I've always been concerned about the matter of placing the same mask on various persons from act to act.  How sanitary can that be?  I know the conscientious vent will sanitize the mask between each and every use, but how does the audience volunteer know (unless prearranged). I can promise you if I was unexpectedly called up as an assistant during this worse that usual flu season, and the vent produced a mask for me to put over my face, I'd find a way to tactfully refuse.  Maybe it's just me?


  1. it's not you, I feel the same, thank you because nobody really stands up and says this, These were my words and feelings and I thought I was the only one. If I knew I was going to be a "victim" of a gag, I would make a scene. I had a teenager do that to me, he took off the mask and threw it on the ground smashing it to pieces. After that I said NO more, the mask is just a cheap attempt to get a laugh at the expense of an audience member, this is my take and my opinion only.

  2. P. Grecian1/16/2013

    I've heard from others with the same concern. I've also heard (and don't know if it's true) that use of the masks has peaked and on a downward slope. Most of the people I know who use one are scrupulous about cleaning them after each use, but still, were I a volunteer, I'd be worrying just about the time I saw the mask coming toward my face.

  3. Anonymous1/16/2013

    Yes, Clinton, there's the health issue. But I agree with Bob Abdou. The mask routine is the worst bit any vent can do. Whenever I watch a video with a mask bit, I fast-forward through it or just turn the video off.

  4. No, it's not just you Clinton, I would refuse too. I had a mask years ago, and I cleaned it after every use with alcohol wipes, but I wouldn't count on others doing it.
    I hadn't thought about what Bob said, but like anonymous, when I watch a video, if I see them bringing out a mask, I turn it off. My reason is just plain being tired of seeing it. As I said, I had a mask, got it from Bill Boley back when he was selling them, and then it was a different thing to do, nobody had seen it, now absolutely everyone is doing it and the words may be different, but it's the same basic bit, guy volunteer gets girl voice, girl volunteer gets guys voice....it's just gotten too old and tired for me to watch any more, it's not the cute and different novelty bit it once was.

  5. Larry Columbo1/17/2013

    From Larry Colombo

    FROM LARRY COLUMBO: I too was worried about sanitizing the vent mask..... I don't bother. This is how I handle it. I first put a disposable dust mask (purchased from Home Depot) on the person. I draw a silly mouth and lips on the mask with a sharpie (the masks are white). After a few comedy words about my failed drawing abilities I then put the mask over the dust mask. They can keep the used dust mask or just dispose of it after the routine. My hope and attempt is to make the participant feel better knowing they aren't wearing a mask that has been all over someone else's face.

    1. I'm sure it makes the volunteer feel more comfortable - and perhaps the audience. But still - don't call on me as a volunteer. I used to use those disposable dust masks in my shop and I still had breathing problems - if they can't keep all fine particles of dust from passing through, I doubt they can stop all germs.