The Flying Karamazovs Take a “Gamble”

They'll juggle just about anything, with a few rules.

Ricky Chavez

Really, a performer has to be a mite careful when asking the audience to get involved. And we're not talking about those audience members that shout out the randy, inappropriate topics during an improv sketch. Randy improv suggestions are par for the course, right?

We're talking when a juggling troupe challenges fans to arrive with something for them to juggle. Does the word "something" make you cock an eyebrow? Yes. That's exactly what The Flying Karamazov Brothers do in their famous "Gamble" segment. The "brothers," and you'll note the quotes, ask people to bring an object that is "heavier than an ounce, lighter than 10 pounds, and smaller than a breadbox" (so says the Carpenter Center in Long Beach, where the troupe is performing on Saturday, Jan. 15).

The object of your object? To see it juggled by a brother, along with other strange itemery provided by the audience. If it all goes kerplooey, he'll get a pie in the kisser (but he does get a trio of chances).

A juggle-happy man, in a kilt, taking a pie? Kind of strangely attractive, right? Just us?

There will be other comedy and juggling madness afoot, too. It's a popular, long-running, go-everywhere show, in part because of The Gamble, and in part because of the performers' charms and abilities. After all, how many items on this planet meet the requirement of being heavier than an ounce, lighter than 10 pounds, and smaller than a breadbox? Like 18,907,785,094, we imagine. So happy choosing, people going to the show. Happy choosing.

The brothers will be making merry in Malibu on Sunday, Jan. 16.

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