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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Books on Situational Comedy? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Alyx
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Can anyone recommend a great book/guide to situational comedy? It need not be magic specific, but obviously should be complementary to magic. Ian Keable's book is obviously great, but I'm looking for something a little more targeted towards situational comedy, and specifically with an audience member.
Bill Hegbli
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I have never seen a book on situation comedy, as there is not way know the situtation that will happen.

What you are looking for is lines (patter) to say during your presentation of the effect. Most the time this requires you thinking on your feet. Knowing your magic effects so well, you do not have to think about what to do next, will allow you to think of something to say at the moment. It is usually trial and error, and don't forget to write it down right after the show so you don't forget.

The only material I know of is by Harry Allen of Daytona Magic, he as books and DVDs you memorize and then can use at the perfect time. Of course you have to deliver the lines so it does not come out as an insult.

I am answering your question as you posted in the stage magic topic, and I am guessing you will be performing for adults, not children. Harry's offering are for grown-ups, stage, Banquets, and such.

If you are looking for children magic, then I suggest the Kids Stuff books by Francis Marshall from Magic Inc. All 5 books are excellent.

http://www.magicinc.net/search.aspx?find=kids+stuff


Look at this offerings, and you should buy them all.

https://www.daytonamagic.com/search/index.php?q=Harry+Allen

Sleight of Mouth by Harry Allen book

Comedy Magic Lectures 1 & 2

Comedy Bits & Magic Routines 1 & 2 with Harry Allen

I have seen Harry Allen in person and his material works, and keeps the show moving along.

You will have the basics to putting comedy into your magic.

There are old standard gags for that have been used by me and others to death. Like, Hold out your hand, the person sticks his hand out, you say, no the clean one. The person or child will usually stick out the other hand. Always get a laugh. Of course this is used when you want the spectator to hold something for you. So you do have a purpose for saying this.

Or stand right here, over the trap door. As you direct the person on stage. Many tricks require the spectator to be at a position so they will not see something they should not.

Mary Mowder is a member here on the Café, she may be able to help you if none of my suggestions are interesting to you. She is skilled long time professional magician. You can use the PM system here on the Café to ask her for advice.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Alyx
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Thank you, Bill I appreciate your very detailed response. I'm well versed and reasonably experienced in the delivery of lines. I'm also experienced in the use of gags, though I seldom use this approach anymore. I do have the resources and experience for these comedic tools.

I'm, however, looking for literature (not specifically magician written literature) that can help me to structure routines to set up situations that induce relatively predictable comedic circumstances.

And yes, I'm speaking about shows for adults.
Bill Hegbli
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I looked at your profile and it only mentions table hopping and street magic. So was trying to address you with that in mind.

I will have to say again, there is no books that I have ever heard of that expresses situations for comedy. It is the effect/trick you purchase that has this built in, like the Chung Soo Fire Cracker effect, Burned Bill in Envelope in Wallet by the late Terry Seabrooke.

Books outside of magic are not discussed very often on the Café, that is usually in the sales and marketing. If you are looking for books that does not involve magic, then I and others cannot help you.

Magic is a prop based entertainment. Without the prop, you cannot perform magic. Even mental magic usually requires at least a pen and pad of paper.

From what you describe, you really are looking for a comedy writer as the many sitcoms use on television. I am sure there are books covering this subject of comedy writing. You will have to take a look at a book store or website.

I guess I do not understand what your trying to say. It sounds like you are trying to put the cart before the horse, from a magic viewpoint.

You first need the effect/trick then you create the situation usually with a spectator helping on stage with you.

Here a website that give the 7 books you need to become a comedy writer.

http://www.collegehumor.com/post/7055718......sionally
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
RiffRaff
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Alyx
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RiffRaff, thank you so much! These are exactly the type of suggestions I was looking for. I greatly appreciate your assistance! I just ordered the first and third books you mentioned. I appreciate this so much.


And Bill, I'm smiling here. Sometimes I forget that the magic industry has co-opted the term "street magic" to mean accosting people on the street, David Blaine style (except without the camera crew). In my circle, we refer to the specific act of busking with a magic act as "street magic." To most non-magicians, they think of a guitar player when they hear the word "busker." I understand how that could be misleading with respect to my performance background, as presumed from my profile. I'm privileged to have a well-polished (900+ performance) comedy magic show littered with continuous lines, honed in front of audiences who only paid if I was funny and entertaining. However, I'm now in the process of creating a new act, so I'm gathering "tools" prior to effect selection.

I am however a little taken aback by the stance that if one is looking for books which are not specifically written for the magician that members of the Café would not be able to help that person. In my mind, acting books, public speaking books, books on remembering names, etc. are indispensable to the magician who considers themself a performance artist as are the Fitzkee trilogy, Strong Magic, Maximum Entertainment, etc. books.

A lightbulb did, however, click when you wrote: "comedy writing" (and I was grateful when RiffRaff chimed in with recommendations). My only comedy education comes from magic texts, so this was the phrase that I was looking for to help launch my continued research and study. Thank you.
markmiller
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MAGIC IS MY WEED / HOW TO MAKE LOVE THE STEVE SPILL WAY both reviewed here in the books threads and have chapters and examples on situational, improvisational, and other comedy for magicians
Alyx
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Mark Miller, these look like gold. Thank you so much for bringing Steve Spill's books to my attention. These look so much better than what I had been looking for.
Indistinguishable
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How about this one Alyx? It's on my TO BUY list, and it's had a lot of good reviews:

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-......r-ebook/

Bests!
Alyx
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That looks really good, Indistinguishable. I'm glad to have it on my radar, and I think I'll add it to my list for future consideration. Thank you!
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