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TheRock
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If you had to rate the 10 GREATEST MAGICIANS of all time, and you had to do it according to these categories (not in any specific order), SKILL, PERFORMANCE, PRESENTATION, EFFECTIVENESS, SHOWMANSHIP, ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, and CREATIVITY, who would they be?

Please rate them starting with 10 being the LEAST greastest ghoing all the way to #1 being the GREATEST. But please TRY to rank them according to the catagories above?

Who would they be?
Skip Way
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How do you narrow the massive list down to just ten? Certainly, it can't be done without offending some of the truely great. Now, if we break them into categories...(Note: As this is off the top of my head, with apologies to the Greats left out.)

Illusionists & Big Stage Acts

10. Jean Robert-Houdin
9. Harry Keller/Howard Thurston
8. Harry Blackstone, Jr.
7. Jasper Maskelyne
6. Harry Blackstone, Sr.
5. Mark Wilson
4. Doug Henning
3. Harry Houdini
2. David Copperfield
1. Siegfried & Roy - Can't have one without the other!

Close-Up & Specialists

10. Joseph Dunninger
9. Theodore Annemann
8. Cardini
7. J.B. Bobo
6. Meir Yedid
5. Juan Tamariz
4. Paul Daniels
3. Eugene Burger
2. Tony Slydini
1. Dai Vernon

Comedy & Wiseguys

10. Gene Anderson
9. Mac King
8. Ali Bongo
7. Bill Malone
6. Jay Marshall
5. Johnny Carson
4. Penn & Teller
3. The Amazing Jonathan
2. Carl Ballantine
1. Harry Anderson

Kid's Stars

10. Bev Bergeron
9. David Ginn
8. Trixie Bond
7. Barry Mitchell
6. Jim Kleefield
5. David Kaye
4. Samuel Patrick Smith
3. A. Robins AKA The Banana Man
2. Frances Ireland Marshall
1. Mark Wilson
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Father Photius
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Tough question, but since you are talking personal choices.

1. Harry Keller
2. Harry Blackstone, Sr.
3. Howard Thurston
4. Dai Vernon
5. Tony Slydini
6. Mark Wilson
7. J B Bobo
8. Daryl Easton
9. Harry Lorrayne
10. Mac King
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Pete Biro
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I think you should have said,"Top 10 You have Seen." How can one compare, say, Kellar and Thurston when you have never seen them.

In no particular order... my top 10 would be:

Fred Kaps
Slydini
Blackstone Sr.
Carl Ballantine
Jay Marshall
Paul Daniels
Persi Diaconis
Channing Pollock
Don Alan/Albert Goshman (tied)
Moretti

Posted: Jul 26, 2005 5:48pm
I have to add a few:

Johnny Thompson
Johnny Paul
Ken Brooke
Pat Page
Robert Harbin
Sara Kabagujina and Sultangali Shukurov (Russian FISM winners)
Tom Mullica
VERONIN (possibly the funniest artiste I have ever seen)
Otto Wessely
Mac Ronay
Christian Fechner's FISM Illusion Act
Norm Nielsen
Phoa Yan Tiong
Tamariz
Daryl
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
magicalaurie
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I realize you're asking for 10, but I'm gonna say:

#1: SIEGFRIED AND ROY!!!!!!!!!

And I'll give runner up to Houdini.
Ed Hutchison
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I agree with Pete Biro. It is tough to rank performers that I have not seen.

But, off the top of my head, and in no particular order, here are some acts that I have enjoyed enough to want to see over and over again: (in fact, I have seen most of the following several times)

Kohl and Company
Slydini
Del Ray
Andre Cole
Blackstone, Jr.
Kreskin
Moretti
Jay Marshall
Al Goshman
Walter Cummings
Edward Hutchison

Madison, MS

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Lord of Illusion
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Quote:
...SKILL, PERFORMANCE, PRESENTATION, EFFECTIVENESS, SHOWMANSHIP, ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, and CREATIVITY, who would they be?



Ok, haven't gotten my list together (still recovering from my emergency move), but how can Houdini not be the # one on anyones list? He's been gone for 80+years and if you ask someone on the street to name a magician, it's usually Houdini, Copperfield, and a mixture for third choice.

Ok, his skill was questionable. Performence, the same. Efectiveness, very near if not at the top (as an escape artist, as a magician, less so). Showmanship, well, it doesn't get better (and for the S&R folks glitz does not = showmanship), entertainment value, in his day #1, today less so. Creativity #1 (he practically invented his art)

So, that brings up a different spin on the question...

Are the # one old artist (houdini, kellar and thruston) better than the # one modern artists (Copperfield, S&R and Blain)?

*and I know that last set will create a firestorm*

Azrael
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magicalaurie
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Gotta say, Azrael, Siegfried and Roy have a lot more going on than glitz. They didn't start with glitz. Look where they came from- and how far they came. People love THEM, not the glitz. I have to give credit where credit is due. Siegfried and Roy: TOP OF MY LIST. Houdini's right up there too, at #2. Some have said they don't want to rate a performer they haven't seen. And it could be that those of us who did rank him, didn't put him at the top of our lists for some of the reasons YOU mentioned above Smile. In which case, we've made a fair call.
magic mike
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I'm not trying to throw a monkeywrench into the works but, if you haven't seen a Magician perform then you are really going by what others say. Therefore, how can one really express one's opinion!

