Comedy and Magic/Mentalism

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Bliff, May 3, 2018.

  1. I saw this guy on Ted talk and he was performing mentalism.Before he started his performance, he needed a spectator to come to the stage.An attractive female was chosen and the first thing this guy said to her was "you look like my next girlfriend."
    After that I couldn't watch what he was doing.I just didn't care.Why is that some mentalists/magicians use this kind of lines?What's the point?
  2. Either A) They heard someone else say it and thought it was funny, so they stole it, B) they came up with it themselves (unlikely, it's been around too long) and thought it was funny, C) they lack social skills.
    Karo-K54, Brett Hurley and Bliff like this.
  3. If I was a betting man, I would say it's a combination of A) and C).
    Karo-K54 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  4. Not really a bet when statistically speaking it's pretty much guaranteed.
    Karo-K54 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  5. Because what's the word the kids are using nowadymays he had no swag haha
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  6. People use comedy to break the ice quickly but if it's not funny (like this) it just makes things awkward.
    Karo-K54 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  7. Did it raise a laugh, chuckle, or even a humorous exhale from the audience?

    If it did, it worked. If it didn't, its creepy.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  8. I can't imagine that a line like that would "work" - particularly in the context of mentalism, so like Matt said, it's creepy. It's also a stolen line. Look how it turned Bliff off immediately, to the point of not even wanting to watch the performance. I don't understand how a "performer" could reasonably believe that performing mentalism or magic somehow gives them a license to say things that are likely to make someone feel uncomfortable even in a one-on-one situation, much less in front of a crowd of people. I love to use humor in my shows, but I am careful to make myself the brunt of the joke, or at least not to make jokes at the expense of members of the audience, who in my opinion, should be treated like honored guests.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  10. I agree fully, but sometimes we're missing the context, which is what I'm trying to figure out.

    If the guy was up there making jokes and stuff, it may have made sense, but if it was weird, its really messed up
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  11. I’m trying to think of a context where this line would work. The best I can come up with is if the magician is trying to spoof a cheesey magician with lots of exaggeration.

    I do a routine which recreates my first time taking a date to a restaurant. An audience member is asked to play the role of my date and another audience member is asked to be the waiter. You can see how this could turn into a really tacky presentation.

    I pick someone who is older and appears to be with her spouse. I don’t say what the effect is when I ask her to come to the stage - I just mention about revisiting one of the formative moments of my youth.

    As she arrives on stage, I explain that this is a story of my first date. I ask the spectator for her name and the exclaim, “what a coincidence, that was the name of my first date” in a way that shows I say that during every show.

    I ask her if she remembers her first date ever and if she remembers the name of the person it was with. Then I ask her if she remembers the name of the person she had her most recent first date with (the spectator has to think before she answers her husband).

    I then tell about the girl that was my first date in complimentary terms and then comment “very much like our [insert volunteers name]”

    At this point, the volunteer realizes that I’m not going to embarrass her.

    I then bring up a gentleman to play the part of the waiter. He gets a black waiter’s apron and some acting instruction - “you are underpaid, overworked and waiting for your big break on Broadway. You see two kids walk in and get seated at one of your tables and sarcastically think ‘this will be fun.’”

    I then alternate between narrating and acting the part (anyone remember the Wonder Years?”) - “I saw her beautiful blond hair, her enchanting blue eyes, her perfectly tailored dress and then she smiled at me [pause and wait for volunteer to smile] completely detailing my train of thought. I got up my courage to compliment her exquisite beauty in the most heartfelt manner possible and said ‘Nice shoes.’”

    There is a way to have fun with your volunteers, be funny to the audience and, make your volunteers trust you.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  12. I think one of the big problems at play here is this: People think they're funny, and they think comedy is easy.

    There are some folks who have naturally picked up the ability to be funny. The vast majority will have to work at it. Comedic timing and delivery is a skill that will most likely have to be built up.

    The problem of course, is that so many people see one person say a joke and get a laugh, so they assume if they say those words like that person did, they will also get a laugh. Sometimes that works, usually it doesn't.
    Antonio Diavolo and Mattxdfa like this.
  13. Ouch.
    My chest is hurting!!
    Know how,when you see something, your heart pains and your face automatically scrunches up because of the EXTREME CRINGE?
    Why do I have a feeling that it was a moment like that in the Ted Talk?

    As said, people think comedy is, it is not. But ah, some people just don't get it.
    Maybe magicians feel they have a charm which attracts people, as if if they can vanish a coin, they become the most sought-after bachelor in the world (I am all for gender equality and stuff, but somehow, this is a mistake only male magicians make, so...). This is EXACTLY why I dislike (notice I didn't say hate, bu dislike) it when some threads here come up asking 'I wanna impress girls'.Like, mate...why do you think they like you? For God's sake, let me just say it...

    Not only girls, but homo sapiens in general (I dunno why people view girls as a different species :) ) like people for their nature. Whether you perform magic or a puppet-show...if you are likeable, they'll like you. Otherwise, they won't. And if only your performance persona is good, they'll like your performance.

    I agree magic does give people a certain cool mystic factor but...come does not give you a license to use such a stupid hackline.

    @010rusty, mate, I feel someone took a certain thread you posted seriously...
    Karo-K54 likes this.
  14. Good words well said mate...

    However, if someone is too good an actor, it may harm his comedy...
    Lemme explain...
    Sometimes I use sarcastic comedy in my performances and say stuff like,

    "I am gonna shuffle this deck in the abnormal way because, well, I am just so guys, take lessons, be like me..." in my sassiest voice ever...which I thought would do the job, because I never speak like that irl.

    Only later did I realise my scripting had gone a bit too wrong, because although I wanted to say that "I am learning one of the most useless skills for real life and this DOES not make me a talented human and DON'T become like me"...apparently few (not all) had took it to mean that I had actually displayed my arrogance and took to reprimand me after the performance...(it was a small informal kind of performance, just friends). And then, the others tried to explain him it was sarcasm. He was like "Oooh..." and I was mentally face-palming him as well as myself.


    Anyways, what you said is true...a likeable character makes a likeable has almost nothing to do with what we are doing, which is not to say that you can be a very nice guy and then murder someone and people will still like you (I don't think that's being very nice...but for the sake of an example) but it means that if a likeable guy or girl dances or sings or performs magic or whatever, people will like them. Introduce the most disgusting human to Holly pop genre, and people will still dislike them.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  15. The only guy I've seen pull do something like it and still had it be funny was Piff the Magic Dragon. But he's a British dude in Las Vegas dressed in a dragon costume using a large lunch box with a leg as a tool kit (or vice versa on the last part). He's gonna be funny, regardless. Plus, he's using magic as a medium for comedy, he knows what he's doing with his jokes, and the audience knew that he was just messing around. Plus, the audience and the assistant all got a laugh out of it, so he clearly did it right.

    Most people aren't Piff the Magic Dragon. And sadly, a lot of magicians are already sitting on the fence between cool and creepy, and as shown by this guy, some fall towards the latter side.
  16. Kyle Eschen is also a great comedy magician, although I don't think he'd ever do a joke like this. He probably will get away with this, since he could do it in a way that he was mocking his social skills or something.

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