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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » The origin of cheezy magician patter (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

1KJ
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I have been very curious about the origin of some of the "classic" cheezy magician patter. I'm curious just how long some of this patter has been around.

So, I thought I would start this post.

I am interested in your input on well known classic cheezy magician patter lines and the oldest reference you know of, with the name of the magician and the year, or approximate year.

I'll get it started. While I don't think this is the origin, it's the oldest I stumbled across:

"If it were any more fair, you'd be cheating me." Paul Harris (1985?)

KJ
1KJ
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BTW, I use the term "cheezy" tongue-in-cheek. Some people may consider some of these patter lines cheezy and others may find them great for their acts. I'm not suggesting or making a commentary on whether these lines are "good" or "bad".
1KJ
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Also, if you have an older reference to a suggested patter line, please post. thx.
1KJ
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"No, it's my fault. I picked you." (Unknown)
jimgerrish
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Robert Orben produced books and books of "cheesy" patter for magicians to use. His "Encyclopedia of Patter" dating back to 1946 is still available from Amazon.com. Other books of his turn up from time to time on e-Bay. Much of his stuff is out of date, but a lot more is timeless if you just make a few changes.

I still get a lot of use from "Hold out your hand. The clean hand, please." Author unknown. It was old when I first giggled at it back in the 1950's.
drmagico
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"Stand here. Right over the trapdoor"
Jonathan Townsend
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Quoting out of context. Abracadabra? Or worse around here hocus-pocus. as old as ignorance.

Oh, you want the clean hand? look at comedy history. Before YouTube folks toured in variety shows.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
1KJ
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"Hold out your hand. No, the clean one." (Unknown)
"If it were any more fair, you'd be cheating me." Paul Harris (1985?)
"No, it's my fault. I picked you." (Unknown)
"Say the magic word... abracadabra ... hocus-pocus." (Unknown)
"Stand here. Right over the trapdoor" (Unknown)
1KJ
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"Examine this _. Make sure it doesn't have any trap doors or hidden mirrors." (Unknown)
Michael Baker
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I forget who it was, but I saw a magician add a nice twist to the trap door line at a magic convention. After positioning a spectator on the stage he said, "Stand right here..." Every magician in the audience KNEW what was coming... but it didn't! Instead he looked up and said, ..."under the sandbag."

I cracked up.

I think it would be fun to put a series of cheesy lines in a show for magicians, but give them all that kind of twist... things that only magicians would understand. Maybe like Paper balls over the head... do the move, hold out two closed fists for a guess, and regardless of which one they pick, say, "No the clean one."

"Can you tell one card from the other?"

"Yes."

"OK."
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Dick Oslund
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Michael...That was probably the late Terry Seabrooke with the sandbag gag. IIRC I think it was Pete Biro who had the idea. We got a big brown paper bag, and stuffed it with crumpled newspaper. At the appropriate moment, we dropped the bag from the flies, and, got a show stop laugh.
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"here pick a card...ohhh you again, every time I see you you're with another girl" Unknown
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"Stand here next to the star. No, I'm the star" -Unknown
1KJ
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Summary:
"Examine this _. Make sure it doesn't have any trap doors or hidden mirrors." (Unknown)
"Hold out your hand. No, the clean one." (Unknown)
"If it were any more fair, you'd be cheating me." Paul Harris (1985?)
"No, it's my fault. I picked you." (Unknown)
"Pick a card...ohhh you again, every time I see you you're with another girl" Unknown
"Say the magic word... abracadabra ... hocus-pocus." (Unknown)
"Stand here next to the star. No, I'm the star" -Unknown
"Stand here. Right over the trapdoor" (Unknown)
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