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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Close-Up Magic Week on Letterman (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Futureal
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Doc -

Say you get a call tonight, one of the magicians is sick and can't make it. They want you to fly to New York in an hour and do the show that night. You have a 6 minute spot. Knowing what the conditions of the gig are, what material do you do?
Illucifer
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John Carney was fantastic and absolutely head and and shoulders above the other two performances, in my opinion. He had a great rapport with Letterman and was very entertaining and funny. Randal was atrocious. He seems like a very likeable fellow, but his magic is abominable. He rather strikes me as the Jack Hannah of magic.

What most of you may not know, is that John had to completely re-work his routine for the show, flip-flopping the actions of the left and right hand from the way he normally performs it. According to John, he asked if he could use a table. The answer was no. He asked if he could have his bag beside him or on the floor. Also no. He asked if he could lay down a mat to cover the 6-inch recessed area on Dave's desk. No. Ten minutes was all that was given for rehearsal. Nevertheless, Mr. Carney was every bit engaging, funny, and amazing.
It's all in the reflexes.
jazzy snazzy
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Probably no one left working in television who has variety show experience.
They never shoot anything more challenging than an interview anymore.

Leno might have handled it differently. Did anyone see the magicians on Craig Ferguson?
Dave and Conan both like to interrupt the guests with lame comments.
You see similar treatment during cooking segments too.

I miss Johnny Carson.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
atucci
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Jazzy - many of us miss Johnny.
Tony Tuccillo

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bobbyk
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Regarding Johnny "Ace", whose performance I very much enjoyed...

I am curious as to why he announced the Chicks before Dave turned the cups??? Any thoughts on that? I have seen him do this routine before and I don't recall him doing that but it was several years ago and I my recollection on that point may be wrong.
Stanyon
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 08:54, bobbyk wrote:
Regarding Johnny "Ace", whose performance I very much enjoyed...

I am curious as to why he announced the Chicks before Dave turned the cups??? Any thoughts on that? I have seen him do this routine before and I don't recall him doing that but it was several years ago and I my recollection on that point may be wrong.


Probably telegraphed because you could hear the little dickens' through most of his set. Also, JAP probably didn't want DL knocking them on the floor.
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
Doc Eason
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If it were me on the dais, I would do material that I have been doing for my entire career. Bullet proof stuff. Like JAP did. Stuff that depends on interaction not heavy sleight of hand. Stuff that would allow DL to chime in like bar patrons have been doing for 30 years. I'd like to think that I would be able to banter with him as I would with any convivial ( drunken ) Tower tourist.

plus

I would fervently hope that the adrenaline that would be surging through my veins didn't squirt out my ears.
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BarryFernelius
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 01:13, teevtee wrote:
They all know the setting, they all know they do not have a ton of time... why not tailor a performance for that?


Because once you do that, you're in unfamiliar territory -- a place you don't want to be when you're on the Letterman show. The last thing I'd want to do on the Letterman show would be a routine that I hadn't done a million times before.

Some of the folks on the Café keep saying, "But Gazzo works under bad conditions; he would have no trouble on the Letterman show." That's true, up to a point. But the constraints of the Letterman show are such a difficult problem to solve.

First, there are the very odd performance angles. Second, there are the cameras, that provide even more inconvenient angles. Third, there's David himself. But there's one other constraint that's a real killer: the performer must be seated, and everything has to stay in frame.

Gazzo is one of the best performers ever, but the inability to move would drive Gazzo crazy.

Maybe the answer is to do close-up mentalism. Smile
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
BarryFernelius
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 09:56, doceason wrote:
If it were me on the dais, I would do material that I have been doing for my entire career. Bullet proof stuff. Like JAP did. Stuff that depends on interaction not heavy sleight of hand. Stuff that would allow DL to chime in like bar patrons have been doing for 30 years. I'd like to think that I would be able to banter with him as I would with any convivial ( drunken ) Tower tourist.

plus

I would fervently hope that the adrenaline that would be surging through my veins didn't squirt out my ears.


Man, isn't that the truth. Doc, the last bit literally caused me to spew coffee all over my computer monitor!
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Powermagic
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My comment about 25 year old material is more to point out that they had 25 years to learn something new and some have not. I have not seen Ace in a long time so was hoping to see what he has perfected since then. These pros have to have worked on other material no? Or do they do as some and just do 3 good things and do it well?

I must say that after reading this topic and seeing many links of Randal, I guess he has no excuse. He does seem to be the one that changes his material. But he has been on Letterman 6 times, something I did not know and had to use the desk.
So he should have been MORE prepared than the rest and I do not see why he was all shaky. His other performances went over better.

I can also say, by watching the links in this topic. Dave IS harder on this week's magicians. Now many he was more so with Randal since he was more familiar with him. (Although he was very grabby and "trying" to be Mr. Funny with david Roth.) But if you watch the other Randal performances it Dave is playing along not overly braking the flow.

Yes it is good to see how these guys handle Dave's Mugging. And while this is REAL world in bar or house party, this show si NOT that. It is TV and just as Dave does not break into a comedians set he should not be taking it too far out of the way with his corniness. When Randal is on Ellen, she cracks some Jokes but does not ruin the flow.

BTW I never heard of Jason Randal nor new how many current talk shows he as been on.
Since he does not go on to promote anything, I am wondering how he gets booked on these shows as often as he does. While what he does is sound, it is not all that different than how the tricks were sold. Good agent I guess.

Ace's Chicks- I have seen him do this many times and at some point the chicks always talk. It always amazes me how many do not hear them but that is the power of magic. they do not suspect live fluffy animals so it is not in their mind.
If Paul kept playing it would have been better.
Destiny
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I just saw Johnny Ace Palmer on Letterman and thought he was brilliant. I think I almost qualify as a lay audience - I perform very little close-up and have never seen it performed live so my exposure to it comes through the odd youtube clip.

