Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

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Joe Mckay
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Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Mckay » December 9th, 2020, 7:36 pm

I am interested in reading more about adding comedy to your magic. I am pretty well read in magic, but this is not a topic I have researched before. As such - I am wondering if anyone has any good pointers for this sort of thing?

I think comedy is generational. As such - the comedy I most enjoy is from the past 20 years. As such - most comedy magic does not really do it for me, if I am being honest. Nevertheless - I enjoy researching topics I am interested in. So - I would really appreciate it if anyone has any good pointers when it comes to learning more about combining magic & comedy.

Thanks!

Jack Shalom
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Jack Shalom » December 9th, 2020, 7:45 pm

I think you asked this before, so this isn't really for you but for someone who has the same question, two words:
Steve Spill.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Mckay » December 9th, 2020, 8:04 pm

Sorry if I have asked this before.

Yeah - I have found the Steve Spill books to be very helpful. Pretty much the only books that really discuss this issue in the way that appeals to me.

I am a big fan of Penn & Teller, and The Amazing Johnathan. But they haven't published much on how to apply comedy to magic.

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Doug Thornton
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Doug Thornton » December 10th, 2020, 3:51 am

Smiles all around
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SAM161CALENDAR/
SAM 161 - The David Copperfield Assembly
https://www.sam161.com/

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Q. Kumber » December 10th, 2020, 6:39 am

Successful Stand Up Comedy by Gene Perret
How To Become a Comedian by Lupino Lane (See front cover of the December Genii)

I'd avoid reading anything by magicians. While some are very good, their humour/comedy best suits their own performing style. Sadly most of them, like too many Magic Clowns, manage to bastardise two crafts at the same time.

Having said all that, I found the theory chapters in the Steve Spill books to be outstanding.

I agree with Vernon that magic best lends itself to situational comedy. Years ago I saw a clip of Vernon performing his Ambitious Card routine and I was stunned at how funny it was. Not belly-laugh funny yet totally engaging situational humour.

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AJM
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby AJM » December 10th, 2020, 7:02 am

Joe

How about reworking some of your Hitler material?

Andrew
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Anthony Vinson
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Anthony Vinson » December 10th, 2020, 8:14 am

I have found two books to be of particular value, and have kept them as references for years, returning to them from time to time. The Comedy Bible by Judy Carter, and The Serious Guide to Joke Writing by Sally Holloway. Both are filled with practical tips and useful exercises, as well as troubleshooting advice. My objective is to write/script humorously using as much original material as possible. While not specific to magic, both books mentioned will help if studied and applied.

Av

Joe Mckay
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Mckay » December 10th, 2020, 8:32 am

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I am also about to read BE MORE FUNNY by Christopher W. Barnes. This book is specifically aimed at magicians and is devoted to adding humour to your magic.

And thanks for that suggestion, Andrew. I think the subtext to that comment is that I am an idiot. I think you might be on to something. I will go away and look into this some more.

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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Bill Mullins » December 10th, 2020, 10:20 am

AJM wrote:How about reworking some of your Hitler material?


Hitler is comedy gold.

Joe Lyons
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Lyons » December 10th, 2020, 10:46 am

Someone said "Dying is easy - Comedy is hard". Like in magic, it is often the surprise that generates the laugh. I regularly keep my family in stitches in familial gatherings but wouldn't know how to generate a chuckle in front of an audience.
Doug Thornton wrote:From Genii Forum member caveman...

http://www.mcmagicwords.com/books_mike_ ... nders.html

I know it is not cool to gush but Mike Caveney is a hero of mine. I would say "in magic" but that would infer his many accomplishments wouldn't be appreciated in the real world. He has performed all over the world in every venue and style imaginable. He worked for Johnson Products and Owen Magic, is a Long Beach Mystic, got to hang around Marvyn Roy and Channing Pollock. He helped put out Wenii and is a publisher and author of some of the best books on magic. He has accumulated one of the best magic collections extant, gets to pal around with David Copperfield in his museum, has a wonderful home and a beautiful wife. He has put on the wonderful Magic History Conferences and is one of the few in on the secrets of the Hooker Card Rise. Whew! Ok, I'm done. (I promise I'm not a stalker, Mike - just jealous!)

I don't know if you would learn to perform comedy by reading these books or would appreciate Mike's sense of humor.

I do know Wonders is a masterclass on how to develop an act.

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AJM
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby AJM » December 10th, 2020, 4:48 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
AJM wrote:How about reworking some of your Hitler material?


Hitler is comedy gold.


I agree:
https://youtu.be/In0Hgg588Kk
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MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 11th, 2020, 10:17 am

I would highly recommend avoiding any references whatsoever to Hitler in performing for people.

Michael Rubinstein
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Michael Rubinstein » December 12th, 2020, 4:58 pm

Not sure if it will help you, but the book Rubinstein Coin Magic has a section with over 400 puns and one liners that can be used with your magic, along with many routines that have presentations with this type of humor. Might give you some ideas.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Mckay » December 12th, 2020, 5:05 pm

Thanks for the suggestion - I will add it to my list. Cheers!

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MickNZ
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby MickNZ » December 23rd, 2020, 5:27 am

Are you funny when not doing magic?

Joe Mckay
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Re: Comedy & Magic - book/DVD recommendations?

Postby Joe Mckay » December 23rd, 2020, 8:12 am

Yes - I am. But in quite an unusual way.

Think The Amazing Johnathan meets Arthur Schopenhauer.

I think life is so meaningless that it is hilarious.

So - my worldview is rooted in that.


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