Forcing a superhero name? (Dress code)

Jan 22, 2012
Hey guys,

So if you didn't know from my previous thread, I'm doing a talent show in a few days. I'm trying to do a different thing with dress code and I'm going to change my shirt into a superhero shirt like superman. This is going to go with this story about what I am for Halloween. The problem is I don't know if when I do this trick and people start naming off superhero names, will they actually superman. I mean superman is pretty common so I mean I'm sure one spectator will say it. But is there anyway to gurantee that the spectator will say it?
Dec 29, 2011
You could present a short list of names and magicians force it out of the list. Though that removes the free selection feel, I think it would be pretty safe to think someone would name superman, unless you think they would try and catch you out.
Oct 14, 2007
If the audience is big enough tell the audience to yell out a couple favorite of their superheros. Word choice is important because you want as much audience participation as possible. The audience at this point should be yelling out a couple names all at once ..batman,spider man, superman etc.. you may or may not hear superman but that's fine. Just let some time pass with a couple names thrown out there till your satisfied but not too long. With everyone blurting out names you just say "I heard superman" regardless if you heard it or not. Then do the change. Word choice and timing is very important with this audience collaborated force.

That is how I would do it.
Sep 1, 2010
"i want you to think of a well known superhero that everyone knows...something like batman, spiderman, wolverine" you should perform to at least a few people let them all contribute and say names. you should land on superman
May 9, 2012
New York
you should say something like "name a superhero that everyone will know. like batman or something." then say "obviously dont pick batman now because i said it" since batman and superman are pretty much the 2 most known superheros and you've eliminated batman, someone should definitely say superman then
Sep 2, 2007
I would probably say something like this:

"I don't know what's up with all these superheroes taking names of animals. You know, Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine...all those ones. It seems like every animal has a superhero named after them. In fact, name an animal."


"Oh, OK you got me there, I don't thing there's a Pygmy Goat Man. He wouldn't really be that impressive. But let's try this. Take a second to clear your mind, because I wouldn't want it to feel like I'm trying to put an idea into your head...oh no, I wouldn't do that."


"Now, name any superhero."


The thinking behind this script is that, at first, it just seems like idle banter. The audience won't know where it's leading to, so they won't have time to prepare a response. The "name an animal" question, means they can't be passive observers, and have to engage their imagination at the expense of logical analysis. The mood is kept playful. The insistence around "I wouldn't want it to feel like I'm putting a thought in your head" seeds the idea that, actually, you are trying to do that, and primes them to go for the opposite of what you seem to be suggesting. As you're making a big deal about superheroes named after animals, this will push them to choose a superhero who isn't. "Name a superhero" comes almost out of the blue, with a sudden change of pace that gives them little time to think and, given that Superman is the most famous hero who isn't named after an animal, I suggest that he's the one they're most likely to name. Plus, other spectators will think you were pushing for an animal-based hero and have failed, giving extra drama to the revelation.
Get people to shout out names of superheros which you write down on seperate sheets of paper, fold and throw into a bowl/bag. Someone then picks one and the force is done.

Al you do is write the same name on every slip of paper. Someone is bound to yell out Superman so everything will seem as it should be.

That's how i would do it. People will be talking more about you changing your shirt so i wouldn't make a big deal about how hou force the name.
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