First, I want to thank David Martinez for sending along the idea that formed the foundation of this routine. It's an idea that is so good that it's seemingly obvious after you hear it. But I couldn't find anyone talking about anything similar online.
This is a trick that uses Cards Against Humanity cards. Cards Against Humanity is one of the most popular party games in the word. It is a #1 bestselling game on Amazon in both the US and UK. Some of you will say, "Popular?! Well I've never heard of it." As if there's something noble about being disengaged from the world around you. I'm not quite sure that attitude comes across in the way you'd hope. Try this instead: "Popular?! Oh, interesting, I haven't heard about this. I'm completely out of the loop. Tell me about it."
Cards Against Humanity is a game where there are black cards with questions or incomplete phrases on them.
Then there are white cards with nouns in the form of single words or phrases. Everyone has a bunch of white cards. Each round a black card is played and everyone submits the white card from their hand that they think pairs the funniest with the black card.
Then the judge for that round chooses which pairing they find funniest (without knowing who submitted what). The funniest answer gets a point.
(It should be noted that many of the cards are a little dirty or offensive. If you're one of the people who emails me to lecture me that "Smart people don't need to use bad words," you won't like this. Grow up, by the way. It's nonsense to get worked up by the language someone uses. Every "smart" comedian of the past 50 years has worked blue at times. "Not Bill Cosby!" Okay, you have that paragon of virtue on your side. "Not Brian Regan!" I know Brian well. I've worked with him. He's plenty dirty in his personal life. Not swearing on stage is a business decision for him.)
I perhaps don't need to go any further. Many of you will immediately see the value in this. This is one of the rare ideas on my site that I think might be equally as valuable to the professional as the amateur. You likely see a whole number of applications where you can substitute out meaningless playing cards, for these cards that are rich in concepts, ideas, and humor.
David's original idea was to use these cards in a Gemini Twins routine.
I particularly liked that idea for these reasons:
- the cards are naturally more interesting to spectators than playing cards
- the idea of matching up cards is inherent in the nature of how the game is played
- these cards allow for an endless amount of "natural predictions" (that is, a prediction that isn't made by the performer, but is something that is naturally occurring in the environment).
What follows is a version of the the trick where everything is very nicely contained. While I created the premise, and the prediction for the version that follows, the original idea to use CAH cards in a Gemini Twins trick is all David Martinez's.
For this version we are going to match up these two cards
with these two cards.
The set-up is like this in the box.
Take out an inch or two of white cards so there is a little more room to maneuver in the box. All the white cards are on the right hand side, facing to the right. All the black cards are on the left-hand side, facing to the left. The black stack consists of this from the bottom up: the two target black cards, the two target white cards, the rest of the black cards.
Cards Against Humanity is a party game. It's meant to be played with a lot of people. The premise of this trick is that you found a blog post with a procedure for the game to be played with two people. You ask your friend if you can try out a round just to get a feel for it, and you pull out the instructions from the blog and work your way through the steps. (There will be a pdf of these instructions at the end.)
You pull the black cards from the box for yourself and start mixing them up. You can do anything that doesn't disturb the bottom four cards. I would just cut off 2/3rds and overhand shuffle it back onto the rest of the cards. While you're doing this you ask your friend to take out a chunk of white cards. This is kind of a nice moment. In a traditional Gemini Twins routine it's a 2 in 50 type chance. But in this case it's going to turn out to be a 2 in 500 chance. And they're choosing the cards that are in play.
They shuffle their cards. While they do, you double under-cut your two bottom cards (the black target cards) to the top. Then take your stack in right-hand biddle grip. Take their cards in your left hand and place your stack on top so you can pick up the directions to read through them. You've now added the target white cards on top of the white stack.
The directions will tell you to have your spectator (Player B) select any two black cards. You can force the top two cards of the black packet however you like. I've left room for interpretation in the directions about how the cards should be picked. I say you can use the "Harris method" this is just a generic term that justifies the procedure of any force you want. If you have some weird dealing force you can just tell them it's the "Harris method" for selecting two random cards. I say you can use the "Duo-Cut Method," which could be a cross-cut force or a cut-deeper force. And then I say, "Or any other random selection." So that justifies any method you want to use to force the two cards.
Now the instructions tell you, Player A, to cut the white cards twice and hand them to Player B. What you will really do is double under-cut the top card to the bottom and get a peak at that card as you hand the stack to your friend.
You will then go through the Gemini Twins procedure which I'm not explaining because this isn't a site where I bother explaining shit like Gemini Twins. Go get your basics under you, son. The first black card you will give your friend is the one that matches up with the card you peeked as per the "prediction."
So, at the end, your friend has matched up these two sets:
Black Card: Today on Maury: "Help! My son is ___________!"
White Card: Judge Judy
Black Card: Coming to Broadway this season, ___________: The Musical.
White Card: RoboCop
Once the cards are matched up and revealed you're going to go back to the instructions to continue reading them. As you do, you'll notice an ad on the side of the printed out blog page. The ad is this:
"What the... that's crazy." Point the ad out to your friend. Don't hit this first one too hard. I'd give it a couple of beets. "That's totally bizarre... what are the odds of that?"
Let the moment happen and then die down. You will flip to the second page of the instructions and start reading about the judging criteria for the game. Hold the page so your friend can see it too. Ideally they will notice the banner ad on this page. If they don't, then wait a couple of moments and act like you just noticed it. Toss the paper down on the table or couch and be like, "That's it. No way. I'm done. That's way too freaky."
The nice thing is, at this point you can play the whole thing as just a trick that you wanted to try on them or you can play it seriously. The reason you can play it seriously is there really is a RoboCop musical. And that's a real theater it played at and the real dates it was there. So you can kind of play it off as a gag ending or you can play it off as a legit insane coincidence if you want. I just follow the spectator's lead on that. If they're like, "Well, why are these ads on a game website?" Just say, "Hmm... it must be a site where the ads are based on your search history. I don't know. I got the pdf off a guy on a gaming message board. I don't think the site it comes from exists any more." And you've successfully covered your ass. But honestly, if they're being that suspicious about it, I'd just be like, "Dude, it's a trick, goofball."
I never try to force a miracle. I just try to present something fun, different, and amazing and let them take it as far as they want.
I just present this trick to you as an example, of course. There are other ways to do the Gemini Twins routine with these cards, and there are other routines to use the Cards Against Humanity cards in.
Here's the PDF with the game instructions. They don't really make sense after the point in the "game" where the trick would end. But who really cares at that point. You won't be continuing on.