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@ How many people have seen me before? How many

people have never seen me before? How many people
wouldn't care if they never see me again?
@ Who is here for the first time? Who has never been
here before? (Same thing)
@ I see all the outpatients are here tonight.
@ Is there anyone who came in without paying? (Shoot
blank gun into audience) Is there anyone else?
@ I'm here live. I'm not via satellite, and there are no
camera tricks.
@ You might ask the question, "Will he thrill me?" or,
"Will he leave me aghast?" I don't know, but you might ask
the question.
@ Good evening. Myname is Harry Allen. Of course, you
all know yours.
@ I do magic and comedy; if you don't find it funny, then
it's magic.
@ (Come out scratchmg) I wanted to start from scratch.
@ I'm the person your mother didn't even dare mention.

- -

Sleight of Mouth -

a Walk out on stage and the spot light is shining

elsewhere. Walk over to the spot where it's shining and
it will move elsewhere. Do this a couple of times. Then,
take out a blank gun and shoot the spot light operator.
Have the spot light go out completely.

a I just got done working a waitress convention. Everything

was self service and they paid me in tips.
8 I did a bus driver reunion. All the drinks were exact
change and you had to drink in the rear.
@ I did a show for priests. They didn't pay me, they
forgave me!
@ I did an Ivy League college. They didn't applaud or
laugh. If they liked something, they said, "Clever, very

a I played for a rock audience. They were so stoned,

they watched me in slow motion. I finished my act in 20
minutes. They laughed for an hour and a half.
@ If you have any drugs take them now.

@ Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I guess that

covers most of us.

a Good evening ladies and gentlemen. (Look off stage).

Do I have time for more?

a I'd like to say hello to all you beautiful people ... All the
ugly ones too.

Openings 3

@ Is anyone here from Florida or outside the state?

@ I'm the greatest magician I've ever seen.
@ I'll never forget when I was playing Carnegie Hall. I
drew a line around the block. The manager made me go
out and erase it.
@ I wanted to get here in the worst way. I took the
freeway. Believe me, that was the worst way.
8 I was a taste tester for the Sunsweet Prune Juice
Company. It wasn't too bad, I worked one day and was off
@ We have something in common if you watch Johnny
Carson or the Letterman show. So do I.
@ I used to be a dancer, but the music would throw me
8 They call me the Vanna White of magic.
@ I bet we have a great looking audience. (Turn the
house lights up slowly). Well, anyone could be wrong.
(Turn the house Lights down slowly).
@ I come from a large family, Mammals.
@ You're about to see standing ovation material.
@ My name is Harry Allen. If that alone is not enough,
I'll perform some magic for you.
4 Sleight


aLast night's show, I knew, would be difficult. They had

chcken wire between me and the audience.
@ After that introduction, I have only one thing to say:
"I want more money!"
@ Come out brushing your tuxedo off and say: "This
tuxedo picks up everythmg but women."
@ If the show dies, at least I'm dressed for it.
@ How do you Like the clothes? I'm thinking about
buying them.

@ I'm going to pop a lozenge into my mouth and when

it dissolves I'll know to finish my speech. Which reminds
me of a preacher friend of mine who did the same until
one day he accidently popped a button in his mouth. As
far as I know, he's still in the pulpit preaching.
Before I start talkmg, I want to say a few words.
@ Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to do my finale first.
That way, if anyone walks in late they won't miss the
beginning of the show, just the ending.
@ Did you know magicians make good bed partners?
They all share the same bunk.
@ It was heck driving here today. I just passed my
driver's exam. I took a crash course.
Openings - 5

@ Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the

wonderful world of magic. The second oldest profession.
Robbery was the first. What were you thinking of?
Remember, Eve stole the apple.
@ Good evening, my name is Harry Allen. For those of
you on drugs its Haaaarrrry Allllen.
@ This is a very nice place. Last week I worked a
pessimist bar where they have unhappy hour. From 4 to
7pm you get one drink for the price of two.
@ Trickery is my business. Illusion is my way of life.
@ Is there anyone here who does not llke magic? (Fire a
blank gun into the audience) Is there anyone else?
@ (Walk on stage and take a drink) What's wrong? When
you get to your job, do you start right away?
@ Welcome to the Twilight Zone, I'm your usher.
@ Do you like good magic? Well, you came to the wrong
@ There is no excuse for the way I am about to behave.
@ (Intro for next act) This act is so clean that his doves
fly upside down.

@ My doctor was so cheap he used to take my pulse and
keep it.
@ My doctor told me to start smoking so I would stop
chewing gum.
@ I went to my psychiatrist the other day. I told him1 had

suicidal tendencies. He said, "That's o.k., just pay in

advance." He then told me to lie on the couch, face down.
@ I read a sign in a plastic surgeon's office: "The nose of
your choice is here for the picking." I know, it's snot nice.
@ Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his
head examined.
@ I used to sell Murine to private eyes.
@ Preparation H doesn't work. The only thing it shrinks
is my index finger.
@ Did you hear magicians can now get insurance for
pregnancy? It's called accidental life.

w Are nervous breakdowns hereditary? It must be. You

get it from your children.
@ Be true to your teeth, and they won't be false to you.
Sleight of Mouth 7
@ There's nothing wrong with sex. Just don't inhale.

a If alcohol is a crutch, then magic is a wheelchair.

@ How far away is your therapist from being The Rapist?
(Dental) My dentist tells me I grind my teeth so at
night I fill my mouth with coffee beans and water and set
the clock for 7:30 a.m.
(Dental) My dentist changed jobs. He became a
proctologist . He says he couldn't stand people coughing
in h s face.
@ I went to see my physician, "Doc, you have to help me.
I keep seeing talking dogs, talking mice, talking crickets,
even talkmg ducks. I'm concerned ... what should I do?"
"Don't worry about it," replies the doctor. "You're having
Disney spells."
@ (Health) I jog to work behind the bus I used to ride to
work. I feel great and I save $2.00 a day. My wife says,
"Why don't you save $20.00 and jog behind a cab?"

@ Sign the card on the front, back, or if you're extremely
talented, sign it on the edge.
@ Hand someone the deck and say "shuffle the cards but
don't mix them."
@ Pick a card. Burn it on your memory. You will look
awfully funny waking up with a burnt memory.

@ Fan deck ..." Take a free sample."

@ A deck of cards, known to some as "the devil's bible."

@ The ribbon spread, known to some as the "gambler's
@ Please exarnine the deck. A stacked deck may mean
nothing to you, but it means a good deal to me.
@ Would you examine this deck? While you are examining
that deck, I'll show you a trick with this deck.
@ Pick a card. Don't show it to me; show it to your brain.
@ Plck a card. Show it to your friends. It shouldn't take
@ This is a poker deck. As a matter of fact there's a poker
game in the men's room and there is a seat open. You go
in with a full house and come out with a flush. Anyone for
Sleight of Mouth 9

@ Mix up the cards throughly. Now put them back in the

exact order they were in.
@ Pick a card, look at it, and don't show it to anyone but
yourself. You are the only personin the whole wide world
that knows that card. Quite a responsibility for one
person. It would be one heck of an acomplishment if you
can remember it.
@ Shuffle the cards. Are they mixed up? So am I. Did
you ever consider a career at the post office?
@ Pick a card. Do you want to change your mind? Or are
you happy with the mind you have?
@ Let's use half a deck ... we don't have time for a full
@ Don't mind all these cards. I really don't need them.
However, they do go nicely with the trick.
@ (Guess wrong card) Is that it? No? Don't tell me, I have
5 1 more guesses.
@ Sit on this. That will put it closer to your mind.
@ For female: Say stop! Do you remember when you
used to say stop?
@ Name a card. (Answer: What do youmean?) Let's start
with an easier question; what's your name?
10 Card


@ Do you know one card from another? Yes? Too bad!

1'11 have to use someone else.

@ I have so many cards up my sleeve, I send my suit out

to be cleaned, pressed and shuffled.
@ This trick doesn't make any sense. It's like playing
strip solitaire.
@ (Drop three cards) Oh! Three defectors.
@ Have a female assistant select a card by saying stop.
When she says stop, and you don't, she will want to know
why. You tell her that you are acting just like a man.
@ Pick a card, (they pick the four of spades) Amazing!
You picked the only four of spades in the entire deck.
@ (When you get the wrong card) At least the backs
@ (If you drop cards) Don't worry I have 48 more.
@ (If you drop cards) I have magic in my blood. It just
hasn't reached my fingertips yet.
@ Cut the cards. Thanks, you follow instructions very
well. You must be married.
@ Pick a card and show it to your friends. (Turn your
back to the audience) I won't look. (Look over your
shoulder) I have other methods.

@ My wife has one of those photographic minds. It's too
bad it never developed.
@ She always wears these peek-a-boo blouses. One peek
and you boo.
@ They call her man-hole mouth. When she kisses me,
she sucks my whole head in.
@ She's the kind of girl you want to take to a drive-in
theatre ... if you want to watch the picture.
@ In my house we pray after we eat.
@ I don't thinkmashed potatoes should glow in the dark.
@ I'm not saying she's fat, but the doctor told me for
exercise to walk around her one time.
@ I'm not saying she's fat, but on our honeymoon night
it took me two trips to carry her over the threshold.
@ I miss her cooking ... as often as possible.
@ My wife is 24 years old ... that's 153 to you and me.
@ She'll tell an albino he looks pale.
12 Sleight ofMouth

@ I'm not saying she's ugly but on Halloween when she

opens the door the kids give her candy.
@ On Halloween she wears a pair of jockey shorts on her
head and goes out as an ass.
@ I married a nun ... none in the morning ... none in the
afternoon ... and none at night.
I told mywife I hurt my little pinky. She said that's 0.k.
I have a headache anyhow!
@ The only time my wife had a gleam in her eye is when
there was a short in her electric blanket.
@ My wife and I have only one thing in common. We were
married on the same day.
@ Some mornings I wake up grouchy. Other mornings
I let her sleep.
@ We've been happily married four years. We're celebrating
our twenty-fifth anniversary.
@ I never marry for money. It's cheaper to borrow it.
@ How many ladies like Chinese food? My wife loves it
so much she has it three times a week. I figured out why.
Won ton spelled backwards is "Not Now."
@ It's little things that break up marriages. Like little
blondes ... little brunettes ...
IVIarriage 13

@ If the bride wears white as a symbol of purity, why

does the groom always wear black?
@ (For linking ring routine, emphasize unusual large
wedding bands) There's only one problem about being
the best manat a wedding, you don't get a chance to prove
@ Marriage is a wonderful institution; however, we're all
not ready for institutions.
@ There's nothing wrong with marriage. If you don't
believe it, ask Mickey Rooney.
@ Are you newlyweds or nearly dead?
@ My wife and I were happy for 1 5 years. Then we met.
@ Love is a sweet dream, and marriage is an alarm clock.
@ My wife told me she bit her tongue. I said, "I'm
surprised you could catch it."
@ My wife is going through her change. Unfortunately,
she's also going through her dollars.

@ She's so old sex gives her motion sickness.

@ My wife tried one of those mud packs. You know
something, it really did improve her appearance. But then
she washed it off.
14 Sleight ofMouth

@ My wife told me to walk the dog. She was wondering

why I put a leash around her neck.
@ I took my wife to the zoo last week. The guy thanked
me for returning her.
@ I told my wife brown shorts turn me on. So she didn't
wash them for four weeks.
@ In college I was voted the most likely to succeed. My
girlfriend was voted the most likely to conceive.
@ My wife is very nearsighted, she lost her glasses and
is now knitting me a sweater out of spaghetti.
@ My wife is cooking much better now that she found
out the smoke alarm is not a timer.
@ I shaved this morning and told my wife I felt ten years
younger. She said, "Why don't you shave at night?"
@ My wife dances so badly that people keep looking for
her medical alert bracelet.
@ Is bad coffee grounds for divorce?
@ My wife used up all her sick days. Now she's calling
in dead.
@ My best friend kissed my wife. I said, "Bill, I have to!
But you!!"
Marriage 15
@ I take my wife wherever I go. She's too ugly to kiss

@ My wife is starting a cooking show for television. It's
@ What is a home without children? Answer: Quiet
@ "I've been asked to get married plenty of times." "Who
asked you?" "Mother and father."
@ A bachelor is a man who never makes the same
mistake once.
@ Not all men are fools. Some are bachelors.
@ Bachelors know more about women than married men
do; that's why they're bachelors.
@ Statistics prove that singlemendiemuchquicker than
married men, so fellas if you're looking for a slow death

@ I guess the reason I'm not married is because I was
born that way.

@ (Late laughter) Too late.
@ (Individual laughing) No individual laughing, please.
Stay with the group.
@ (Individual laughing) Would you explain it to the rest
of the people?
@ (Individual laughing) Thanks, Mom.
@ Will you cheer up!
@ Please don't laugh at me. You may have children of
your own some day.
@ (No laughs) I would like to say something funny at this
time, but I don't want to break the mood you're in.
I hate worlung for drug-oriented crowds. They laugh
two dayslater.
@ (Individual laughing) Will you please pass that laugh
@ Are you sitting on a feather?
@ (No laughs) You might as well laughnow, as I don't get
any funnier.
laughs) I see you're not buying the bullshit.
@ (No laughs) I have to tell three more bad jokes to get
warmed up.
@ (No laughs) Come on ... concentrate.
@ (No laughs) Laugh now, or forever hold your peace.
@ Laugh now, the humor doesn't get any better.
@ It's a joke! These are all jokes.
@ (No laughs) There's a punch line here somewhere.
@ (No laughs) A lot of these jokes are just for me.
@ (No laughs) Did I mention that I only have a few weeks
to live?
@ (No laughs) What are you, talent scouts for a ceme
t ery?
@ (No laughs) I'm laughing alone, but that's oak.
@ (No laughs) I could make you laugh, but it would only
spoil the mood.
@ (No laughs) You're slow, but you're with me.

@ (Laughter ahead of time) Either I'm talking too slow

or you're thinking too fast.
18 Laughter

@ (Lots of laughs) Can you handle more?

@ (Lots of laughs) That's funny, I never heard that
@ (Lots of laughs) You're a good group. Looks like I'll
have to do the full act.
@ (Lots of laughs) I just heard this joke for the first time,
@ (Hard laughter) Please lady, someone has to sit in that
chair after you.
@ (Hard laughter) I can't wait to hear what I have to say
@ (No laughs) Let's face it, I've got 86 more gags in my
act, so you'd, better laughnow and we'll all go home early.
@ (No laughs) Thank you for that wonderful burst of
@ (No laughs) (Look off stage) Better start the car.
@ You're suppose to laugh at my jokes and be mystified
at my magic ... not laugh at my magic and be mystified at
my jokes.
@ That's what is known as a sitting ovation.
@ (No laughs) Who hired the audience?
Sleight of Mouth 19

@ (No laughs) Thanks for coming to my funeral

@ (Sneeze) Sorry but I'm allergic to audiences.
@ (Individual laughter) Which joke are you working on,
@ You think I'm funny? You don't look so good yourself.
@ I had a lady laugh so hard she had tears running down
her leg.
@ (Hard laughter) Don't hurt yourself.
@ (No laughs) I guess it's about this time inmy act where
you people are wondering who canceled.
@ (No laughs) If this is boring you, imagine how I feel.
@ I'm not really happy. It's a chemical imbalance.
@ Laugh and the world laughs with you. Pass gas and
you sleep alone.
@ (No laughs) When I come to a joke you like, hold up
your hand.

@ You may laugh at ths next trick, and I would certainly

appreciate it.
@ Are you having a good time? Well, tell your face.
20 Laughter


@ (Lots of applause) That won't stop me.

@ (One person applauding) No! No! No! All or nothmg.
@ Thank you for validating me as a magician.
@ You flatter me with your applause and amuse me with
your presence.

b Ths morning I had a terrible accident. I got on the bus
and I had my eye on the seat. Someone sat on it.
@ 1 put both contact lenses in the same eye and it was
shut at the time.
b My twin brother forgot my birthday.
b I got beat up. I found out I was hitch-hbg with the
wrong finger.
b I used the public restroom and I found my phone
nurnber on the wall. I called, but nobody answered.
@ My uncle came to visit. He has an electric pace maker.
Every time he sneezes my garage door goes up.

@ Thanks for doing your job.
@ (No applause) You may sit down while the applause
dies down.
@ (No applause) Please, stop shouting "Bravo!"
@ (No applause) After you catch your breath I'll go on.
@ Thank you for the squatting ovation.
@ (No applause) Hold the applause. Oh! You are.
@ Please, Please. I'm happy to be working.
@ Thanks for the applause. You folks really know talent
when you see it.
@ It's amazing what I'll go through for a round of
@ (No applause) There are two ways to do magic. One
is with applause.
@ I usually go off stage to a thunderous round of
applause after this next trick. However, I have had a burst
of silence before.

