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Topic: Johnny Giordmaine, the Gay Magician
Message: Posted by: DarryltheWizard (Mar 26, 2005 08:10PM)
I remember Johnny when I was a member of the Society of Canadian Magicians.
He made me feel great, for he was much shorter than I was. At every meeting he always have a new gag. He'd walk a few feet and hop a bit with a sly laugh. He would pull up his pant leg and his tie would be there. "It tickles me when I walk!"
Then he'd accidently bump into a door frame." O, that reminds me, I forgot to put on my license plates.(over-sized ones!). He'd take a dollar bill fold it into a paper frog. "I could never keep money , it keeps jumping out of my hands!" One time when we were leaving the meeting , he showed me that he had attached wooden pedals to the brakes and cluch of his small car. He had a great sense of humour and he was really a kid at heart. He apparently worked at Eatons in Toronto and he also appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show as well. He is the special magician who kept the child alive in me.
Darryl the Wizard
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Mar 29, 2005 07:47PM)
You do know there were serveral magicians
who were gay. Unless he actually promoted
himself "The Gay Magician".
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Mar 29, 2005 08:27PM)
I am assuming that the word gay in this case is meant to mean happy. I could be worng but since this in a magician that was from the period of time that word did not mean what it means now.
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Mar 30, 2005 01:20PM)
I thought about that too, Gay = happy.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Mar 30, 2005 09:26PM)
Yes, it was gay as in Happy. If you ever see a picture of Johnny, he had an infectious smile.
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Mar 31, 2005 09:21AM)
It still a little wierd, but it makes sense
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 2, 2005 07:50PM)
Glenn Pope billed himself as "The Gay Deceiver," which did not refer to any kind of proclivity he had, except for one towards making people happy.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 22, 2005 03:49PM)
Talking about gay (as in not the "happy" kind) whatever happened to the guy who billed himself as "The Swishin' Magician?" I have no idea what his name was. He used all male assistants, and I don't know if it was a "put on" act or just his way of "coming out."

I recall a brief article back in the 80's or so, but never heard of him again.
Message: Posted by: WindsorWizard (Jan 2, 2012 02:08PM)
It is so good to find this Forum Topic on Johnny Giordmaine.

Johnny was also my mentor and a great inspiration he was to many of us indeed.
I am proud to say that it was my suggestion, with an explanation to him, to consider changing his tag line of the Gay Magician, to something more in keeping with the times...
like The Merry Magician. Thus it was done.

I remember taking a photo at his home on Mann Ave, of him with the tie gag mentioned by Darryl. He wanted it for some promotion he was working on at the time. I think he was sending it into the Linking Ring Canadian Parade at the time. His camera... my trigger finger!

Anyway...You all might be interested in this... it's...


Johnny Giordmaine was Canada's most beloved children's magician during his
lifetime (1898-1974). Mentor to hundreds - possibly thousands - of now grown
up amateur and professional magicians, he was also the first magician to
ever appear on television in Canada (1933). He appeared on Captain Kangaroo
as well as Ed Sullivan on U. S. television. For many years he was the
magician in residence at the magic counter of one of Canada's largest
department stores. He is still fondly remembered by all who knew him.

There is now a tribute to him on line and it is here:

The Life & Times of a Merry Magician... http://www.johngiordmaine.com

I am absolutely tickled to be able to share this with everyone here in the Magic Café!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 4, 2012 08:32PM)
Some loons want to change the word in a Christmas song, "We don our Gay Apparel" DUH.... C'MON
Message: Posted by: magomarko (Feb 2, 2012 10:32AM)
The Learned Pig Magic eZine was a publication I used to send out via email and on the March 28, 2001 issue (how time flyes!) I wrote a little note about Johnny Giordmaine "The Gay Magician". I got an email from Mr Johnny Ould from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, a close friend and pupil of Mr. Giordimaine, which I published on the next issue:

Hello Marko...
from Windsor Ontario. In your recent newsletter you remarked...

"Have you seen how word usage and meaning change; how
words can vanish from language for lack of use and how
new ones come in? Also, have you seen how words can
change their meaning from one generation to the next?
These linguistical ramblings are because just a moment
ago I took a break and opened an old Linking Ring
issue published a mere 36 years ago (in 1965) and
there I saw a picture of this smiling gentleman
pulling a rabbit out of a hat...

"John Giordmaine "The Gay Magician" ....it says.

"As an afterthought I think I need to explain to
younger readers that the word "gay" once meant
"lively; merry; full of spirit; bright; cheerful"
which I think is what Mr. Giordmaine wanted to say he

To Note: Johnny was a wonderful magician and one of my mentors in Toronto, Ontario. We met when I was just a youngster (I'm now in my sixties) and became good friends until his departure to the beyond.

As a point of interest, I was responsible for him changing his descriptive title from "The Gay Magician" to "The Merry Magician"... he was quite shocked at the time I asked him if he knew that the word "gay" had another meaning these days. It did not take him long to change all of his promotional material, some of which we were involved in as at the time we were in the printing industry.

Thanks again for your great newsletters and website.

Magically yours...
Johnny Ould