Nothin’ Up Their Sleeves!
Naked Magicians Mix Comedy & Magic for a Naughty Night of Good, Cheeky Fun
Ridiculously fit illusionists and comics Christopher Wayne and Mike Tyler hail from Australia and travel the world as The Naked Magicians. Yes, as advertised, the duo do indeed strip down to nothing more than their tophats and birthday suits while presenting a delightfully cheeky mix of ribald jokes and magic.
Currently celebrating three years of wayward hijinks, the act is back on tour in the US this month, crisscrossing the country with their successful brand of sexually-liberated humor and good-natured charm.
INsite caught up with co-founder Christopher Wayne in Washington D.C. as the act set up for two shows at the (ahem, speaking of impressive tophats) Lincoln Theater.
How’s the current tour going so far?
So busy! We just did five shows in Boston and we’ve just now touched down in D.C. It’s all been so incredible; we did 45 cities last year and we’ve got 60 cities so far lined up for this year. Every night has been crazier than the last one, with 500 to 1500 people at every show - and for a magic show, that’s extraordinary. We’re just honestly having the time of our lives right now.
Now that you’ve toured America for a couple of years, can you feel any differences in the various regions of the country? Do southern audiences react differently than, say, the West Coast?
I don’t think so because the themes of our show are based on common denominators that every single human has inside of them. At the core, it’s just a fun, naughty show. We’ve done the show now across America to Australia to New Zealand to London and I think every single person has that same naughty side. That’s what we’re all about, tapping into that naughty side with a comedy and magic show that’s based around what we may not talk about in public, but what we all enjoy.
That’s the basis of any sort of comedy - to talk about things you might not want to talk about, but still need to be discussed, shared and ultimately laughed about.
Yes exactly. I’ve realized that as the years have progressed, maybe because of the times, or of the whole Fifty Shades Of Grey thing, some women are ok with talking about getting spanked, and it’s not as taboo a subject as before. So our show works within that new openness, and it really is a celebration of sexuality as a really funny magic show. I was going through the Twitter account earlier and I got a tweet asking if gay guys can come to our show. I was like, of course gay guys can come to the show, why wouldn’t they want to come? We want everyone there, because everyone has that side.
Humor, magic - and yes, nudity - are universal.
They really are! Everyone loves having a laugh, everyone loves magic and we’ve decided to throw two naked Aussies into the mix as well.
As with strip clubs, are you forced to adhere to regional restrictions? For example, some gentlemen’s are strictly topless only, depending on the laws.
We do, actually. It’s quite interesting. Basically, there’s a theatrical liquor licensing law that does and doesn’t allow us to show our actual penises. Because we’re not playing bars, we’re playing theaters. Like tonight we’re at the Lincoln Theater, this amazing historical place. So yeah, there are different laws and regulations we have to abide by. But we’re still naked it’s not just a cheeky name for our act.
In those states with restrictions, do you have to wear a thong or a g-string?
Oh, well that would be gross. There’s good naked and bad naked and that would definitely be bad naked! Usually a guy in a thong can’t be good. But we never compromise what we wear on stage and by the end of the show, what we wear on stage is always nothing.
How did you come up with the idea and how did the whole thing get started?
We got the idea from Simon Painter who is a huge producer and we were helping him with The Illiusionists in Australia. He had this idea “A naked man with a top hat covering his cock. It’s gonna be fucking hilarious! Call it the naked magician!” We spent over a year working on it but that didn’t fully prepare us for doing it live. We weren’t strippers and we had to learn how to get naked. I remember the first time we did it, I was so nervous my heart was beating in my throat. But something amazing happened. We took our clothes off and the audience cheered and went nuts! A liberating sense of freedom came with that and we haven’t looked back since. Now the favorite part of my day is when I’m standing on stage in front of hundreds of people, wearing nothing but a top hat and a smile.
You aren’t naked the whole time, there’s a slow reveal?
And that’s very important to us. We give you plenty of foreplay before we get naked. When we were first writing the show, we looked at other shows where guys take their clothes off in the first few minutes. So then what?
Right, otherwise it would be anti-climatic.
Metaphorically and literally! When that actual moment comes, it’s absolute pandemonium in the theater.
Have you ever gotten aroused during a show?
(laughs) Never happens!
The Naked Magicians perform March 10 and 11 at the Buckhead Theater.