Let there be comedy, and so it was that there was comedy, and it was good. Many moons ago in The
United State, Connecticut, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Nine-Hundred Nintey-Six, I, Jeffrey
Wayne Stone, did witness the comedic phenomenon that is Rich Marotta.
That was one funny
show. He's clever, witty, and just darn funny. So imagine my disappointment when I got What Your
Future Holds. The effect is that the spectator chooses one of 12 possible options for her future.
Her final choice is read, "You will make passionate love to a clown." When she looks up, you are
wearing a clown nose. Ok, maybe it's a funny site gag . . . maybe; the jury is still out.
For $20 bucks you get a clown nose, 1 sheet of paper instructions, and 12 cards that have
the "possible futures."
The cards are purple with sort of a red border and a "fun" font
which, in my opinion, makes them look like cheap magic store props. You can of course make your own
cards with blank stock playing cards or even business cards, a simple idea that should have been
mentioned in the instructions but wasn't. Also, the instructions had some pretty blatant typos and
Part of the lack of appeal of this effect is the "You will make love . . .
" part of the effect. Although, strictly speaking, it's not "blue," it is a bit tacky in my opinion.
You can't (or shouldn't) use a line like that (even as a joke) in front of kids that may be present
at a restaurant gig. I wouldn't recommend performing it when husbands/boyfriends are present.
Finally, even if the girl you perform it for is single and available, this routine feels more like a
desperate attempt to get the proverbial "some" rather than an attempt at humor.
Marotta suggests you start off with the old Bugs Bunny joke, "Do you want your palm read?" Then you
use a red marker to color her palm . . . get it; palm red. Of course he suggests keeping a wet wipe
handy and using a dry erase marker so that it's easily cleaned up. To me it's just rude, and starts
things off on the wrong foot.
Sorry Mr. Marotta. You're a darn funny guy and a heck of an
entertainer, but this effect is not evidence of comedic genius that I feel you truly are.
The only reason I can think of that might make this worth purchasing is the fact that you could
modify the routine and the concept and apply it to a different effect with a different site gag at
the end. It might even be ok if the prediction said, "You will meet a brilliant and handsome clown"
or something like that. In that case, it may be worth it.
One final comment: This is merely
my opinion based on my experience and my style. I recognize that this might be the perfect thing for
some of you, but at least now you know what you're getting.
One final final comment:
Obviously, anyone who has been in magic for even a few months could reconstruct this routine after
seeing it once.
Based on that and some of the suggestions I've made about making your own
cards, etc, it would be real easy for you to go make your own set for your own act without
purchasing this from Marotta.
However, please show some respect for Mr. Marotta and
purchase the product before making a knock-off for your own act . . . grubble.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
Let me state what has already been pointed out... This is a tacky gag effect! That said, however, it
doesn't pretend to be anything else and that's where it's strength lies.
Performed as a
comedy opener or finisher this effect definitely has a place in my close up routines when I do
close-up walk-arounds. Used in a full on flirty routine on a table full of women, you might get
lucky and end up with a phone number (I don't do that type of routine though so best of luck to
you!). Realistically however, this is just a gag that will spark a table's interest, or leave them
smiling as you move on to the next audience. If you are performing it for an audience where partners
are present the awkwardness of the punchline can be avoided by actually getting the partner
involved. While the wife/husband/etc is looking at the card and reading aloud their "future", a
quick hand off of the red nose will make it all better, and may even get you a drink bought because
you "sorted him out for the night!".
All in all - it's a fun, quick (maybe a minute/minute
and a half) and very easy to perform effect (literally mastered within minutes of reading the
instructions). The effect is virtually self-working with the exception of one or two VERY basic
moves and a little bit of "patter". In my experience it has never failed to cause a laugh (just
don't make it your whole routine) and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a comedy
gag to add to a close up routine.