Scarne color change on Schaefer Beer commercial

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Bob Coyne » 12/31/01 07:54 PM

Does anyone remember John Scarne on a Schaefer Beer commercial in the early 70's (in the new york area)? I saw it as a kid a couple times and it inspired me to study sleight of hand (I was doing simple apparatus tricks at the time).

He did rub-a-dub-dub, a two cards with beer glass transposition, and a beautiful color change. What I've wanted to know all these years is what method he used for the color change. Unfortunately, I never got to see the commercial enough times to pin it down. As I remember it, he showed his hand empty before placing it directly over the face up card (precluding a side steal). He rubbed the hand back and forth a bit and then off the deck to the right to reveal the color change. He then showed the hand empty. Maybe it was a pass, though I didn't see it and there was no obvious right hand support for it. My only guess at the time was that the top card somehow got wrapped around to the back of the deck or something. Or maybe my memory of it was wrong.

Does anyone remember seeing it and know?

- Bob
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/31/01 09:52 PM

I don't remember the color change you're talking about, just the two-card transposition where he put one card under a mug of beer and the other card on top and they changed places.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 12/31/01 10:06 PM

Whilst we're on the subject of John Scarne, there are several extracts from his book "The Amazing World of John Scarne" (1956) posted on the following web site:
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Postby Guest » 01/01/02 04:02 AM

From your description it sounds like he did the first colour change described by Erdnase in his 'The Expert at the Card Table' (Erdnase calls it a 'transformation'). Dai Vernon developed his own method for this, which is described in Inner Card Trilogy, p.49. It is probably one of the easier colour changes to perform yet the effect is still quite strong.

Postby Bob Coyne » 01/01/02 06:22 AM

I'm pretty certain it wasn't the first method in Erdnase (or the Vernon variation). The right hand covered the cards and only rubbed back and forth a fraction of an inch, and mostly left and right. The face card remained fully covered during the rubbing motion. There was no room or movement sufficient to slide the cards past each other as in that method.

One possible clue is that I saw him on the Mike Douglas show around the same time. He did rub-a-dub-dub with a face up card. I think the same core method was probably used in this and the color change.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 01/01/02 10:30 AM

I'm fairly certain Richard is correct, it was just a nice transposition.

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Postby Bob Coyne » 01/01/02 01:23 PM

Yes, there was a nice transposition as Richard describes. But that wasn't all Scarne did in the commercial. I remember very clearly that he did the color change and rub-a-dub-dub. Plus I think there were some flourishes.

BTW, the transposition with the beer glass is written up in "The Close-Up Magic of Frank Garcia, Part 2".
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Postby Guest » 01/01/02 01:45 PM

I think I remember the commercial but for some reason I only remember the 2 card transposition and I also thought it was a Light beer from Miller commercial.

Postby Carl Mercurio » 01/02/02 04:51 PM

I remember the two card transposition, a great bar effect. I also remember a pressure fan being performed. I vaguely remember a color change, but I thought it was two cards as one on the bar with the right hand sweeping the top one away out of the screen shot. It was a long time ago....
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