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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » 20 century brassiere as comical failure (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of cafeinst
20th century silks is powerful enough if done properly. Why ruin a great trick with a gag?
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Profile of Sealegs
Caféinst.... on another thread you ask how to inject some comedy into a couple of rope routines. One could just as easily ask, why ruin those ropes tricks with some comedy content?

Bjarne; As an idea in answer to your question....

First the set up:
You tuck a green hanky into your shirt and a yellow hanky into your assisting spectators blouse and you magically make them change places.....

Then the repeat:
You offer to do the effect again but this time you first of all tie together two blue hankies and tuck them into the top of your shirt and leaving them hanging out...then you tie together two red hankies and get your assisting female spectator to tuck them into the top of her blouse leaving them hanging out....

A green hanky is pushed down inside your shirt. between the two blue hankies.... this hanky is (as apparently has already happened once before) 'magically' transported across from your shirt to your spectator's blouse and when her hankies are pulled from her blouse she indeed has your green hanky tied in-between them.

Now you apparently take the yellow hanky and apparently it gets placed down inside the top of her blouse... you magically act out transporting this yellow hanky across from her blouse to your shirt and when the blue hankies are pulled free from your shirt... instead of the yellow hanky tied in-between then...there is bra.

With the initial transposition set up... and the transposition of the first phase of the repeat ... it ought to make it immediately obvious to the audience what has happened... that you have magically transported her bra across to your hankies by mistake rather than the hanky that was tucked into her blouse.

Performed this way you have a routine that contains some actual magic content that;... ends with the punchline you are after... ends with a situation where you, rather than your spectator, has apparently made a mistake... and where you, rather than your spectator, is at the sharp end of the comedic punchline ending of the routine.

Performed with the structure I've suggested above the routine should certainly lessen the bluntness towards the spectator regarding the slapstick ending while making the concept instantly obvious... but even structured this way there's no avoiding that the comedy is being derived from apparently removing your assisting spectator's bra. I would suggest that if you're happy with that as a concept you're probably better going for the more direct approach of the original.... but here's another suggestion...

You obviously don't feel comfortable with the idea of the original otherwise you wouldn't be looking for a way to avoid the spectator's potential embarrassment.... so why look for a compromise that is still based on the same premise? I think that maybe you ought to listen to your own sensibilities and set your bar higher than this.... strive to base your comedy on something that doesn't embarrass you.

I'm not posing as part of the comedy magic police here... if you like this kind of effect go ahead and do it... and if your audiences like it and you do too that's fine by me.... but it seems that you don't like this kind of effect... so why not scrap it and look to the thousands of other routines available that can be given, lend themselves to, or even come readily supplied with, a comedy treatment?

Just my thoughts.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
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Comedy is great if it enhances the magic. However, in the case of 20th century brassiere, the magic doesn't get enhanced. It gets substituted with a gag.
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The question is "Do you want oohs and aahs with 20th century silks or do you want belly laughs with 20th century brassiere?" As a magician, I'd rather get oohs and aahs than belly laughs.
Jon Blakeney
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Profile of Jon Blakeney
I bought a version of this many years ago.BUT, after seeing a friend of mine (who is a great comedy magician)perform this using my eldest daughter as his helper,has always left a bad taste in my mouth.

I could tell my daughter wanted to be involved in a good piece of magic,instead she was let down and embarrassed for a cheap laugh.I felt her pain,she tried hard not to seem upset and thrown by it,but I am sure many other people present did notice her shock as well.

This I will never perform this,ever !
'What the eye's see the heart must believe"
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Profile of MRSharpe
May I suggest that if you feel uncomfortable doing this and are struggling to come up with a way to not embarrass your volunteer that you subconscious mind is telling you to drop the effect? Think about it. Does it mesh with the rest of your act? Do you have an original spin on the presentation? Original lines or jokes that you know nobody else has used? Or, are you using all the patter that came with the instructions? I've seen this routine a couple of times and my impression has always been that the comedy comes from the rest of the audience watching the volunteer squirm. The routine may have worked well for the originator and nobody else.
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
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