Sleight of Mouth 23
@ Applause doesn't make me nervous.
@ (Late applause) Ah too late! I know sympathy when
I hear it.
@ (Late applause) Forget it, I don't need pity.
@ (No applause) I'm used to working in a cemetery.
@ (No applause) What a table, it sleeps eight.
@ (No applause) Are you surprised or stunned?
@ (No applause) 1'11 do it again despite popular demand.
@ (No applause) Comedy, comedy, it's in my blood. I
sure wish it were in my act.
@ (No applause) Alright, maybe you were never an
audience before.
@ (No applause) That's 0.k. I can handle rejection.
@ (No applause) Thank you for the one-handed applause.
@ (No applause) My last audience was polite. They
covered their mouths when they yawned.
@ (No applause) You can be replaced, by an audience.
@ (No applause) This trickwas called, "Flattery" because
it gets me nowhere.
24 Applause

@ (No applause) Let's get with it. You'll have to get

quicker, we've got a lot to get through.
@ (No applause) Come on now, with this material you
must be alert. It creeps up on you like cheap pants.
@ Can you hear me in the back? That's a funny place to
have ears.
@ (No applause) And now I would like someone to stand.
Preferably someone alive.
@ (No applause) This is the only audience where
someone could die and no one would notice.
@ (No applause) Don't respond now. Save it.
8 (No applause) I see you're easily bored.
@ (No applause) Please settle yourselves down. You
have done a wondeful job so far.
@ (One person applauds) Glad to see someone likes it.
What do the rest of you think?
@ (One person applauds) Glad you decided to come.
@ (Groans) Remember, I didn't go out looking for you.
@ I don't want to alarm you, but a recent study showed
no laughing or applauding causes serious grin injuries.

Sleight ofMouth 25

@ This is my anniversary. Ten shows without a laugh.

@ I paid for these props and jokes and I'm going to use

o (No response) Was it something I said?

@ (No response) They loved me in the dressing room.

@ (No laughs) Is ths an English speaking audience?

That was my best joke. Boy, am I in trouble.
@ (No laughs) Ah, you heard that one before.
@ (Groan) Are you in pain? (If "yes" is returned) I'm not
surprised, in that suit.
@ (No laughs) Ahyes! Let's all spend a nice quiet evening
@ (Look off stage) Is the curtain up?
@ (No applause) I know some of you have been saving
your applause. Now is the time!
@ (No applause) I could have phoned this show in.
@ (No applause) Are you bored or pissed?
@ (No applause) Might as well applaud, it's too late to get
your money back.
26 Applause

@ (No applause) I'll wait.

@ (No applause) You may show your appreciation now.
@ (No applause) I thought I was going to like you.
@ (No applause) Can you pretend you are having a good
@ (No applause) A little louder, please.
@ (No applause) I'm sure we can work this thing out.
@ (No applause) Do you understand any of this or are
you sedated?
@ (No applause) Remember, you can be replaced by an
@ (No applause) I know you are out there, I saw you
come in through the door.
@ (Weak applause) Doesn't count if it's not from your
heart .
@ (No applause) Well, perhaps you're right.
@ (One person applauds) Could you hop around so it
sounds like a crowd?

w (Lots of applause) You're spoiling me, folks.

Sleight of Mouth 27

@ (Lots of applause) Please, please. You'll ruin my

@ (Lots of applause) Please, please. It will only put me
in a higher tax bracket.
@ (Lots of applause) If I had blood I'd blush.
@ (Lots of applause) Please don't ...p lease don't stop.
@ (Lots of applause) I don't want you to get too excited.
I have a weak finish.
@ (Lots of applause) You obviously don't get out much.
@ (Lots of applause) Boy! Are you starved for entertainment.
@ (Lots of applause) Oh! Feedback!
@ (Lots of applause) No, no, please don't spoil my
timing . Every sentence is planned and psychologically
calculated to build an atmosphere of hilarious humor
until we finally reach an explosive let down.
@ (No applause) Please, don't shout "Bravo," just clap
your hands.
@ (After applause) You are such a good audience. You
deserve me.
28 Applause

@ (No applause) I know you're all dying to applaud but

you just don't know when.
@ (After applause) Thank you. You should get out more
@ ('leak applause) I got more applause on my honeymoon.
@ (No applause) Is it the outfit you don't like?
@ (No applause) I'm used to performing with no response.
I've been married for 20 years.
@ (Lots of applause) You people know a good thing
when you see it!
@ (Lots of applause) Oh sure, now he's good!
@ (No applause) (Have audience tap one finger into
palm, then two fingers into palm, continue three, four
etc ... until they are applauding.)
@ (No response) And the crowd goes wild!
@ (No applause) Have we had our medication today?
@ (After applause) I accept tips.
@ (No applause) The performer is not responsible for

articles that fall off your lap and onto the floor during
standing ovations.
Sleight of Mouth 29
@ (No applause) I thought this was a quiet place for a
@ (No applause) I will do it again, even though you didn't
@ (No applause) Would someone in the audience give
me a number from one to ten? Thank you, I just wanted
to see if you were still awake.
@ (No applause) Oh, this trick is really nothing. I can tell
by the applause.
@ (Lots of applause) Please save the applause until the
end, as I have a very weak finish.
@ (Lots of applause) You're much too good for what's
@ (Lots of applause) I'm glad you're applauding now,
because this may be it.
@ (Lots of applause) You are a wonderful audience, so
give yourself a standing ovation.
@ (Lots of applause) You may not like me now, but later
you'll learn to hate me.
30 Applause
Harry Allen and Henny Youngrnan

@ (After something great) Aren't you glad I only use my
powers for good?
@ What's red and white and cement? I don't know either,
I just threw the cement in to make it hard.
@ I do this only at night. That way you can't say I see this
every day.
@ I'm the person your mother never let you play with.
@ Is there anyone here from New York? (Fire a blank
gun). I just want to make you feel at home.
@ Live every day as if it were your last and someday you
will be right.
@ I use to be a mattress salesman. I thought it would be
somethng to fall back on.
@ Show me a Jewish boy who didn't go to medical school
and I'll show you a lawyer.

@ What do you give someone who has everything?

@ With ths much excitement, who needs enemas?
32 Sleight ofMouth
@ I nearly lost a finger on a wdd goose chase.
@ I just got divorced, then got remarried. The divorce
didn't work out.
8 Me nervous? You try taking ten valiurns.
@ I'm often asked how long magicians should perform.
Actually the same as short ones.
@ I'm often asked my performing fee. I tell them it's
either $5.00 or $1000.00. When asked, "What's the
difference?" I say, "For $1000.00 I use both hands."
@ (Taxi) A cabby makes his living by driving his custorners
@ (Tips) Did you know money grows on palms?
@ (Tips) This restaurant is so expensive you don't tip the
maitre'd, you put him in your will.
@ When I was six my farnily moved - but I found them
8 By workmg faithfully eight hours a day you may
eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
@ I lost my last job because of illness. The boss got sick
of me.
@ I never like to eat on an empty stomach.
Comedy Fillers 3 3

@ Anybody who guesses how I do this next trick, I'll give

them right after the show - a brand new Ford - catalogue.
@ If I had my life to do over again, I'd live each day a year
at a time.
@ Did you know that they're taking the word "gullible"
out of the dictionary?
@ Any magician who doesn't have a hernia just isn't
carrying his share of the load.
@ On my way to the show my car broke down, so I put
flares all around it. For the next hour and a half people
drove past singing, "Happy Birthday To You."
@ I wasn't a very bright child. I remember my teacher
telling my father that with luck I might grow up to be a
@ What time is it? 3:00 o'clock. I asked that question six

times today and I've been getting different answers.

@ Do you want to know how to feel younger? Hang
around old people.
@g I just bought some batteries but they weren't included.
So I bought them again.
This hotel doesn't have to have wake up calls. They
send Federal Express.
34 Sleight


@ Do you have any cards? Yes. I wish I knew some card

@ I know what you're thinking. "What a clever guy."
@ Ladies and gentlemen, I have an enormous trick I
would like to show you. I did say it correctly.
@ And just think, my mother wanted me to be a fortune
teller. But, I couldn't see any future in it.
@ I wasn't always a magician. In school I was my
teacher's pet. That's because she couldn't afford a dog.
@ I started doing magic to deal with my shyness, and it's
definitely helped. I'm able to be more shy in front of much
larger groups of people.
@ I used to open my act with "There is a man sitting in
the third row who lives at 45 Pine Street. He wears size
34 underwear and a 16 shirt collar ..." My assistant was so
amazed, she asked, "How do you know all that?" I said,
"Easy, during the week I do his laundry."
@ Doctors never listen. I called mine the other day and
told him I had taken an overdose of aspirin and asked him
what I should do. He said, "Take two aspirins and call me
in the morning."
8 Television will never replace the newspaper. You'll
never see a magician tear and restore a T. V. set.
Comedy Fillers 3 5

@ Before I was a magician I used to manage a one man

band, until it broke up.
@ (When there is a baby in the audience) He looks like
my father - lylng there on his back, clutching a bottle.
@ I'll never forget when I lost my baby teeth. I didn't
know my father could hit that hard.
W (Person coughing) People who cough loudly never go
to the doctor, they go to magic shows.
@ I don't like to work on days ending with a "y".

@ When I was little I was ugly. My parents hired an actor

for our home movies.
@ When I was ten, I told my father I was going to run
away from home. He made me put it in writing.
@ (When there is a fly buzzing around) I used an herbal
shampoo to get rid of my dandruff. But now I get fruit
@ They have some mosquitos here. Not only did he bite
me and suck my blood, he left footprints on my arm.
@ I lost respect for you. You laughed at that.
@ Sorry I'm sweating, if I don't I'll explode.
@ It pays to be good. It doesn't pay much, but it pays.
36 Sleight


@ Ths is my fifth trick for those of you keeping score.

@ I gave up drugs, alcohol, and sex. It was the worst
twenty minutes of my life.
@ This is what I do nowadays instead of sex.
@ I bought a water bed the other day. My wife calls it the
Dead Sea.
@ I really need this job. I'm putting my father through
@ Do you know how to break a child's finger? Punch him
in the nose.
@ You can't see my legs. It's a good thing, because
they're yellow. You see, my dog is blind.
@ My dog doesn't have any legs. Every night we take him
for a drag.
@ In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular.
@ Things happen to me I just can't figure out. I received
a letter from this loan company: "Now you can borrow
enough money to get completely out of debt."
@ The trouble with being a magician today is that he
can't support himself and the government on one income.
Comedy Fillers 37

@ I'm usually like a duck right before a performance.

Calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling like the
devil underneath.
@ Raise your hand, how many of you were born?
@ Would you like to see me on the David Letterman
show? (Audience will applaud for yes) Good, write in and
tell him I want to be on. November 16th I'm open.

@ Me and my brother not only have the same mother,

but we were bosom buddies.
@ The less you see, the more you watch.
@ Are there any questions on the material covered so
@ I know ths is a classy audience, because I just saw a
guy over there go (Rub your nose on your sleeve)
@ If this is boring to you, imagine what it's like to me.
@ They say behind every successful magician is a
beautiful woman. That gives you some idea of what my
wife looks like.
@ With A.T.T. splitting up, even the Mexicans have their
own phone company. It's called "Taco Bell."
@ I'll be back here again next winter. I know, because I
overheard the owner say, "It will be a cold day when I have
this guy back again."
38 Sleight


e? I'll be back here again sometime. I heard the owner

talking. By the way, when does hell freeze over?
@ I just had a funny thought. A chicken is the only
animal you can eat before it's born and after it's dead.
e? My uncle drank a quart of shellac. He died, but what
a finish.
e? They say one out of four Americans is mentally ill. So
look around you. If three people look o.k., then you're it!
@ Before I was a magician, I was a tester for the Sunsweet
Prune Company. I worked one day and three off. I must
say, it always kept me on the go.
@ I have a lot more wonderful material, but you would
only laugh.
e? This isn't the largest place I've played. The emcee and
I share the same dressing room: a nail.
@ I want to thank the management. I have a lovely
dressing room. All tile. But who needs six seats that
@ You are a great audience. I wish I had a better act.
e? Have you seen me in the movies? I go there often.
e? People never ask me how I do a trick. It's always why!
Comedy Fillers 39

@ To be a magician I must rely on wit, cleverness, and

humor, which amounts to one heck of a lot of a trouble.

@ If you would only recognize that life is hard, things

would be so much easier for you.
@ I lost 30 pounds on my vacation. I got robbed in
@ Last night, I tried undressing my assistant with my
eyes. But her zipper kept ripping my eyelashes.
@ My wife and I own an Iron& Steel Company. She irons
all day and I steal all night.
@ Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons.
@ If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing
a couple of car payments.
@ Conversation between Adam and Eve must have been
difficult at times-they had nobody to talk about.
@ Ths trickI'll do slower. That way you won't catch me.
@ Did you hear about the butcher who backed up into
the meat grinder? He got a little behind in his work. (You
know it's funny. Laugh!)
@ If the world was created in six days, it goes to show you
what can be accomplished without taking a coffee break.
@ Why is everyone named Bertha, fat?
40 Sleight ofMouth

@ Don't waste money buying a dictionary for your

children. Wait until it comes out in movie version.
@ It is not the chemicals in meat that will kill you. It's
the price.
@ If I told you once, I told you a rmllion times. Don't
@ There is only one ethnic joke. The rest are all true.
@ After the show I'm selling skunk oil for one scent.
@ Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
@ I will now pass my assistant out for examination.
Looking at this audience I better not.
@ Did you hear the joke about the chicken? It's foul.
@ Have you heard about the new magician's hand lotion
made out of cow manure? It's called: Vaseline Offensive
@ I think I'm becoming bi-sexual. The only way I can get
sex is buy it.
W Some magicians wear glasses to look intelligent. Or is
it an optical illusion?

@ My uncle used to be a diamond cutter. He used to mow

Yankee Stadium.
Comedy Fillers 4 1

@ (Have your eyeglasses in your hand) This is what I look

like when I'm making love to my wife. (Put your eyeglasses
on) And this is what I look like the other 364 days
of the year.
@ I just joined this group: "Sex without partners."
@ Some people think marriage isn't magic, it's tragic.
@ Three things make up a great person. Intelligence,
bad memory, and I forget the third.
e3 What's round and dangerous? Would you believe a
vicious circle?
@ I'm moving from the tenth floor to the ninth floor. But
that's another story.
@ A magician without good patter is like Merrill Lynch
without the bull.
@ Did you hear the one about the gentlemen who never
learned how to spell? Last night he paid fifty dollars to
spend the night in a warehouse.
@ Did you hear the one about the one goose that walked
up to the other and gave it a person?
@ Did you hear the one about the firing squad that
formed in a circle?
42 Sleight of Mouth

@ Did you hear the one about the tap dancer who fell in
the sink?
@ Did you hear the one about the guy who gave birth to
triplets? He's loolung for the other two fathers.
@ Did you hear the one about the parachute that opens
on impact?
@ Did you hear the one about the heckler with half a
brain? He was considered gifted.
@ Did you hear the one about the heckler on the bicycle?
He was considered a dope peddler.
@ Did you hear the one about the new type of Russian
roulette? You pass six girls around, and one of them has
@ Did you hear the one about the guy who stole a
calendar and got 1 2 months?
@ Did you hear the one about the guy who was ironing

the curtains? He kept falling out the window.

@ Did you hear the one about the guy who went to the
dentist to have a wisdom tooth put in?
@ Did you hear the one about the magician who called
the airline and asked how long it takes to fly to California?
"Just arninute sir," replied the clerk. "Thank you," said the
magician, and hung up.
Comedy Fillers 43
$ Did you hear the one about an old magician once

"Either you're happily married or you're a magician."

@ Did you hear the one about the guy who was drafted
into the service? He stayed up all night studying for his
urine test.
$ Did you hear the one about the guy who rents flash
$ (No response from audience) I'm out of bed and
dressed, what more do you want?
$ (After doing something eerie) I do whatever my hce
Krispies tell me to do.
$ (After something crazy) I know what you're
thinking..does he suffer from insanity? No, I enjoy every
minute of it!
@ (Magic word) Metamucil, it won't make you regular, it
will make you two years ahead of time!
$ (Magic word) (When you want something to get
smaller.) Say the magic word, Preparation H.
$ I sure do fool the people. This afternoon in front of
the theatre a little girl asked me "Are you the one who did
all the tricks in the theatre?" I said I sure was. Well she
said "You sure fooled me all right. I thought you were
going to be good."
44 Sleiqht

of Mouth

@ I would like to show you a trick with a coin. I don't

know one but I would like to.
@ I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
8 Progress might have beenalright once, but it's gone on
too long.
Comedian Pat Paulson and HarryAllen, backstage


@ He is a legend in his spare time.
@ I would ask you out, but I don't date outside my

@ You're like a wart, you grow on me.
@ Shouldn't you be at the airport sniffing luggage?
@ Do you have a $100 bill? You mus t, you certainly don't
spend it on clothes.
@ You don't have to fear infection. You can't get any
sicker than you already are.
@ (Person with bad teeth) I see you brushed your tooth.
@ (Female) I smacked her mole. I thought it was a bug
or something. It had hair on it. Looked like legs.
@ If you were a present, no one would open you.
@ Are you a figment of your own imagination?
@ I can't make out the cologne, is it fragrance of buffalo?
@ Quit being a jerk. This guy doesn't need competition.
@ If screwing up were an art, you would be Picasso.
46 Sleiqht

of Mouth

W How long do you have to wear that suit before you win
the bet?
@ (Striped suit) That's a nice suit you have on. It looks
like graph paper.
@ Most people who help me are intelligent. It's a shame
you don't fall into that category.
@ I see your suit was made by those two sisters ... Polly
and Esther .
@ Please don't laugh at me, lady. I don't laugh at your
@ I'm sorry I don't have microphones for everyone.
@ (Funny hair) Are you in the service or did you pay for
that haircut?
@ (Funny hair) I didn't realize Ray Charles cut hair.

w (Fat) I bet you could fall down and you wouldn't know

@ If you don't have a car, you must have a broom.

@ Can you spell dog if I spot you D and G?
@ (Fat) I see you have anorexia ponderosa.
@ (Bald) Here's the man who was voted most likely to
Insults for Hecklers 47

@ (Funny hair) That's not a haircut, it's a cry for help.

