Just received word that BBC3 in the UK is showing a series called “The Real Hustle Around The World”
Robert Webb takes an entertaining look at the six different countries that have made their own versions of the hit show The Real Hustle. Featuring the best and worst scams from Russia, America, Israel, Belgium, Germany and Australia.
If you get a chance to watch it, you might just catch me, Adam and Clare, swindling suckers in Sydney.
If you enjoy it, please email Channel 9 and ask them to show the full Australian series.
Swindling dancers with a fake audition. Notice the neckerchief.
Nicholas J Johnson in Scampalooza is funny, talented and informative!! We learnt a lot from the 30 second scams. The show was entertaining from start to finish – the crowd laughed so much, it was like being at a Melbourne Comedy Festival performance. Thanks for a great night - Jackie
As well as
really really entertaining and extremely funny. 30 second scams were cool and educational! u have really inspired me to be a con artist as well as a magician now! the crowd didn’t get bored one second of the show amazingly entertaining from start to finish! i’m sure no one would regret it and absolutely no one would think it was a waste of money. i loved the last one with the milk crate LOL that was hilarious. also well done with the audience participation level!! big big well done to nicholas J johnson.. Im sure now everyone knows why your called Australia’s Honest Con Man because u are the ULTIMATE CON MAN!!! WELL DONE!! - Sam
The Melbourne Magic Festival is in full swing and I’ve just finished a week of my one man show ‘Scamapalooza’.
Sharing a dressing room with various rabbit pullers, box jumpers and dove wranglers as got me thinking more and more about the role of magic in scams.
Many of the tools in the magician’s tool kit come from the world of swindler. The second deal, the pass, the topit and the cups & balls all started as swindles before becoming conjuring tricks and methods.
But what about the opposite? Can a magic trick become a scam?
In Eric Garcia’s novel, Matchstick Men, the story begins and ends with a magic trick played out as a scam. Two grifters argue you in a diner about the sleight of hand abilities of one of them. The would be magician offers to perform a simple card trick on a nearby sucker.
A card is selected by the sucker and then returned to the deck which is shuffled. The cards are slowly dealt, face up, on the table. The magician/grifter reaches the selected card…but keeps on going. He appears to have missed the card, turning over several more cards. He stops.
“The next card I turn over will be yours.”
The grifter’s friends mocks him again, suggesting he’ll get it wrong.
“Alright…$100 says the next card I turnover is yours.”
With the grifter’s encouragement, the sucker, knowing his card is already turned over, takes the bet. The grifter reaches out, takes the mark’s card from the pile on the table and turns it face down!
Evil magician refuses to pay for clipart.
In one of his television specials, magician Paul Zenon performed a trick on a bartender where a signed and borrowed 10 pound note vanished from his hands and appeared in the bartender’s cash register.
He then reveal the secret. After vanishing the signed note, he drop it on the group. A confederate came and picked up the note and took it to the other end of the bar to another bartender. He then spent 10 pounds on a beer getting 7 pounds change. The second bartender put the note in the cash register where the first bartender found it.
The scam? The confederate paid for the beer and got seven pounds change from the borrowed note! They got they cash and beer for free!
One of my own scam magic tricks also happens at the cash register. Short on change for a tip, I pick up a $2 coin from the bar’s tip jar. I then pick up 5c piece. Waving the 5c over the $2, the coin changes into a second $2 coin. I put the $4 into the jar and walk off. The bartender feels like I’ve given them a $1.95 tip.
In reality, when I pick up the first $2 coin from the jar, I also secretly take a second $2 coin. Using a little sleight of hand (a bobo switch for my magician readers) I appear to change the 5c into $2. When I drop the $4 in the tip jar, I’m just returning their own money to them.
And I walk away with their 5c.
Hey, profit is profit.
Paul Zenon performs a hilarious magic trick that looks like a scam…but isn’t.
I posted this scam on my previous blog over a year ago. While I had a lot of guesses, no one found the answer. Let’s see if the new year has some new answers…
The con man and his victim each put five coins of varying amounts into a pile. The victim then lines the ten coins up in a row, in any order he likes. The two players each take turns taking a coin from either end of the row until they have five coins each. Whoever gets the most money, wins the kitty.
The con man picks first and ends up winning.
The con artist, keen to make more money, asks the victim if he’d like to play again. This time, to sweeten the deal, the con artist puts in six coins to the victim’s five. This time, the con artist lines up the coins and let’s the victim go first. Since the victim is going first he gets more choices and will always end up with one more coin than the con man.