Top 10 GREATEST MAGICIANS Of ALL TIME (CELEBRITY GUEST!)
Stage magic.. a performing art that both entertains and mesmerizes audiences with seemingly impossible tricks and illusions. Although our documented history of early magic tricks date back to at least the 1400's, it wasn't until the late 1800's and when the Great Harry Houdini made his presence, before the industry bloomed into the wonderful... flower that it is today. Here is our pick for the "Top 10 Most Notable Magicians in History". CHECK OUT MURRAY SAWCHUCK! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz9IglFzRsmPkVb1G8qifuA
Born in 1874 as Ehrich Weisz, Houdini entered the magic circle around 1891, finding fame when he met his manager, Martin Beck in 1899. From there, the young performer entered into vaudeville, where he earned the name “The Handcuff King.” Houdini’s started performing one of his most notable tricks, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in 1913. The act had him suspended upside-down in a glass-and-steel cabinet that would filled with water. To escape, Houdini would have to hold his breath for 3 minutes, using either concealed lockpicks or force to escape. Beyond magic, Houdini starred in several films, helped debunk psychics, and was the first person to fly over Australian soil. On October 24th, 1926, Houdini succumbed to peritonitis after allegedly being punched in the abdomen.
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin
If you’re praising greats like Harry Houdini, you’re also secretly showing some love for Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. Widely considered the Father of Modern Magic, Robert-Houdin was a respected member of the community, so much so that Ehrich Weisz paid homage to him with the name Harry Houdini. Robert-Houdin started as a clockmaker in his family’s business, turning to sleight-of-hand tricks to entertain friends and satiate his love of magic. Shooting him into fame was his attraction, “Second Sight”, during which his blindfolded son would identify items being held by him. Along with being the Father of Modern Magic, Robert-Houdin was also one of the first magicians to utilize electricity in his act. His career was relatively short, having died from pneumonia only eleven years after taking the stage in an uncommon attire of eveningwear.
For years, Copperfield has ruled the stage of the David Copperfield Theater in Vegas, eventually earning Forbes’ title as the most commercially successful magician in history. He’s been privy to 11 Guinness World Records, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and even knighthood from the French. Copperfield’s introduction to magic started early as he practiced under the name Davino the Boy Magician at the age of 10. By 12, he became the youngest member of the Society of American Magicians. Before headlining his own production, Copperfield acted in the musical The Magic Man, headlined the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, and hosted The Magic of ABC in the late 1970s. In April of 1983, Copperfield performed what was dubbed is most famous illusion and made the Statue of Liberty disappear.
Penn & Teller
From 1975 through today, the comedy act of Penn & Teller has been an audience favorite. Penn Fraser Jillette and Raymond Joseph Teller may not have been the first comedy magicians, but it would be hard to deny that they altered it, creating a hybrid of magic and crude comedy. Later in their career, the duo became Las Vegas headliners, were awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, and starred in several television series' that range from magic-focused to political satire. Their outlandish acts often feature gore and violence to comedic levels, such as accidentally sawing a woman in half after showing how other magicians perform the trick. The pair are known to call out frauds and even dish out secrets of the trade through their own, incredible versions of basic tricks.
As the consummate exponent of entertaining magical theater, or, in layman's terms, the best of the best, David Devant worked for as long as he could before his body started to deteriorate from paralysis agitans. His early years had him performing with Maskelyne & Cooke company at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, but it wasn’t long before his dry wit and magical prowess set him up as one of magic’s most revered performers. One of Devant’s more popular tricks, and one that we can certainly appreciate, was the “Magic Kettle,” during which he was able to produce an alcoholic beverage requested by the audience. Devant was so respected that he’s still referred to by many British magicians as the “master performer of his time.”
The soft-spoken Blaine doesn’t rely on a loud, flashy production to pull off impressive feats… he relies on his skill. Overtime, Blaine overshadowed his career as an illusionist with record breaking endurance stunts that had him encased in a block of ice, standing atop a 100-foot or 30-meter high pillar, or placed in a plexiglass case and suspended 30 feet or 9 meters near the River Thames, but his claim to fame was his first television special, Street Magic. Blaine’s low-key nature often played up the wonder of his illusions and tricks. His 2nd show, Magic Man, sent Blain across the country to entertain spectators in a range of cities, the reactions being more of a focus than the trick itself.
Without Carl Ballantine, there’s a chance that magicians like Tom Mullica, the Amazing Jonathan, Piff the Magic Dragon and Murray SawChuck (Myself) would have gone down an entirely different career path. Ballantine headlined the magic circuit from 1949 up until his death in 2009 and is credited with successfully combining his prowess as a comedian and specialty as a magician, defining the field of comedy magic. The Great Ballantine was awarded the Special Fellowship by the Academy of Magical Arts in 1973 and the Louie award from Tannen’s Magic, but the magician was about more than just the magic. Ballantine also acted in several films including McHale’s Navy, Penelope, The World’s Greatest Lover, and The North Avenue Irregulars.
Dubbed by the New York Times as “probably the nation’s leading authority on magic,” Mark Wilson topped the 20th Century magician’s circuit alongside other greats we’ll touch on in a bit. What stands out as one of Wilson’s greatest accomplishments was becoming network television’s very first weekly magic series. Magic Land of Allakazam debuted on CBS and lasted for 2 years before moving to ABC for another 3. Wilson continued his career as a televised illusionist, along with his wife Nani Darnell, on a variety of other productions that included The Magic of Mark Wilson, Magic Circus, and four different HBO Magic Specials.
During the mid- to-late 20th century, until his death in 1992, Canadian magician Dai Vernon was stupefying the world with his expert-level technique at sleight-of-hand. His incredible skill was so impressive that Vernon became one of the few tricksters to ever stump Harry Houdini, a man that professed he could figure out a card trick if he watched it three times in a row. For Houdini, Vernon removed a card from the top of the deck, placed it in the middle, then flipped the deck over to reveal the original card. After seven consecutive viewings, Houdini was forced to admit defeat, giving Vernon the title of “The Man Who Fooled Houdini.” In 1968, Vernon was awarded a “Master Fellowship” from the Academy of Magical Arts.
Known as Herrmann the Great, this 19th-century French native came from a long line of famous magicians. Throughout his early life on stage, Herrmann the Great learned from his brother, Carl Herrmann, eventually overshadowing him with acts like the bullet catch. What Alexander became most known for was a conjuring trick that would become a staple of low-brow magicians and favorites across the ages. Herrmann was among the first magicians to actually pull a live rabbit from out of his hat. While we know the ins-and-outs of this very basic illusion, for his time, Herrmann the Great was performing impossible feats.