Everything that Griffin and Jones do in Surprisingly Good Magicians is done in their distinctively silly style. They wouldn’t just read an audience member’s mind, they must use their “mind reading goo”, a sticky fluorescent substance that is stored in a children’s lunchbox. And they have a long section in which they use their mentalist powers to deduce which celebrity a volunteer has picked from the hat, in a style reminiscent of childhood boardgames. The set up for that particular reveal might feel too long in the hands of less experienced performers, but it flies by in Griffin and Jones’s hilarious company. Magic fans might recognize some of the structures underlying their tricks, but Griffin and Jones always find ways to make their magic new and exciting.
Their final reveal of the evening, that you should not believe everything that you are told as all of the mechanisms that they use to produce “magic” are really tricks, initially sounds like the most obvious revelation ever. However, their explanation is genuinely fascinating, as they go through how they buried the lead in each of the tricks that they performed in their show.
The slapstick magic style that Griffin and Jones have perfected does result in them often coming across as surprisingly good on the first watch, as they control the chaos that rapidly engulfs whatever stage they find themselves on. This particular show is especially surprising, as these wacky performers discuss a topic as weighty as the proliferation of unreliable news stories, and even make it fit so perfectly into the silliness of their show.