Anthony Gatto
December 17, 2008 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Anthony Gatto The worlds best juggler (autoplaying sound).
posted by dead cousin ted (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, but does he juggle chainsaws or broken bottles?
posted by Tube at 10:50 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

There are those who would disagree. In fact there's a whole list of them here (I couldn't find an easy link to it, but people generally look at the winner of the individual competition at the IJA each year).

That is, unless you're Jason Garfield, or you have a strong belief that juggling is a sport, in which case you pay attention to WJF instead. This year's comp coming up, uh, this week actually. You also should have a shaggy haircut, even though Garfield doesn't.

That having been said Gatto is awesome. To give non jugglers a clue: most normal people can learn to juggle 3 balls within a few weeks with minor persistence. Most everyone can learn 5 in under a year, with regular practice. 7 is exponentially harder, and may not ever happen for some people (insufficient hand speed).
This man- he does 9.

(He was also drop-free when I saw him at Kooza when it passed through San Jose. Real treat).

And among those linked videos on youtube probably you will find his recent appearance on TimeWarp from Discovery Channel. (I'm not going to look for it, because I don't know if it will stay up anyhow, not sure how they feel about youtube). Sadly I don't think the footage is as amazing as it could have been; part of what's awesome about doing such large #'s of objects is the high hand speed required, and that doesn't look as cool slowed down.
posted by nat at 10:55 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

On preview, yes, tube, some of the footage from Time Warp does have him juggling chainsaws.... ah hell, I'll go ahead and link.
posted by nat at 10:57 PM on December 17, 2008

I will admit the genesis for this post was his appearance on Time Warp, of which I'm an avid viewer. And I did see Chad Taylor juggling chainsaws, which was frighteningly amazing.
posted by dead cousin ted at 11:18 PM on December 17, 2008

I can do 3, and have been able to for about 10 years. I never managed to get 5 :)
posted by empath at 11:29 PM on December 17, 2008

Gatto is impressive, but maybe not as entertaining as other jugglers. Yeah, nine balls is great, but to the untrained eye not that different from eight balls or seven balls or six. Someone like Michael Moschen can be entertaining with three balls or even just one ball.

Yeah, I know, everybody does contact juggling now. Moschen invented it.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:50 PM on December 17, 2008

Nat beat me to it, kinda, but I was going to say, I see him do 3 clubs behind his back, and Jason Garfield is pretty proud that he can do 5. He also really is unimpressed by juggling chainsaws.
posted by betaray at 11:51 PM on December 17, 2008

The tricks that are most impressive to me are the ones where he throws objects to varying heights, and then changes the pattern over time. That shit involves some really tricky timing and absolutely perfect throws.
posted by breath at 11:56 PM on December 17, 2008

Can he preform a counter-clockwise pirouette? I am amazed by these videos, as I can only juggle three balls poorly, but I noticed that every pirouette or spin performed by Anthony Gatto or Vova Galchenko is done by spinning the left leg around a stationary right leg rotating the body in a clockwise direction if viewed from above. Is this a result of right handedness? Are there jugglers that can pirouette in either direction during a routine?

And also, some years ago I caught some juggling tournament on ESPN where Penn Juliette provided commentary. He was both amusing and insightful. I hold him in high regard after seeing him smash the ends off of three random liquor bottles then juggle them in a cascade, reverse cascade, and a shower all while flapping his lips in a live show. That was showmanship.
posted by peeedro at 12:27 AM on December 18, 2008

Old School (warning, PDF)
posted by From Bklyn at 2:00 AM on December 18, 2008

betaray, that Garfield link is outstanding. Also check him out here; it is quite rare to see someone act more arrogant than McEnroe.
posted by theyexpectresults at 2:53 AM on December 18, 2008

Sorry that Garfield link should go here.
posted by theyexpectresults at 2:54 AM on December 18, 2008

So the moral of the story is that Jason Garfield is technically proficient, but arrogant and boring. He comes across as incredibly bitter, really: "If Michael Jordan makes more than the Harlem Globetrotters, why don't people take juggling seriously too?"

I think what he is missing is that universally, the sports that are entertaining and get money thrown at them are directly competitive, whether they be football (regular or US), baseball, basketball, or cricket. Indirectly competitive sports such as bowling, archery, and the like, less so. As soon as someone invents full-contact juggling, this guy might have an in, but until that point, I'd rather watch someone like Paolo Garbanzo, who's less technically savvy, but a hell of a lot more entertaining.
posted by explosion at 4:21 AM on December 18, 2008

I never tried 5 but nat's comment has made me want to. I used to do 3 while riding my bike no hands, but I haven't tried that since I was a teenager.
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on December 18, 2008

If you're right-brained, he is doing a counter-clockwise pirouette.
posted by cogneuro at 6:37 AM on December 18, 2008

'Best juggler in the world', akin to 'wins most arguments on the internet'?
*ducks as torrent of tiny bean bag projectiles launched*

'Tis but a jest, I am verily impressed with the skillful artifice of these fellows.
posted by asok at 7:01 AM on December 18, 2008

Garfield has gotten MUCH better since the last time I saw footage of him...double pirouettes with 5 clubs? But Gatto is just so technically looks more effortless than Garfield. But they do see juggling very, very differently.

I could, at one point, do 5 balls, or 4 clubs, or 3 torches. Was just never able to make it to 7...far too fast for me.
posted by griffey at 7:32 AM on December 18, 2008

I was almost able to do five balls, but I kept losing one here or there and, being a broke teenager, had to wait a while before I could get a replacement beanbag. I'm cursed with small hands, which makes it difficult to cleanly launch with the left hand (the one that holds the three.) So many times I'd drop one while I was launching the first or third, or one wouldn't leave my hand cleanly.

But while some people may or may not be impressed with three chainsaws, or five bananas, there's one thing that anyone who doesn't juggle has to understand: A juggler with any more than basic skills sees the world as objects that may have the potential to be a part of a juggling pattern. Hell, I think I'm still in trouble for the Flying Karazmov Hamsters incident, and that was 20 years ago.
posted by azpenguin at 7:54 AM on December 18, 2008

I'm not a huge fan of either Anthony Gatto or Jason Garfield. They both can be arrogant and condescending, and it just turns me off from both of them.

However, the last 2 and a half minutes of the "Anthony Gatto" link in the original post blew me away. 2 and a half minutes, 1 continuous shot, no drops, of just back to back to back trick after trick after trick. It was like every 5 ball trick, every siteswap, from every position. The highlight for me was him running 744, into crossed multiplexes, into fountain and then a 5 up 360 back into fountain, all in overheads. That's hard.
posted by mikeweeney at 12:27 PM on December 18, 2008

I personally approached it with a lot of skepticism but I have to say he has a valid claim to being at least one of the top three jugglers.

In particular, those weird high-low patterns where he's keeping two patterns going at different rates are unlike anything I've ever seen.

Fine stuff!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:49 PM on December 18, 2008

At least Gatto and Garfield have stage presence though... Vova's an awesome juggler and a reasonably nice guy, and maybe his stage presence will grow... but, uh, it has some growing to do. (Last data point was c. 1 year ago, but it was much better than when I first saw him a couple years before that).

Hope those hamsters were ok, azpenguin... my sister would never let me near hers, perhaps now I can see why. (But they're small! and fuzzy! and several fit in your hand!)

Oh and to the person who wanted to see competitive juggling, there is always combat. Rules: you have 3 clubs. Everyone starts juggling. If you end up with fewer than 3 objects, you're out. Otherwise more or less anything goes.
posted by nat at 11:07 PM on December 18, 2008

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