@ (Dressed funny) Are you dressed that way for tax

@ (Someone thinks they know everything) I bet you
watch the Learning Channel.
@ You're like a pebble in my shoe.
@ (Fat) Learn these words, "I'M FULL."
@ (Fat) I'd llke to show you something you haven't seen
in a long time ...y our feet.
@ OH! A verbal paper cut.
@ You look good, for you.
@ (Husband) "I think it's quite obvious that the kids get
their intelligence fromme." (Wife) "I can't argue with that.
I still have mine."
@ (Funny hair) I think your barber has a drinking
@ This guy reminds me of the old saying: Diarrhea is
hereditary. It runs in your jeans.
@ I heard a lot about you. Now I'd like to hear your side.
@ You have lovely hair. I like the way it comes out of your
48 Sleight ofMouth

@ Happiness is seeing your picture on a milk carton?

@ If I could dry you out, I could fertilize my lawn.
@ We must be from two different worlds. Mine has
deodorant and mouthwash.
@ Nice clothes! Where did you get them? Nerds R Us?
@ Is that really your face or did your neck throw up?
@ Here's someone who found the secret of youth. He lies
about his age.
@ May you live as old as you look.
@ What do you have, varicose brains?
@ You're ahead of the game tonight, you're sober.
@ Sir, did you sleep through a few things? Like February?
@ I played hookey, and the teacher sent my mother a
thank-you note.
@ Here is a man of convictions. Both for drunk driving.
@ Is that your breath, or is the circus in town?
@ He's so well liked, he has a sign on his lawn, "For sale
by neighbors."
Insults for Hecklers 49

@ You're so ugly that you don't have to worry about

anyone peeking through your windows.

@ I have one nerve, and you're on it.
@ I get paid for one hour. I don't have time to talk to you.
@ I see the medication hasn't worn off yet.
@ May you sit on a candle while it's lit.
@ Please save all questions until I leave.
@ You have enough mouth for three lips.
@ I'm also a ventriloquist. As you can see I work with a
@ I like this place. Every table has its own M.C.
@ Here is a guy who is vulgar, loud, arrogant and has bad
breath. And those are his good points.
@ I'll provide the dialogue.
@ This guy apparently isn't good at his own job, so he's
trying to do mine.
@ (Drunk) Instant Jerk, just add alcohol.
@ Could I have your head for my rock garden?
50 Sleight of Mouth @ (Heckler calls out joke or crack) I just hope you live
as old as that joke.
@ Don't feel bad. Lots of people have no talent.
@ Don't pick on my jokes, you may be old someday
@ (Woman) I see Don Rickles did have a mother.
@ Sit down and rest your brain.
@ You know, if I had your writer, I'd be going places.
@ I resent that remark. I don't deny it, I just resent it.
@ I can take a rib, providing there's meat on it.
@ (After an insult) I'm so obnoxious, I'm annoying
@ If I were a hypnotist I would choose this gentlemen
because he's already asleep.
@ The most terrifying thing in the world is ignorance in
@ I heard they had a tornado in your neighborhood and
it did three million dollars worth of improvements.
@ Sir, if you were a football would you let me kick you?
Insults forHecklers 5 1

@ Lady, give me a break. I didn't jump on your bed when

vouwere at work.

@ (Big nose) Did you go shopping for noses and couldn't

pick a good one?
@ (When someone guesses how somethmg is done) Who
do you think you are, Einstein?
@ Are you just visiting this planet?
@ (Bald) There's one good thing about being bald: it's
@ (Bald) Barbers don't charge him for cutting his hair.
They charge himfor searching for it.
@ (Bald) Here is a guy who went on a diet. The only part
of him that thinned out was his hair.
@ Bring your parents around and I'll marry them!
@ Who posted bail for you?
@ With a face like yours you must have inspired birth
@ I don't bother you when you're working.
@ (Old) How long have you been on Social Security, your
whole life?
52 Sleight ofMouth

@ You Sve good headache.

@ Did you ever think of giving your body to science
@ Hey, you're the guy who heckled me ten years ago. I
never forget a suit.
@ Here's the woman who had her 16th child and she's
running out of names ... to call her husband.
@ I bet McDonald's is gourmet dining in your neighborhood.
@ I bet when you were a baby, they used to diaper your
@ I hear you donated blood. I want to thank you for
saving my dog's life.
@ I beg your pardon, sir? You don't mind me calling you
"sir", do you? It's just in fun.
@ Why don't you go down to the morgue and tell them
you're ready.
@ I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you, I was talking.
@ (Drunk) Move closer to the wall. It's alreadyplastered.
@ Remind me to come to your parents' wedding.
Insults for Hecklers 5 3

f9(To woman) If you were a woman I'd punch you right

on the nose.
@ Aren't you supposed to be out front, parking cars?
@ Here's a fastidious couple. She's fast and he's hideous.
f9There's a big-hearted guy with a stomach to match.

f9You would complain if your ice cream were cold.

@ Did your brains come with instructions?

f9There are one million unemployed comedians and

here's one more.
@ Here's a guy with such a big mouth he can eat a banana
@ She's a brunette by nature ... but a blonde by Clairol.
f9Here's a man who is Frank and Earnest with women.
In New York he's Frank and in Chicago he's Earnest.
f9You would look perfect in something long and flowing.
Say a river.
@ I'm sorry to announce we have two disappointments
tonight. One, the toilet is not working, and two, this
gentleman's mouth is.
f9Why don't you go to a window and lean out too far?
54Sleight ofMouth

@ He only goes out with girls who know all about the
birds and the bees ... and the pill.
@ He wants to be remembered ... by anybody.
@ You'll make money someday. Your ignorance is
@ (Poorly dressed) When you get up in the morning, who
dresses you?
@ Last time I saw you, you were in a nightmare.
@ If you ever need a friend, buy a dog.
@ You have a ready wit. Let me know when it's ready.
@ If you were alive, you'd be a very sick man.
@ There's only one thing that keeps me from breaking
you in half: I don't want two of you around.
@ He was at home. But when his mother saw him she
went to the hospital.
@ I'd put a curse on you but somebody beat me to it.
@ Some people bring happiness wherever they go. You
bring happiness whenever you go.

@ There's a pair of shoes with three heels.

Insultsfor Hecklers 55

@ I'd like to run into you again. Sometime when you're

walking and I'm driving.
@ If Moses had known you, he would have suggested
another commandment.
W Lots of people owe a lot to him: ulcers, nausea,
diarrhea ...
@ You're a good egg, and you know where eggs come
@ I enjoy talking to you, my mind needs a rest.
@ He's the type of guy who would open a tall man's shop
in Tokyo.
@ I need you like Telly Savalas needed "Head and
@ I've looked high and low for you. I guess I didn't look
low enough.
@ Are you naturally stupid, or did a Cuban hijack your
@ This guy gives his wife something to live for, a divorce.
@ Someday you'll go too far; and I hope you stay there.
@ I'm going to name my first ulcer after you.
56 Sleight ofMouth

@ He was born on April 2nd, a day too late.

@ You appear to be talking as if you were in your right
@ You're the kind of person I would like to have over
when I have the flu.
@ If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, surely
they can make something out of you.
@ Don't move. I want to forget you just the way you are.
@ He doesn't get ulcers, he gives them.
@ Who gave you a speaking part?
@ (Two hecklers) You remind me of a hemorrhoid ... and
you look like the spot where you would find it.
@ My position sir, does not allow me to argue with you.
But if it ever came to a choice of weapons I would choose
@ He is like a man who sits on a stove and then
complains his backside is burning.

@ No one can have a higher opinion of lxm than I have.

I think he's a jerk.
@ I'm free of all prejudice. I hate all hecklers equally.
Insults for Hecklers 57

@ It smells like you passed your expiration date.

@ (After a heckle) I wish it were true, then I could talk
to you like an equal.
@ There you go trying to make a j oke. Trying to top your
@ Did your parents like you?
@ Are you a science project?
@ (Fat) In India you would be considered sacred.
@ Do you remember ever falling out of a hearse?
@ What were you before you died?
@ If you went to a mind reader he would charge you half
@ If you ever have your life to live over, don't.
@ How much do you charge to haunt a house?
@ I haven't seen you in four years. If it wasn't for that
shirt, I wouldn't have recognized you.
@ You must be wearing those clothes to pay off a
football bet.
@ You have a wonderful head on your shoulders. Whose
is it?
5 8 Sleight ofMouth

@ Do me a favor. On your way home, don't forget to walk

in traffic.
@ If 1 said anything to insult you, believe me, I've tried my
@ Don't you ever get tired of having yourself around?
@ You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny.
@ Don't get ugly now. You had your chance when you
were born.
@ Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes
everyday; wisdom consists not exceeding the limit.
@ Just keep on talking, so I'll know what you're not
thinking .
@ If they ever put a price on your head, take it.
@ You were given a nose to breathe through, so you
could keep your mouth shut.

@ Just remember, the mosquito that buzzes the loudest

gets swatted first. (Great to say in the beginning of a
children's show.)
@ (Female heckler) When you take off your makeup
you're a perfect birth control.
@ Tell me everything you know. I've got a minute.
Insultsfor Hecklers 59

@ How did you get out of the Humane Society?

@ How did the dog catcher miss you?
@ I never thought much about birth control until now.
@ (Heckler in back row) If you would have paid a little
more you could have had a seat down front.
@ Sir, you're like a road map; it tells you everything
except how to fold it (and get it out of the way).
@ We have two ears and only one mouth. So, spend twice
as much time listening as talking.
@ I'd have a battle of wits with you, but I see you're
@ If I want any crap out of you I'll squeeze your head.
@ Sir, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
@ If your brains were dynamite you couldn't blow your
@ Which proctologist did your face lift?
@ That's it. I'm leaving you out of my will.
@ I used to have a donkey with an IQ of 177. Nobody
liked that smart ass either.
60 Sleight


@ Your mind is like Teflon. Nothing sticks.

@ What do you think this is? A T.V. game show?
@ Let's play a new game called "Horse." I'll be the head,
and you act natural.
@ Good to see you in men's clothing.
@ Have you ever tried sleeping without drugs?
@ If sex were a hobby you would be a collector's item.
@ I hope your kids grow up to be pigeon toed.
@ How long can a person live without a brain? Well, how
old are you?
@ Whatever you're taking, can I have some?
@ He's the kind of guy who would pick a lock on a pay

@ Sir, do you drink to excess? Looks like he'll drink to

anything .
@ You're about as interesting as watchng wet paint dry.
@ Why don't you clean up the room a little, by leaving?
@ May all your teeth fall out except one, and with that
one may you have a toothache.
Insultsfor Hecklers 6 1

@ Let's laugh it up. Come on, lady. I laughed at you when

you walked in.
@ When you go to the movies, do you talk back to the
@ You remind me of Adam eating his own apple.
@ Some people are like bagels. Nothing surrounded by
@ (Heckler) Let me do the show.
@ You sir, the one with the rash.
@ You know if you are too old to have diaper rash, it
must be something else.
@ It's rough when you were breast fed by your father.
@ Was that remark drug related?
@ Isn't it a shame when cousins marry?
@ Who let him out of the intensive care unit?
@ Will someone throw a blanket over hm?
@ Who left his cage open?
@ Is your hair on too tight for your brain?
62 Sleight

of Mouth

@ There are a couple of guys waiting outside for you, and

I wish I was kidding.

@ Sir, what state are you from? The state of confusion

or the state of shock?
@ You are so interesting, you would make a statue yawn.
@ How do you feel about serious groin injuries?
@ Your chest would make a good straight edge.
@ I see Snow White and Dopey had a son.
@ You ever get the feeling the world is a tuxedo and you
were a pair of brown shoes?
@ (Women hecklers) Women should be obscene and not
@ That's 0.k. You just lost your sexual attraction.

@ (After you insult someone in the front row) Not such

good seats anymore, huh?
@ I don't know why you're so mean to me now when you
were so friendly in the men's room.
@ His elevator doesn't go to the top floor.
@ He doesn't have both oars in the water.
Insults for Hecklers! --63

@ You don't play with a full deck.

@ May you jump on your bicycle, and your seat be
@ This gentlemen recently moved from New York to
North Carolina and raised the I.Q. of both states.
@ The steel strike is over, so you can get some spare
parts for your head.
@ Which way does the tail of a pig go, clockwise or
counter clockwise? I'll see when you leave.
@ You have a kind face ... the lund that makes you sick.
@ What are you going to be ifyou grow up?
@ Take a deep breath ... and another ... don't forget to take
another ... and don't stop.
@ (After a heckle) "Don't worry, I was like that when I had
first beer."
@ I hear you're getting a divorce, who's the lucky
@ You'd be pretty if you didn't have that blemish
between your ears. Oh! That's your head.
@ Are you wearing cologne or is it Ben Gay?
64Sleight ofMouth
@ Bet it's an original. Who would want to make another
one like it?
@ Must be original ... I see why.
@ Nice shirt ... some day it will come back in style.
@ Are you on drugs?
@ Sir did you come here to get insulted? NO! Where did
you go?
@ (For someone who yells - "That trick stinks") I play to
my audience.
@ (For someone who yells - "That trick stinks") I tailor
my magic to fit my audience.

@ (To the front row) Ths will teach you to sit in the front
row. What did you think this was, a burlesque show?
@ (Rough audience) Is this a jury or an audience?
@ (Rough audience) Is this an execution?
@ (Rough audience) Did you hire me for entertainment
or revenge?
@ (Sorneone shouts) If you are looking for your voice
you'll find it in my ear.
@ I could fool your brains out, but I see someone beat me
to it.
Insults for Hecklers 65
@ That's a nice suit. Did you buy it new?
@ (Female) Do you know why women live longer than
men? Because women aren't married to women. (Tell this
at a ladies' meeting if you're tired of living.)
@ (Female) If we have a woman president the country
would save money. She would do the same job and get
paid less.
@ A clever magician always asks his wife's opinion after
he has already made up his mind.
@ (Someone shouts) Silence should be undisturbed
unless you can better it.
@ (Someone shouts) An authority on magic is a person
who can tell you more about something than you really
care to know.
@ (Rough school show) This school must have its own
It's easier for kids to grow up if their parents do first.
@ (Hair) Are you having a bad hair life?
@ You either can't hold your liquor or your tranquilizer
hasn't taken effect yet.
@ (After an insult) Sometimes you're the bird and
sometimes you're the windshield.
66 Sleight


-. -


@ (After a strong insult) I know what you're

thnking ... whether to hit me here (point to chin) ... or here
(point to stomach).
@ Life begins when you getone.
@ Here is a man who always voices what everybody else
is thinking.
@ Here is a man who teaches running to a legless person.

@ (Dull person) He refuses to drink coffee in the morning

- it keeps him awake all day.
Henny Youngman, Danny Thomas and Harry Allen

@ I've performed in bad neighborhoods where ... they
bowl overhand.
@ I've performed in bad neighborhoods where ... I asked
the cop how far to the subway, he said, "I don't know, no
one has ever made it."
@ I've performed in bad neighborhoods where ... we celebrate
our birthday six months in advance in case we
don't make it.
I've performed in bad neighborhoods where ... my
school newspaper had its own obituary column.
@ I've performed in bad neighborhoods where ... I closed
the window in my apartment and I hit someone's fingers.

@ I was going to produce a dog instead of a dove but ... It
took me two years to teach him how to sit. Now he forgot
how to stand.
@ (Dove accidents) Will you quit flying around? You
know you are afraid of heights.
@ (Dove accidents) Whatever you do, don't lookup. He's
not house broken.
@ (Dove accidents) Would someone open the door. I
think he's looking for the men's room.
@ (Dove accidents) His name is Spot. Now you know
@ (Rabbit accidents) This is pellets. You figure out the
@ This is my rabbit. Do you know what his name is? It's
"Stew." I was going to name him "Pubic."
@ The next time you call your dove or rabbit a dumb
animal, just remember who he's got working to support
@ (Duck accident) Anyone got any duck tape?
Sleight ofMouth 69 -8 I was going to produce a dog instead of a dove but ... I

trained my dog to go to the bathroom on the paper.

Yesterday he went on it three times ... twice while I was
reading it.
@ (Rabbit) I bought him yesterday. I paid $200.00 for
bun but he won't cost me anything for food. There was
a big sign on the cage that said "DO NOT FEED."
@ (Rabbit) Do you know what you give a sick rabbit?
Hare tonic.
@ (Dove accident) I said sit!
8 (Dove) I once had a dove that died from the flu. He flew
into a fan.
Harry, Henny and Lucy

@ Old principals never die; they just lose their faculties.
@ One of my best friends in college was a champion shot
putter. He could put away a shot better than anyone else.
@ There's only one thing that kept me out of college.
High School.
@ Education is wonderful - it helps you worry about
things all over the world.
@ My high school teacher used to think he liked children.

@ I just figured I'd throw it in. I should have thrown
it out.
@ I grabbed it out of the air. I think it needs all the air
it can get.
@ I was told that joke would die and I just wanted to
prove it.
@ Will someone kill himself so I won't feel like I'm
dying up here alone.
@ We will get out of here twice as fast if you get the jokes.
@ A brief moment of silence for my career.
@ Are you an audience or an oil painting?
@ You don't have to explain what you don't say.

@ (Belches) I'm glad you brought that up. And your last
@ (Yams) Am I keeping you awake?

