By daring to write a booklet on the subject of stooges, I realize that I am liable to cause a great deal of heated discussion among magicians all over the world. No magician deplores the use of stooges more than one who has never used them! That same magician will, nevertheless, often rely upon the use of a faked deck of cards or, if he is an illusionist, he will proudly point to the speed with which his assistants make use of the trap in the stage. What is the difference between the use of such subterfuges and the use of an accomplice or stooge? If the same effect can be gained without stooges, leave them alone, but if, by their use, the effect can be enhanced then by all means use them.
I am betraying no secret when I say that some of the most famous magicians of our time use stooges to entertain their audiences. Indeed, at least two of the most entertaining major acts of to-day, depend for their success entirely upon the use of stooges.
No less an authority than Ted Anneman wrote to the effect that even if it took nine stooges to fool the remaining one in a room of ten people, the use of the stooges was justified.
This may be regarded as a slight exaggeration, but I hope that my reader will find something in the next few pages to enable him to add another weapon to his armoury of entertaining deception.