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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

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 bottom
I might ask the kid to hold the glass, and pour the water over his shoes.
I could take the glass off him and angle it towards me, so my shoes get wet.
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 remotely funny."

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 show.

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 version.
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 away.

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.

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