@ (Yams) I don't rnind you going to sleep, but you could

at least say good night.
@ (Coughs) If you smoke a cigarette that cough will go
@ (Coughs) I should stop smoking, but coughing is the
only exercise I get.
@ (Belches) That reminds me, I have to pay my gas bill.
@ (Burps) Save the big pieces and we'll make soup.
@ (Burps) Gee, I didn't remember eating that.
@ (Burps) Not bad manners. Just good beer.
@ (Burps) Whatever you do, don't light a match.
@ (Passes gas) Was that a voice from the rear?
@ (Belch) Sorry, it was something I ate ... when I was
(Belch) That reminds me of the time I drank eight
Cokes and burped 7 - UP.
And here's yourcheck forSIX MILLION DOLLARS ... Sorry!Just kidding

@ Are there a Mr. and Mrs. Johnstonin the audience? I've

got a message from your baby sitter. She wants to know
where the fire extinguisher is.
@ A magician was out on the town one night when he lost
his thumb tip in a bar. When he woke up the next
morning, he couldn't remember which bar he lost it in. All
he could remember about the bar was that it had gold
commodes. So, the gentlemen went from bar to bar
asking the bartender if they had gold commodes. At the
last bar when he questioned the bartender about the gold
commodes, the bartender turned to one of the guys in the
band and said, "Hey Sam, I think1 found the guy that peed
in your tuba."
@ This magician bought a dove but couldn't get it to sit
on his finger. When he complained to the Magic Shop
owner, the Magic Shop owner suggested that he file the
dove's beak. "But be careful," warned the Magic Shop
owner, "if you file off too much the dove will die." A few
days later the Magic Shop owner called the magician to
see how the dove was doing. "The dove died when I filed
his beak," replied the magician. "I warned you not to file
off too much," said the Magic Shop owner. "I don't think
that was it," replied the magician. "He was dead when I

put hxnin the vise."

@ (Fat) I'd like to get back to my original weight ... 7

pounds, 6 ounces.
Sleight ofMouth 75

@ Ben Franklin was out flying a kite. His wife stuck her
head out the window and noticed his kite was sagging, she
yelled, "Ben, you need more tail." Ben said, "That's funny,
when I mentioned that to you a half hour ago, you told me
to go fly a kite."
@ Two old maids are in bed and this big old grey ghost
hovered over them and said, "Hocus Pocus." One old maid
said to the other, "The heck with Hocus."
@ It's time to up your vocabulary. Today's word is
intelligence. That's when you walk away from a fight with
the neighborhood bully, just far enough to get your
brothers baseballbat. Now that Iupped my vocabulary ... up
@ A traveling magician's car broke down in the country,
so he knocked on the door of this farmer. The farmer
said, "You can sleep here tonight, but you'll have to sleep
with my son." The magician replied, "I must be in the
wrong joke."
@ I was watching this funeral from the street corner and
I asked this guy who was standing next to me, "I wonder
who died?" He said, "I think it's the guy in the first car."
@ I was really upset with my wife the other day. She
showed a couple of my friends some of my baby pictures
without any clothes on. I mean, she could have at least
worn a robe.
@ (Excusing yourself) Excuse me while I mark my
76 M.C.Bits / Stories
@ My relatives all think I'm disgusting, because I don't
help my 80 year old grandmother financially. I allow her
to eat dog food to stay alive. But the way I look at it is,
"Hey, maybe grandma's been around so long because
Alpo has been around so long."
@ Do you like my shoes? They're made out of banana
skins. They call them slippers. You buy them by the
bunch, not by the pair. They just appeeled to me.
@ Before I was a comedian and professional good

looking person I had a hard time getting dates. I even

dated a half man, half woman from the circus. Did I have
a good time? Yes and No.
@ My imitation of a New York cop. (Shoot a blank gun
six times fast) HALT!
@ A magician in a convention hotel breakfast room
called over the head waiter one morning and said, "I want
two boiled eggs, one of them so undercooked, it's about
as easy to eat as rubber; also grilled bacon that has been
left on the plate to get cold; burnt toast that crumbles
away as soon as you touch it with a knife; butter straight
from the freezer so that it is impossible to spread; and a
pot of very weak coffee, luke warm." "That's a complicated
order, sir," said the bewildered headwaiter. "It
might be a bit difficult." "Oh?" replied the magician. "But
that's exactly what you gave me yesterday."
@ My wife is areal winner. In fact, she confused the book
"The Joy of Sex" with "The Joy of Cooking." She can now
roast a chicken in 36 sensuous positions.
Sleight of Mouth 77
@ Four high school boys, afflicted with spring fever,
skipped morning classes. After lunch, they reported to
the teacher that their car had a flat tire. Much to their
relief, she smiled and said; "Well, you missed a test this
morning, so take seats apart from one another and get out
your notebooks." Still smiling, she waited for them to
settle down. The she said, "First question: Which tire was
@ A magician asked h s neighbor if he might borrow a
rope. "Sorry," said the neighbor, "I'm using my rope to tie
up my water." "Rope can't tie up water." "I know," replied
the neighbor. "But when a man doesn't want to do
something, one reason is as good as another."
@ The other day I was doing a children's show, and this
child was giving me a real rough time. So I told her mother
her child is spoiled rot ten. Her mother told me she always
smells that way.
@ It was a dark night and I was performing in this little
bar, when it started to pour down rain. There was a leak
in the roof. The rain started to drip into everyone's drink,
dampening their spirits.
@ I have some good news and some bad news. (Hold a

piece of flash paper in your hand like it's a note. The note
goes up in flames.) Well there goes the good news. The
bad news is my fan club broke up. The guy died.
@ (Comedy force) Would you like to choose a number
please, between 19 and ... 21. (She should answer 20)
Good, we'll use 20.
78 M.C,Bits / Stories
@ A letter written in a child's scrawl came to the post
office addressed to GOD. A postal employee not knowing
exactly what to do with the letter, opened it and read
"Dear GOD, my name is Jimmy. I am six years old. My
father is dead and my mother's having a hard time raising
me and my sister. Would you please send us 500 dollars?"
So all the postal employees kicked in some money and
they raised 300 dollars. They sent it signed GOD. When
Jimmy received the 300 dollars he wrote GOD another
letter saying, "Please don't sendit through the post office,
because they keep 200 dollars."
@ My psychologist doesn't listen to me. I walked into his
office and he said "Next." I told him I have multiple
personalities. So he charged me three times. I told him
I am suicidal. He said, "Prove it."
@ I was taking the trash out when I noticed the trash
truck just pulling away. I asked the man "Am I too late?"
He said, "No, hop in."
@ I've been happily married for five years. We are
celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary next week.
@ How do you sell a deaf man a chicken? (Shout as loud
as you can) "Hey do you want to buy a chicken?"
Tonight the Cadillac company (local agency) is raffling
off a Church.
@ This is a nice place. I like the way it's laid out. I don't
know how long it's been dead, but I like the way it's laid
Sleight of Mouth 79

@ (Intermission) It's tea time. It's tirne to go tea tea.

@ It's intermission. Take five, be back in ten, see you in
@ And now a brief look into the future. The year is 208 1.
The film, "Rocky 102." In ths classic motion picture,
Sylvester Stallone plays an 85 year old Rocky, who attempts

to stay in the ring for 15 full rounds ... fighting

@ (Catch 22) Taking a job so you can get hospitalization,
to pay for the ulcer, which you wouldn't have gotten, had
you not taken the job in the first place.
@ A brief explanation about this next bit. I use to do
ethnic hurnor, but almost always someone would stand
up and say they are of that ethnic origin. I would
promptly tell them that I will repeat the joke again a little
slower. Not to get myself in trouble with my audience; I
now tell ignoramus jokes. As to date no one has stood up
and told me they were insulted. 1- Does anyone know
how many ignoramuses it takes to change a lightbulb?
Five, four to turn the ladder and one to hold the bulb. 2How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but it really has to want to change. 3- How many
real men does it take to change a lightbulb? None. Real
men aren't afraid of the dark. 4- How many of our
mothers does it take to change a lightbulb? Never mind,
I'll just sit in the dark.
@ Will the lady with the lucky number please come up
and take me home with you.
80 M.C.Bits / Stories
@ I walked into this hotel where I thought things were
expensive. I asked for the most expensive suite. The desk
clerk said, "I have one for 15 dollars." I thought it was
cheap, until he handed me a Hershey Bar.
@ The hotel next door was really cheap. The clerk
explained the reason why the rooms were so cheap is you
have to make your own bed. I didn't think that was so bad
until he gave me a hammer and nails.
@ An Oriental magician went to the eye doctor and was
told he had cataracts. He said, "No, I don't. I have a Rinken
@ I would like to introduce a very good friend of mine.
I've known him for years. We are very close. (Read his
name off a 3 x 5 card as though you've forgotten it.)
@ (Read off a 3 x 5 card) To be a good magician, you have
to be topical, dress well, and (Turn page) spontaneous.
@ Every town has its own unique features. I saw a sign
on the back of a trash truck, "Satisfaction guaranteed, or
double your trash back."

@ Now here is an act you seldom see. Some folks would

prefer it that way.
@ (Killing time) (Borrow a $20 Bill. Rip it in half and then
in quarters.) I forgot how this trick works ... however ...
@ After this act we will have entertainment.
Sleight ofMouth 81
@ (In between) I "Got a life" now what?
@ (In between) My parents gave me everything! Now I'm
seeing a therapist to get rid of it.
@ (No lights on stage) Maybe we'll wait until the sun
comes up.
@ (In between) I came from a large family. I had to get
married before I could sleep alone.
@ (In between) I joined this civic group so it would give
me two more lines in my obituary.
@ (In between) I don't need a big screen T.V. I just put
my chair right up to the screen.
@ My karma ran over my dogma!
@ This month I'll be fifty one. I finally made up my mind
what I want to be ... twenty one!.
@ (In between) If all the world's a stage, I want more
@ A magician wanted an assistant with excellent eyesight.
The employment agency sent a 90-year-old lady
with 20/20 vision. The magician asked her, "Did you see
where I put my cane?" "Yes," she said. "Then where is it?"
The old lady replied "I forgot!"
@ (In between) My reality check just bounced.
82 M.C. Bits / Stories

@ (Funny Skit) Have a bucket on the table filled with silks

and a banana. Call someone up from the audience
(stooge, dumb and simple looking) withan 18" silkhidden
up h s sleeve. Your back is towards the stooge the whole
time. "As I turn my back1 would like you (stooge) to reach
into the bucket and pull out the bandana." (The stooge
pulls out the banana instead) "Hold it in your left hand
and stroke it until it's straight (a lot of laughter). Then
show both sides to the whole audience. Now, fold the
bandana (banana) in half so the ends are even (more
laughter as the banana starts to split). Still holding it nice
and high so everyone can see it, make a fist with your right

hand. Now push the whole thing deep into your fist.
(Roaring laughter as the banana oozes out from between
the stooges fist.) Now, does this trick appeal to everyone?
If he (stooge) did everything correctly the bandana in his
fist will now change into a blue scarf." (The stooge now
reaches up his sleeve secretly and pulls the 18" blue silk
out from his fist to everyones surprise. This is a very
funny routine.
@ Call someone up and have them hold a bottomless
glass on the palm of their hand. Do an egg trick (i.e. Egg
Bag, Silk to Egg). Break the egg into the glass. Remove the
glass from their hand. Watch for the funny expression on
their face.
@ Put a bottle of soda to your ear and tilt it over as
though you're pouring it into your ear. Straighten your
head, blank stare into the audience, and spit soda out
your mouth. (Backstage have a mouth full of soda. Put a
piece of Saran Wrap around mouth of the bottle.)
Sleight ofMouth 83
@ Explain you are about to do a famous trick where
water keeps pouring out of a vase. (Have someone off
stage bring out a Lota Bowl) Turn the vase upside down
and tap the bottom. As nothing comes out of the vase, yell
backstage "Where's the water?" Have the same person
walk out and you ask them again "Where's the water?"
They spit water right in your eye.
@ Remark something about the time as you look at your
watch. Take your watch off and vanish it in a Utility
Vanishing Clothby Irv Cook or another method. It will reappear
back on your wrist. After the applause ask if they
would like to see it 20 more times. (Have 20 cheap
watches up your sleeve)
@ (Gag with Flash Bills) (Borrow a bill and switch it for a
Flash Bill) You can always tell a real bill from a counterfeit
one. (Light a match and let it burn a few seconds, blow it
out and touch the match to the Flash Bill) "If it's a real bill
it will burn. Yep! That was a real one." (Lots of laughter,
as the person thinks his bill is gone forever. However, you
can reproduce it elsewhere.
@ (When you have to kill time) Roll both bottoms of your
pant legs up to about your shins. Take off your suit jacket
and tie it around your waist. Pick up a four-legged chair,

turn it upside down while it's still in your hands. It looks

llke you are a Scottish Bagpiper.
@ We both have our job to do. You are to enjoy the show
and I'm to entertain. If you get finished before me, stick
84 M.C.Bits / Stories
8 A small factory had to stop operations when an
essential piece of machinery broke down. No one could
get the machine operating. An outside expert was finally
called in. The fellow looked over the situation for a
moment, then took a hammer and gently tapped the
machine at a certain spot. It began running again immediately
and continued to run as if nothing had ever been
wrong. When the expert submitted his bill for $100.00
dollars, the plant supervisor hit the ceiling and demanded
an itemized bill. The bill the man submitted was
as follows: For hitting the machine-one dollar; for knowing
where to hit-ninety-nine dollars. (The moral: Magic is
available to everyone, but to know how to use it ...)
8 Have a paper bag with a glass inside on one side of the
room. On the other side of the room is an empty bag
containing broken glass. Explain, "A transposition is
going to take place. Twith a glass insidehe glass will jump
from one bag to another." Drop the bag with glass in it,
breaking the glass. Go over to the empty bag and pour out
broken glass. (When the bag is dropped it should look as
though it is accidental)
@ Put a silk into a change bag. Shoot the change bag
three times with a blank gun. (Put your finger in your ear
as though the shots just fired hurt your ears) "If you think
it was loud you should have been up here." Pull the silk
out of the change bag. To your surprise, and hopefully
everyone else's the silk has three large holes in it. "You
didn't think it was going to work did you?"
Sleight of Mouth 85

@ During a show, if a magician lowers his voice, he wants

something. If he raises it, it's a sign he didn't get it.
@ (Pull up your belt) Say, "Excuse me, but my girdle is
slipping. I've been wearing it ever since my wife found it
in the glove compartment."
@ This next performer is one we all know, so let's all get
up and leave.

@ This next performer has been doing magic since 12.

By 12:30 he wants to quit and go home.
@ The trouble with being a leading magician is you can't
be sure whether people are following you or chasing you.
@ The government is the only partner in the magic
business that is privileged to share the profit without
having to share the losses.
@ This is a very loud band. Please don't sit in the first
300 rows.
@ (Small audience) This is a very exclusive club. Did you
notice how few people we let in?
@ That was very interesting, not entertaining, but interes
Did you ever take a honey dew vacation? You know,
that's where you stay at home and your wife keeps saying,
"Honey do this."
86 M.C,Bits / Stories
@ You ain't seennothing, until you've seen this next act.
Then you've seen nothing.
@ The performers feed off your applause, and they like
to eat.
@ (Hold the microphone wire) Anyone want to buy some
@ They say one out of three people is ugly. Sneak a peek
to your right and then to your left. Make sure they don't
notice. If they look all right, then it's you.
@ (To the piano player) Take a bow, Joe. Frankly, he told
me to say that. He wanted a chance to straighten out his

w This next performer and I are good friends, in fact we

go back hours together.
@ This next act gets over a hundred letters a month. I
wonder why he doesn't pay h s bills?
@ Once in a lifetime a great magician comes along. And
whle we are waiting, here's ...
@ This next act has made quite a name for himself. It's
too bad I can't use it here.
@ (For Speaker) I won't bore you with a long speech, 1'11
leave that to our speaker.
Sleight of Mouth 87
@ This next gentleman has never been on T.V. However,

he has been on radar a few times in New York, New Jersey

and Delaware.
@ Now there's an act that's going places, the sooner the
@ This act we want to hold over ... Boulder Dam or
Niagara Falls.
@ In this business you have to have a lot of guts.
Especially if you don't have talent.
@ This next guy started by shining shoes and is now a
great star. All right, enough about me,
@ (Problem speaking) I'm keeping the .teeth and getting
rid of the mouth.
@ (Ending) Here is some philosophy that has kept me
going. (Pause) Well I guess I'm going.
@ And now introducing without further a-doo-wak-adoowak-a-doo.
@ (Intro for a ventriloquist) He began carving out his
career at the age of ten.
@ (Intro for a singer) She once sang in church, and one
hundred people changed their religion.
@ (Intermission) We're going to take a break. Do it if you
have to.
88 M, C.Bits / Stories
@ Do you know how the dictionary got started? One
night Mr. and Mrs. Webs ter got into an argument and one
word led to another.
@ I would like to introduce a manwho is no stranger ... no
stranger than anyone else in this place.
@ This next act is so bad, the people in the back keep
hollering, "Up in front."
@ When you go to the restaurant in this town, always ask
for a table near a waiter.
@ Two bunnies were watching a magician pull a baby
rabbit out of a hat. One rabbit said to the other, "I don't
know what you think but I prefer the old way much
(q This town has great banks. One has a sign "Deal with
a bank you can trust ... trust is everything." You walk
inside the bank, all the pens are chained down and armed
guards everywhere.
@ The doctor said, "You're going to live to be sixty." I

said, "I am sixty." The doctor said, "What did I tell you?"
@ A magician brags about his new hearing aid: "It's the
most expensive one I've ever had; it cost $2500." His
friend asks, "What kind is it?" He says, "Half past four!"
@ A doctor asks hs female patient, "Do you know what
the most effective birth control pill is?" She replies, "No."
He said, "That's it!"
Sleight of Mouth 89

@ In case anyone gets hurt we have insurance. My fault

@ Bartender, please get me a drink of vodka and milk of
magnesia. Better known as a Phillips Screwdriver.
@ My wife ran away with my best friend, and let me tell
you, I miss him.
@ I've been married for fifty years and I'm still in love
with the same woman. (Applause, etc.) If my wife ever
finds out she'll kill me.
@ Some people ask the secret of being a magician and a
long marriage. I tell them how we take time to go to a
restaurant two times a week, a little candlelight, dinner,
soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.
@ I've got a great doctor. He gave me six months to live.
I couldn't pay my bill so he gave me another six months.
@ I said to my doctor, "My foot hurts, what should I do
for it?" He said, "Limp."
@ I went to the doctor for a physical. He told me I had
six months to live. I asked him what I should do. He
suggested I go to South Georgia, buy a pig farm, and
marry a widow with ten children. I wanted to know if that
would help me live longer. The doctor told me absolutely
not, but it will sure feel like it.
@ I'd rather work in New York than California. I get paid
three hours earlier.
90 M.C. Bits / Stories
@ There are 1 5 0 people here tonight, 7 5 of which would
never be in the same room if you knew something about
each other.
@ Ladies and gentlemen, I'm not going to bore you with
lousy magic today, but I present you a man who will.
@ It's 0.k. to smoke in the auditorium, just don't exhale.
@ Please, no pornographic photography during the

@ I don't wear glasses when1 drive. I have a prescription
@ Kids pick their nose and think it's candy. But it's snot.
@ My father is a dentist. That's why I have sugarless
@ (Spring cards from one hand to another) Some
magicians practice this for years. (Drop them) I'm not one
of them.
@ I worked a resort where business was so slow, the
owner stole the towels back from the guests.
@ My assistant keeps getting headaches. I keep telling
her, "When you get out of the Trunk it's feet first."
@ (Intermission) If you need to check out the plumbing
do it now.
Sleight of Mouth 91

@ The program chairman asked me my fee for performing.

