A gag I had not seen before that kills

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.

Postby Umpa Duze » 03/06/11 02:53 AM

Hi All,
I am just finishing up this year's mathemagic show for K-3 students and wanted to share a gag that really has been getting a great response. I always try to create a visual effect when the kids learn the magic word. Last year my flower pot exploded, this year when the kids say the magic word with the right level of enthusiasm a pocket handkerchief shoots out my pocket in a burst of confetti (I bring a little vacuum with me). By adding a magnet to the corner of the silk and the end of a Waltzing Matilda gag, I can pick up the hank, attach it to the gimmick and then goof around asking the kids to PLEASE stop thinking the magic word and then the hank dances around until it flies out of my hands and I chase it (here comes the gag...sorry for the long intro).
When I catch the silk it is still struggling in my hand (even though the gimmick is now disconnected). And I look around frantically for a place to put the silk. I grab my top hat with the left hand and take the hank in the right hand shoving it in to the hat and then flip the hat over on my table capturing the silk. The gag is that when I take the hat off, a stuffed bunny (with an elastic band) is sitting on my head. The kids go nuts and try to tell me about the rabbit. As soon as I realize what they are saying I look under the hat thinking the rabbit was still there, then look around for a moment for the bunny. Suddenly I get it and my eyes swivel up and I mouth he is up there isnt he? I make an embarrassed face. After removing the stuffed bunny I go on later in the act to transform him into a living bunny, but I am sure there are any number of things that could be done to finish this off.
This has been a great hit, and I had not seen it before so I thought I would share it.
Cheers,
Umpa
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Necromancer » 03/06/11 09:59 AM

Hey there, Umpa --

It sounds like you put on a real kid-pleasing show. Congratulations!

About the bunny-on-the-head gag: it was part of the award-winning act that went on to inspire Johnny Thompson and Kole and Company, among others; published as The Comedy Act of and by Tom Palmer, it remains in print and can be purchased directly from the publisher at magicinc.net.

For insights into the act and about Tom -- who won trophy after trophy at TAOM, built illusions for Mark Wilson, testified to the Warren Commission on the Kennedy assassination, opened a magic shop in Chicago, completely changed his identity, became the head of a coven, published his own periodical, created exquisite handmade books, threw infamous alcohol-fueled magical gatherings, married four times, and on and on it goes -- you might be interested in the new biography, Unspeakable Acts: Three Lives and Countless Legends of Tom Palmer/Tony Andruzzi/Masklyn ye Mage by Jim Magus with Terry Nosek and Neil Tobin.
Neil Tobin, Necromancer
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Postby Umpa Duze » 03/08/11 04:10 AM

Hi Neil,
Thanks for the heads up. I had not read anything about the gag. I am grateful to be in such august company. I look forward to learning more about what Tom did with the bunny after it appeared.

Thanks again for the book tips,
Umpa
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Duncan William » 09/30/11 07:02 PM

Thanks for the tips..this is new to me....I have a similar gag like the exploding flower pot - but nice, very nice!
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Postby Chas Nigh » 10/01/11 05:46 PM

Topper Martin used a rubber dove.
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