Dr. Dropo’s Juggling Buffoonery
By Bruce Fife
Piccadilly Books LTD, 104 pages, Out Of Print
Available on Amazon
Dr. Dropo’s Juggling Buffoonery is an interesting read. It offers rudimentary instruction in the basics of juggling, box manipulation, and balancing tricks but mostly it’s a collection of routines for performance. There is no real information about how to create or develope a routine or idea in the book. There are however, 26 comedy routines complete with prop lists, stage directions, and jokes. The rouitnes are pretty ambitious. To do one of the routines listed you’ll need:
- 3 red balls
- 1 green clay ball
- 1 green beach ball
- A medical type bag
- A tube of lipstick
- 1 bottle 7-UP
- A trick drinking glass (optional)
- 1 x-ray machine (box w/ lights)
- A tape recording on mechanical noise. This will be the sound caused by the x-ray machine.
The routines are full of props, dialogue, and are pretty involved. They are more like little plays than acts. I’m not sure anyone has ever performed them. I don’t think anyone has the balls…clubs, cowboy hats, shoes, footballs, cereal boxes, scarves, He-Man Master of the Universe toys, and boloney sandwiches to do them. Many of the routines include magic and need a stooge or partner. All of them are more in the world of “clowning” than “comedy juggling”. Still, if one looks closely at the themes and basic ideas behind the elaborate routines there are some good ideas there and some stuff nobody is really performing any more. Some of the themes he’s written around are hurt/sick props, anthropomorphized props, and cases of mistaken identity. I’d love to start a crowdfunding campaign to stage some of these acts, as written, for an audience.
I found it an entertaining if not enlightening read. I want to leave you with my favorite piece of stage direction from the book: juggler waits for audience to catch on to joke.