Melvin Burkhart

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


A Sound Tribute Part 3


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, Taught to me by a Slick Chick....


“Here’s a quick trick, taught to me by a slick chick.  I don’t mind telling you that I did this trick in Washington, DC, before the President of the United Cigar stores.  It’s called the mystery of the little rabbit in his little house. 


Now you’ve all heard of the magician that pulls the rabbit out of the hat.  I’m about to do the same thing with his house and so his house is perfectly empty. 

Now I place the little rabbit in there and lock him up.


He can’t get out of the front.


He can’t get out of the back, but everyone knows that the hand is faster than the eye.


That’s why there’s so many black eyes. 


Now here’s a trick to prove that my hand is faster than your eye.


You see, he’s a real ‘fraidy cat of a rabbit. 


Once I lock him up in there, all I have to do now is say ‘boo’ and I’ll scare the he… he… heck out of him.


He’ll turn white with fright. 


Now you’ll notice that it has a front door, back door, inside, outside, a front side and a backside!


{In showing the doors he has turned to the back}


When I say ‘boo’ it scares him so bad that he turns white with fright.


{He opens the back door to show a white rabbit.}


Now you can see that…da…{The kids: ‘Turn it around.’} Huh? 


Sure, I can turn him around.


{He turns the house upside down}


I’ll turn him right back into a black rabbit again.  All I have to do is say ‘oob’ which is ‘boo’ backwards and he goes right back to a black rabbit.


And again you’ll notice, it’s gotta front door, back door, inside, outside, front side and backside.


{Now he’s at the front again}


Now I say ‘boo’ and there he is right back to a white rabbit again.


{He opens the front door.}


Now you…{Kids: ‘Turn it around.”}


I did turn him around… there you are. Now…{Kids: ‘The back door.’


Well, sure it’s got a back door. 


I said that. {Kids: ‘Open it!’


OK, I’ll open the back door.”


 {He opens the back door, but does not move the house}


“There you are, the front door and back door is open!


Now…{The kids yell: ‘Let’s see it.’}


Well, of course you can see it, there it is.


{He points to the visible part of the back door.}


Now…{Kids: ‘The back door.’}


Oh, the back of the door – perfectly empty!


{He points to the back of the front door.}


There it is!  {Kids: ‘No, turn it around.’}


Oh, turn the rabbit around.


Now… {He pulls the rabbit out of the house and turns it upside down while discarding the house.}


{Kids: ‘Show the other side.’}


The other way… {The picture is right side up but still faces us.}


{Kids: ‘The other side.’} Here’s the front side and the backside.


{He points, but does not turn the card.}


{Kids: Well, let’s see the backside.} Oh, you want to see the backside? {Kids: ‘Yes!’}


Well, this is the front side and this is the backside.


{He turns the card to reveal not the expected white rabbit, but the backside of a black rabbit.}


Hey, you gotta watch us magician fellas, we’re slickers you know.


We only like to make you laugh.”


To be continued



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