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Fairport, NY
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Profile of wynnrussell
Folks, I was wondering if anyone had specific information about comedy rope escape. I have an idea where the magician is tied at the wrists with rope, then the two ropes tied behind the back. With two assistants from the audience, he attempts to get loose, behind the cover of a large blanket held up in front of him.

Byplay ensues, where the two blanket holders are not aware that the magician's hands are loose. I recall this type of routine, but have no references for it. I believe I have the right rope tie to accomplish this. I wonder if anyone can reference any of the popular sources for this type of comedy escape.

Thanks in advance,

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Memphis area
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Profile of Margarette
I don't know of any direct source of information for the rope routine in particular, however, it sounds like the same general idea as routines for thumbcuffs, the Zanadu Shackle Escape, and the Siberian Chain Escape. I use this same type of routine with my handcuffs. I have a friend who does that type of rope tie, only he uses it in a seance setting.

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Scott F. Guinn
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Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Profile of Scott F. Guinn
There’s a nice two-person rope escape on the Faulkenstein and Willard videos that could easily be adapted to the single performer. Technically, I guess it’s not an escape. I’ll explain.

You are all tied up with ropes. A member of the audience who is wearing a jacket joins you on stage. You step behind a screen where both of your heads remain visible. A few seconds later you emerge, hands still tied behind you, but you’re wearing his jacket!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Joe Marotta
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Can You Believe I Have
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Hi Wynn,

From my modest "escape books" library, I found three references for you. No doubt others here at the Cafe can find other references to help you. Here's what I have.

The effect you describe probably was first performed by Harry Keller. Although I have not confirmed whether or not he performed a "comedy" routine with it (most likely), he is definitely credited for creating a quick escape rope tie referred to as the Keller Tie.

The earliest mention of it in my library is in Burling Hull's 33 Rope Ties and Chain Escapes (1947). Page 10 explains (?) the Keller Tie. On page 15 he describes the B.H. Triumph Tie which is a comedy tie while sitting in a chair. Your hands are tied behind your back, then you sit in a chair. As your legs are being tied with a second piece of rope, your hands come free (un-noticed by the helper) and you use your hankerchief to wipe your brow, etc.

U.F.Grant's Rope, Chain and Box Escapes (circa?) page 5 mentions a Comedy Escape performed seated also. But here he has his legs bound and hands bound to them. Then a coat is draped over his hands and legs to hide the quick in and out escape. He suggests removing your hand to stroke your hair, gesture while you talk, and even adjust the coat on your lap, each time asking the helper to remove the coat to show your hands still tied securely.

In the Encyclopedia of Escapes by McLaury (1964) chapter 3 mentions using 2 helpers to tie you into a Keller tie, and then suggests 5 additional methods. He gives Hull credit for his Triumph tie and calls it "the best one of this nature", meaning wrist ties.

The comedy portion of the escape really has to come from the individual performer's personality and creativity. Like any magic routine, you have to mold it to your own style and persona. Watch others perform it for inspiration, like Jonathan Pendragon or Steve Hart, then come up with your own presentation. It will be unique, and it will fit you the best.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Joe Marotta
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