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Potty the Pirate
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In a recent thread, it was suggested that you shoud let your tie drop into your hat - which has fallen on the floor - and when you put your hat back on - your tie is covering your face. Great concept, what other clowning ideas can we come up with? I will add my few cents once this thread gets going.
Is that a bit cheeky? Of course!
Share with me, and I will share with you!
;)
professorwhut
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I pretend to have forgotten to put on my bow tie. I ask if anyone minds if I take a moment to put it on.
The tie has an elastic band, which simply goes around my neck.
However, I simply leave the bow tie at my forehead, and say, "perfect fit".
This always gets a laugh when the kids realize see me with goofy bow tie on my forehead.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
TonyB2009
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I blow into my thumb, my hat rises. I do it a few times until I have cooled off my head. Then I take off my hat to adjust it, and when I put it back on, it flys up into the air.

Mark Lewis's The Letter is also worth checking out.
BIGmagiclV
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During my show, I pretend to slam my thumb into my case. As I turn in scream in pain, I secretly slip a giant plastic thumb like you see in cartoons on my thumb. as I turn back I have it covered and say I have an owwy on my thumby. then I go back to talking and they see the giant thumb. I get more gasps from the adults than from the kids!
curtgunz
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A simple sucker trick like the colored shoestrings (I got mine from David Ginn http://www.ginnmagic.com/DG_prod.asp?Protype=TRI-001-029) has many of the elements of silliness, magician in trouble, and audience participation that are in the Mark Lewis "Envelope Routine" or other show opening bits of business.

Since you get all the fun AND get to amaze the audience at the end so they say "He's a real magician" I find those type great openers.

This isn't a thread just about openings I realize but that is fun.

This is probably just full on clown and might not be as effective for magicians who want to be funny without being "in clown" but I usually start with the long glove (the one that starts as a pair of white gloves but one has an extra long sleeve that then keeps coming out with about fifteen feet of colored fabric and ends up with a silly pair of boxer shorts).

It might work for magicians who start with gloves as a part of their costume.

I also like to throw in lines such as, "That's the first time that's ever happened again" or when I get a volunteer I ask them their name and repeat it, "Your name is Madison!?! Are you serious!?! That's my name too!" Then the next volunteer, "Your name is Britney?!? Seriously?!? That's my name too!" The kids laugh more each time.

For kids I ask, "Where do you work?" "I don't work!" "Where did you go today?" "I went to school." "Oh, you're a TEACHER! That's wonderful!"

"Are you married?" "No!!!" "Does your wife know you're not married?"
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YouTube channel specifically for family & kids show magicians. Click -- You need to subscribe.
The Mighty Fool
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I also use the swollen thumb prop Big MagiclV mentioned. I have the kid come up and I point to a spot on the floor (my fingertip touching the floor) and say "Stand right here!" The kid stands and I leap up and start jumping & yelping in pain shouting "NOT ON MY FINGER!!!"

I'm not actually a clown, but here's a routine that gets gales of laughs and I'll bet it'd work even better for a clown:

.....Introduce a slinky. I say it's a magic wand, the kids correct me, and I say "Oh, youre right it's not a magic wand, it's a telephone!" The kids protest that it's a slinky, I insist it's a telephone...we go back & forth on this a few times, and finally I say "I'll show you!" And I have a kid come up onstage. Holding the other end, I stretch out one end of the slinky for the kid to take and let go before she can grab it, then immediately turn and walk about 7 feet away saying "Allright, now I'll take MY end and go over here..." I turn and see that the kid is NOT holding her end. I repeat this 2 more times, then realize the problem, so I clearly hold onto the kids end and say "There!! NOW it cant snap loose!" I hold out the kid's end, and this time MY end comes loose. After a bit of exasperation and waiting for the laughter to die down, I finally manage to get one end to each of us, but this time when I turn to walk away, I (gently) hold onto the kid's hand and pull them along behind me, then I turn around---pulling the kid behind me, and act totally astonished when I see she's no longer there! Anywhere from 5-30 seconds of funny byplay ensues until the kid finally makes herself known either by getting in front of me or (more often) by tapping me, at which point I give a startled YELP and leap up & out of my shoes. (wait for laughter to die) "Did she do that on purpose??!!?" Finally, we manage to get it to where she's holding one end and I'm holding the other 7 feet away. I tell her to put her end up to her ear, and I YELL into my end "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" Then I turn to the audience and say "SEE?? It's a telephone!!"
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
TonyB2009
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Quote:
On 2011-09-21 00:50, The Mighty Fool wrote:
...
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" Then I turn to the audience and say "SEE?? It's a telephone!!"

I love that routine. Thanks for sharing it.
danfreed
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I don't know if I made this up or not (like a lot of my gags I've been doing a long time). Do it towards the start of the show (or when you are just entertaining a group standing around you). Tell the kids you are great with names, you want to learn everyone's name, and that it's more efficient if they all yell their names out at the same time at the count of three. They do it. Then you prove you know everyone's name by pointing to each child and saying it, but get them all wrong. use ridiculous names and make them stranger as you go. I say "your Sponge Bob, you're Barney the purple dinosaur" you're Clem Kaddiddlehopper, or whatever. I only name about 5 kids though because it would get old to go too far with it.
clownybeth
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Potty, I love this thread. Gosh, there are so many "clowny" things you can do. For instance, when using a change bag, I ask my assistants to make sure it's empty. The zipper is still open. They put their hands in and tell me it' empty. "Wait! What do you mean it's empty? Your HAND's in it!" I shake their hand -- while it's still in the change bag, and introduce myself. Then I take the change bag and assure the audience that the change bag is, indeed empty. I peer down inside it. "Wait a second. I thought it was empty, but I was wrong. It's not! I see something yellow and white and green in there." I reach into the change bag and grab my clown skirt and start pulling it up into the change bag. "What IS this? It looks kind of familiar." The kids are all yelling and screaming that it's my dress. I totally freak out when I realize that I'm pulling my dress up into my change bag. How embarrassing.
Potty the Pirate
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Some nice thoughts and bits of business. I have a lot of spring snakes, including Derek Rutt's "Wand to Snake". One of my favourite bits is to have a jar of candy which provides treats for the kids who come up to help in the show. It sits on display throughout most of the show. My last assistant is the Birthday child, who has already come up previously in the show. So, I tell the kids that I deserve his candy, since he already had one. Of course, the kids always protest, usually demanding that they should ALL get candy. But I insist that there's only one candy left, and it's mine....Naturally when I open the jar, the snakes fly out and scare the living daylights out of me.
This is obviously my take on David Ginn's Snake Can Routine, which is excellent....it's a way to include a "mini" version of the routine if you don't have time to fit in the whole piece.
I also use kids' names for comedy all the time. Favourite names are Luke and Olivia.... "What's your name?" "Luke" "Where? Luke where?" (whilst looking anxiously around the room); or "Olivia"..."really, nice place you got.." (whilst looking interestedly around the room). I also like to sing songs about kids' names......for instance "Sam"...of course, his song is "Sam Enchanted Evening", or "Sam-where Over the Rainbow", etc.
A lot of my clowning is about expressions, body language and movement, variations in vocal pitch, etc. The correct expressions and reactions throughout a routine convey a whole heap of comedy to kids, without speaking a word. And I vary the scale of my reactions from very understated double-takes to full blown screams, jumping in the air.
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