Chris Bliss Diss

It seems that lately lots of non-juggling people have become quite excited over Chriss Bliss’s juggling routine video. The funny thing about it is that, to a juggler, the routine looks ridiculous. The juggling isn’t really hard and the perfect lead-in to the routine would be “Chris Bliss will now show you what it would look like for somebody with a severe case of Parkinson’s disease to juggle!”.

I’m not saying Chris Bliss is a bad juggler, but he certainly is very far from being world class with 3 ball. I’ve seen harder 3 ball routines performed without a drop in much better form (i.e. without the Parkinson’s touch). Luke Burrage‘s routine, which is perfectly choreographed as well, comes to mind.

Neither am I saying that it’s not permissible to entertain an audience by doing easy stuff! It’s show business, and the only goal is to entertain people, which he obviously does.

All I want is to set the record straight: Entertaining as Chris Bliss’s juggling routine may be (even for jugglers, but in a very different way), it’s nowhere near world class juggling. I’m also not the first one to speak up: Penn Jillette talked about it in his show on Free FM (they have a Podcast – subscribe to it immediately, it rocks!), and then, of course, the perpetually pissed off Jason Garfield did Chris’s routine with 5 balls and wrote a long rant about how much Chris and everybody else sucks. Read it, it’s hilarious!

Jason certainly cheated a little bit, though. He didn’t do the whole routine in one run. Look closely at the cut at 1:10, for example. Even so, what he did is so much more difficult than Chris’s routine that it’s hard to put it into perspective. Lots of tricks in his Jason’s video are harder for themselves than Chris’s whole show, by quite a wide margin.

At one point, though, something occurred to me and I wrote to Jason:

I just watched Chris Bliss’s video for the first time in its entirety (I couldn’t make it past one minute before) and it now occurred to me that Chris is so much more genius than anybody had ever thought. His routine is actually a parody of your 5 ball Bliss Diss routine and he did it before you even conceived that routine! That dude has psi powers! So, I guess now you should really give him the credit he deserved.

Jason promptly replied:

Exactly! watching his routine for the first time, I KNEW it was a parody of something. But it just didn’t exist yet. He is the Nostradamus of jugglers.

5 thoughts on “Chris Bliss Diss

  1. Had Chris Bliss done his routine without the balls, it wouldn’t have mattered for the show. It’s a bad sign if you can say that of a juggling act.

    Bravo Jason!

    Steffen, 31, beginner juggler

  2. I’ve watched both versions; Chris and Jason.

    What everyone seems to miss is that Chris Bliss juggling is a perfect marriage with the music. While admittedly, Jason’s 5 ball routine is technically more difficult, he does not have the feel of the music. Difficult or not, it is the combination of uniting the art of juggling and the interpretation of the music, are the main factors that brings the audience to their feet.

    D. Burt

  3. Since you seem to be a piano player let me put it in these terms: Saying that Jason’s version is technically more difficult than Chris’s is like saying that playing Liszt is technically more difficult than playing the one-finger version of Happy Birthday. And calling Chris’s juggling routing “art of juggling” is like calling a not terribly well executed one-finger version of Happy Birthday the “art of piano playing”.

    Watch this.

  4. What you fail to realise Mr Burt is that Chris Bliss’s routing goes with ANY piece of music and looks in synch. Have a look at Jasons site where he demonstrates this by changing the music a dozen times during Chris’ routine and it all still stays in synch. Its a con.

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