If you've ever seen Mel perform this hilarious routine, you'll have wanted the prop! It's as simple as that.
Here's how Mel desribes it:
You invite an assistant for a game of 'Do As I Do'. They are given a feather and a tube and instructed to copy your actions, yet when they remove the tube the feather is always facing the wrong way. So what have I changed?
Well as the routine progresses I actually tell the assistant I am secretly, when they are not looking twisting the tube. This gives the routine an added dimension because now you can secretly twist the tube and your assistant will notice and twist theirs in the hope of catching you out. Of course when they do twist, you can act annoyed but their feather is still the wrong way around.
Depending on the person I get up, age, introvert or extrovert etc. I end the trick by letting them get the feather in the correct position and sometimes I catch them out for one last time. This is a judgement call. If your assistant is having fun at being fooled there is nothing wrong in ending in a little tease. I know this goes against the current thinking regarding entertaining children. Trust me kids love a good playful game. As long as you don't make them look silly or embarrass them you are ok.
Mel writes about using this with children, and, of course, he's right; it works brilliantly with them. But don't neglect using this with adults as well. The trick has built-in comedy which makes it suitable for all ages.