Here’s a youtube video clip of Paul Potassy when he was still younger.
The clip shows him performing his pick pocketing act on Spanish TV. You will notice he speaks Spanish like a native. He is reputed to speak several languages (six, I think) fluently, including inscrutable Japanese.
About 10 years ago, I caught his show at Prince of Wales in Makati. I remember laughing hard at his opening number (Sympathetic Silks), Torn and Restored Newspaper, and the Razor Blade Swallowing (yes, it’s funny when Paul Potassy does it).
One unintentional funny highlight of the show was the part when a drunken patron kept standing up and going to the toilet. I don’t recall exactly the lines Mr. Potassy used, but the tipsy gentleman’s trips to the toilet became a sort of running gag, a la the salt shaker, that brought down the house.
Improv or ready-lines for contingencies such as that? I don’t know, but the way Paul Potassy handled the situation was a fine lesson on stage presence and audience control.
Here’s the video on the Spanish TV show. Watch and enjoy Paul Potassy, magician extraordinaire.