Sausage Magic! 20 Ridiculous Highlights From Old Magicians' Magazines
A big ol' stack of professional magicians' magazines
Date: 1950s through the 1970s
Discovered at: Grey Matter Books, Hadley, MA
"Patter collected by Cliff Green: The best way to get rid of a noise in your car is to let her drive ... Bikini bathing suits give as much coverage as a lapsed insurance policy ... Most girls are divided into two classes: Those that knit 'em and those that fit 'em." (Hugard's Magic Monthly, February, 1958)
The rare performers once welcome at both night clubs and kids' birthday parties, professional magicians -- like traveling salesmen or novelists not specializing in Swedish murders -- today find themselves facing a dispiriting truth: That their time of cultural prominence is not at all like some endless, ribbon-like hanky pulled and pulled from the great fist of creation.
No, that time of prominence has ended, making life ever tougher for those dedicated to hocus and/or pocus. Whither the world of secretive illusion, of doves up the sleeve, of audiences eager to be tricked, of distracting patter about women drivers? Sadly, that world is gone.
Seriously, no matter what he's charging -- who wouldn't want that guy at a party?
Of course, some other magicians were a harder sell.
That's from a '76 issue of Magicram. In it, you'll find a pair of the greatest sentences in the English canon: "Here's a sausage pistol with a difference. Nothing to jam, nothing to go wrong, and Wow! What a load of sausages!" What I especially relish is the writers' assumption that anyone reading it will inevitably have been disappointed at some point by inferior sausage guns.
Perhaps the idea with these was to teach kids about puberty. The ad copy claims it's "especially invaluable ... to the children's performer," and then states flat out "The magician taps his wand around, waves it in the air, and voila! -- the wand suddenly changes to a long string of sausages!"
For all that, I don't want to give the impressions that last-century magic was nothing but a sausage fest.
To their credit, some magicians didn't just give their assistant positions to any young slip of a thing with access to a babysitter.
SHE IS THE COOLEST EVER! Also, that second image is not of a trick -- it's of women's healthcare during the Johnson years.
Look, back-of-the-head sight is something wished for by any boy in a corner making pocket magic.
NEXT: More amusingly suggestive magic tricks, plus gorilla madness!