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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Everett Earl "PRESTO" Johnson passes (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ERIC
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It is with heavy heart that I bring news that local Northeast "STAR" "PRESTO" has passed away on April 16th. of a heart attack.

After suffering a broken hip, and getting "Lost" into a system that refuses to talk to anyone who is "NOT FAMILY" (Presto had no family left after loosing his brother a few years back) Earl died alone.

After many long hours of detective work, it has been found that Presto was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetary in Hillside, NJ.

There is no marker, nor will there be unless something is done.

We are trying to find out the type of stone that is allowed, and will then look towards the many Rings and Assemblies to help raise and donate the funds necessary to get one.

This wonderful entertainer brought many smiles and much laughter. He was a brother Magi and shared his knowledge and humor freely.

Please bring this news to your club and lets start to get the ball rolling. As we get more info, we will set things up and reach out to the respective area clubs and look for their support.

Let's all just take heart that Presto is now entertaining along with so many who went before. I just have a hard time picturing him telling God "Just take it home and play with it. IT WON"T WORK, but you'll have a lot of fun!"

Rest in Peace my friend.
Torkova
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I had visited him about three months ago and was planning on another visit next month. So sad, thanks for letting us know the details. He may have died alone but his wonderful spirit will live on in those who knew him.

Torkova
TCsteinberg
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He was a superstar.

My memories of Presto's performances are always of inspiration, awe, and BIG LAUGHS.
He had a profound influence on me.
He really was "Bigger than life"!

Rest in Peace Presto, you will never be forgotten.

Todd Charles Steinberg
~ tc ::--.---( )
Levent
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So sad to hear about his passing. He was a great guy to hang around with and when I was young he was always blowing me away with his coin and cigarette tricks. Also he was without a doubt the best kids entertainer I ever saw!

May he rest in peace.

Levent
magicnewswire
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I didn't know Presto save through my interview with Chris Capehart in December of last year. Chris spoke glowingly of Presto and I can only wish that I'd seen him work. May he rest in magical fun as well!
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Michael Kamen
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I fondly remember Presto's show at Hubert's Museam in Times Square, visiting there every weekend with other magic-obsessed lads. Thank you for those memories Earl.
Michael Kamen
cardone
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In New York City .... He was a legend . I would hear his name all the time ........ R.I.P. Presto .
magicnewswire
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Here is some additional info sent to me via Mike Lee:

The Passing of Earl"PRESTO" Johnson, comes as a huge loss to those of us that new him....Earl was a kind & very quiet man who simply LOVED magic, but on Stage He became PRESTO, who had the hands & humour of the greatest of Artist.

To see PRESTO work was a truly unforgetable experience, from the Stage of Huberts Museum here in NY to working cruise ships to, Resort hotels Presto did it all & for those of us performers like Frank Brents, Bob Baxter Levent and Jeff McBride including myself... We would all agree that those who knew PRESTO would have say that with out a doubt his was one of the Funniest and most unforgetable acts ever.

Masterful Cigarette manipulation.. one of the Funniest balls over the head routines of all time & a Little dog that had to Pee (loto vase) that Simply killed!
To see Presto walk out on a stage in short pants was something never to be forgotten.

Im not sure it Earl had any family, but believe that the very least we can do for PRESTO is to put together our energies & the force of the power of Numbers & present a production where the proceeds will be used to purchase a headstome for one of magics truly great artist. It's the very least we can do.

Earl "Presto" Johnson ... Rest In Peace

Michael Lee
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MagicSanta
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A very talented man who will be missed.

For those not familiar with his work I think you can still find video of him on line.
Kevin Connolly
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He's on Youtube.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
magicnewswire
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Yep... there are a few clip of Earl on YouTube. I am still looking for one that Chris Capehart menttioned in my interview with him.

I am learning more and more about Earl every hour and wish that I had met him.

I am in the process of putting together a montage of people talking about Earl and it has been VERY rewarding.

Rocco has already offered two d'lite's to the first 10 people to donate $20 to the memorial fund. I'm sure that this community will make this happen!
Dodd Vickers

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magicnewswire
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I've been recording audio tributes to Presto with people that I know personally.

I'd like for the magic community to have a chance to say something as well... outside the circle of those that I know.

Please feel free to call the following phone number with your comments, stories and remembrances. I'll receive it as an email and will be putting them up on a memorial website for Presto.

You can call 404.492.6026 or ... if you use Skype... my Skype ID is themagicnewswire

Either way, I'll receive your call in a digital format that I can then post online.

Thanks in advance... I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you that knew, met or were influenced by Presto!
Dodd Vickers

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ERIC
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OK Guys and Gals, Here is the latest.

After checking what type of stone is allowed and such, the cost factor for the marker will be around 2 thousand dollars total.

The committee from the John McNicholas Magician's Roundtable (JMMRT) has decided to enter into this fundraiser by providing one of , IF NOT THE LAST VIDEO taken of Presto doing a lecture for them. Taken back in February, 2004, this 69 minute video shows Presto doing many of his signature pieces and just having a lot of fun with fellow magicians.

Now here is the deal. For every donation of $25.00 or more, you will recieve a copy of this DVD. Gene Soucek has donated his time, talents, and monies to cover all but the postage for this endeavor.

THIS WILL ONLY LAST UNTIL THE $2,000 IS REACHED AND THEN, JUST LIKE DISNEY, THE DVD WILL GO BACK INTO THE VAULT!
DO NOT MISS THIS CHANCE TO HAVE THIS DVD.

It's going to be first come first served and they have already started to go.
Send a check to me, Eric Appel @ 54 New Brunswick Ave. Hopelawn, NJ 08861-2241 along with your name and address and we will get a copy out to you ASAP.

