Box of Fun
by Ian Lowe
I don't like to tell jokes when performing, but I do carry a few comedy
items in my trolley. Not all the things I use will suit you, but I'm sure
you'll find your own. If you do, post them on the BHQ forums.
What I carry
- Bottomless Glass
- zipped banana
- TV remote control
- Growing Sponge Ball
- latex hammer
You can get all of these from a magic shop.
How I use them
- The Bottomless Glass
- This is a plastic tumbler with no bottom to it. I hand it to a kid as
I get out my bottle of water. There are various things I do with it, all
involving pouring water in the glass which, of course, falls out the
- I might ask the kid to hold the glass, and pour the water over his
- I could take the glass off him and angle it towards me, so my shoes
- Or, I could let it pour over my trousers.
- Or, it just pours harmlessly onto the ground.
- It's best to use this outdoors. Did you already realize that?
- The Zipped Banana
- This item looks only vaguely like a banana. It has two zips, one on
each side, so you can unzip it and eat the contents, which might be a real
banana, or something else. I usually have a muesli bar in mine. Unzip it,
take a bite, zip it up again.
- TV Remote Control
- Point this at a child and press any button. Look surprised that
nothing has happened. Press harder. Nothing happens. Give the remote a
shake, then try again. Give up and put it away. Say, "That wasn't even
- A Growing Sponge Ball
- This magic item is a large sponge ball, usually red. It can be turned
inside out and made smaller, which is how the effect begins. Push it into
your fist, when it turns right way out and appears to grow larger. I set
it up, inside out, with a red 5" balloon sticking out of it. Pick it up so
your right hand conceals the ball, but letting the neck of the balloon
- Blow into the balloon. You can open your right hand slightly so people
can see the ball which looks like a partially inflated balloon. Pretend it
is difficult to inflate. Transfer the ball/ balloon to your left fist.
Push your right thumb into the ball and let it 'grow' into the full
- When in its fully grown state, the ball has a hole in the bottom. You
can either conceal the balloon in there, or palm it away while your
audience is looking at the ball.
- Latex Hammer
- This is a realistically-appearing hammer. I often hit kids on the head
with a balloon as I am twisting. Usually several kids ask me to hit them!
Bring out the hammer. I say, "Put your head there!" pointing to a spot in
front of me. They think it's a real hammer, and refuse. I say, "I'm going
to hit you on the..." as I say it, I lift the hammer and 'accidentally'
hit myself in the face, followed by collapsing in apparent agony.
Look around your local Magic Shop or joke shop and see what else you
can find. There are fake eyeballs, sponge teeth, milk you can pour into a
rolled up newspaper etc.. I like the appearing wands, sticks, saws etc..
There is a variety. The trouble with these is what to do with them after
they have appeared. You can take a five foot wand out of a small paper bag
but, if you have nowhere to put it, you can only lie it down and people
may see how it works. This may not bother you as a balloonman, but
remember magicians make their livings with them. Don't give the secret
And don't do too much. People are waiting for a balloon, not wanting to
see a magician. Just do one thing once in a while. It will keep both you
and your audience amused.