Melvin Burkhart

The Man, the Magician, the Anatomical Wonder & Much More!


A Sound Tribute Part 2


by Richard Mullin

The rare recording from which this transcription came was made in 1973 at Slim Kelley’s “Museum of Natural Mistakes” on the Strates’ midway. This transcript is dedicated to showman Melvin Burkhart (1907-2001)

Carnival midway showman Ward Hall said of him: “Melvin was a great guy.  I never heard him say a bad word about anyone and I never heard anyone ever say a bad word of him.  A remarkable, wonderful way to go through life.”


A Quick Trick Done with a Giant-Sized Pair of Playing Dice....


Here’s a quick trick done with a giant-sized pair of playing dice. They’re not trick dice, they’re just big, old dice.   A lot of times people, of course, will stop and say that they think they’re some kind of trick fake dice.


Did you ever shoot dice young lady? 


Did you ever play Monopoly? 


To play Monopoly, didn’t you shoot dice?  What did you play with Tidily-winks? 


Caught her right in the act – a crap shooter! 


Nearly everybody has played with dice these days. Young man, raise up the curtain and come over here for a minute, won’t you? 


Raise up the curtain. 


Look over these for a second…  ‘second’s up!


 Now, I’ll take these… hey, that’s legal, but hardly fair is it?  Go ahead and examine them. 


Now young man, if you can move one of those spots, on those dice,  I’ll give you a ten-dollar bill.  If you can’t, you can give me one, I don’t care. The spots don’t move, do they? 


Certainly not. Hoping is not the trick. Now, young man, do you have good eyesight?  I’m going to test your eyes. 


It’s all in fun, remember that!  I’m going to make you think that you see five and one right there and six and three right here.


Now I’m going to tell that young man the truth.  I’m only making him think that he can see five and one and six and three.


Actually, that’s a six and two and four and one. 


Do you believe that?


What’s that?


You don’t believe that that’s a four and one. 

Well, what do you think is here?  Heh?  Four and one and six and two, right?  Now you thought it was five and one and six and three, didn’t you?


What do you see here now?


What’s that?


Four and one?


Four and five and one!


Thank you very much, for helping me out, young man. Now everyone, of course, realizes that a trick entertains you.  It doesn’t fool you in any way.  Now I’m going to do this real slow, so everyone can see exactly how I do it… how he does it… how I will do it. 


Now lady, what are the numbers that you see here? 


I see you looking rather skeptical. Five and three. 


And what’s over here?


In other words, you see five and three right here and five and three right here, right?


Well, that’s what you said – five and three AND five and three.


What do you see here?


What’s that? Four and two. 


 Faster than the eye again.” 


“I have to hurry right along boys and girls.  Now I could stand up here doing tricks for an hour, but I’m only given two or three minutes, so I have to work a little fast. 


Now here is a trick that is absolutely impossible. (This trick is so impossible that even I can’t do it.)


I’ll do it anyway.     




It’s done with three pieces of rope.  You’ll notice that they’re all the same size, right?.  Now, keep your eyes on… they certainly are… one is just as round as the other.  They’re just different lengths – baby rope, momma rope, poppa rope.  Now keep your eyes on the ropes.  Right before your very eyes I’m going to HYP-notize everybody.  Once I get you hypnotized, you’ll actually think that these ropes grow in my hands – that they get to be one as long as the other.


You don’t believe that, do you? 


She has a very skeptical look on her face. 


Better believe it.


I can do it. Watch the ropes very closely. 


You’ll see that at no time during this trick do my fingers leave my hands.




Watch the ropes… look at the ropes… concentrate… concentrate… now, are you constipated? …ah, concentrated?  If you are, when I say the magic words… abracadabra- allakazam – make the butter to fry in the pan, you’ll think all these ropes are the same length.


You didn’t think I could do it, did you? 


Of course, as I’ve been trying to tell you, that these ropes are all the same length. You might think I was trying to fool you. I wouldn’t fool you for nothing.  I might for something, but not for nothing!  So I’d like you to notice just one thing… one… thing… here is one, here is two, here is three – ropes all the same length, but suppose that I was to stand up here now, with my bare face hanging out and I was to tell you that one of these ropes was really only that long, and one of these ropes was really only that long, and shorty was really only that long. 


 I’ll bet you wouldn’t believe me.


Well, I wouldn’t believe me either.




I’ve only got time for one more quick trick.” 


To be continued



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