Comedy hypnotist Chuck Milligan returns

Volunteers react to a suggestion from comedy hypnotist Chuck Milligan during his June 5 show at Sharkey Theater, JBPHH.  FFR Marketing photo

Volunteers react to a suggestion from comedy hypnotist Chuck Milligan during his June 5 show at Sharkey Theater, JBPHH. FFR Marketing photo

Reid Tokeshi

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation

Members of the audience became the stars of the show on June 4 and 5 at Sharkey Theater when Chuck Milligan brought his comedy hypnosis act back to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Audience members quickly joined Milligan when he made the call for volunteers at the beginning of the event, filling the 18 seats on stage. Milligan informed the audience and participants that as he began the process, he would determine which ones will be the best subjects. As the hypnosis process moved along, the count was whittled down to about a dozen participants and the real show began.

Milligan led the group through a wild range of acts and experiences to the delight of the crowd.

What sets his show apart from other hypnosis shows is that, while his volunteers are put through their paces, Milligan maintains their dignity. For the 18 and over show on Saturday, he raises the level a bit but still doesn’t go too far. Milligan added that the show is 100 percent dependent on audience participation, making each performance unique.

“I’m merely an instruction giver,” Milligan said. “I have nothing to do with how they’re going to react to this. I simply set it up and it’s the personalities of the volunteers that make the show work.”

“Funny thing about human nature,” he said. “People will do things in front of a thousand strangers that they won’t do in front of 10 of their best friends.”

After more than three decades of performing, Milligan has scaled back on the number of shows, from a high of more than 200 to about 50-60 per year. He has performed at military bases across the U.S. as well as in Japan, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Milligan returns to Hawaii annually to perform at the local high school Project Graduation events taking place in May and June. He makes a point to let JBPHH Morale, Welfare and Recreation know when he’s coming so that a couple shows on base can be scheduled.

Calling himself semi-retired now, Milligan admits he still loves what he does, but doesn’t know how long he will continue.

“I’ll be back next year (to Hawaii), but I can’t guarantee anything after that,” he said.

Milligan said that his wife’s own upcoming retirement will play a role in how long he keeps touring, as she would like him to retire as well.

“I’m married to a very attractive, red-headed lady and I’ve never won a battle yet,” Milligan said laughing. “In 43 years I’ve never won so I don’t know why it would be different.”

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