If you want your magic show to stay relevant, you need to stay on top of what society say is “politically correct“. Yes, there is a place to push the envelope and be edgy, but for 98% of us we aren’t. Of that 2% that do probably less than a quarter of them do it in a way that has a purpose, the rest are just a-holes.
Last week I was in Washington DC and went to one of the Smithsonian Museums and saw this beloved Muppet’s character:
The Swedish Chef has been around longer than I’ve been alive, however it might be time to retire part of his humor. His imitation of the Swedish language borders on not being what’s acceptable in today’s world. If I saw someone doing a Chinese character and they spoke saying things like, “Ching chong, chin chang…” I would walk out of the show. There’s no reason that the Swedish Chef can’t speak actual Swedish. Part of the humor is making fun of a group of people’s language. If you took that out, would it still be as funny?
I get in 1975, it was a bit harder to just learn a language, but now it’s super easy to actually learn a language now. Here’s an example. I wanted to use the Khoisan language in my show, this is the one that has all of the mouth clicks in it. All I needed to do was count to three. I could have faked it and just made random clicking noises, but wanted to do it respectfully and the least I could do was learn to actually do it. It was really easy, and using the actual language was much funnier as it had a sense of build to it.
When something breaks are you still using the offensive and hack line, “Must be made in China“? Here’s why that line is bad, it’s putting down an whole group of people for the laugh, and it’s outdated as the quality standards in China are frequently higher than in the USA. In my show I have a fishing pole that breaks, in 1983 the “made in China” line might have worked, but I want to be better than that. The line I use when it breaks is, “That’s the last time a buy a fishing pole on Tinder…should have gotten it on Plenty of Fish…“. This line puts the laugh(s) on me, and I guess on the fictional person who would sell a fishing pole on a dating website.
Take a look at your show, are there any bits that have aged out of it?