Sir Leodini, how are things going? I always do my color changing deck routine in my shows—a green to blue deck. When it turns to blue the audience are amazed but then they usually challenge me to turn it back to green, and we all know that, that’s not easy to do. I just tell them a joke about that deck.
Sir, can you help me construct a joke about my color changing deck routine? A joke that will surely make them laugh out loud?
Thank you so much, sir, thank you…
Joker Went Wild
One of the greatest misconceptions in magic is that magicians, to be funny, must tell jokes.
Well, let me tell you this: don’t tell jokes when performing magic. Unless you are a certified raconteur, you may not get away with telling jokes.
Telling jokes not only diminishes the humor of your show, it also slows down your magic presentation and makes it boring.
A joke is like this: “One day a grade one pupil came home and excitedly said, ‘Papa, I was the only one in class who was able to answer my teacher’s question!” The father was pleased. “Good job, son!” he said. “What was the teacher’s question?” The boy answered, “Who did not do his homework today?, and I said, ‘Me.’”
That is a joke. You don’t tell jokes when performing magic—but I said that already.
What you do, instead, is drop funny lines, amusing comments, and bits of business. The classic line, “Hold out your hand. No, not that hand. The clean one,” can be funny if it fits your character. For lines to be funny, they should fit your character. That is the greatest secret of being funny in magic.
So first, define your character and then write lines appropriate to that character. Lines should be character-based. So it’s you who can write these lines better than anyone else, because it’s you who know best your character.
Thanks for bringing up this topic. Your comment reminds me of a topic I’ve been wanting to write about.