Where I have I seen this opening joke?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 06/21/06 04:12 AM

I remember seeing this quite a while ago. A conjuror walks to the table, takes out a few sheets of newspaper, carefully tears them in half, in quarters, in eighths and so on, then instead of magically restoring it he puts it under one leg of table "in order to level it".

Anybody know who the originator was?

Thanks,
Dave
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Postby pduffie » 06/21/06 04:35 AM

I have a feeling that I saw Bob Read use this at one time.

I have also seen a routined version of same gag - but cannot remember who did it - maybe this was Bob Read but doesn't seem like his style?:

Magician has a card chosen, then he makes a big deal about carefully folding the card. Then he sticks the folded card under a table leg to steady the table. Then, later in the act a signed selection is found to be the folded card under the table leg.
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 05:02 AM

Although the gag is a little Tommy Cooper-ish, I have a feeling that Bob Read did it. However, on reflection, why didn't Bob keep it in? It most likely is an old Music Hall bit like pulling the piano nearer to the stool.
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 05:19 AM

I remember Carl Ballantine doing the "torn and restored thing" - I believe back in the late forties or so. Man, now I feel old.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/21/06 08:41 AM

Mike Caldwell did this years and years ago... Ballantine didn't -- he did a torn and tossed the pieces away gag.

Gaetan Bloom created the card under the table leg trick.
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Postby pduffie » 06/21/06 09:40 AM

Thanks Pete.

I also think Victor Borge did something similar with a folded sheet of music and the piano stool?
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 10:45 AM

Pete, you are not old enough to remember Ballantine - but you may be right. Thanks!
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/21/06 12:49 PM

Whaddya mean... I know Carl and often see him (when he's not at the track)! He's only 10d years older than I am.
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 01:34 PM

Hey Pete - I know practically nothing about Mike Caldwell, though what I do know makes me think he'd have been one of my favorites. What did he do, what was his performing persona, etc... any info would be appreciated. I got 'into' magic too late to know him, and I have found practically nothing written about him. Thanks! -Mitch Dutton
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Postby Guest » 06/21/06 01:37 PM

Pete, I thought Ballantine was older - I may be as old as he is. I don't know if that's good.
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Postby Guest » 06/22/06 03:48 AM

Peter Duffie

Magician has a card chosen, then he makes a big deal about carefully folding the card. Then he sticks the folded card under a table leg to steady the table. Then, later in the act a signed selection is found to be the folded card under the table leg.

At one time, Ken Brooke sold a similar trick, only the card was not signed but had one corner torn off. Ken B wrote that Gaetan Bloom was the inventor of the trick.

Regards,
David
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