Banachek – Funny Incidentsin Magic


Funny Incidents in Magic

This column is not going to be about mentalism, or me for that matter. It’s going to be about funny incidents in magic. Often I tell these supposedly true stories and people will end up choking on their food or spewing their milk or coffee from their nose. So if you have any liquids or sandwiches near the computer, remove them now. Be warned.

Let’s start out with a mild one. This is second hand, as are all these stories.

I heard that Tony Spina once produced a dead dove. In other words, he produced it, and sad to say, it’s head hung to one side and the dove fell to the floor with a loud thud. Rather than have people focus on their attention on the dove the rest of the show, he simply pushed (kicked) it to the front side of the stage, into the footlights. On he went. About a minute into the rest of the performance, smoke started to rise. Then flames! The bird had caught on fire.

Speaking of fire. There was a convention competition where a young competitor was standing backstage with his dove pan waiting to compete. As he waited, the lighter fluid in the pan kept evaporating so he would add a little more, and then a little more and more and more. Finally, when it was his time to go on, he went straight into his act. He was doing fine until it came time for his finale. The ‘two cute chicks production’ from his chick pan. He lit the fluid in the pan and low and behold a big ball of flame spewed fourth. He put the lid on, (trying to put the flames out) and removed it. Out jumped two balls of flame, (the chicks) they hopped across the table and down to the floor…..

Ah, but it gets worse:

The boy was horrified. His chicks were on fire. Not thinking, the boy chased the little balls of flame and started to stomp on them. Putting them out of course and squashing them at the same time. Needless to say, the boy did not place, although he was remembered more than any of the other acts.

And finally, my good friend Walter Blaney. Walter does a wonderful ‘Texas Size’ act that has taken him all over the world. His finale is to take a small regular size rabbit and turn it into a large, huge (redundant but the sucker is really big) rabbit.

Before one show, the huge ‘Texas Size’ rabbit had a stroke. Poor Walter took it pretty bad, but the show must go on. Walter knew it would be the rabbit’s last show and he should not perform but Walter could not find another rabbit that large on such short notice. So, Walter did his act. The show was going great. The response was one of his best. Then came the finale. Walter took the small rabbit and turned it into a ‘Texas Size’ rabbit. Walter held the rabbit up high in the footlights for everyone to see. The louder the crowd responded, the higher Walter held the rabbit, going from one side of the stage to the other swinging it (slowly as it was sick) back and forth. It seemed the audience reaction was never going to stop, especially those up front, and it probably would not have had Walter not realized why they were responding so enthusiastically.

Remember the rabbit had a stroke? Well, seems that the poor old rabbit could no longer hold it’s bladder. When Walter held it up high, it let go and sprayed the entire front row. Walter could not see what it was doing due the bright lights. The more the crowd hollored, the more poor Walter animated the rabbit and held it up high, and the more the rabbit sprayed the audience.

(this next section is a little off color, be warned.)

And speaking of Walter. Walter was good friends with David Hoy ( A real famous mentalist. See, I did get the word mentalist in here.) One weekend Walter was visiting Hoy and Hoy suggested Walter go with him to a radio show he hosted and there Hoy would interview Walter. The interview seemed to be going great, David Hoy started to talk to about Walter’s new ‘Levitation Illusion.’ “Now you have this wonderful levitation that has magicians all over the world talking. It’s truly amazing! You lay a girl on a board across two stools, then you removed one stool, remove the board and remove the other stool and she is just floating there.”

Walter agreed that was how the illusion looked and talked a little about it. Finally came Dave’s next question.

“Well, I have seen it and it is truly amazing but I heard you did something even more amazing with it the other night. You laid the girl between the stools on the board, removed one stool, removed the board and then removed the other stool and she was just floating in mid-air…. then you climbed up there and F * * * * d her.” (Yes, he used the f word.)

Walter turned beet red, hemmed and hawed, surely he had not heard Hoy right. This was live radio. Hoy would lose his job. Walter was flabbergasted.

“Well did you climb up there and do that to her?” Asked Hoy.

Walter looked around and realized he had been had. Hoy started to laugh and Walter saw the tech guys laughing out loud. They were not on the air. David Hoy had set up the whole elaborate scam.

Jump a few years ahead, Walter is again at Hoy’s house. Hoy invites Walter to a TV interview. This, Walter knows is live. Hoy starts to interview Walter, then says:

“Well, I have seen it and it is truly amazing but I heard you did something even more amazing with it the other night. You laid the girl between the stools on a board, removed the one stool, removed the board and then removed the other stool, and she was just floating in mid-air then you climbed up there and ….”

Hoy paused.

Walter turned red. It was Deja Vu all over, surely Hoy would not say this … They would both be ruined …. This was live TV…. Walter knew beyond any doubt that they were on the air.

Hoy continued with:

“passed a huge hoop across the girl.”

Walter let out a sigh of relief as David Hoy, always the jokester, let out a laugh.

I have many more of these stories and if these do not get me too much heat, I may share them sometime.

In thoughts