I said, "$1 50.00, but to appear before some groups
I would pay up to two hundred."
@ When I was a young magician my mother would
always tell me not to get my feet wet in the rain because
I would catch cold. Yet I got them wet in the shower every
day and never caught cold.
@ Magicians are not rich people and we don't live in large
mansions. For instance, I took my new girlfriend to my
apartment. As soon as she came in she started screaming,
"Help! Help! I'm being attacked!" I said, "What's wrong?
I'm not doing anything." She said, "Then why did you
force me into the closet?" I said, "What closet? This is the
living room! "
8 (Follow up) They can't paint my apartment because
the walls would stick together.
@ With a thumbtip produce a red silk. Put it back inside
to vanish it. Invisibly throw it to a lady and have her put
the invisible silk into her waist band. After sorne comedy
byplay have her throw 'it' back to you. Then with another
thumbtip produce a pair of woman's panties.
@ The correct time is 2:28 (substitute for present time as
you pick up a watch off your table). If you didn't enjoy the
show, at least you can go home and tell your neighbors
you knew exactly where you were at 2:28.
@ Our next entertainer needs no introduction, he needs

an ACT.
92 M, C.Bits / Stories
@ This next performer did his first show at eight. It
could have been a quarter past eight, I'm not sure.
@ Christmas Show (Giant candy cane in an invisible dog
leash) What's his name? Candy. Where did you find him?
Hanging around the Christmas tree. That's where he gets
his bark.
@ There are rules for this show. Rule number one:
Magicians are always right. Rule number two: When a
magician is wrong, refer to rule number one.
@ (Bad Weather) Don't knock the weather. Without it,
nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.
@ Magicians don't smoke, don't drink. They go to bed
early and eat plain foods. We may not live any longer, but
it will sure seem llke it.
@ This is a tough way to make an easy living.
@ I just had gold soup. It's made with 24 carrots.

@ Here's a little something I invented whde strangling
my wife.
@ They say if you give a magician enough rope ... he'll do
a rope trick.
(Hand out scissors for cut & restored) Do you know
the difference between rope and fingers? You see the
fingers are the pink stuff, and the white stuff is the rope.
@ How's your eyesight?
@ Are you a surgeon?
Say to the piano player as you begin a rope trick,
"Please play a little knot music." (He plays a tune poorly)
"That certainly is notmusic."
@ This is not anordinaryknot! It's a special knot, believe
it or not.

@ (Verbal) My words fail me, like my English teacher.
@ (Verbal) Sorry, I just had a vowel movement.
@ (Verbal) I have to be back at the hospital. I only have
a three day pass.
@ (Forgetful) I'm so forgetful. I go to the rest room and

forget why I'm there.

@ (Forgetful) Amnesia isn't too bad. You can hide your
own Easter eggs.
@ (Drop something- near audience) Thought you were
getting a souvenir, huh?
@ (Drop something) I hate that. It means I have to work.
@ Do you know what this is? A magician screwing up.
@ This trick is like a well oiled machine. It came with
instructions that read, "Do not oil."
@ That's what happens when you win a raffle.
@ You never know what you're getting in a rummage
@ My limitations have no bounds.
Sleight ofMouth 95

@ (Throw salt over your shoulder) That's to give me

enough luck to finish the trick.
@ It would have been one hell of a trick if it worked.
Ladies and gentlemen, you just saw history being made.
It's the first mistake I've made since being born.
@ I wish I were out there with you.
@ It's my nerves, and the war. I was almost drafted.
@ I may retire soon, because I'm getting disillusioned.
@ This is an all time low.
@ Everyone makes a mistake once in a while. That's why
some of you are here.
@ Just relax, this type of trick has a natural build to it.
@ A little hocus pocus, and I hope it was out of focus.
@ This is not good for my resume.
@ Always when you want to be a hit.
@ Magic, Magic. It's in my blood. I sure wish it was in my
@ Have you ever done magic before? No. What a
96 Errors

@ I'm in a new line of work. I used to be a magician.

@ I pick a time like this to go off drugs.
@ I'm standing here beside myself.
@ This is the first time it didn't work again.
@ Is there a doctor in the house? I think my act is dying.
@ You only live once and if you do it right the first time

then once is enough.

@ If you're not paying attention, then that's good.
@ I thought I had all modern props. They weren't
supposed to fail except during rehearsals.
@ My friends used to laugh when I did magic. But, I did
something about it. I got new friends.
@ (Verbal) I just swallowed a word.
@ (Spectator) Must be a government worker. I can tell
because you messed up so naturally.
@ (Spectator) Let me give you advice. Keep your day job.
@ (Spectator) If you jumped into the air, do you think
you could manage to land on your feet?
@ (Dull spectator) Stay with me. I want to be alone.
Sleight of Mouth 97

@ (Spectator) Why are you moving around so much? Do

you have somethmg on backwards?
@ (Spectator) Here's the guy who invented Preparation
A through G. You shouldn't have given up.
@ (Spectator) Out of all the people I've ever met, you are
certainly one of them.
@ (Female spectator) Do ths: Shake her hand and then
kiss the back of your hand.
@ (When someone answers a question correctly) Boy!
You're just a fire of knowledge.
@ Did you know Captain Hook died of jock itch?
@ (Spectator gives wrong answer and you help them)
O.K! So you needed a hint!
@ The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the
minute you're born and never stops, until you get up to
help a magician.
@ What's your name? That's my dog's name. Are you
house broken too?
@ You have a striking face. How many times were you
struck there?
@ (Drop something) Did you see that sudden burst of
98 Errors

@ Until you came along, I thought a corpse couldn't

stand up.
@ (Same person up twice) You're like a bad meal. You
keep coming up.

@ (Spectator answers back) What is this? An attitude.

@ You can believe half of what I tell you. But do you
know which half?
@ Did you know someone gets molested every 60 seconds?
Got a minute?
@ (Spectator won't come when called) Lady, you better
move before they throw dirt over you.
@ (Good looking spectator) You remind me of my last
assistant. Not much upstairs, but a terrific stairway.
@ Talking is fun once you get the hang of it.
@ Don't laugh folks. That's the way it's written.
@ My tongue fell asleep.
@ (Drop something) You can see my act is picking up.
@ In general, there are two kinds of magicians who make
mistakes: those who won't admit them and those who call
them experience.
Sleight ofMouth 99
@ (Mess up) If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any
at all.
@ (Mess up) Did you ever see a magician in trouble?
@ (Mess up) Ohno! The drugs are starting to take effect.
@ (Mess up) I am what Orson Welles is to tap dancing.
If you believe that you will believe there will be a Truman
Capote Jr.
@ (Drop something) It looks like I've been drinking all
day, but it's the first drop I had all day.
@ (Drop something) It is my first day with my new
@ (Drop something) I see my career flashing in front of
my eyes.
@ (Drop something) To err is human; to blame it on
someone else is even rnore human.
@ Monday is a hard way to spend one seventh of your
life .
@ Any mascian who is well adjusted these days just
isn't paying attention.
@ Life is a teacher that keeps giving you new problems
before you've solved the old ones.
100 Errors

@ A magician may fail many times, but he won't be a

failure until he gives up.

@ Frustration is doing a show and having something go

wrong and not having anyone to blame but yourself.
@ It's so hard when you're coming off drugs.
@ The trouble with some magicians today is that they
are educated beyond their intelligence.
@ When a magician says he has a clear conscience, it
often means he has a bad memory.
@ If your memory begins to go, you might as well forget
@ This is just a test to see how the equipment is working.
@ You canusually tell when you're on the right track. It's
usually uphill.
@ I'm thankful for problems. If magic were less difficult,
someone with less ability might have my job.
@ About the meanest thing you can say to a magician is
that he means well.
@ If at first you don't succeed, you'll get a lot of advice.
@ I don't consider myself a failure. It jus t happened that
I started at the bottom. And I happen to like it here.
Sleight ofMouth 101
@ I just spent five years in jail for trying to break into
show business. What do you mean you can tell!
@ The greatest magician was once a beginner.
@ (Verbal) I talk with a limp and walk with a lisp.
@ (Verbal) I have my grandfather's dentures. In.
@ (Verbal) I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
And sometimes I talk like it's still there.
@ (Verbal) I talk with a pronounced limp, L-I-M-P,
pronounced limp.
@ (When someone does something crazy) Has the whole
world gone mad, or is ths the post office?
@ (When you forget) They say that elephants never
forget ... but what do they have to remember?
@ (Someone has a hard time seeing) Can you see me or
should I speak louder?
@ (Confused) I know something you don't know ... I
forget what's next.
@ (Confused) I don't know what to do next ... I never got
this far before.
@ (Spectator error) You're the weal link in this chain.

102 Errors

@ (Can't find some tlung) Forgive me, I'm blind in one eye
and have glaucoma in the other.
@ (When you get tongue tied) (Speak even crazier like a
foreign language) I forgot you don't speak Latin.
@ Obviously I've made a serious vocational error.
8 (Weird answer) I see you're in touch with your inner
@ Who said nothing is impossible? I've been doing
nothing for years.
@ That was a trick Houdini gave me. He was glad to get
rid of it.
@ It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for
magic but I couldn't give it up - because by that time I was
too famous.
@ I may not be the greatest magician - but my courage
demands respect.


@ I bought this at a two-for-one sale. You buy one, and
they sell you the other.
@ I had a request. Despite that, I'll still show you this
@ The world's greatest magician invented this next
effect. When I first came up with the idea I was very
@ Here's a trick taught to me by a Doctor friend of mine.
He wanted to be a brain surgeon. However, he wasn't tall
Here's something that kept me off T.V. for years.
@ It took me 30 years to master this next trick which is
a real mystery cause I'm only 28.
@ I will do something now that you don't usually see in
a cheap show like this.
@ This next trick is done in front of a live audience.
You'll do until they get here.
@ This next trick is hard to do when you're coming off
@ This trick can be done by any ten year old with fifteen

years of practice.
104 Sleight

of Mouth

@ This next trick is so darn good, I'm going to watch it

@ This next trick is like psycho ceramics. It's for
@ I've done this is front of four presidents. I just came
back from Mount Rushmore. I don't know if they liked it.
They were stoned.
@ This next trick will help you start your own religion.
@ This next trick encourages sex. Sir, good to see you are
paying attention.
@ After this next trick many people have been heard to
exclaim, "So what?"
@ Ths next bit is an Oriental version. For the gentleman
who is standing in the back, I said version.
@ This trick made Robert Young, Helen Reddy and Bud
@ Ths next trick I'm going to attempt to do without a
net. Did you hear me? Without a net? Annette couldn't
be here tonight.
I'm doing this next trick for the lady on the front row
with the rented dress. I know it's rented, because no one
would ever buy such a thing.

@ This next trick has all the thrills and excitement of a

hand full of dried cat food.
@ This next trick is not very funny, but difficult as hell.
@ This next trick they don't make. any longer. (Hold up
prop) It's long enough.
@ My next trick will not stop the show, but it will sure
slow it down a bit.
@ There are many great feats of magic in the world
today. Unfortunately, my next trick is not one of them.
@ This is my encore number, but due to lack of interest
I have never been able to work it in.
@ Ths next trick tooka lot of drugs, alcohol and practice
to get down perfectly. O.K! Not really the practice.
@ This next trick usually gets a standing ovation. I
always play the Star Spangled Banner when I'm through.
@ This next trick is called "Varnish," because it has a nice

@ This next trick reminds me of a dream. I dreamed I
was on a desert island with Raquel Welch. The only
problem, I was a palm tree.
@ This trick was handed down from generation to
generation ... nobody wanted it!
106 Sleight

of Mouth

@ To practice the next move, I stood in front of a

mirror ... and that took plenty of guts!
@ Today I'm not going to bore you with an old trick. I'm
going to bore you with a new one.
@ Now here is a miracle. If it works, it's a miracle.
@ I hate this next trick but I do it so well.
Harry with Pat Morita

@ (Loud clothing) Isn't it amazing what you can do with
a shower curt ain?
@ (Loud clothung) I didn't know "Fruit of the Loom" made
shirts and pants.
@ (Loud clothing) I would love to meet your tailor. He
must have a wonderful sense of humor.
@ (When a spectator writes something) I got an application
from a secretary. "As you can see, I can't type very
@ (Pretty person) The bellhops were anxious to check
himher out.
@ (Lawyers) It's strange that men should take up crime
when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest.
@ (Juggler) I have to go home now and juggle the books.
@ (Bald) Here is a gentleman who wishes for a little hair.
(Produce a rabbit and hand it to the guy.)
@ Do you know why you can1t use this finger? (Hold up
index finger) Because it's mine!
@ Last night I met a girl from Buffalo. Can't I ever meet
a girl from normal parents?
108 Sleight

of Mouth

@ (Big person) He has a sunken bathtub in his apartment,

it wasn't there when he moved in.
@ (Big person) He was built when meat was cheap.
@ (Child that creates a problem) Now I know why tigers

eat their young.

@ (Someone with a beard - usually male) Anyone who
covers up his face, you don't know what else he'll cover
@ (Big person) He's so big two girls can make love to him
at the same time and never meet.
(When you tell someone "No" and they don't understand)
What part of "No" didn't you understand?
@ (Before someone responds) Choose your words with
taste, you may have to eat them.
@ What do you do for a living? Oh! My grandfather was
an artist ... my father was an artist ... and I'm not working
@ (Bald) He's not bald, just follically impaired.
@ (Hand money to a spectator) Put this under your
pillow and tomorrow you'll have a tooth.
@ (Female) Do you have a boy friend? (If yes) Would you
like another one? (If no) Would you like one?
Assistants 109

@ You are the best (day of the week) night assistant I

have had ... this week!
@ May I call you madam, even though I don't know what
you do?
@ (When you ask their name and they only give you their
first) Think hard, it usually comes in two parts.
@ Do you have any children? No. Where do you get your
@ (Child) What are you going to be when you grow up,
a man or a woman?
@ (Child) What do you like better, candy or your mother?
@ (Someone brings you somethmg) How long ago did
you quit Domino's?
@ (Dull) I see the fizz went out of your bubbles a long
time ago.
@ Are your hands clean? Is your heart pure?
@ He's so big he can sit on the Golden Gate Bridge and
dangle b s feet in the water.
8 I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... he was
born on May 8th - 9th - and 10th.
@ (Small person) Please stand up ... oh! you are.

110 Sleight


@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... on

Halloween he puts a sheet on and goes out as Alaska.
@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... Arntrak
wants to buy his zipper.
@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... he can
only play seek.
@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ...g oes to
group therapy alone.
@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... when he
sits around the house he sits around the house.
@ I'm not saying my last assistant was fat but ... he has
stretch marks in his bathtub.
@ (Small person) Do you get short of breath?
@ (Small person) When you feel crazy who do you see. ..a
@ (Small person) Are you standing in a hole?
@ (Small person) Do you have a short memory?
@ (Small person) I bet you never get in big trouble.
@ My last assistant was so ugly ... we use to call her sugar
- because of her lumpy face.
Assistants 11 1

@ (Small person) Have you tried eating yeast?

@ (Small person) Do you have time for some small talk?
@ (Small person) I feel sorry for you. Because you're the
last one to know when it rains.
@ (Small person) I used to sell stale doughnuts to
midgets to use as toilet seats.
@ (As assistant is walking up) Just move the feet; the
body will follow.
@ (As assistant is walking up) Hurry up, fanny, you're a
little behind.
@ (Dirty shirt) You're very talented; you can wear it and
eat at the same time.
@ (Can't stand still) Why are you moving? They haven't
thrown anything yet.
@ (Can't stand still) What do you have, crabs?
@ (Bad breath) Did you swallow your socks?
@ (Bad breath) If I had breath like yours I'd commit

@ What have you been drinking?