Once we get the stone and have it set, we will call for a gathering at the cemetery to hold a broken wand that we will try to get something into the Linking Ring, MUM and any other magazine that wishes to cover it.

I think that about covers everything for now.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out either by PM or Email at EGA53@comcast.net
magicnewswire
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Ok.. I am working on an article for this but am awaiting complete details. In any case, and to prevent there from being too many independent efforts with no connection to one another, Michael Chaut, Chris Capehart, Jamy Ian Swiss & the crew at Monday Night Magic have advised me that they are putting together a fundraising show and memorial fund for Earl Presto Johnson.

Until we get all of the details, if you are interested in contributing or playing a part in the effort, please contact Michael Chaut at MondayNightMagic.com

Hope this is helpful!

Stay tuned here and at MagicNewswire.com for more info.
Dodd Vickers

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magicnewswire
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BTW.. If you want to offer a short memory of Presto, please call (404) 492-6026 and leave a voicemail. I'll be compiling a memorial page with links to you and to the various messages that we have received. Thanks!!
Dodd Vickers

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ERIC
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Hey gang,
I just reviewed one of the DVDs and realized that I made a mistake when I said it was a 69 minute video... IT'S OVER 100 MINUTES LONG! And we they are still available so drop me a line and get yours ASAP
RC4MAG
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Thanks everyone who left such nice comments on Youtube and above on the video clips I put up on Presto a few years back.
I have now gone back in my library and uploaded Presto's cigarette routine which is a classic as well.
I hope those who never knew him or saw him perform will get to appreciate his talent and showmanship.

Here is the link to the Cigarette routine. The video is over 25 years old. It is the complete routine lasting almost ten minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iguzHFI2qpw

Again, Thank you and I hope you enjoy.
ERIC
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The first set of DVDs was sent out today. Gene is busy making the next batch, and more will go out as soon as I get them. So far we are at $572 and climbing so we still have a ways to go. PLEASE pass the info out to all of your magic friends and help the cause.
magicnewswire
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Just posted an interview with Dick Brooks & Dorothy Dietrich talking about Presto and their time with him in NYC at the Magic Townhouse. In addition, we'll be putting up a memorial page at MagicNewswire.com with listener comments added as received. Feel free to email an MP3 to me or leave a voicemail at (404) 492-6026 if you want to be included.
Dodd Vickers

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Jonathan Townsend
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Thanks Dodd, you're probably going to have a who's who in magic leaving fond farewells and memories.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicnewswire
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Let's hope so...

I look forward to hearing comments from anyone that knew him.

If you know of anyone that might not read this who might wish to comment.. please spread the word
Dodd Vickers

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ERIC
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Second batch of 9 DVDs sent out today.(First batch was only 5) We still haven't reached the half way mark, so please spread the word around guys. Each day we get two or three donations, and Gene is busy making them up which takes up a lot of time and effort, but it is for a worthy cause. For those who had to wait a few days until they were ready for mailing, I hope you feel the slight delay was worth it once you watch them.
ERIC
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Getting close to the halfway mark. Keep those cards and letters comming in. Thanks to all of you who have sent donations, but we still have a way to go. Keep talking it up to your magical friends.
magicnewswire
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Hey Eric,
How can I help? I know that you've been in contact with Michael & Jamy at Monday Night Magic about their upcoming memorial show (which may be a couple of months away) but we all want to see this come to completion as soon as possible.

You should call in and leave a comment for the memorial page as well BTW!
Dodd Vickers

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ERIC
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I've been like a one legged man the last few days. I will try to give you a call sometime this weekend.

What Jamy and Michael are doing is separate from the headstone fund.

Unfortunately, the cemetery has restrictions on what is allowed, that is why the two thousand dollar mark. They will only allow a 12 inch by 24 inch flat stone.
I believe they have more of a "living memorial" in mind.I know Jamy is trying to locate video to show during the show as well as some other ideas to help keep Presto "Alive" in the hearts and minds of those who loved him.

When I call, I'd like to explain what Tom Durnin and I am dubbing "Pursuing Presto". When you hear what we went through to locate him originally and then to loose him again into the "SYSTEM" only to find out a month after the fact, that he passed away. This sort of thing is happening all over the place in the name of "Patient confidentiality"

What is really sad is the Presto himself named Tom and I as "Family" in the hospital and gave permission to keep us informed.

As to what can you do, just spread the word that we are still slightly over a grand off the mark and they can email me for more details at EGA53@comcast.net


Thanks for your help
ERIC
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We just hit the 3/4 mark so we are on the downslope. Thank you to all who have sent in for the DVDs and I hope you enjoy them. If you haven't as yet sent for yours but intend to do so, I would suggest that you DO IT NOW, as we get closer to closing the vault. I will keep you posted as we get to the end and also when we plan for the graveside broken wand after the stone gets set.
Again, thanks to all who have supported this great endeavor.
magicians
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I actually just heard about Earl, this morning. I have a Tape of him I shot at a college show in Middletown, NY and will prepare it for youtube.
Earl came thru my area from time to time on his way to the Catskills. Mostly traveled by bus back then.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
magicians
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Here is the first segment from Earl's act during the 80's.
The cigarette routine.
http://www.magicians.tv/earl-presto-johnson/
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Al Angello
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I'm a late comer here, I just found out about Earl's work this morning at "the little darlings".

Eric
Did you get the head stone?
Are there any more DVD's left?
I have been watching Earl on youtube all day, and I love it. His ability to get continuous laughter was amazing.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Kid guy too
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I also just stumbled across this thread. Any update? Was the headstone ever purchased?
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