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I have always been a fan of book tests. Over the years I have had lots of them. Some I have liked very much, and some not so much. Cody Fisher’s Comedy Book Test (CCBT) is one of the latest to hit the market.
CBBT can be used to perform anything from a 3 minute slot right up to a 3 phase 10-15 minute performance. Although the three phase routine on the DVD is nothing new it is very entertaining to watch. Each phase builds, starting with a simple revelation of a word selected from a book. In the second phase, rather than getting the word correct, you reveal that your prediction is actually a code which directs a spectator to a page, column and line in a dictionary. The word, of course, turns out to be the second peeked at word from the second book. The final phase is similar to Wayne Dobson’s brilliant S’Exchange routine, where the audience and the spectator on stage have too completely different experiences. Very funny and a great idea.
You are supplied with a single gimmicked joke book and an instructional DVD. The book, which IS actually full of jokes, allows you to force two different pieces of information. The book is well produced and should last a long time if cared for properly.
The gimmicked book, if used by itself, will give you a quick routine that would me ideal for MC work. Add in the extra two books (which can be any two regular books) and you have a full routine that will give you at least 10 minutes of entertainment. You do not have to use the same books as Cody, if you can find other books that suit you better then it is easily customisable.
Everything on the DVD is explained extremely well and clearly by Cody. To be honest the routine itself is actually not hard to do at all but it will take lots of rehearsal to get it to a good standard. It shows in the performance that Cody has used and performed this routine lots of times.
The final phase of the routine is very funny but I must say that due to the nature of the word used it may not suitable for all situations and may not suit every performers’ style. It is ideal for a comedy club or corporate event but it would be recommended that you check with your venue first to see if they have any issues with you doing it.
If you want to add a solid 10 minutes of fun to your set then I recommend picking this up.