Mentalism is difficult enough, let alone performing mentalism for children. Bill Abbott solved that dilemma by creating a fantastic routine called Chico The Mind Reading Chimp. Chico The Mind Reading Chimp is a good 15 minutes of fun, laughs and surprises for the audience. The best thing about the routine is that you don’t have to know ventriloquism to perform this. The puppet which is quite shy only speaks to its owner.
What you are purchasing is a well-orchestrated and thoughtfully put-together professional package with built-in laughs over years of refinement. Whether you adopt this routine as is, or inject your own personal touches, you will be receiving a truly perfect little piece of comedy, magic, and theatre that appeals to a wide age range. The original routine came as a complete package with all the props needed to perform. In this configuration, the cost of the routine was quite steep which was $500. Even at that price those who were dedicated to learning all the nuances definitely got their money’s worth. After a while, Bill Abbott released Chico The Light Package. Chico The Light Package gave you all the video instructions, music and graphics on two DVDs. The performer who purchased this package was required to assemble all the props necessary for the routine and print out all of the graphics as well as doing all the “arts and crafts” required. Currently, the “light” package is the only one available. From Bill Abbott Magic it is only available as a download for $99 but a quick search online brought me to a couple of online magic dealers that have the DVD version for as low as $75.
Most of the props can be found at small toy stores or dollar stores. If you want the original “Chico” the good news is that he is made by Folkamanis Puppets under the title Monkey # 2123. The most difficult prop to search for I discovered is the Fez hat that is worn by Chico. When I searched for props for my set, the hat was difficult to find. I was lucky to get the last ones online. Since then I have not seen it available. Chico The Mind Reading Chimp is a great closer for any children’s show. I highly recommend this if you are willing to put the effort into memorizing the entire script and routine