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 photo 4ae8d440-e3af-40e1-a417-94c0e2bcc5be_zps9grzobyf.jpgTo get extra laughs, or at least elicit smiles from the audience, stop using hocus pocus or abracadabra as magic words.  They are well worn-out and awfully not funny.

Here are tips to create your own funny magic words—the emphasis is on funny.

Say something funny. Duh. Example: one funny magician I saw said, “Let me recite the magic word I learned from the church. Bingo!”

Just make sure you are not performing at a bishops’ convention. I doubt they will find that magic word funny.

Say something that sounds funny. Humorists say that k and hard g sounds are funny.  Cat and goat are funny.  Feline and lamb are not.  Put more cats and goats into your magic words to make them sound funny.

john scarne magic book photo: John Scarne scarne-john.jpgSay something nonsensical. I learned this from a book by John Scarne: “This is in accordance with the hyperbolic equation of the paraboloid formula that says cosecant Y is equal to tangent Z.” I used this once in a show for engineers, and this nonsense drew a hearty laugh.

Say something elongated. Over the years, I’ve found out that long words are funnier than short words. Mr. Schwarzenegger is funny, Mr. Lee is not.  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is funny, chair is not. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is funny, table is not. 

Now you get the point. Make your magic words long enough you have to catch your breath to recite them. The words may be something you just invented or coined.  It doesn’t matter if they are fictitious.  You’re gunning for funny, not realism.

Say something foreign-sounding. This means your magic words are unintelligible. I have magic words from Brunei, Pakistan, Japan and even Mars. My Latin magic words, which I like to use when making things—say, a coin—disappear, goes something like this, “Disum coinum willum disappearum rightum yourum very eye-sum.”

Neat, huh! If you can’t get your audience to at least smile when you say that, either you are a hopeless case as a funny man or you are performing before a crowd of monks on top of  Mt. Everest.

magic words photo: MAGIC MAGICkadabRA.jpgSay something gibberish. An example of a gibberish is, “arfaghlistan kwechesstian probakakabakaba boom.” Though I invent my gibberish, I don’t understand a single word of them. Nor does the audience. But they are funny, specially if I recite them with a ridiculous air of confidence.

Make up your own magic words.  Whatever you come up with, it will be better than the ho-hum abracadabra and hocus pocus.

Stay magical,