I’ve long advocated looking backwards to the works of old for inspiration. There are so many wonderful effects from the past to be found, that, with a little thought, can easily be modernized, strengthened, and transformed in marvellous new ways that will confound both lay audiences and Mystery Performers alike. We all have countless volumes in our libraries which remain virtually unexplored and it is my hope that perhaps this work will inspire you to begin looking through your old books for the many hidden gems contained within.
The origins of the effect you are about to learn here, comes to us from the great Paul Curry and was first published under the title of ‘The Whispering Joker’ in The Phoenix, #131 – August 1947, which is where I first discovered it. It was later republished in 2001 as ‘The Truth-Telling Joker’ in the book Worlds Beyond, through Stephen Minch’s Hermetic Press.
This is not an effect for a walk-around or table-hopping environment, though it would likely be fine in a parlour show. You will understand why this is so after familiarizing yourself with the routine. It is especially great for entertaining friends and family, fellow performers, and used in casual situations.