By Norman the Clown

It is the day before my birthday and my sweet wife asked if I knew how old I would be on my birthday… Not fully sure, I just said… “I think 39.” Just as I heard Jack Benny say so often. I went on to say that I am so lucky and glad that she was 29.  Verrrroom –Yeah!  She is awesome!   I’d take her on a date any Friday night.  She asked again if I knew how old I would be… I responded, “old” and added, “Hey, I like old people!  Always have!”

It is good to be old. 

I love old people.  I recall my wonderful Grandpas and Grandmas were always old people to me – and such nice old people.  I am fortunate to have had some really sweet old uncles and aunts too.  Many friends and mentors have been old and that is cool.  I like old people and I think kids do too. SO I should stay busy in this show business for years to come as I keep getting older.

I don’t pretend to be a teen rock star on stage… I have developed entire programs where I am a Farmer in one and a Scientist in the other… I look the part.  That is the key to aging on stage.  I am developing a “Grandpa Magic” show now for me to grow into in the years ahead.

I got my first taste of show biz when at 10 years old I did magic shows at my Mom’s old folks home (as they used to call it before it became Senior Citizen –  Either way the people were nice as I did my tricks and stunts and it gave me confidence to do my magic tricks.  It was a great start in show biz. 

I watched comedians get old over the years and they were just as funny.  For example:  Red Skelton, George Burns, Lucy Ball, Carol Burnett, Jim Howle, Leon “Buttons” McBryde  – all awesome as they aged.  They made the world a better place with their love and laughter.  That’s cool!  I wanna do that too!  You are awesome as you age too!

So what is the point of this little essay?  – – I like old people and so do most everyone!  So if you think you are getting a bit too old to clown around … knock it off, it is natural to get a little bit older – each day, all the time.  So please don’t think that because you age a bit that you will somehow stop being funny or something like that.  Some of us are funnier as we age.   My dad for example, would try to crack jokes as he did his ventriloquist act over the years…  but when he did it at 90 years old he was a hit!  It was fun to see him do the old shtick!  I even got him a book of short one liner jokes and suggested he pick one out to do each day at lunch with the others in his Senior Independent living building.  He learned a joke each day and told the joke from table to table.  “Are you ready for today’s joke?” It got to the point that the people looked forward to each day’s joke.  Some were better than others but hey… it brightened people’s days. 

Your audiences might change… but you still got something to share everywhere you go – laughter, kindness and a smile.  You might be a happy highlight in someone’s day.

Three Comic Bits… For When You are Out and About   By: Norman

  1.  Cash or Credit –  When paying for gas or groceries etc I try to put a $20 dollar bill into the credit card swipe machine… some clerks look confused then laugh … others laugh right away.  Hey I gave them a laugh and made their day a bit brighter.  Try it. Practice your comedy everywhere. 
  2. Do you have Change for a Million? Get some Million dollar bills and try to pay with that. Simply say, “Do you have change for a Million?” Hand the clerk the Million dollar bill. These obviously fake bills are so cheap that I love to give one to the clerk to show their friends.  Pay with your credit card and comment as you point to the bill in their hand “Ah, I’m feeling good – you can keep the change.” It will brighten that person’s day. 
  3. Old Magic Trick: If there is no one waiting in line behind you … say to the clerk, “Do you want to see a quick magic trick?”  They nod, and then you continue. “It is the old coin from behind the ear trick. Turn your head so your right ear is away from them and reach up with your right hand, fumble for a moment act like there is some problem and then pull out a hearing aid!!  There seems to be a wire running back behind your ear. Left hand is up helping from the other side behind your head. The tiny wires continue and then you give a sleight tug and there on the other end of the wire hangs a plastic ear!  Make a comment – “I need to practice more.” I think this is funny.  Not every bit may fit your style.  This is done with fake hearing aid – some wire and a rubber ear from the novelty shop.  You tuck this in your collar before you go in and turn your head a bit when doing it so they cannot see you pulling it out.  The left hand helps to hold the fake ear behind your head right before the little tug releases it.   You can then pull a penny from out of the fake ear – “oh, it worked!”
  4. Bonus Gag:  When it’s time to pay, pull a bunch of monopoly money from your wallet and fumble through it… then pull out your credit card from the monopoly money.
  5. Bonus Gag… Print up some “Get out of Jail Free” cards and give the clerk one. 
  6. Remember – All the World is a Stage.  Go make some laughs anywhere and everywhere.  And hey, go hug an old person! If you can’t find one… then give me a hug!  You are never too old to be a clown and spread some joy.

Norman is a clown guy who likes to hear laughter –  Learn more at:  CleanComedyGuys.