This is a simple routine that only requires two identical pieces of rope (and a friend). I probably starting doing this routine back in 2011 when I was clowning at the refugee camps.
I learned how to make a knot in a rope at clown school. (Funny! I had to go to school for a weekend to learn how to make a knot in a rope!) Equally important: I also learned how NOT to make a knot.
The way I use this incredible knowledge is simple. I bring a rope out of my bag and go through the exaggerated motions of making a knot. After doing that a couple times, I ask a friend if he (or she) wants to try. Needless to say, this will be more fun if you have two clowns performing the routine. Remember, make it yours!
I hand that rope to my friend and I bring an identical rope out of my clown bag. My friend and I go through the same motions, with one slight difference; she makes a knot, but I don’t. To the audience, it looks like we did the same thing. If you do this correctly, the rope appears to be the problem! A few times, my husband put a stethoscope on the second rope to find out if it was dead! Maybe you will get angry at the rope.
Mimi always wants to try again. The friend makes a knot but Mimi doesn’t. Now the fun really begins. Mimi wants to use the first rope, the one that makes a knot. Come up with your own way of obtaining the rope from your friend. Mimi would ask her friend to exchange ropes. Of course, the friend doesn’t want to; he wants the rope that ‘works’. Make this your own! Play it up that the second rope is ‘broken’. Mimi distracted her friend and took the good rope, handing the other one to the friend.
When they both attempt to make a knot in their rope, Mimi is the one who makes the knot and the friend doesn’t!
This is also an opportunity for audience participation. Of course, people will want to try it themselves. And, given the choice, they will want the rope which makes a knot!
This is a good example of a simple trick which can be used to create a funny routine for your show!