The Advanced Form: The Deangelo
Today I’ll be talking about the only advanced form. A form I like to call the “Deangelo” after its fictional creator. I’ve never seen a comedy juggler do this but I’ve seen a couple of stand-up comics and Will Ferrel do it so I know it’s possible.
Form 5: The Deangelo
A comedy juggler performs a comedy juggling routine without juggling.
This is definitely the most difficult of the forms (which is why no one does it). A lot of juggler have a joke or two about juggling tricks that are not in there show (chainsaws, kittens, or the “those are so dangerous…that I wont juggle them” line) but the idea here is to do an entire routine. Part of the problem is that juggling alone struggles to be interesting enough to be entertaining let alone just talking about juggling. This form is often accomplished by the miming of juggling. Though what makes it truly great is the inclusion of jokes that support the physical actions.
This form comes with many benifits for the comedy juggler: it’s ultra portable, it doesn’t require a wireless headset or high ceilings, and during a full length comedy juggling show it can provide a much appreciated change of pace. It’s also a great way to let the audience know that you don’t take yourself too seriously and have an understanding about how you appear to them.
The crux of the form is satire. You must have a great understanding of how you and juggling are perceived by your audience and then you have to burlesque yourself and juggling in a way that is satifsying and identifiable for the audience. A lot of comedy jugglers will make jokes based on their knowledge of juggling and the tropes in the profession that we are all familiar with but the audience doens’t always have those connections. I once spent way too long developing a “drinking the apple” while juggling routine but audiences weren’t familiar enough with the original for it to resonate.
Because we are so close it’s hard to have the distance required to write good satire. For inspiration (and a dose of reality) have a close friend who knows you and has been around juggling for awhile to imitate you or a juggler they know. The Deangelo Form is satire and the best satire comes from people who are intimately acquainted with a subject but apart from it.
See Deangelo in action here.
The Take Away
Form 5 is doing a juggling routine without any juggling.
It is the rarest form and is the least explored of the comedy juggling forms.
It is most successful when done as satire