@ (Fat) That's a cute dimple on your knee. Oh! It's your
belly button.
112 Sleight

of Mouth

@ My last assistant was so ugly ... if you look in the

dictionary under & you'll find a picture of her.
@ My last assistant was so ugly ... her parents used to kiss
her through a straw.
@ What kind of perfume are you wearing? It smells like
the stuff that sells for 94 cents a gallon. Is it leaded or
@ How old are you? Is that celsius or fahrenheit?
@ Is it really you? Or are you a personal representative?
@ (Greasy hair) What did you do with the sardines?
@ (They mess up) Get with the program! That's not the
way it was written. There are an awful lot of replacements
out there.
@ I need someone to help me who is strong, aggressive,
intelligent and ambitious. Does anyone do impressions?
@ (Unusual hair) What is that in your hair, Raid or
Endus t?
@ How old are you? Is that shirt the same age?
@ Do you have two hands? Good! Come up and help me.
@ (When they pick at something) Don't pick it, it will
never go away.
Assistants 113

@ (When they don't understand) Is English at least a

second language?
@ (Calling someone up) Hurry up, it's not like you're
going to work (or for a child, "It's not like you're going to
@ (Small person) Have you thought of being a prize in
a Cracker Jack box?
@ (Small person) How do you like going through life and
never seeing a parade?
@ (Calling someone up to help) Sir, yes you, the one who
just put gum under his chair. Would you please come up
and help me after you wash your hands?
@ (Person with glasses) I love using people with glasses.
I breathe on the lenses so they can't see what I'm doing.

a(Dull person) What are you, a talent scout for a

@ (They drop something) You have the Midas Touch.
Everything you touch turns into a muffler.
@ (Dressed sloppy) Look who I called up: a one man
(Can't stand still) What do you have, gas?
@ (When they take a long time to do something) Please
finish in my lifetime.
114 Sleight ofMouth
@ (Can't stand still) He is a perfect example of what
happens if you overdose on Geritol.
@ (Fat) When you go to the zoo, do the elephants throw
you peanuts?
@ (Have someone put their index finger on their temple)
Ask them the abbreviation for "mountain" (Answer: m
t...pronounced "empty").
@ (Mess up by assistant) I would love to see you with a
jigsaw puzzle.
@ (When asked "How's that done?") Promise not to tell?
I did too!
@ (How's that done?) Is that a trick question?
@ (How's that done?) Most of us can keep a secret. It's
the people we tell it to who can't.
@ (How's that done?) Very well.
@ (How's that done?) Very carefully.
@ (Do that again!) If you didn't get it the first time, you
won't get it the second time either.
@ (Calling male up onto stage) The gentleman who looks
like Clint Eastwood ... dirty and hairy.
@ (Drops something) Do you have a hole in your hand?
Assistants 115

@ (Bald) Sir, did your razor slip?

@ (Bald) This man spends most of his time in barber
shop remeniscing.
@ (Bald) Do they call you horse shoe head?
@ (Bald) Would you mind turning a bit, the glare is in my
@ (Bald) People who are baldin the front are the thinkers
of the world. The people who are bald in the back are the

lovers of the world. And the people who are bald all over
are the ones who think they're lovers.
@ (Bald) Look at the bright side. You have less hair to
comb and more face to wash.
@ (Bald) I see you combed your hair. It's too bad you left
it at home.
@ (Calling up onto stage) Welcome to my space.
@ (Calling female up onto stage) Ms. woman, will you
help me?
@ (With nickname) What's your name? Buddy? Rocky?
Do you have a nickname?
@ (Question) Do you have those little white things in
your head that bite? No? Don't you have teeth?
116 Sleight


@ (Female) She's a girl who's been well-reared. She looks

well-fronted too.
@ (Whispering to you) Oh! You should have thought of
that before you came up here.
@ (Whispering to you) It's a shame this isn't a dance
routine. Take short steps, it helps.
@ (Scratches himself) They have medicine for that.
@ (Low cut dress) I hope you don't get the hiccups when
you're wearing that dress.
@ (No answer) Just speak and the words will come out.
@ (Does something great) I bet you can heal people.
@ (Acts nervous) Did you ever think about decaf coffee?
@ (Doesn't understand a joke) I would explain it to you,
but it has too many syllables.
@ (After a loud noise) Is it my imagination, or do you
need this? (Hand assistant a roll of toilet tissue).
@ (Talking with gum, in mouth) Sorry I can't understand
you, I don't speak gum.
@ (Standing on microphone wire) (Cough) Please don't
stand on that again, it could be hazardous to my health.
Assistants 117

@ Hold out your left appendage. You'll be surprised

what some people hand me.
@ (Mess up by assistant) Whatever you are on, let me in
on the source.
@ Magician: Where are you from? Assistant: New York.
Magician: A foreigner.

@ Magician: Where are you from? Assistant: New York.

Magician: I'm sorry? Assistant: New York. Magician: I
heard you the first time, I'm just sorry.
@ Magician: Where are you from? Spec tator: New York.
Magician: Why?
@ Magician: How old are you? Kid: Ten. Magician:
That's how old I was when I was ten.
@ (When assistant trips) You obviously don't walk often.
@ (Can't talk) Could you just form a sentence?
@ Question: Do you have intelligence, good look and
strength? Good, I need someone who lies.
@ (Funny looking shirt) How do you expect me to get any
laughs with you wearing that shirt?
@ (Dressed odd) Try wearing your underwear on the
118 Sleight

of Mouth

@ (Many on stage) Line up in alphabetical order and by

@ (Walking up slowly) Let's hurry up the show. I have
to get the tux back by ten.
(Walking up slowly) Hurry up here before cobwebs
start to appear.
@ (Walking up slowly) You move as slow as a postal
worker on valium.
@ (Big person) How many people are in there?
@ (Muscular man) What has he got that I didn't have
thirty years ago.
@ (Muscular man) I thought the Incredible Hulk was
@ (Talking too much) I bet you'll talk my ear off if I let
@ (Loud tie) That's some tie! I heard the salesman didn't
have change for a dollar and you had to buy all ten of
@ (Loud shirt) Would you speak a little louder, I can't
hear you over that shirt.
@ (Female) Do you have two little ones? And how about
Assistants 119

@ (Clothes that don't fit) Nice shirt. Does it come in your


@ (After insult) We're not laughing at you. We're

laughing near you.
@ (End of trick with pretty assistant) Give me a kiss on
the cheek. Right as she begins to kiss, turn your head so
your lips meet. Choose this assistant carefully.
@ (Pretty woman) You look like my third wife. I've been
married twice.
@ (Pretty) Hi, I'm new in town. Could you show me the
way to your home?
(g (Pretty) You look tired. Go to my room and lie down.
@ (Pretty) Your money or your body. This is a pick - up.
@ (Can't hear) Am I talking on a frequency you can't
@ (Red hair) What happened? Did your hair rust?
@ (Freckles) Do you have the measles?
@ (Kids) These are old people with energy.
@ (Fat) Did you hear about the new diet for magicians?
It's a piece of cake.
120 Sleight ofMouth
@ (Funny sound) I sure hope that was your stomach
@ (Dressed poorly) Looks like you have more time than
@ (No response) Are you the person I'm talking to?
@ (Slow assistant) Blink if you're still alive.
@ (Slow assistant) What year did you pass away?
@ (Slow assistant) Little slow there. You work for the
@ (Someone grabs your props) If you want to do magic
get your own tricks.
@ (Calling someone up on stage) It took me five years to
get here and it only took you five seconds.
@ What is your name? That is 100 percent correct, come
on up and help me.
@ Please stand a little closer to the floor.
@ That's a different shirt. Did you win it at a raffle?
@ Stand still; you are making me sea sick.
@ That's a nice jacket. I see the guy couldn't guess your
Assistants 121

@ You may have this as a souvenir. Keep it. Some day

it will be worthless.
@ How old are you? (wait for an answer) Let's see.
(looking at audience) That is 153 to you and me.
@ What's your name? Is that your real name?
@ What's your name? Mary. I'm Harry. And your name?
George. I'm still Harry.
@ Do you like tea? Yes. Which hand do you stir the tea
with, the right or left hand? (wait for answer) That is
funny, most use a spoon.
@ What's your name? No, not your last disease.
@ What's your name? (If it is unusual) Could you say it
in English?
@ (Blank look) Read my lips.
@ (Blank look) (Lift up the hair over their ears) Can you
hear me under that grass?
@ (When they nod and don't speak) Talk to me. I get
lonely up here.
@ (Holding something) Raise it a little lower.
@ (Holding something) Can you feel it? Good to see
you're feeling well.
122 Sleight ofMouth

@ My last assistant was so old ... I told her to act her age,
so she died.
@ My last assistant was so old ... she had an autographed
copy of the Bible.
@ My last assistant was so old ... she was a waitress at the
Last Supper.
@ My last assistant was so old ... she is older than Sanskrit.
@ (Fat) You have a nice chin, and that goes double for
@ (Fat) You would make a great violinist. But, how
would you know which chin to put it under?
@ (Fat) You have more chins than the Chinese phone
@ (Fat) Don't worry about a little fat around the middle.
Better there than between your ears.
@ (Fat) Is it true that when you get your shoes s h e d ,
you have to take the guy's word for it?
@ (Fat) Those who eat too much sweets take up two
@ (Fat) Probably nothing arouses more false hope than

the first four hours of a diet.

Assistants 123

@ (Large bosom) I guess if you never fall flat on your

face, you'll bounce right back.
@ (Large bosom) I was in this night club and I thought
I saw Dolly Parton. It was just two bald headed men
sitting together.
@ (Large bosom) Did you hear Dolly Parton has black
eyes? Yea! She was jump roping without a bra.
@ (Large bosom) She'll never drown.
@ (Pregnant) I see you have the Egyptian Flu. You are
going to be a mummy.
@ (Vague) Could you be a little more vague?
@ (Coming towards stage) Hurry along. This is not a
Geritol commercial.
@ (Ask her name) That was my name when I was a little
@ (Ask her name) This is my future ex - wife.
@ (Ask her name) That's a girl's name.
@ Sir, would you stand up? Yes, you in the marijuana
@ What is this? Group therapy?
124 Sleight


@ (Chlld) Did you know that if you kiss your elbow you
wdl turn into a member of the opposite sex?
@ (Two assistants on stage) (Point to one then the other)
The difference between man and beast is financial worries.
@ (Coming to stage the long way) The shortest distance
between two points is under construction.
@ (Tall) When you go to the movie theatre and you don't
want someone tall sitting in front of you, pour soda on the
seat before anyone arrives.
@ (Woman libber) Ms. Cooperman went to court to
change her name to Cooperperson.
@ (Ugly) Here is someone who looks alternatively
@ (Hand prop to spectator) Boil this in cold water!
@ (Old) She built the pyramids.
@ (Someone walking up to help you) Hurry up! I'm late
for my appointment with destiny.
@ (When they whisper in your ear) (Scream) 1. "You did

what? 2. "Kiss your what?"

@ In ten years you'll be telling this to your therapist.

@ (To a couple) Why are you late? Or is that a leading
@ (Obviously coming in from bathroom) Could you hear
us out there? Because we could hear you in here! Feeling
better? Now you can relax and enjoy yourself?
@ (Person leaving) 1. There goes the only person with
taste. 2. Do you know where it is? Try not to be long.
@ (When you're late) This is the earliest I've ever been
@ (People leaving) If you're going to the rest room
mention my name and you'll get a good seat.
eg (People leaving) Yes, we are going to talk about you as
soon as you leave.
@ (People leaving) That's 0.k. He'll be back. There's no
reading material in there.
@ (People leaving) Better take a dime with you.
@ Can I get you anything? Like a watch?
@ Before you arrived we were all naked. I guess you owe
US one.
126 Sleight

@ (Walking in front) I'm glad you found a short cut.

@ (Wallung in front) Don't mind him. It's just a stage

he's going through.
@ (Someone with a video camera) Do you think he'll be
able to walk without it someday?
@ (People leaving) I didn't walk away when you showed
@ Hurry up and sit down and no one will notice you're
@ I'd hate to be your date.
@ Some people are like blisters ... they don't show up
until the work is finished.
@ (Obviously coming from restroom) What took you so
long? You didn't write on the walls, did you?


@ (Holding a prop) I bought this for seven dollars and

not much sense.

@ (Blank gun) Attention security! We found your lost
@ (Blank gun) The only thing I shoot well is pool, craps
and the bull.
@ (Lota Bowl) You should see my water bill at the end of
the month.
@ (Needle thru arm) I'll put a little hole here and let the
sap run out.
@ (Mindreading) When your palm itches it means you're
going to get something. When your head itches it means
you've got it.
@ (Misers Dream) This is as satisfying as an income tax
@ (Mindreading) Now concentrate! Like orange juice.
@ (Mindreading) I know what's going through your
mind. I used to have one myself.
@ (Ring) I see you eat Cracker Jacks.
128 Sleight


@ (Wands) Stick a wand in a hat or prop and say, "Looks

like I'm two quarts low."
@ (Showing prop empty) Look, it's as empty as my
wallet .
@ (Holding a prop) This is early American, but it looks
like late Depression.
@ (Mouth coil) The hard part is putting it back in.
@ (Coin magic) What a shiny coin. No reflection on you.
@ (Fire magic) I read about the dangers of fire magic, so
I gave up reading.
@ (Suspension) This is known as the Law of Gravity.
They laughed at Galileo when he said that ... wait a moment,
Newton said that ... no wonder they laughed at
@ (Wave your hand over a prop) I do all my own
@ (Linking Rings) Is this ring solid steel? (After the
answer) Good, you got the right one!
@ (Blank gun) Some people think gun control is holding
it with both hands.
@ (Ring) Is it real? It must be. They don't make
rhinestones that small.

Tricks of the Trade 129

@ (Ring trick) Nice ring. It would pass for real gold.

@ (Dice trick) Two are dice. One is a dow, because you
should never say die.
@ (When it looks like you got hurt) Do you know what
that is? Pain, shooting through my body.
@ (Finger ring) (Borrow a ring, look it over) Is your initial
K? No? Oh! It says K Mart on the inside of the ring.
@ (Finger ring) Look at this ring. It even has room for
a real stone.
@ (Finger ring) You must have gotten this ring at a
famous French store. It's engraved on the ring, J. C.
Penne' (Penny)
@ (Hot Book) This is a Ford Pinto owner's manual.
@ (Hot Book) This is Richard Pryor's bartender's guide.
@ (Hot Book) Hot tips by Michael Jackson.
@ (Balloon gag) I use to blow up blimps for Goodyear.
@ (Balloon gag) Do my balloons break often? No, only
@ (Balloon gag) (While blowing up a balloon) The last
time I did this was for a state trooper.
130 Sleiqht


@ (Balloon animals) I took my dog and twisted him into

a balloon.
@ (Comedy production) Produce a bar of Dove soap
instead of a live dove.
@ (Escapes) I went over Niagra Falls in a milk can, and
I almost drowned. Next time I'll use an empty can.
@ (Escapes) You want to know how I get out of these
cuffs? I eat strawberries before the show and I break out.
@ (Egg tricks) Is there anyone in the audience who would
lend me an egg? That's a silly question, if there was an egg
out there I would have gotten it by now.
@ (Egg tricks) Show a white egg. "I have a golden
egg ... haven't you ever heard of white gold?"
@ (Egg tricks) What kind of chicken lays a wooden egg?
A wooden chicken! (because a real chicken wouldn't.)
W (Cigarette magic) Do you have a cigarette? I left mine
in the machine.
@ (Cigarette magic) I don't really smoke. When I die I
want to die healthy.

@ (Cigarette magic) The reason1 do not smoke is that it's

cheaper to get the disease direct.
@ (Pen trick) Feel this pen. Now it's a 'felt' pen.

Tricks of the Trade 131

@ (Smoke filled room) What's the matter? Doesn't

anyone inhale anymore?
@ (Smoke filled room) This reminds me of when I was
in London.

w (Sweating during the show) I don't know why I'm

sweating. I already have the job.
@ (Sweating during the show) My skin leaks.
@ (Guillotine trick) Don't worry. I've done this before,
@ (Guillotine trick) Do you want to lose 20 pounds of
unwanted fat?
@ (Guillotine trick) Just think, if it doesn't work, your
food bill d l be cut to zero.
@ (Guillotine trick) The President is trying to cut
government spending. The best way to accomplish it is
to cut down the people who are doing the spending.
@ (Guillotine trick) If this doesn't work, you get severance
8 (Guillotine trick) This trick is a cut above the rest.
e4) (Guillotine trick) I use to practice this on my sister.
She is now my half-sister.
132 Sleight

of Mouth

@ (Guillotine trick) Don't worry. Today I'm taking

special precautions because of yesterday's accident.
@ (Guillotine trick) Hey! If it doesn't work, big deal.
What's life? Something you do while you're making other
@ (Guillotine trick) If you see red, it's blood.
@ (Guillotine trick) Do you have all your fingers and
your head? Good, then you have never done this before.
@ (Guillotine trick) I will make you twice the person you
were before you came up here.
@ (Guillotine trick) Ignore this. My hands always shake.
@ (Guillotine trick) I've done this hundreds of times.
(Unfortunately) it (only) worked once.
@ (Guillotine trick) Think how famous I'll be if this

doesn't work. You too!

