The Incompetent who turns Competent

The first example is where the magician acts very differently from what is considered to be a 'normal' character, but then 'turns the tables' at the end of the routine to perform some stunning magic.

For example, you could act incompetent, clumsily handling props etc, making the audience laugh in the process, and getting them to think that you couldn't possibly perform anything good. Then, at the last moment, to their great surprise, everything falls into place with some baffling magic being performed!

Tommy Cooper often used this kind of approach. In terms of variations of this style, we have seen performers within this genre 'react'

fto their achievements in several different ways. Sometimes they are more surprised than the audience that the magic has worked, and sometimes in a comedic style they become incredibly proud and stupidly conceited over what they have just achieved.

Note that we just used the word 'react', and this is a crucial aspect of comedy. Your reaction to what you do on stage is an essential ingredient to make the comedy effective. When watching comedy on TV (the U.S. TV sitcom 'Friends' is an excellent example to study) don't just listen to the lines - watch how the actors react - their eyes might widen, their body might take a step backwards, an eyebrow might raise, and so on.


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