and set the Bongo hat on his head, and I'd start to turn away as though everything was OK. Of course, it would fall off, and I'd say "sorry, you need a bigger size". Of course, the larger size fell off as well. As the size got bigger, I'd (seemingly inadvertently) knock the hat off when I turned away. The next-to-last phase, the audience thinks that the joke is that the hat is now too big - And of course then there was the final surprise.

Got a lot of laughs, but very young kids were a bit frightened of having things put on/over their head.
MagicSanta
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For those using it as a prop alone do look into the Bongo Hat routine. It works well, the kids love it, and it fills a few minutes of precioius time with laughter.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2007-05-24 09:12, flimnar wrote:
David Ginn has a funny routine called "The Troll Hunt" by Gale Alexander in his book "Kidbiz" that uses the Bongo Hat.

Flimnar


Yes, Indeed.
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jakeg
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I know that there are several 'ready made' hats on the market. who has the nicest hat that will hold up with use?
Spellbinder
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For durability, use a hat made of Tyvec "paper." I sell blank white Tyvec hats at The Nook, but you have to paint them yourself, unless you're performing this for the Klan. Directions come with the hats for painting them with acrylic paints in the colors and designs of your choice. Naturally, it's less expensive than a ready made hat already printed and colored.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
derrick
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Spellbinder,

That's hilarious!!! Try it in all white at your next local magic club meeting. Then stay away from anyone that asks where you got it.

Derrick
jakeg
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Thanks Spellbinder. Knowing myself, if I get something that I have to work on, it will sit forever and never get done. By the way, do you have a shop in NJ or do you sell only on line?
Al Angello
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Spellbinder
It is good to see you posting more often. I do the "letter", and I just ordered your Tyvec hat, so the "Bongo Hat" is next for me.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Rupert Bair
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I don't bother with the whole knocking the hat off bit.

I put the hat on the kid, tell them its too small. And shall I make it bigger, I make it bigger and they keep shouting "make it bigger!!!" and theres lots by play between each time I make it bigger. I then get it till the biggest I got " Woooaahhh! that's giant! I can't make it any bigger! that's big enough for a giant!" as I turn it round I scream and let the kid carry on helping with the rest of the trick with the giant face as I get him to do scary arms and scary noises and that kind of thing.

Its a brilliant prop. I'm glad not everyone is using it.

M:C
Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2007-05-25 15:43, jakeg wrote:
Thanks Spellbinder. Knowing myself, if I get something that I have to work on, it will sit forever and never get done. By the way, do you have a shop in NJ or do you sell only on line?

I don't have a shop, I have a "clutter," so my business is strictly on line. Thanks for asking.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Bill Nuvo
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Maybe I need to see some good magicians performing it, but everytime I have seen it performed (usually by the guy who buys a lot of props and just does them without real routines) it has been less than favourable in audience reactions. Because of this I really don't see the point of the prop as it often leaves me wondering when the surprise will come and it never does.
jakeg
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I plan to use the hat like a poor man's giant wand. Nothing happens because the assistant needs a bigger magic hat. When he finally gets one that's big enough, the trick completes.
Tony James
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Quote:
On 2007-05-25 15:43, jakeg wrote:
Thanks Spellbinder. Knowing myself, if I get something that I have to work on, it will sit forever and never get done. By the way, do you have a shop in NJ or do you sell only on line?


My dear fellow, I an absolutely astonished at this post of yours.

"if I get something that I have to work on, it will sit forever and never get done."

You can't mean that. Working on something is how a pro transforms the bog standard into something personal. That's the bread and meat of the business.

Tell me it was just a jest. It's the performer's very foundation.

If you're not different, you're nothing.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
jakeg
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Tony: Building your own equipment does not make you different from another performer doing the same routine with an off the shelf prop. Because you build a red prop instead of using a blue one off the shelf does not make the routine yours.
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