I'll begin with a quote:
"the only thing new in the world is the history that you don't know"--Harry Truman.
Dee- I don't really know that I've been hyping him at all like some managers would, or even ranking him within the pantheon of the world's greatest writer. I guess that is the argument that you would like to steer me into. In essence, I was merely shedding some light on a subject in a manner that added some perspective and angles to your own. I take it you come to the boards to learn as well as to teach.
---As you might guess, I find your propensity to call balls and strikes from the vantage point of left field AND to THEN push that opinion as superlative to someone who is standing directly behind home plate to be amusing so please by all means, please keep that coming because, after all, only you can see when the emperor has no clothes.
-----It is kind of funny how you switched from insinuating Gazzo had material that was lifted to now saying that he too is a hack. For the record, I like Gazzo's act a lot. Like Johnathan, I doubt that there are few performers out there who could get anywhere the same mileage out of Gazzo's set.
Let me hit your questions:
>>>OK, Chris, just out of curiosity, why has AJ done the "Magic >>>sounds a lot like tape" bit on virtually every single TV gig >>>since his "Young Comedians" shot on HBO in...what?...'84?
The Young Comedians Special was taped in 1982 and aired in 1983. It had John Candy as the host and some of the other comics were Bill Maher, Colin Quinn and another fairly original voice by the name of Joel Hodgson. The "magic sounds a lot like tape" line that debuted nationally on this show has actually appeared in less than a fifth of his television appearances and when it does go in, it is often less a matter of Johnathan not having other material then it is a matter of it being specially requested by the producers.
>>>>>Since he's such a terrific writer and all, can't we write >>>>>something new?
-----he does, and some of his writing has even made it into the acts of his performer friends. I'm not saying that you've seen it, but he has created lots of new material over the years, just ask the stagehands who get paid overtime to rehearse it.
-----A lot of his fans would point out to you that he made (I think) 24 appearance on a FOX show called Comic Strip Live and at no point did he ever really repeat any material, often coming up with new stuff on the fly with great regularity.
-----Back when I was there nightly, Johnathan's fans would come to me with their feedback on his show instead of to him on occasion. I guess no one wants to add suggestions to a successful person's face. Anyway, I'll never forget the night when one guy cornered me saying how he wished that Johnathan had done more new material than what he had already seen. I pointed out that nearly a third of the show was new from just the year before, but it was to no avail to his way of thinking.
I duly noted it and moved on. Later that same evening, another fan cornered me and told me how disappointed he was that Johnathan HADN'T performed his knife thru the arm, the jack-in-the-box and the Siegfried & Roy tiger bit....and there you have it, you can't please everyone, but you try to find the balance anyway.
>>>(When I 'was' on AJ's payroll, indeed! Are you managing him for free these days?)
-----We're both independent now and there is no regular schedule or percentage of money involved. Some money changes hands a couple times a year, but I'm not on his
payroll anymore than the electric company is on yours.
After all, if I was on his payroll, I couldn't always tell him what
I was really thinking, and where would the fun be in that?
>>>(When I 'was' on AJ's payroll, indeed!
-----Hey, what's with the "indeed?'
What disgruntled British dandy from the 1960's
are you trying to channel? Shall I brace early for an invokation
of "touche" at a later date?
>>>>>Now, a question for you. If you took out of the special under discussion everything AJ didn't originate--From "Tastes like Schick", to, "Got something on your shirt/got your nose", what, exactly, would be left?
---the pine tree bit with Penny, the Siegfried & Roy tiger bit,
the anthrax joke, the Blue Man Group bit, some of the
practical joke anecdotes, the broken glass bit, the
Kung Fu Theatre stage bit, the tribute to Martin Luther King,
the Tony Orlando ambush, the Captain kangaroo ping pong
ball bit and the foam magic spectacle come to mind.
-----In addition, maybe it was just me, but that reference
he made to the Planet of the Apes during the hand shadows digression seemed to make the audience ROAR and that
was all him as well.
>>>>>I'm not saying AJ isn't entertaining...he is! Or funny...he's hilarious! But come on, Chris. You wouldn't put his writing on par with, say, Andy Kaufman or Teller, would you?
-------Can you direct me to some of their writings or articles about their writing talents? Of course, I'm familiar on an intermediate level with Kaufman and Teller, but would voraciously like to have more knowledge on the subject of
great writers within the history of magic.