Leaning Shoes

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Philippe Billot » 10/26/10 05:58 AM

Bert Easley popularized this trick/gag but wrote (Genii September 1981) he was not the creator.

Who knows the name of the creator and when and where it was first published ?

Thanks in advance
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/26/10 07:53 AM

I don't know, but Micheal Jackson later got a US Patent for it. :)

In the "prior art" section of the patent it states "In the past...This effect was accomplished by the use of cables connecting to a harness".
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Postby Philippe Billot » 10/26/10 08:15 AM

Perhaps there are cables before but Bert Easley used tricked shoes in the 40s during his drunk act.

Personnally I wonder if this trick/gag was created by a clown with his big shoes which give him the idea of doing the same with tricked shoes.

In a Chaplin's movie, he did the gag but I don't remember which movie and how he did it.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/26/10 08:40 AM

I seem to remember it was clips in the shoes that hooked on to a metal loop in the floor. The Tin Man used it in the Wizard of Oz in 1939.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 10/26/10 12:36 PM

I have a new reference.

It seems that the creator or the precursor was Harry Relph (1867-1928), a clown known on the stage as Little Tich.

But that not tell us who create the first gimmicked shoes.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/26/10 04:06 PM

Though not used secretly, principle was used nicely by one of the dancers during "Sons of the Silent Age" during the 87 Glass Spider tour. Came to mind by way of contrast to what la la la Human Steps did later in the 1990 tour.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on 10/26/10 04:07 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: clips of both are probably easily found via YouTube
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Postby Sandy Weber » 10/26/10 09:00 PM

Here is a video and reference for Little Tich from Pat Cashin's wonderful clown history blog, Clownalley.net:

http://clownalley.blogspot.com/2007/09/ ... s-big.html

BTW, Little Tich's shoes were oversized, almost like skis, rather than made to look like normal, everyday shoes.

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 10/27/10 08:15 AM

Thinking back, when the World Festival of Magic and Occult was touring in the 1970's, there was an act on the bill that used it. I THINK it was a mad doctor sketch or a Frankenstein character that used it. Without digging out the program, I can remember the name of the act. Sorry.
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Postby Philippe Billot » 10/27/10 09:39 AM

it's Al Carthy (Jean-Claude Asl). His robot-themed comedy magic was created by Major Mac Ronay, a french well known for his burlesque magic act.
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