My favorite Magicians, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, are:

Channing Pollock
Cardini
Fred Kaps
General Grant
Kohl & Co.
David Oliver
Jon Stetson
Rico
Dick Gufterson
Joseph Gabriel
Amos Levkovitch
Johnny Thompson
Harry Blackstone Sr.
Vito Lupo
Norm Nielsen
Slydini

(Channing, however, was the first Magician that really impressed me.)
Channing Pollack is my idea of the perfect magician. For those of you that have not seen him perform, I recommend trying to get hold of a video of an old movie called "European Nights" made about 1959.
I was able to buy this video from Stevens Magic
Lord of Illusion
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Yes they do/did, but...

"People love THEM, not the glitz. I have to give credit where credit is due."

Almost all of the really great magicians started scratching dirt and became over time the people that we respect and love. I'm not knocking them, just their legacy (as magicians) outside of Las Vegas. In 80+ years do you think they'll be at the top of lay peoples list? Please don't think I don't like them...I think they're fantastic.

Ok, Magic Mike, that criteria leaves out almost every magician that is "great" before the 40's or so. I think that we can allow for the legends (Herrmann the Great, Milani, Thurston, Kellar, TGL, etc.) because very few, if anyone, alive saw most of them - but most people agree that they were great performers and entertainers.
Edward Wolfgang Poe,

The Necromancer of the South
magicalaurie
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As a matter of fact I do believe Siegfried and Roy will be at the top of lay people's lists in 80+ years. Their legacy extends far beyond Las Vegas. The WORLD LOVES Siegfried and Roy.
TheRock
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Quote:
On 2005-07-27 08:48, magicalaurie wrote:
Gotta say, Azrael, Siegfried and Roy have a lot more going on than glitz. They didn't start with glitz. Look where they came from- and how far they came. People love THEM, not the glitz. I have to give credit where credit is due. Siegfried and Roy: TOP OF MY LIST. Houdini's right up there too, at #2. Some have said they don't want to rate a performer they haven't seen. And it could be that those of us who did rank him, didn't put him at the top of our lists for some of the reasons YOU mentioned above Smile. In which case, we've made a fair call.


Wasn't Houdini more of an escape artist then a magician? I know he did magic, but didn't he focus mostly (and build his career and name) on escapes?
bishthemagish
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Billy Bishop
Johnny Thompson
Jack Kodell
Tony Marx
Don Alan
Jack Pyle
Jay Marshall
Terry Vecky
John Shirley
Bev Bergeron
Stan Kramien
Marshall Brodine
Blackstone Jr.
Andre Kole

All I have seen do their acts or shows many times live on the stage. They all deliver a great show no matter what the performing conditions are!
Quote:
On 2005-07-27 08:48, magicalaurie wrote:
Siegfried and Roy have a lot more going on than glitz. They didn't start with glitz. Look where they came from- and how far they came. People love THEM, not the glitz. I have to give credit where credit is due. Siegfried and Roy: TOP OF MY LIST.

Have you seen their show live on stage?
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Dr. JK
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TheRock,

Yes, Houdini did focus on escapes, but he is known as a magician. Only magicians think to call Harry Houdini an "escape artist." Statistically speaking, if you were to take a random sample of laymen and ask them to name the first magician that comes to their mind, I am sure that Houdini would be on top by a comfortable margin, with several others trailing behind.

I have to agree with Azrael that Harry Houdini was one of the greatest magical entertainers ever, and therefore I give him my number one spot.
- Jeff
Brent McLeod
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 23:24, TheRock wrote:
If you had to rate the 10 GREATEST MAGICIANS of all time, and you had to do it according to these categories (not in any specific order), SKILL, PERFORMANCE, PRESENTATION, EFFECTIVENESS, SHOWMANSHIP, ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, and CREATIVITY, who would they be?

Please rate them starting with 10 being the LEAST greastest ghoing all the way to #1 being the GREATEST. But please TRY to rank them according to the catagories above?

Who would they be?




Tough question!!

But I guess fame & Exposure because of all of the above catagories are what the Public, Lay audience percieve as success not what we as Magicians think!!
The public know all about Siegfried& Roy but couldn't tell you who won the last 3 FISM stage acts!!!-who really cares? Certainly not me.


So here goes- from different generations & as seen by the world!!

1 Harry Houdini

2 Blackstone (senior)

3 Mark Wilson

4 Doug Henning

5 David Copperfield

6 Kreskin

7 Siegfried & Roy

8 Paul Daniels

9 Harry Anderson

10 David Blaine


Also missing & must be included from a magicians point of view as well as fame in different parts of the world & very skillfull & entertaining etc who gave us the ideas & techniques for much of what we use today etc

Fred Kaps

Channing Pollock

Cardini

Max Malini

Richard Ross

Johnny Thomson

Tommy Cooper

Norm Neilson

Don Alan

Lance Burton

Joseph Dunninger

Theres many missing& apoligise for that but this could go into many different forms of entertainment so hopefully the top 10 are known worldwide
magicalaurie
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What's your question, Glenn?
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Hmmm...not one person mentioned:

John Henry Anderson
Alexander Herrmann
Bautier DeKolta
David Devant
Servais LeRoy
Del Ray
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2005-07-28 18:04, magicalaurie wrote:
What's your question, Glenn?

Have you seen the Siegfried and Roy show live on the stage was the question. I never saw their big show but I saw their act at the MGM. It was quite spectacular.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Jonathan Townsend
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I've met more than ten great magicians and would not want to insult any of them by leaving them off a list.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Ed Hutchison
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I saw Del Ray perform twice, and, if you check above, you'll find that he made my list. He was a great, great, entertainer.
Edward Hutchison

Madison, MS

Home Page: http://www.ERHutchison.com
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