The NO Prediction Gag

A classic comedy bit for magician and MC's the "NO" Prediction Gag offers a reliable laugh... unless you mess it up! Ryan shares his top tips on how to set-up the joke for maximum impact.

How to get a solid laugh from the NO gag

[ux_video url=""] A quick review of the top tips from the video...

Explain What Your Prediction Is

Especially when working with young audiences who don't know the word "prediction". I sometimes make it easier to understand by calling it "a guess".

Set Up The Rules Clearly

You ask a specific person to THINK of any word they want. Then, as an aside to the rest of the audience, you tell them, "I'm pretty sure this word here is the word he's going to SAY." You don't emphasize that, but rather slip it in. Later, you will reinforce this; "Yup, the word he SAID was NO."

Commit To A Serious Prediction

You must not reveal any hint that this is not a serious prediction until the moment you turn the card around. You take it seriously, they take it seriously, and it builds up the tension that will be released with a solid laugh.

Commit To The Greatest Joke On Earth

The payoff also lands much more strongly if you play it as if you think this is the greatest joke you've ever told. I celebrate way more than is reasonable for the moment and it only extends the laugh.

Do This Gag First

This gag works best when the audience still thinks you *might* be able to actually pull it off somehow. Getting a clear "NO" answer from your volunteer is most reliable when they don't think you're playing around.

The other prediction gags in Baby Bow will work no matter what they say, so it becomes less serious and more playful as it goes along.

Be Ready For Alternate Responses

What if they say YES to play along, or MAYBE? The clear set-up helps to get a solid NO most of the time, but every now and then you get an unpredictable prediction. Plan out your options in advance so you're ready to ad lib when it happens.

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If you'd like to work with big props that make a visual impact and last forever, check out my Baby Bow props, which include the NO gag as part of a full comedy magic routine...

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Published: December 8, 2018

Channel: Blog

Access: Public


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