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Some magicians have asked me if adding comedy to a magic performance is necessary.

No, it’s not. I can hem and haw, split hair, and dish out ambiguities, but the truth remains—comedy is not necessary to a magic performance’s success.

However, a magician who wants to be entertaining may choose to use it to enhance his magic.

PhotobucketComedy is just one of the presentational or theatrical tools a magician can use to add drama, thrill, flair, panache and entertainment to his magic. The other tools are special effects, intelligent lights, choreography, dance, and a bevy of girls in very short skirts.

Some magicians with fat wallets even use CGI and video editing to make  their magic more impossible.

If one lacks a fat wallet and doesn’t have access to theater equipment, then comedy is the cheapest presentational tool within his reach.

PhotobucketMagic was never intended to be a form of entertainment. Without the embellishments of theater it is naturally boring. Whoever came up with magic first created it as a tool to ward off evil spirits, cure illnesses, and cast a spell on his enemies, and not to entertain the great unwashed.

Magic was also used as weapons to zap the bad guys, the way they do it in Harry Potter movies.

PhotobucketThe miracle-class magic like parting the Red Sea was used to outfox adversaries. I could not imagine the people of Israel rolling on the ground in fits of laughter and then giving Moses a standing ovation for such miraculous work, simply because parting the sea was not intended to entertain but to save a multitude of slaves from the murderous chariot-charging troopers of the Pharaoh.

In modern times, however, magic is no longer used as a weapon to subdue enemies, or as an exercise in supernatural power, or as an arcane practice in sorcery.

There may be a few stragglers who choose to be be charlatans and try to convince the public that they have real, genuine, not pirated supernatural powers or psychic abilities.

These are humorless magicians who can’t raise a laugh even if they ridicule themselves in public by baring their butts.

Since you’re not humorless, don’t be like them. No need to make yourself an ass. Shun charlatanism.

PhotobucketMy apologies to the ass, for I don’t mean to insult them by comparing them to charlatans.

But I digress…

As I said above, in modern times magic is no longer sorcery. It is entertainment.

But how can one perform an entertaining magic when, by nature, magic is not entertaining?

Well, embellish it with theatrics, digital editing, or comedy.

Comedy seems to be the least expensive and the most accessible to the ordinary magician like me.

That may explain why so many magicians dabble in it, some getting great results, while others meeting traumatic debacles.

That, of course, is altogether another topic for a future post.

In the meantime, I hope I have answered well the question posed by the title of this blog.

PhotobucketA magician may choose to add comedy to his presentation to liven it up and make it entertaining.

In my next post, I will discuss the dangers of adding comedy to magic.  Great though comedy is, there are instances when it is not appropriate to use.

Stay magical,