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" CHEEKY CHARLIE "

by JOHNNY CEDDES

Children always love a character, especially an animal, which plays tricks with the magician. Here is a monkey, Cheeky Charlie, who keeps on escaping from his little house and turns up in unexpected places.

Charlie is a cut-out. He is shown and then placed in his "house". The door shuts him from view. When it is opened—by taking it away—Charlie has gone! But the children have seen something as you accidentally ( ) show the other side of the door. Charlie is sneaking behind it!

So you have another go and Charlie is shut in again. The door is opened; but Charlie has taken no risks and is still there. But you are suspicious and this time you close the door first and squeeze the monkey into the "house" behind it. The children are certain now that Charlie can't get out. But when the door is opened, he has completely vanished. No— he isn't hanging on the back of the door this time. Where is he? Invariably, the children ask that at the top of their voices.

The beauty of the trick is that Charlie can be discovered in several surprising ways. My favourite method is to start on another trick needing a book (or similar object) or to use a book as though it were my programme. The children suddenly realise that Charlie is hanging on the front.

METHOD.—The door is hollow and open at the top. The "House" is merely a frame as shown in the diagram. The monkey has a hook at the top of his head which should be covered by the fingers when holding him. The first time the door is placed in front of him, the hook catches the top of the door and suspends the monkey on the side away from the audience. The second time, when you squeeze him behind the door, you actually slip him inside the door and the vanish is assured. To get him on to the back of the book have the book standing up on the back of your table. As you place the door away, draw the door down the book. The hook engages itself on to the top of the book, withdraws the monkey and leaves it in position for his eventual discovery.

PRESENTATION.—The story method is the best. The magician can, for example, say he was once a keeper at a zoo, and had particular trouble with Charlie. Or he can tell (as I do) of a boy who has a pet Monkey which had a habit of vanishing after he had been put to bed at night.

Watch for further Comedy Stunts by Johnny Geddes, one of Britain's foremost gag merchants !

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