Origin of this children's gag?

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Jack Shalom
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Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Jack Shalom » September 17th, 2016, 12:16 pm

You know which one I mean...

After the conclusion of an effect which involves a young child from the audience, the magician gives the child a lucky coin and tells the child that if s/he puts it under the pillow, in the morning it will turn into a five dollar bill, right Mom, wink, wink, heartwarming moment.

I've seen it in a Lance Burton special and at least in three other magician's acts. Whose is it?

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Joe Pecore » September 17th, 2016, 12:38 pm

The earliest published record I could find was in Genii Vol. 20 No. 9, May 1956 page 353 where Bill Larsen's script for his cut and restored rope includes:

"At the finish I toss the rope, or at least a short piece of it, to a small boy in the audience and say to him: "Tonight, when you go to bed, put that piece of rope beneath your pillow and make a wish. And, in the morning, when you awaken, there'll be a nice, shiny dime right there — but be sure and tell your folks I told you so!"
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Jack Shalom
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Jack Shalom » September 17th, 2016, 2:36 pm

Excellent! Thank you. I had a feeling it went back quite a bit, but that's further than I had imagined.

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Joe Pecore » September 17th, 2016, 2:57 pm

I found this in the instructions for "Max Holden's Method of The Indian Rope Trick with rope gimmicks" (no. 466) under the "Patter" section. Not sure of the date though, but maybe the 1920s -1930s?:

"... again I ask you to take a souvenir for good luck — if you have been having bad luck lately place this under your pillow tonight and you should wake up with good luck staring you in the face."'.... "

Not quite a gag, but maybe Larson improved on it?
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Brad Henderson » September 17th, 2016, 3:02 pm

and whose is the variation:

"place this piece of rope under your pillow and when you wake up in the morning it will have turned into a brand new bright shiny tooth'

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Joe Pecore » September 17th, 2016, 3:07 pm

And Ralph W. Hull has this in his "Fifteen Minutes with a Piece of Rope" (c.1940 ?) Again, not as a gag:

" ... a piece of this magic rope home, and sleeps with it under the pillow will have a most wonderful dream of India?" At this point you have the spectator to cut off of the end of the rope another small piece and this you throw into the audience. (This is for effect only) ..."



And this was printed in "The Magic Wand" magazine for MARCH-MAY, 1945:

"Almost every conjurer who does the rope trick cuts off bits and gives to the assistants as souvenirs." A very young lady put the magic string under her pillow—hope it brought good luck. —The Magi
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performer
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby performer » September 18th, 2016, 7:30 am

I use it as a scam to sell svengali decks and other merchandise. I usually use it when people are on the fence about buying. This puts them over the fence. I use a variation of this old gag to do so. I shall explain later when I have time. I got the idea from the Royal Road to Card Magic of all places.

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Origin of this children's gag?

Postby Joe Pecore » September 18th, 2016, 7:54 am

performer wrote:I use it as a scam to sell svengali decks and other merchandise. I usually use it when people are on the fence about buying. This puts them over the fence. I use a variation of this old gag to do so. I shall explain later when I have time. I got the idea from the Royal Road to Card Magic of all places.


I saw that joke in my research too. It's in "Cards to pocket" patter:
"Leave the remainder of the pack with the spectator, saying earnestly. "If you will take the rest of the pack, sir, place it under your pillow when you retire tonight, and make a wish, I promise you that when you awaken tomorrow morning ... the cards will still be there."
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