The Defect In the Carbonaro Effect

The Carbonaro Effect returns to Tru Tv tonight, for those of you in the U.S. If you haven't watched it, I recommend it. It's a lot of fun, and not just because when you google "cabonaro effect," Google wants to auto-complete to "carbonaro effect racist."

If you haven't seen it, it's essentially a show that uses magic methods to prank people. It's an outgrowth of a segment Michael used to do on The Tonight Show when Jay Leno was hosting, as in the clip below. (This gives me hope that we'll one day see an hour-long Iron Jay show, because that bit was hilarious.)

The show is pretty funny and good-natured and hardly racist at all. You can find a bunch of clips on youtube to get a taste for it.

My favorite part of the show though is when he has to explain to the person at the very end that they've just been on The Carbonaro Effect. Candid Camera was on the air for 50 years so they could just say to the person, "Smile, you're on Candid Camera!" And that person would be like, "Got it. Okay. That clears up everything." But when you say "The Carbonaro Effect" to most people, it means nothing. So there's this nice long explanation that follows the final set-up for the show. And it becomes even more convoluted because at first he works in the phrase "Carbonaro Effect" casually. I guarantee there was some executive at Tru TV who was like, "Can't we just call this show, Magic Trick'd? Then at the end we can just say, 'You got Magic Trick'd!' and we can all go home and get on with our lives?" Instead every episode ends with something like this...

Victim: Damn. That shit was crazy!

Michael: Do you know what it's called when you shrink down someone's car to the size of a pea, put it in a slingshot, and shoot it to the other side of the parking lot?

Victim: Naww... what's it called?

Michael: The Carbonaro Effect.

Victim: Ok, if you say so.

Michael: It's also the name of a hidden camera, magic television show.

Victim: Sounds good, I'll check it out.

Michael: A hidden camera, magic, television show that pranks people. 

Victim: Mmhmmm.

Michael: Like the one you're on right now.

Victim: No, I'm at the parking garage. 

Michael: No... I mean, yes, you are, but what I'm saying is, you're on The Carbonaro Effect. And it's a hidden camera, magic, prank show. That you are on, at this moment.

Victim: Ohhhhhh!!!! I get it. This is a prank show?

Michael: That's right!

Victim: Cool. Who are we gonna prank? Let's get Rodney.

Michael: No, no, no. We just pranked you.

Victim: You did?

Michael: Yes. Remember when I said I shrank your car down to the size of a pea, and put it in a car-slingshot and I sent it to the other end of the parking lot?

Victim: Yeah, that just happened. 

Michael: That was a prank.

Victim: No. It just happened, I saw it.

Michael: Right, but it was a prank.

Victim: I'm not following.

Michael: You are now on a hidden camera show called the Carbonaro Effect.

Victim: The what Effect?

Michael: Carbonaro.

Victim: No, it was a car-slingshot.

Michael: What?

Victim: It wasn't a car bow and arrow, it was a car slingshot

Michael: No, no, no. Carbonaro. Look, my name is Michael Carbonaro.

Victim: Ok.

Michael: I'm a magician.

Victim: Got it.

Michael: I have a hidden camera, magic, prank show on Tru Tv.

Victim: Cool, cool, cool.

Michael: We are shooting that show at this very moment.

Victim: Nice.

Michael: With you as the victim of the prank. 

Victim: Oh... OH!!!! Okay, I hear you. Haha. Okay, I get it now. 

Michael: You got it? Great. Will you sign this release?

Victim: So what you're saying is...

Michael: Yeah?

Victim: Everything that just happened...

Michael: Right.

Victim: With the car, and shrinking it down, and putting it in a slingshot, and then having my car reappear from the other end of the parking lot...

Michael: Yeah, all of that.

Victim: That was all just...

Michael: Yes.

Victim: 100% real?