Family Show Vs. Kid's Show
Not only am I a magician; I'm also a dad. I have endured Barney on Ice. I have paid $50 per ticket to take my daughter to see Veggie Tales. I have seen EVERY animated movie made between 2001 and 2013. And most of that entertainment was not entertaining to me. But I smiled and went anyway because it was entertaining for my daughter.
And I learned some things. Some very valuable things.
I learned that I never wanted to do a show that alienated the adults in my audience. That's why you'll find me doing humor and throwing in referenced directed at the parents. I want the grown-ups to find the magic as amazing as their kids do and I want them to also leave the show being just as entertained as their children are. I respect the parents who spend quality time with their kids by bringing them to my Summer Reading Program magic show and I don't want them to feel like it was just another kid-based event that they had to endure.
I also learned that innuendo is a no-no. I recall sitting with my daughter in a movie theater when she was about 8 or 9, watching a cartoon and a character made an adult innuendo. To be honest, it made me feel kind of creepy. I wonder what I would have said if my daughter had asked me what it meant? I would have probably made up something, but it would have been a very awkward situation.
Finally, I remember seeing a trend of bodily function jokes in children's movies. This may have appealed to 9 year old boys, but as a parent, I found it crude and tasteless. I believe in setting an example for children. I'll never resort to toilet humor to get a cheap laugh. I'm better than that and the children deserve better than that. Unfortunately, not all entertainers think so. Several years ago my jaw dropped in horror as I watched a magician make a joke about how he thought his 5 year old assistant had soiled himself. Imagine how the child must have felt. Imagine how the parents felt. I couldn't believe it.
Maybe my taste in humor comes from my upbringing. I remember that my father and I would watch Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello and W.C. Fields. Even today I would prefer to watch Carol Burnett over Honey Boo Boo or Gilligan's Island over Jackass.
Trends in humor may change, but I believe that there will always be an audience for classic, clean, non-offensive humor. And that's exactly what I plan on continuing to do.