Dr. Frankenstein and the Monster dancing to Putting On The Ritz is a comedy classic scene in a movie that’s a comedy classic. Just mentioning it brings to mind Peter Boyle’s garbled cry, “Puttonoj unnhhnn ritzsss”
Gene Wilder wrote that scene. Mel Brooks did not want it in the movie, as he thought it was too silly. They fought over it. Brooks said they almost came to blows over it. Brooks, seeing Wilder’s conviction, said, “OK. I’ll put it in the screen test. But if one person says it’s silly or stupid; it’s out.”
The screen test happens and the dance number kills. Brooks said, “The audience went crazy. And I said, Gene I apologize. You’re absolutely right. It’s the funniest thing in the whole movie.”
Even comedy geniuses make mistakes, but they know the bottom line is what the audience thinks. Brooks wasn’t afraid to get this bit in front of an audience to test it.
We need to do the same. Sure, most of our ideas won’t be putting on the Ritz quality, but some might. Don’t dismiss your inner Gene Wilder. The only way we know if a trick, joke, bit, dancing monster, whatever, is good is to get them in front of an audience and test.
Sandwich that new bit between two old dependable ones.
Take the risk of a new bit, because stagnation is far worse.
My New Book On Kids Magic
I’m not going to say much about it now, other than …
1. It’s coming out very soon.
2. It will be useful for you if you’ve done zero kid shows or 1,000
3. And, yes, it’s deeply rooted in my “pack small, play big, and live large” philosophy.
Until Next Time,
PS #1: Be sure to check out the 2023 Labor Day Sales on Reign Man, Maweege, and MonkeyShines. Save up to FIFTY SMACKERS COMBINED!
PS #2: If you’d like to learn to pack small and play HUGE to the back of the room, order my new book, The Show Is The Mother Of Invention. As of August 31, 2023, the first printing is almost sold out with
only about less than 20 books left. Act now!
PS#3 If you’re looking for a great packs small plays huge routine that are NO RISK, check out Reign Man, the KING of All Magic Square Routines! (For some reason, probably a Facebook post I’m not aware of, these have been moving off the shelves much faster than normal.)