Throw! 

What is this?

This is Balls & Jokes.  A blog for comedy juggling. 

I wanted this blog to be a carbon copy of The Jerx. I think Andy’s work there is inspired. 

For those of you who don’t know, Andy is a brilliant thinker who writes an anonymous blog about magic performance. It somehow manages to critically examine magic presentation, review new products, and call out hacks and pedophiles. All while being blisteringly funny. Also, he never uses Oxford commas. 

After some soul-searching I realized I couldn’t possibly re-create that *ahem* magic.

Personally I have a problem with being mean and critical anonymously, I have no brilliant ideas about comedy juggling presentation, there are few products to review, and juggling is a little light on p p pedophiles (excuse my Stammer). Lastly, I am not funny enough to blister. It’s possible that I could irritate or discolor. 

Still, every time I read Andy’s blog I feel inspired. Inspired to think more about comedy juggling theory. I feel inspired to talk to other people about it and to try new things. I wish that there was a thinker like Andy for comedy juggling. I know that I am not that person. I’m no Mike Davis or Keith Eveslage. 

However I am a huge fan of “The Field of Dreams” and so I’m going to build the blog and hopefully some game changing savant will come along and inspire us all. Until then I intend to water the fields and paint the bleachers. 

With any luck Balls & Jokes will turn into a resource that provides useful and entertaining information about the art and craft of comedy juggling. Hopefully this blog can bring the comedy juggling community closer. Maybe the next generation of comedy jugglers won’t have to struggle with the same things I did. 

I don’t want the 1st post to be all origin story so I’ll leave you with my comedy juggling wish list for 2017. 

Wish List 2017

1. I wish that comedy jugglers would stop using “dangerous” props that they buy from juggling stores. If you are going to go the “dangerous” route make the effort to find some other dangerous objects. Please. You won’t regret it. 

2. I wish that comedy jugglers would stop using volunteers to climb on stuff. Frank (Miles or Olivier, you can choose) started climbing on people to get on the 6′ unicycle decades ago. I think we can find something new. Let’s try. 

3. I wish that more jugglers are presented with the chance that Timo Wopp had. Timo is a German comedian who juggles and who has his full length comedy juggling show on German Netflix. Isn’t that incredible!? Comedy juggling on full display on an entertainment juggernaut! I find it so inspiring. If you can try to use some server proxy and stream German Netflix to watch the special do so. It’s fantastic. Even if you don’t speak German. The special is called “Passion”. 

Happy New Year! 

9 thoughts on “Throw! 

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  1. I’m in agreement about the volunteer being used to climb on by the juggler bit. It doesn’t get funnier the more it’s done. Also the idea that juggling is very dangerous is similarly hard to pull off – unless you are standing on a small platform rigged 50 feet in the air. Juggling will have to go some to catch up with the Catholic Church as far as pedophilia goes

    Liked by 2 people

      1. “Do you think there has ever been a succesful “dangerous” juggler? I’m inclined to believe that no audience ever really thinks the juggler or they are in any real danger.”

        James Marcel, the first chainsaw juggler I know of, used to juggle a huge knife – sickle – cleaver set he made. He has hurt himself and I think most people believed there was some danger.

        I went with reverse psychology and referred to my razor sharp looking machetes which would get some people to argue they are dangerous for me since they are still steel and pointy.

        Some jugglers actually do dangerous things and hurt people. I think you’re right for the most part as audiences often assumes it’s safe because the juggler is a “professional”.

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  2. It’s nice to hear someone else tired of the cliche uni mount. Pretty much any mocking of volunteers has always made me cringe. Can we also work to end making them wear silly hats that we then point out look silly on them?

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  3. Making fun of the volunteer is tricky. Years ago I saw Harry Anderson’s street act. He used a volunteer and had a banjo player accompanying him. He put a silly smile mask on the bottom part of the volunteer’s face and then called him a “degenerate.” The audience laughed and the volunteer seemed OK with it. I wondered at the time about whether or not the volunteer was uncomfortable. It was an early attempt at making fun of the volunteer. We had never seen this done before, so it was a surprise, unexpected, and the audience laughed. However, as the years click on, it doesn’t get funnier. I would call it an easy laugh for lazy street performers. Years back, the easy line was, “We do not accept credit cards, or money from the mafia, the government, or any other forms of organized crime.” After that, it seemed all street acts were using that line. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I have faith that people can come up with more original lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There has never really been any professional incentive to write original material. Stand-up comics are terribly hard on each other about theft but that really seems to be lacking in comedy juggling.

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      1. I don’t find stand ups to be any more critical about stealing jokes. I just watched a show in S.F. last night and it was mostly old material. Jugglers are forced to steal from a narrower range of jokes so that may make it appear more obvious. Stand ups have a much larger pool to steal from so it’s less likely to recognize the source.

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      2. I feel like when a real professional comedian steals it IS talked about. Like Robin Williams or Carlos Mencia.
        Also, because the joke pool is smaller we should be much harder on comedy jugglers who use other people’s material.

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      3. It can be hard to criticize when the people stealing have power to book you or influence your career. Mention Robin Williams long practice of taking whatever joke he wants and you will piss off all his fanboys. I’ve gotten huge backlash for pointing out comics who steal money from me, people care even less about stealing jokes unless they think it’s their joke.

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