@ (Guillotine trick) My name is Harry Allen. The first
name in trust .
@ (Gwllotine trick) I hope you have major medical.
@ (Guillotine trick) I had a terrible accident and my
lawyer is the worst. I was in court with this thing (point
to guillotine). I asked my lawyer how to plead, and he
said, "On your knees."
Tricks of the Trade 133

@ (Guillotine trick) I'm always asked, "How sharp is the

blade?" I'm always asked, "How sharp is the blade?" (The
audience should then ask, "How sharp is the blade?") A
lot sharper than this audience.
@ (Guillotine trick) (Ask the audience assistant whose
head is in the guillotine) Would you like me to do this with
a blindfold? Yes? (I don't know why but) 0.k. (Put a
blindfold on yourself)
@ (Guillotine trick) The front row please move back.
Some heads don't fall off, they shoot out. I would hate for
someone to get ahead.
@ (Guillotine trick) Sir, have you ever performed this
illusion before? No? That's one heck of a coincidence.
@ (Guillotine trick) I'm sure everything will come off all
right. Watch the carrot. If it goes, you're as good as dead
@ (Guillotine trick) The blade went through unharmed.
Now, let's find out, is he live, or is he Memorex?
@ (Guillotine trick) Are you scared? ... Do you want to be?
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) They call me the hit man for
the P.G.A.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) I can play four courses, all at
the same time.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) Today I hit a birdie, eagle, elk.
mason and a legionaire.
134 Sleight of


@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) I lost two balls in the ball

@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) If you didn't notice, I'm
wearing my golf socks ... I have a hole in one.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) I shoot in the low 70's ... any
warmer, I don't play.

@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) I almost broke 100 ... two more

clubs and I would have.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) I shot a 68 yesterday ... I'm
playing the second hole today.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) Old golfers never die, they jus t
lose their putts.
@ (Multiplymg Golf Balls) These are new birth control
pills. They multiply but you don't.
@ (Multiplying Golf Balls) Both these balls are exactly
the same, especially this one. (Produce the third ball).
@ (Comedy underwear trick) They must wear like iron,
I can tell by the rust marks.
@ (Comedy underwear trick) These can't be your underwear.
These are clean.
@ (Bra trick - Dolly Part on size) She is endorsing a new
candy bar ... Mounds.
Tricks ofthe Trade 135

@ (Bra trick - Dolly Parton size) Also a new T.V. show,

"They're Incredible."
@ (Bra trick - Dolly Parton size) In fact Dolly Parton is in
the audience tonight. Sorry, it's just two bald headed men
sitting together.
@ (Bra trick) (After the trick) You made two handkerchiefs
and one knot very happy.
@ (Bra trick) (As the hankies are being placed in the
shirt) Oh! Two mini Yul Brynners.
@ (Bra trick) (When she doesn't cooperate putting the
hankies in the shirt) Sir, you married a professional nun.
@ (Bra trick) (After positioning the handkerchiefs in the
spectator's blouse) Look at your hands, saying, "Don't
ever tell me I don't take you anywhere."
@ (Money tricks) I don't lend money. It causes amnesia.
@ (Money tricks) I have a twenty dollar William. I haven't
known it long enough to call it Bill.
@ (Money tricks) I'm money mad. I don't have any
money, and I'm mad.
@ (Money tricks) I have a new way to make money. I
forget who I borrowed it from.
@ (Inflation) Pumpernickel is now pumper dime.
136 Sleight


@ (Money tricks) Remember, a fool and his money are

soon married.
@ (Inflation) It use to be a compliment to tell your wife
she looked like a rnillion dollars. Now it's an insult.
@ (Inflation) I went into one of those high class department
stores and asked the clerk for change of a dollar.
The clerk replied, "My friend, a dollar is change."
@ (Inflation) I went to pay cash in the grocery store, and
they wanted two credit card references.
@ (Inflation) Now - a - days it's not the caffine in coffee
that keeps me awake; it's the price.
@ (Inflation) You know, magicians have to eat too. I was
in the supermarket the other day and I could not believe
the price of meat. I asked the clerk if I could finance a
piece of roast.
@ (Inflation) Inflation is when you save for a long time
to buy something, then find you can't afford it.
@ (Inflation) I pulled into a gas station and asked for a
dollar's worth of gas. The attendant belched in my face.
@ (Money) Every other show I hand out a $10 bill.
Unfortunately, this is the other show.
@ (Guillotine trick) Hey! What do you have to lose?
Tricks of the Trade 137

@ (Money) A magic manufacturer turned out thousands

of tee shirts with words "MONEY ISN'T EVERYTHING" on
them. He went bankrupt.
(Mentalism) I'll read your mind. Luckily it's light
@ (Mentalism) I had a bad accident the other day. A
thought struck me.
@ (Mentalism) Two mentalists were married to each
other. One said to the other, "Not tonight, you have a
@ (Silks) Can I borrow a handkerchief? I'd use my own,
but this is a dirty trick.
@ (Silks) This is a foreign handkerchief, I got it from a
@ (Silks) I'm going to make it disappear. I wish I could
make my mother - in - law disappear.
@ (Vanishing a silk) It's wonderful what a little waving
(wave silk) will do. Especially if it's a permanent wave. But
when the wind blows the wave is gone (blow on your
hand). Just like the handkerchief.

@ (Sucker Trick) If you are watching that close I'm going

@ (Sucker Trick) Not very funny, but difficult as hell.
138 Sleight of Mouth

@ (Sight gag) Will the lady who lost this please come up
here and claim it. (Hold up a three cupped brassierre)
@ (Sight gag) Shoot a silk hanky with a blank gun. When
you show the hanky the word "ouch" is printed on it.
@ (Sight gag) Put scotch tape on the fingertips of the
index fingers of someone you called up. Tell the person
to put these in his ear. Tell the audience to be quiet while
he listens to the tapes.
@ (Sight gag) Have a note in your shoe. Sometime during
the show reach in and pull it out and explain; this is just
a "foot note."
@ (Sight gag) Would you like to shake my hand', O.K.,
but give it back when you're done. (Give them a rubber
hand to shake)
@ (Mindreading) A man visited a fortune teller and sat
down in front of her crystal ball. "I see you are the father
of two children," she said. "That's what think," the
man replied. "I'm the father of three children." The
fortune teller smiled and said, "That's what vouthink."
@ (Smoking) I just quit smoking. Don't make any
sudden moves.
@ (Cigarette magic) I use cigarettes for magic. However,
I don't smoke, because I'm allergic to cancer.
@ (Money) It's not a sin to be rich. It's a miracle.
Tricks of the Trade 139

@ (Entrance from a Flash Pot) Walk through the smoke

and blow smoke fromyour mouth as you cough. (Secretly
puff on a cigarette back stage)
@ (Mindreading) (Look into someone's palm) Was one of
your parents a female? See, I told you I was psychc.
@ (Misers Dream) From sleeve - Getting it on the cuff.
From nose - Nobody knows where they come from. From
the air - I produce them in the open ... too many make
money under cover.


@ 144 Hecklers: Gross Stupidity

@ Sherlock Holrnes: A block of houses

@ Uppa U.S.: What an Italian calls Canada
@ Space: Invented so we didn't have to do everything at
the same place.
@ Time: Invented so we didn't have to do everything at
the same time.
@ E.S.P.: Entertaining simple people.
@ Hurnan Race: Where everyone lines up and runs.
@ Bisexual: Mention sex and she d l sa y "bye - bye."
@ Trisexual: Will try anything.
@ Wedding: A funeral where you smell your own
@ Adjustment: When your ulcer forms a callus.
@ Sleep: Short form of death.
@ Five men were under one umbrella and none of them
got wet. How did they do it? It wasn't raining.
Sleight ofMouth 141
@ Life: What you do while you're waiting to die.
@ Happy Roman: A gladiator.
@ Preparation H and a Psychiatrist: A shrink for both
@ Mutual Orgasm: Insurance company.
@ Egg: Natural enemy of a hammer.
@ Aviator Deck: A pack of cards that fly.
W Square Circle: A geometric figure that's not sure of its
@ Spring Flowers: Flowers magicians use only certain
times of the year.
@ Three Shell Game: A game made for the beach.
@ A Hank of Rope: A Henry of cord.
@ Sucker Die Box: A coffin for dead lollipops.
@ Cigarette Catcher: Like a dog catcher but only for
stray cigarettes.
@ Card Castle: Where kings and queens live.
(q Where do you wear a thumb tip?
142 For magicians only

@ What animal uses a dove harness?

@ What are chrome billiard balls made of?

8 What country is the Queen of England from?

@ Who invented Tommy Windsor's Dye Box?

@ What does the vanishing cane do?

@ What language is spoken by French Canadians?
(If you answered the above questions correctly, you, too,
could become a magician.)
@ (Reach into your pocket and pull out a handful of
thumbtips) I guess I'm all thumbs today.
@ I saw this signin a cluttered old fashioned Magic Shop:
"We have it if we can find it."
8 The reason some magicians don't recognize opportunity
is because it often comes disquised as hard work.
@ Do you have a cigarette? Yes? Good, how about a Dove
Harness ... Zig Zag..or Linking Rings.
@ What do you say to a one legged assistant when they
are helping you with the subtrunk? Hop in.
@ (After a fancy flourish) Being a successful magician is
about 5% talent and 95% economics.
Sleight of Mouth 143

@ (After a fancy flourish) A man rushed up to famed

magician Harry Houdini after a performance and cried:
"I'd give my life to be as good as you." Houdini replied, "I
@ (After a fancy flourish) You don't have to be a farmer
to be outstanding in your field.
@ (After a fancy flourish) It's lonely at the top. But it sure
beats being crowded at the bottom.
@ (After a fancy flourish) Am I too fast for this side?
@ (After a fancy flourish) Ths is me. Accept no
@ (After a fancy flourish) I don't have to work. I have
enough money to last the rest of my life, providing I die
next Thursday.
@ (After a fancy flourish) If at first you do succeed - try
to hide your astonishment.
@ (After a fancy flourish) I don't want to achieve
immortality through my work. I want to achieve irnrnortality
through not dying.
@ (After a fancy flourish) When your magic speaks for
itself, don't interrupt.
@ A fellow magiciannever tells you a pet secret until you
contradict him.
14.4 For

magicians only

@ (After a fancy flourish) Pros are people who do their

jobs well even when they don't feel llke it.
@ Question: What is the most important part of being a
great magician? Showmanship, practicing, or enthusiasm?
Answer: What is the most important part of a three
legged stool?
@ There are two types of magicians. Those who do
things and those magicians who get the credit. Try, if you
can, to belong to the first class. There's far less competition.
The two Harrys
Harry Anderson visits Daytona Magic Booth at a magic convention.

@ (Cruise Ships) Just recently when I was working on a
cruise ship I said to a woman passenger, "Isn't this a good
cruise? We have slot machines, the sun is always shining,
there's food every tenminutes, and a beautiful swimming
pool." She said, "Oh yeah, but take away the ship and what
have you got?"
@ (Cruise Ships) One passenger lost her husband's
entire wardrobe. You know the two little portholes in the
cabins? She thought it was the wash and dry.
@ (Cruise Ships) The food is fantastic aboard ship, but
the passengers won't admit to gaining weight. They say
the salt air shrinks their clothing.
@ (Club magic) I don't like cocaine. The smell isn't bad,
@ (Large family) There were ten kids in my family ... I
never slept alone until I got married.
@ (Money) We should all live within our means ... even if
we have to borrow the money to do so.
@ (Asking for money from an audience) (No response)
All a pickpocket could get from this audience is practice.
@ (Golf) If you drink, don't drive ...p utt!
146 Sleight

of Mouth
@ (Cruise Ships) A little boy walked up to his mother and

said, "Mommy, where do we come from?" She replied,

"From wiffle dust." "Then when we die where do we go,"
the little boy asked? She replied, "We return to wiffle
dust." The little boy said, "Then, someone is either
coming or going under my bed."
@ (Cruise Ships) I went on a cruise to St. Thomas where

liquor is tax free and you can bring home a gallon. It's
fumy how people will spend $1000 for a cruise to save
$20 on booze.
@ (Club magic) Please accept my resignation. I don't
want to belong to any club that would have me as a
@ (Club magic) At a nightclub an assistant remarked to
the magician, "That's the fifth time you've gone back for
more beer. Doesn't it embarrass you at all? "No," he
answered, "I keep telling them it's for you."
@ (Club magic) Girls are like rocks. You skip the flat
@ (Club magic) (Girl with big bosoms) Do you have a
license to carry those?
@ (Club magic) I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamed
Dolly Parton was my mother, and I was a bottle baby.
@ (Club magic) Dolly will be here tonight to breast feed
the whole audience.
Odds and Ends 147
@ (Club magic) I don't take drugs. They're always given
to me.
@ She was so thin ... when she walked into the pool hall
they tried to chalk her head.
@ She was so thin ... she tied knots in her legs to make
@ She was so thin ... when she turned sideways you
couldn't see her.
@ She was so thin ... her brassiere is a peanut shell and a
rubber band.
@ She's so ugly ... a peeping tom threw up on her window.
@ She's so ugly ... we went horse back riding and someone
jumped on her.
@ She's so ugly ... when she goes to the beach, the tide
won't come in.

@ She's so old ... her Social Security number is three.

@ She's so old ... I called an elderly lady up to help me and
I couldn't help admiring her alligator shoes, until I found
out she was barefooted.
@ (Resort Hotel) This hotelis nice and the towels are soft
and fluffy. In fact, you can hardly shut your suitcase.
148 Sleight ofMouth

@ (Resort Hotel) On the last day of your stay they give

you only one towel. That towel has a chain hooked on it.
@ (Famous American Fibs) 1. You will go on at exactly
7:30. 2. There will be all kinds of publicity. 3. The check
is in the mail. 4. One size fits all. 5. Your luggage isn't
lost, it's only misplaced. 6. This hurts me more than it
hurts you. 7. I just need five minutes of your time. 8.
Money cheerfully refunded. 9. I'll start my diet tomorrow.
@ (Dinner Theaters) I see you're eating. First time here
I see.
@ (Restaurant) Person One: I would like coffee without
cream. Person Two: We are out of cream, you will have
to take it without milk.
@ (Hospital Show) I just worked another hospital show.
I had them in stitches.
@ (Kid Show) Parents, would you rather eat a jar of hot
peppers or take your children shopping for six hours
@ (Street Performer) Please give any amount. Just fold
it up so it won't blow away.
@ (Street Performer) If you like what you saw, please
give. If you didn't like what you saw, please give.
@ (Someone talking) Let's play a new game. The one with
the microphone does the talking.
Odds and Ends 149

@ (Someone tallung) Magician: Can you hear me back

there? Answer: Yes. Magician: I can hear you up here!
@ (Can't hear someone in audience) Put microphone up
to your ear and say, "Could you speak a little louder?"
@ (Introduced unexpectedly) I was so surprised to get
this nomination, I almost dropped my acceptance speech.
8 (Introduced unexpectedly) I feel like a Persian prince
who just inherited his father's harem, I don't know where
to begin!
@ (Locality line) The water is not so bad here. The part
I don't like is having to chew it.
@ (Locality line) A sign on a travel agent's window:
@ (Parents) My parents are in the iron and steel business.
My mom irons and my dad steals.
@ (Parents) I'm what my mother always wanted me to be.

Far far away from her.

@ (Parents) My mother asked me over for dinner. It was
nice. Her prices were not bad either.
@ (Parents) I was never told the facts of life. My parents
thought I would never need them.
@ (Small audience) I've seen more people in telephone
150 Sleight ofMouth
@ (Drinking on stage) I don't drink anything stronger
than pop. And pop will drink anything.
@ (Drinking on stage) I don't like to drink liquor. But
what else do you do with it?
@ (Drinking on stage) I drink to make my audience more
@ (Drinking on stage) I have a feeling they put valium in
the drinks.
@ (Comedy Force) Three colors to choose from: "Do you
want red?" Speak softly. "Blue?" Speak very loud and
clear. "Or yellow?" Speak softly.
@ (Need Time) If you have an itch, scratch it. I'll be right
W (Can't find curtain opening) What happened to the
opening? It must have healed up.
@ (Can't find curtain opening) Where did it go? It was
here when I came in.
@ (Outside show) Move in closer and give the pick
pockets a break.
@ (Drinking) As a rule I don't dr ink... but as a habit I do.
@ (Drinking) The only time I drink is when I'm alone or
with someone.
Odds and Ends 151

@ (Drinking) The more you drink the better it goes over.

@ My father never took me or my magic seriously! For
example, he used to give me stale bread and tell me it was
@ My father never took me or my magic seriously! For
example, I asked him to cash my check and he asked for
@ (Death - While performing the guillotine, etc..) If
you're killed, you've lost an important part of your life.
@ (Death - While performing the guillotine, etc..) Death

is nature's way of telling you to slow down.

