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Topic: Which magician alive today best emulates Dai Vernon?
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 31, 2005 06:05PM)
Is there a magician alive today who can be considered a modern day Dai Vernon?

If so, who is this magician and why?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Michael Ammar.

What do you think?

~L2L
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Jul 31, 2005 06:05PM)
Patrick Page or Billy McComb
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Jul 31, 2005 06:15PM)
I don't think there will ever be another magician like Dai Vernon. He was unique and came into the magic scene at a special time in history. His contributions to our craft have been great.

If I had to name a magician alive today who is closest to emulating Vernon I would say Johnny Thompson. The reason I am saying this is because of Johnny's wonderful cups and balls routine in which he impersonates Vernon almost perfectly. On Johnny’s “Commercial Classics of Magic” (Volume 4) he performs his cups and balls routine and it is fantastic. He really takes on the personality of Vernon in this routine. It is quite a treat.

Kind regards,
Rich
Message: Posted by: Robert M (Jul 31, 2005 06:48PM)
I don't think there is one. Don't mean to sound ancient, but is there an actor alive today who is considered a modern day Gary Cooper or Jimmy Stewart? Probably not.

Robert
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 31, 2005 06:49PM)
Patrick Page, Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson!?!?!?

These old guys are not nearly as talented as Michael Ammar!

I cannot think of an effect Patrick, Billy, or Johnny can perform which is better than Ammar. Michael Ammar is probably of the the most influential magicians in the last 20 years.

~L2L
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jul 31, 2005 06:59PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 19:49, love2laugh wrote:
Patrick Page, Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson!?!?!?

These old guys are not nearly as talented as Michael Ammar!

I cannot think of an effect Patrick, Billy, or Johnny can perform which is better than Ammar. Michael Ammar is probably of the the most influential magicians in the last 20 years.

~L2L
[/quote]

Har, Har, Har! Thanks for the best laugh I've had in weeks!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 31, 2005 07:00PM)
Okay, we need a section for magic stand up comedy.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Jul 31, 2005 07:01PM)
Love2laugh, you make me laugh. You ask peoples opinions, yet when they give you their opinion, you disagree and say how wrong they are
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jul 31, 2005 07:20PM)
Most in magic are more family oriented and less obsessed with clever things. From Ricky Jay to Max Maven we do have some folks who carry on the tradition of scholarly efforts.
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Jul 31, 2005 07:43PM)
I'm sorry everyone for being critical on your choices. I just have a very strong opinion that Michael Ammar is a modern day Dai Vernon.

Can anyone provide any evidence against my selection of Michael Ammar? He has been the most prolific publisher of magic videos and was even on Dai Vernon's Revelations videos. Dai Vernon said himself how amazing a magician Michael Ammar was on his tapes. I think Dai Vernon even thought of Michael Ammar as his predecessor.

I have seen Johnny Thompson's cups and balls routine and yes he does impersonate Dai Vernon's mannerisms and voice almost perfectly.

So, who do you think surpasses Michael Ammar? Who is a modern day Dai Vernon? Please provide some evidence for your claims.

Thank you,
L2L
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Jul 31, 2005 08:03PM)
Pat Page thought out just about every effect much in the way Vernon did. There are reasons for everything and he is smooth. He's probably one of the smartest out there and most well rounded. McComb is a walking dictionary and encyclopedia. His magic and timing are flawless as is the way he engages an audience. If you haven't seen these guys work take the time to.

Ammar is wonderful, and a favorite of mine as well. There is no doubt and he is a very good choice for a modern day Vernon, but I still think that the others outrank him becuase of magic that they have created and given to the community. Ammar hasn't created and released many effects. The videos and dvds are wonderful but there may be one or two effects in the series that are uniquely Ammar's. The routines in his book are good but branch off of other's work.

Some of his other work such as in the book Brainstorm in the Bahamas is rather good as well.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jul 31, 2005 08:42PM)
IF you are looking for the new "Professor" you would do well to list the qualities that make him someone to emulate. Dedication to his art, that certainly was one of Dai's qualities. Perseverance in the face of adversity, stubborness, yes those are things he exhibited. Good taste. The ability to simplify. "Naturalness", whatever you think Dai meant by that. Charisma? "The Vernon Touch"? What else?

