Magic lends itself to comedy as it is based on the same ingredients: tension then relief combined with surprise. There are certain jokes that magicians will use that are old and worn, others are tried and tested. Here are some of my favourites that, even though most magicians will use them at some point and they are as old as magic itself, still slay audiences.
- You didn’t take the cards out of the box
Most of the jokes magicians use can be applied to various tricks and situations whereas this one is only used for one particular trick – The Invisible Deck. There are all kinds of variations but it usually starts with the spectator being handed an imaginary deck of cards to shuffle and they are encouraged to do all kinds of fancy and ridiculous shuffles before the magician says, “That was really impressive…. especially since you didn’t take the cards out of the box first!”
- Make your mind go completely blank…
This one usually comes at the beginning of a mind-reading routine. The magician asks the spectator to make their mind go completely blank then instantly exclaims, “That was quick!”
- I forgot to clap too
The magician does something so amazing the audience is stunned. They stare open-mouthed at the magician and the feat of impossibility he has just achieved with style and flare. There is nothing but awestruck silence…. until the magician says, “Don’t worry, first time I saw that I forgot to clap too!”
- Live by satellite?
Similar to the above the audience is momentarily dumbstruck before they finally start to applaud. The magician quips, “Is this show live by satellite? There seems to be a time-delay on the applause”.
- They will switch places…
A line that seems to be forever associated with the late legend Tommy Cooper. Two objects are placed in two different locations. The magician proclaims, “watch closely as they switch places…”. There’s a pause. The audience waits on tenterhooks to see if the two objects really have swapped positions in impossible circumstances. Then the magician continues “and then they will… switch back again, thank you”.
Can you think of any other jokes that are commonly used by magicians? Do you think magicians should avoid old jokes or is it ok as long as they’re new to the audience? Let me know in the comments. As always please feel free to like and share and remember: three out of four people make up 75% of the population!