@ (Death - While performing the guillotine, etc..) Sleep
is a short form of death.
@ (Death - While performing the guillotine, etc..) I got up
this morning and looked in the obituaries ...my name
wasn't there, so I got out of bed.
8 (Death- While performing the guillotine, etc..) Are you
married or single? It doesn't make a difference. In a
minute you'll be separated.
@ My little brother not only gets into my magic ... he puts
glue in my preparation H.
@ (Comedy greeting) Magician: Where are you from?
Spectator answers. Magician: Good memory.
152 Sleight ofMouth

@ My little brother not only gets into my magic ... at the

dinner table I told hmto eat his meat and grow up like
me. He said, "I'll be a vegetarian."
@ The town I performed in was so small ... we just
carpeted it.
@ The town I performed in was so small ...y ou can take
a cab from one end of town to another for 8 5 cents.
@ The town I performed in was so small ... our power
plant is a Die-hard battery.
@ The last town I performed in is so small ... the tour bus
never leaves the station.
@ I was so unpopular before I started magic ... for my
birthday I received a cemetery plot.
@# I was so unpopular before I started magic ... I received
a gift certificate to a massage parlor ... self service.
@ (Comedy greeting) Magician: What's your name?
Spectator: Bill. Magician: Can I call you Bill? Spectator:
Yes. Magician: Good, you can call me Mr. Allen (insert
your name)
@ (Comedy greeting) Magician: Hello, what's your
name? Spectator: Mary. Magician: Can I call you Mary?
Spectator: Yes. Magician: How about after the show?
@ (Comedy greeting) Magician: What persuasion are
you? Spectator: Italian. Magician: Who persuaded you?
Odds and Ends 153

@ (Comedy greeting) Magician: Have you ever seen me

before? Spectator: No. Magician: How do you know it's

@ (A line the late great Jimmy Durante suggested to me)
Did you try putting preparation H on your nose?
@ (A line the late great Jimmy Durante suggested to me)
Try smoking big cigars to make your nose look smaller.
@ (A line the late great Jimmy Durante suggested to me)
Your nose isn't big ...y our face is just small.
@ (A line the late great Jimmy Durante suggested to me)
It's nice of you to give the birds a place to perch.
@ Where are you from? Wait for answer, then reply: I
was there once ... it was closed.
@ Where are you from? Wait for answer, then reply: Is
it on a map?
@ Where are you from? Wait for answer, then reply: It's
@ Where are you from? Wait for answer, then reply: I
spent two weeks there one night.
@ This next trick is so old ... when it was first performed,
history wasn't a subject in school.
@ I was so poor ... I could only afford one Linking ring. (to
do the Linking Rings.)
154 Sleight ofMouth
@ I was so poor ... I used to saw myself in half, because I
couldn't afford an assistant.
@ I was so poor ... I could only take tap dancing lessons
for one leg.
@ I was so poor ... we used to paint the bottom of our feet
black and lace up our toes.
I was so poor ... my brother and I use to fight over the
dog's leftovers.
@ We were so poor ... for entertainment we use to sit
around and watch each other rot.
@ We were so poor ... we couldn't afford to pay attention.
@ There are many famous people who do magic, Johnny
Carson, Muhammad Ali. In fact ... Iwent to a fight the other
night and a Hockey game broke out.
@ (Insurance) I don't have Blue Cross Insurance. I have
Black and Blue Insurance. It only covers bruises.

@ We were so poor ... we didn't have furniture. This

morning I woke up on the wrong side of the floor.
8 (Birthday party) Why is a birthday cake the only thing
you can blow on and spit on and everyone runs to get a
8 (Post Office) When it comes to drug testing at the post
office, one thing you won't find is speed!
Odds and Ends 155

@ (Drinking) Drink up! My stuff is a lot funnier when

you're drunk.
@ (Drinking) They told me that if I had too much to
drink, to take a bus home. I said, "Hell, I can hardly drive
my car."
@ (Drinking) I'm not a problem drinker. I drink, get
drunk, fall down, no problem!
@ (Drinking) I have a drinking problem. Two hands and
only one mouth.
@ (Drinking) I'm not as think as you drunk I am.
@ (Drinking) I drank some non - alcoholic beer last night
and got into a fake fight.
@ (Drinking) A state trooper stopped me and made me
blow up this balloon. I made it into a poodle.
@ (Dinner Theater) They are serving mother - in - law
stew. It stays with you longer than you would like.
@ My mother-in-law is so old she won't buy green
@ I took my mother-in-law to an antique sale.. .I got fifty
dollars for her.
@ (Restaurant) I was reading the menu and I ordered a
quickie. The waiter told me it was quiche.
156 Sleight ofMouth
@ (Table hopping) (Have spectator put index finger on
the table. Put a drink on top of index finger.) Does this
feel cold? (Have the spectator put an index finger from
each hand on the table next to each other. Put a drink on
top of the spectator's fingers. They can't move without
spilling the drink.) Have a nice meal.
@ (On Morning show) Not a morning person doesn't
even begin to cover it.
@ (On Morning show) Coffee is my only real friend.
@ (On Morning show) I have no idea what I'm doing out

of bed.
@ (On Morning show) (Blank gun pointed at audience)
Give me coffee and no one gets hurt!
@ (After a great effect) I'm not weird, I'm gifted.
@ (After a great effect) I didn't claw my way to the top
of the food chain to eat vegetables.
@ (After a great effect) Maybe none of this is happening!
@ I'm too young to be this old.
@ (After a question from the audience) How do I know?
I'm not your mother.
@ (Looking at something nice) I'm taking the scenic
route through life.
@ (Political) Politicians are like diapers. They both
should be changed often, and for the same reason.
@ This guy ran around the plane yelling.. ."We're going to
crash." And he was the pilot!
@ The guy next to me said, "If we don't crash I'm going
to church every Sunday." And he was a priest!
@ There is a rumor going around that the photographers
doing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition are on
strike ... for longer hours.
@ The boss said I would get a raise when1 earned it. He's
crazy if he thinks I'm gonna wait that long.
@ I once had a job as a human cannonball. I was hired
and fired the same night.
@ (Drinking on stage) Does all the water here come with
@ (Food) The food here is so tasteless you could eat a
meal of it and belch, and it wouldn't remind you of
anything .
@ (Food) Be careful of reading recipe books. You may die
of misprint.
@ (Food) You are what you eat. For example, if you eat
garlic you're apt to be a hermit.
158 Sleight of Mouth

@ (Waiter) Please don't tip the waiters, they can hardly

stand as it is.
@ (Waiter) Some day I would like to see a waiter with
enough courage to lay the check face up on the table.
@ (Waiter) Waiter, do you have frogs legs? Well, then

hop over to the bar and get me a drink.

@ (Hotel) This hotel has a continuous floor show ... mice!
@ (Travel) When I was in Russia I found out you don't
watch television. Television watches you.
@ (Early morning) There ought to be a better way to start
the day than by getting up in the morning.
@ (Superstition) Walking under a ladder can be lucky ... if
there is a girl on it.
@ It was a terrible day at the office. The computer broke
and we all had to think.
@ I use to be a pilot in a stable. I would pilot here, I would
pilot there ...
@ (Golf) Golf isn't a rich man's game. There are plenty
of poor players.
@ (Golf) I'm so use to cheating that when I made a hole
in one, I put down zero.
Odds and Ends 159

@ (Golf) Definition: A golf bag - An elderly female golfer.

@ (Golf) Some people play golf religiously, every Sunday.
@ (Golf) You chase a golf ball when you're too old to
chase anything else.
@ (Golf) My golf is improving. Now I miss the ball much
closer than I used to.
@ (Night club) I asked the bartender for something tall
and cold with plenty of gin in it ... and he called his wife
@ (Night club) When men drink at bars, it means they
have no wife to go home to - or they have.
@ (Night club) "They say drinking shortens a man's life."
Yes -but he sees twice as muchin the same length of time.
@ (Night club) (After taking a sip of alcohol) Someone
gave me a hot foot once - I burned for three days.
@ (Night club) I only drink to calm my nerves ... I got so
steady once, I didn't move for two days.
@ (Night club) Show me a man who can eat, drink and be
merry, and I'll show you a fat, grinning drunk.
@ (Night club) (After a beer) I cut my finger yesterday ... it's
the first time I ever saw blood with a head on it.
160 -- Sleight


(Night club) You know what a problem drinker is?

Those who never buy.

@ (Night club) There's the person who drove me to drink
- and you know, I never even thanked her.
@ (Night club) I had last night's audience
openmouthed ... they all yawned at once.
@ (Night club) I had'em all in the aisles ... leaving for the
@ (Charity banquet) I understand if I do well tonight,
next year I don't have to eat the dinner.
@ (Dinner theatre) Last night they served everyone duck.
I got the bill.
@ (Telephone ringing) Pardon me, does that ringing in
my ears bother you?

@ When he puts on corduroys, all the ridges disappear.
@ When she wears high heels they become slippers.
@ When he gets out of his car at the airport all the electric
doors open.
@ When he goes on the "up" escalator, it goes down.
Looks like you have GOOD YEAR disease.
@ He's so fat he can jump into the air and get stuck.
@ There is this new diet. Onions and garlic. You look
thinner from a distance.
@ I've been on a diet for 14 days and all I lost was two

@ Ventriloquist: You have the brains of an idiot.
Dummy: You want them back?
@ Ventriloquist: I passed your house the other day.
Dummy: Thanks.
8 Ventriloquist: Put your feet where they belong.
Dummy: If I did that you wouldn't sit down for a week.

19You know you're old when your watch runs faster
than you do.
@ Hey! I got a great idea. Let's all take our teeth out and
play bridge.

@ You know you're old when the candles cost more than
the cake.
19 When she orders a three - minute egg, they make her
pay in advance.
@ You're old, when you need glasses to find your
@ You're old, when you sit in a rocking chair and you
can't get it going.
@ You're old, when your knees buckle and your belt
@ At your age you shouldn't eat natural foods. You need
all the preservatives you can get.
@ Quit worrying about your health ... it'll go away.
@ He has young blood ... but he keeps it in an old cont
ainer .
@ Ladies and gentlemen, you warm the cockels of my
heart, and I couldn't have done the show with cold
@ Take off your glasses and say ... I don't need these, I
just use them to see.
@ I love work. I can sit and watch it all day.
@ It's funny, alarm clocks always go off when you're
@ Whenever you dial the wrong number it's never busy.
@ The closer you watch, the less you see, and the less you
see is better for me.
@ Some day you'll see my name in lights. I'm changing
it to "Exit."
@ 1 just saw an ad for Preparation H. It said kiss your
hemorroids goodbye ... I don't think I want to try that!
@ It all happens with a blinking of an eye.
@ Do you notice the verbal misdirection?
@ I train my magic well.
Sleight of Mouth 165

@ I'm past the stage of doing mere magic. I'm working

on miracles.
@ If you think education is expensive ... try ignorance.
@ I do nothing but I do it well; the only problem is I don't
know when I'm finished.

@ Some girls are good for nothing. Others charge.

@ This next trick stopped my adolescence three years.
@ I take the impossible and make it a reality. I take the
reality and make it look easy. I take the easy and make it
look beautiful.
@ This next trick works on mind over matter. Even if you
mind, it doesn't matter.
@ It all happens in living color.
@ My hands move faster than a walking turtle.
@ Look at the mess you've got now.
@ Person One: It's a pleasure to meet you. Person Two:
Well it's a pleasure to be met.
@ Sir, do you have any matches? No? Here have some.
(Toss a handful of matches out).
@ I have my magic well disciplined.
166 General


@ This gentleman and I went to different schools together.

@ Do you walk to work or carry your lunch?

@ Is it colder in the mountains or in the winter?
@ Look at audience: Well I guess you're wondering why
I sent for you.
@ Did you ever notice in the paper that people die in
alphabe tical order?
@ If I told you that you have a nice body, would you hold
it against me?
@ My fingers will never leave my hands; and I've been
attached to my hands forever.
@ Here is more skill than you've seen in a lifetime.
@ If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them
with bullshit .
@ I didn't sleep well last night. The drapes were opened
next door.
@ You're such a wholesome audience. I feel like I don't
have to shower tonight.
@ I lent a friend money for plastic surgery. Now I don't
know what he looks like.
Sleight of Mouth 167

8 Ask for a box of cigarettes. Do a cigarette up the nose

move. Put the cigarette backin the box and shake the box
of cigarettes up. Hand the box of cigarettes back to the

@ (Reach into pocket for something) I found something
I didn't know I had.
8 Magician: Do you know who I hate? Audience: Who?
Magician: Indian givers. No, I take that back. Do you
know who I really hate? Audience: Who? Magician:
People who imitate owls.
@ (Lady with many children) What are you trying to do,
start your own country?
@ I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my desk.
@ I'm gaining weight for the summer because I want to
get a big tan.
@ You should marry for love, and divorce for money.
@ Who here has older parents?
@ I have so much gas, Arabs follow me around.
@ I dreamed I was a muffler. I woke up exhausted.
@ You can't see my legs? That's good ... they're yellow.
My dog is blind!
168 Genepal


@ This travel agent met his wife because it was her last
@ I wasn't able to tell this next joke for a while because
of the statute of limitations.
@ I invented plastic parsley. No one eats it anyway.
@ I use to be in the hot dog business, I didn't relish it.
@ I like to live in the past. The rent is a lot cheaper.
@ Did you know Hurnpty Durnpty was pushed?
@ I found a great way to avoid getting parking tickets.
Remove your windshield wipers.
@ This place is so dark tonight, you will get your check
in braille.
@ I was going to move to a more expensive neighborhood,
but now I don't have to. My landlord just doubled
my rent.
@ What do you get if you cross an elephant with a
rhinoceros? El - if - I - no.
@ I wrote a new national anthem ... but nobody would
stand for it.
@ Do you know what you get if you cross an elephant
with a kangaroo? Big holes all over Australia!

Sleight ofMouth 169

@ I only perform this at night. That way you can't say,
"I see this every day."
@ There's a sucker born every minute. I was born on the
half minute.
@ Many jokes I tell I don't llke but you laugh. It works
both ways.
@ While you're laughing, they're towing your car away.
@ Remember, as one strawberry said to another, "If we
weren't in bed together we wouldn't be in this jam."
@ Remember, never let the facts get in the way of a good
@ Why does it take the police longer to respond to your
home than a pizza order?
@ I invented a new cologne. It smells like credit cards ... it
drives a woman wild.
@ Why do people who snore always fall asleep first?
@ Two companies are now actively seeking me ... Visa and
@ Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago it
took two people to carry ten dollars worth of groceries.
Today, a five year old does it.
170 General


@ I've played some tough spots before. My second show

was the same audience, different owner.
@ They remind me of my three children ... one of each sex!
@ Do you know the best way to catch an elephant? Hide
in the bushes ... and make a noise like a peanut.
@ I was going to tell you the story of the forty thieves but
maybe you're not interested in politics.
@ Think about it, every second there's an old wornan
yelling "BINGO."
@ What did one mirror say to another? It's all done with
@ (Toast) To our wives and sweethearts ... may they never
@ First rule of acting ... whatever happens, look as if it
were intended.
@ I don't believe in Astrology, but that's typical for a Leo.
@ I have enough insurance to live on after I die.

@ He's always offering "Sound Advice" ... 99% sound and

1% advice.
@ I just flew in on an economy flight. That means after
you eat you have to do the dishes.
Sleight ofMouth 171
@ The airlines came out with this notice: Odds of one
bomb on a plane - One million to one. Odds of two bombs
- One trillion to one. So whenever I fly, I carry a bomb.

@ The question: Excuse me, what is your opinion of the
meat shortage? This was asked to people all over the
Answers: Person One (Texas): "What is a shortage?"
Person Two (Poland): "What is meat?" Person Three
(Russia): "What is an opinion?" Person Four (New York):
"What is excuse me?"
@ There was a married couple with seven children.
Seems the wife was slightly deaf. The husband would
come home and ask "Do you want to watch T.V. or what?"
The wife always replies "What?"
@ Two magicians walking down the street. A bird goes
to the bathroom on one of the magicians. Magician One:
"Hey, do you want me to get some toilet paper? Magician
Two: "No, the bird will be gone by the time you get back."
@ The other day1 got a phone call. Of course I was in the
shower. So I ran to the phone out of breath. It was an
obscene phone call. Well I was panting, he was panting,
suddenly I hear himsay, "Wait! Did I call you or did you
call me?"

They just wrote a book about my sex life entitled
"Sterile Cuckoo."
@ One mentalist said to the other, "You're fine, how am
@ This next trick is so damn good I'm going to watch it
@ I came out of a sick bed to do this show. My girlfriend
is sick.
@ The bookies are having a new kind of lottery. Each day
you have to guess which will go higher, the inflation rate

or the temperature.
@ I'm part Roman. I have roarnin' fingers.
@ If this next trick fails, I'll leave it out.
@ Did you hear about the halfway house for girls? It's for
girls who don't go all the way.
@ Are peanuts fattening? Did you ever see a skinny

@ A man recently died, leaving a large number of music
boxes, pocket watches and clocks among his worldly
possessions. The attorney is currently busy winding up
the estate.
@ My visit to Teheran was very hectic. Wherever I went,
@ Bank managers who have their desk over the vault,
have their ass sets over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
@ My dermatologist is now very successful. However, he
had to build his practice from scratch.

@ (Birth control pill) Hold hand up like policeman and
say, "STOP!"
@ (Bubble gum) Put a chair on your head.

@Anytime you want me here again, just say the magic
word: MONEY!
@ When you go home tonight, please, drive on the
sidewalk. All the accidents are happening on the street.
@ I'd like to leave you with these words, "One good turn,
gets most of the blanket."

w If you enjoyed the show, my name is Harry Allen. If

not, it's Joe Smith.
@ (To assistant) You may sit down while the deafening
applause subsides.
@ I've had a wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.
@ Remember these words, "Always look out for Number
One and don't step in Number Two."
@ I must go now. If I'm not in bed by eleven, I'm going


@ (Standing ovation) Leave the keys, Charlie, I'll lock up.

@ This is the most fun I had with my clothes on in a long
Sleight of Mouth 177

@ It's been lovely but I have to scream now!

@ And now, for the effect you all have been waiting for,
my last one.
@ And now, every good thing must come to an end, but
this is not such a good thing, so I'll do more.
@ You can't fool all the people all the time. Remember,
some of them are busy fooling you.
@ I feel the tension building. Am I the only one?
@ Please drive home carefully, because I'm walking.
@ Magic is my business. I sure hope it's been your
@ Before I leave, I would like to say something that will

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