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Patent Pending

by Roger Barkann
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Patent Pending by Roger Barkann

This is a funny patter and presentation routine, with which the author has been bringing down the house. You patter along with magical solutions of all the problems confronting the U. S. Government, war, peace, employment, hunger, G.I.'s, housing, ...

It is flexible enough for you to use the tricks that you already own, or add almost anything you like.

Paul Fleming wrote:

Patent Pending describes an "act" in which the magician is introduced to his audience as an "incredible inventive genius" who is devoting his time to helping to win the war but is, sad to relate, somewhat "screwy." The performer then appears, explains that his brilliant inventions have consistently been rejected by the "brass hats in Washington," and proceeds to demonstrate to the "reasonable, understanding people" seated before him how to solve a number of troublesome problems. Among these weighty solutions are the following:

  1. How to overcome the current paper shortage (illustrated, first, with an amusing paper-tearing trick called Fresh Fish, and again with the "Calypso" diminishing and enlarging magazine feat).
  2. How to prevent the crashing of airplanes, by overcoming the Law of Gravitation (illustrated by performing the AntiGravico Trick).
  3. How to eliminate bullet-holes in the windows of planes, by equipping the plane with "self-sealing glass" (The Penetrating Glass).
  4. How to avoid punishment when caught smoking against orders, by causing the incriminating evidence to disappear (The Vanishing Cigarette).
  5. How to prevent disaster when enemy fire severs the control cables of a plane, by using "self-repairing cables" (The Pekin Wands).
  6. How, in the face of starvation, to provide plenty of food (The Rice Bowls).

The author states that this is "not a book of patter; neither is it, for that matter, a book of lessons in magic." It is, in truth, a little of both. The explanations are very few (for most of the tricks employed are well known) and very brief. But there is a fair amount of patter, without which many readers would doubtless find it difficult to put into effective use the simple but clever plot. With the aid of this patter, which is breezy and interesting, all difficulties should disappear. Furthermore, Mr. Barkann supplies a great many alternative feats, which may readily be substituted for those which he himself uses in the act. And it may be noted that this "distinctly new and novel presentation of effects ... is by no means confined to wartime presentation ... but can be applied with equal effectiveness under any circumstances."

In view of the fact that Patent Pending contains only ten pages of actual text, we find it a little hard to understand why (especially in the presence of a labor shortage) it required so many able men to bring it into being. It was written by Mr. Barkann, edited by Bob Novak, includes a foreword by Harold Rice, and was published by Louis Tannen. We have known the author personally for a good many years. With no thought of minimizing the contribution made by his co-workers, we venture to suggest that Mr. Barkann could have done the whole job of writing unaided, and without placing an unduly heavy strain upon his literary capacity.

Magicians who read books only when they give explanations of tricks will not be greatly interested in Patent Pending, but those who realize that a new plot may be far more valuable than a new trick will certainly not want to overlook this little volume.

  • Forward March!!
  • If I Remember Correctly ...
  • The Act ...
    • Paper Tearing Trick - Fresh Fish
    • Calypso Magazines
    • Anti-Gravico
    • Penetrating Glass
    • Vanishing Cigarette
    • The Pekin Wands
    • Chinese Rice Bowls
    • Sliding Glue
  • Suggestions And Adaptations
  • L'envoi

1st edition 1944, 16 pages; 1st digital edition 2016, 15 pages.
word count: 5055 which is equivalent to 20 standard pages of text


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This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic / Patter, Plots & Scripts

Magic / Comedy Magic