I thought he was personable, engaged with Letterman and the audience, and very entertaining. I enjoyed the coins and ring bits - the coin flying back up to his hand looked truly magical, and while those of you who knew there would be chicks under the cups may have had the moment spoilt, my first thought when he said they'd be there was 'Yeah - right!' so if anything - his telegraphing their presence enhanced the moment for me.

Bad camera angles happen all the time on live television and I didn't think Letterman treated Mr Palmer any different to how he treats movie stars and politicians - most of them are adept at handling his style as was Mr Palmer. Why would Letterman change his personna or stage set or desk for just one niche group of performers? His show isn't really to my taste but they have a formula that obviously works - if you want to be part of it you accept that it's about the show, not you. I think most of us who work multiple venues know that is the case for just about every show we ever do anyway.
manreb
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 00:55, David Todd wrote:
I was glad to see that the official edited version posted on the CBS website took out the orange flash. Smile

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/......Im&nrd=1


David you might want to look at that clip again, they left it true to the original.
TKO MAGIC
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WOW,
Johnny Ace Palmer was great. I loved his personality, his interaction and his magic.
Just the way he walked out with confidence and complemented Dave and the band was smart, a true professional.
Watch all three clips and watch the difference on how J.A.P. walks out and greets Dave compared to Carney and Randal. Then watch the interaction between J.A.P. and Letterman. He was far more entertaining than Carney and Randall put together.

Thank You Johnny Ace Palmer
Corbett
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Thoroughly enjoyed JAP's portion of the show. My wife, who is a seasoned viewer and audience of magic, commented, "wow, I really like his personality style, and how his demeanor is so calm and relaxed." She nailed it. There was just a sort of comfort and calm confidence that really showed through. I'm really looking forward to seeing him Live at MagiFest next year. Too bad I have to wait 9 more months.
RiffRaff
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Quote:
On 2010-05-20 11:44, TKO MAGIC wrote:
Just the way he walked out with confidence and complemented Dave and the band was smart, a true professional.


The band began playing during his set, just like they did to Carney. I think Palmer handled it perfectly.
Rich B.
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TKO...you know I love ya man...but I disagree.
Jason Randal has probably made too many appearances on Letterman..making him scramble for material...not making good choices in this a show. Also David Letterman is like "family" with Randal and treated him differently where he could challenge him more...much like when performing for your own family as opposed to strangers. He definitely was tougher on Randal than the Carney and Palmer.

I think John Carney's magic was better than Johnny Ace Palmer's. I also liked John Carney's banter with Letterman. I saw Carney's routine live(at your convention)and I was still fooled with it. I had to rewind to see the flash of the orange. I'm not sure anyone is going to admit that. Also, it was a routined set of magic that made some sense...not "look what I can do" type magic.

I do agree with you that Johnny Ace Palmer's entrance was very good. I am familiar with his magic as he has been doing the same stuff for a long time. I just thought that - look the coin is here...now its here...now its here...now its a ring was a little bit more of showing off than entertainment. I find his descriptive style of magic a bit annoying. Of course his sleight of hand is very good...I just don't care for the style in which he presents it.

I think it would be great for some of the performers to come on the Café and give some details of what was asked of them and a little more insight to what really goes into a TV performance. I know it must be very difficult, and not something I could ever do without my hands shaking uncontrollably.

TKO...after I read your opinion of Carney's performance, I was expecting to see a complete debacle...instead I was fooled when I finally watched it. Maybe I'm a dope...but I think you were a bit hard on John Carney.

Rich B.
Brad Burt
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After all my negative stuff earlier in this thread.....Letterman goes and handles John Carney wonderfully! Except for the that one "thing" that everyone saw John was, as usual, terrific!!! And, to be fair, so was Letterman. He was restrained and respectful and funny which came off with a lot of class.

Looking forward to seeing my DVRed copy of Wednesday nights show.....

Best,
Brad Burt
TKO MAGIC
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Hey Rich , with love right back at ya.
Rich I think you misunderstood me. I love John Carney's routine he did on Letterman and at Kutztown. There is no doubt he's great. I was just wondering his thoughts on doing it with an overhead shot. I think Carney missed a lot of verbal comedy strikes when Letterman kept chiming in, then again Carney is not known to be quick witty like Williamson or Malone. When he performed this at kutztown yes he performed it nicely except a lot of people said they seen him ditch the glass but of course we did , were magicians.
I think we look at magic like magicians and not like laypeople.
There's a forum on on CBS for the David Letterman Show. After reading most of the comments from lay people they enjoyed Johnny Ace the most ,it seems like, they liked the comedy of Randall and almost every single person said they seen the orange with Carney, these are lay people saying this. Then a few of the comments said they went back to watch it again and watched how he ditched the glass and loaded the coconut.
gaffed
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J.A.P. nailed in my opinion. He looked and conveyed being very calm and got DL involved in just about every phase of the trick. Seeing that he did everything so smoothly and got DL involved and kept him busy he didn't have much of an opportunity to take the spotlight off of him, and or interject much of anything in the way of breaking his momentum. Well done indeed!

Whew!! If it were me, I’d be nothing more than a pile of water soaked clothes lying on the seat!
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Moxahalla
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Shoot me for saying this...

The audience for Letterman is under 40 & "hip"...

WE know the performers this week are world-class...but do David's young lay audience see the performers as nothing more than pudgy, middle-aged, balding men - doing coin & card tricks that their nerdy Uncles used to do to them at birthday parties?

Where were the young, fresh, cool close-up guys?---Mmm, are there any?

(Playing devil's advocate, only)
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