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Pig Pad

Pig Pad
Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer

Sid Lorraine has always been an idol of mine. Oh, I've been through fads like: Ed Marlo, Leo Behnke, Bro. Hamman, Tom Palmer, Don Alan... even Jay Marshall! But, I always come back to Sid Lorraine. Whenever I've needed an idea or inspiration, my library of Sid Lorraine books or my files of his tricks and variations have provided both and more.

Many years ago Sid Lorraine dubbed himself "Magical Chatterbox." But, I don't think that's the most descriptive title he could've chosen. (Sorry, Sid). A chatterbox is an incessant talker. When Sid talks, it's not incessant. It's droll, disarming, devilish, and... delightful! Sid Lorraine is an artist, an author, an authority on magic and magicians, and he's a nice guy.

I can write much more about Sid, but some other time. Right now I'm writing about one of Sid's ideas. In 1938 Abbott's published his book Patter. In it is rhymed patter for Grant's "Pig on the Slate." I started using his presentation during my high school years. Then, in the early 1960s, I modernized the Pig Slate into the Pig Pad... an artist's pad on which a pig is drawn with Magic Marker. I had to modify Sid's patter to fit.

The reason I'm publishing this now is, I know it's an ideal television item. Good television magic is hard to develop, but this one's a natural. In fact, I use it as an example of several principles in my lecture called "How to Perform Magic on Local TV."

One final word before reading the rhyme. Whether you're performing on TV or live, rhymed patter must be acted, not simply recited. Sid Lorraine said so and he knows what makes "the difference."

Click to Enlarge
Based on PIG SLATE by Sid Lorraine
Revised by Ron Bauer

When I was small and my dad was great big
I asked, "Could you draw me a FAT LITTLE PIG?"
He said he could – it would make him glad,
Then he took up my pen and my artist pad...

"I'll start with the body – then do the head..."
He moved the pen deftly as he did what he said...
"Then add an eye, so the fat thing can blink,
"Put one leg on each corner, and that's all – I think..."

"Oh, the little pig's TAIL... I almost forgot!
"It curls all around... and wiggles a lot.
"I did it!" he said – and his smile got great big.
Then he showed me his version of a FAT LITTLE PIG!

"But that pig's all SQUARE – it's supposed to look ROUND!"
"Then sneak up behind it and make a loud sound!"
So I did... and I found... (BOO!)

The illustrations provided by Milt Kort's daughter, Sandra, show you how to make your own PIG PAD. As far as performing PIG PAD is concerned, there's little explanation needed. Follow the rhyme and this outline:

  1. Show the pen (a Magic Marker-DRIED!) and the pad.
  2. Flip open the cover, but don't let the audience see the pig's already drawn.
  3. "Mug" drawing the pig at appropriate times.
  4. Set aside pen and show pig.
  5. Hold pad to left side of your face.
  6. When you say, "BOO!" make pig's head turn... DON'T MOVE DURING APPLAUSE.
  7. Turn pig's head back, close cover, and set pad aside.


Copyright 1981 by Ron Bauer