Jamie Ian Swiss has some of the Vernon qualities. He can be cantankerous, argumentative, opinionated. But he knows his magic. He can do "the work". He's a likeable, charismatic fellow. He polarizes people. Not particularly inventive, but he has good taste. Is HE the next "Professor"? Nah...

Racherbaumer? Klause? Cervon?

Do we look for the good AND the bad? Remember, Dai didn't perform much, didn't really like to, no matter what the acolytes want you to believe...

And he wasn't much of a family man...

Never really worked for a living, but he was good at visiting folks...

I loved Vernon, he was wonderful to me, but then, I didn't have to live with him. And he changed personalities when he changed coasts. Ask the old-timers from New Yawk...

I don't know that we want another Vernon - Remember what Larry Grey said to Garrett Spencer about him, "I wouldn't take a million dollars not to have known him, but I'd give a million to never meet another like him!" Maybe one "Professor" is all we really need...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Jul 31, 2005 09:00PM)
Dai Vernon did magic professionally on and off most of his life. He performed in night clubs - hotels - Vaudeville and in fact Hardeen (Houdini's brother booked Dai Vernon). And Dai Vernon was a very successful privet party magician for Frances Rockefeller King when he lived in New York City.

In later years when he was much older after he moved out west to the magic castle. He performed less and was in what many magicians call semi retirement. But as magicians get older the less they perform full shows.

But any magician that worked the rainbow room in New York and for Billy Rose in one of his night clubs - I would say was very successful as a performer!
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jul 31, 2005 09:11PM)
I really suggest to Love2Laugh gets to a major convention and meets at least one of these legends and discovers how talented and knowledgeable they are. I had the pleasrue of meeting Billy last August in Vegas and it was the highlight of the entire week. I'm surprised the name John Carney has not been mentioned. Just read one of his classic texts and you'll see that he truly embodies everything Vernon stood for, same with Tommy Wonder. If you wanna talk about someone who is a walking encyclopedia of magic like Vernon was, you have to mention Max Maven. Any magician in the last 40 years, Max has a story about them.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jul 31, 2005 09:19PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 19:48, Robert M wrote:
I don't think there is one. Don't mean to sound ancient, but is there an actor alive today who is considered a modern day Gary Cooper or Jimmy Stewart? Probably not.
[/quote]
Robert,
Tom Hanks is every bit a modern day Jimmy Stewart. I'm not a huge fan of Gary Cooper so I don't know his work well enough to offer a suggestion for him.

And though he would deny such an appelation, Johnny Thompson is one of a very few alive who could be heir to such a legacy. That he does a delightful impression of Vernon is icing on the cake.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 31, 2005 09:23PM)
Francois Dupont.


A.
Message: Posted by: S.Segal (Jul 31, 2005 09:31PM)
I'll go ahead and throw in John Carney.

S.Segal
Message: Posted by: david_a_whitehead (Jul 31, 2005 09:36PM)
How about Tamariz?
Message: Posted by: Magic-Daniel (Jul 31, 2005 09:47PM)
Two words: John Carney
Message: Posted by: iamslow (Jul 31, 2005 10:19PM)
Bruce Cervon... he even talks and gestures kinda like the professor...
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 31, 2005 11:15PM)
I think Vernon may have been wrong in thinking that Ammar was his "predecessor".
Did Vernon know Shirley Maclaine by any chance?


A.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 31, 2005 11:53PM)
In his later years Vernon was "too nice" telling people how wonderful they were. Sadly, many believed him.

I agree, having known all under discussion for many many years... Pat Page, Johnny Thompson and Bill McComb rolled into one would be the likely successor... but who needs another anybody?

Just being their own and wonderful selves is enough.

You can add Carney, Cervon, Jay, Freeman and Diaconis to those that know more of Vernon's material and thinking than anyone else.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jul 31, 2005 11:53PM)
That's a coincidence--I was Shirley Maclaine in a past life...

Asking who the modern day Vernon or the current Houdini is--is, well, silly. It is the kind of question only asked by those who knew none of the names in question.

Who is today's Al Jolson? Who is the new Louis Armstrong? Is Springsteen still the new Bob Dylan?

Vernon was one of a kind. What he did does not need to be done again. He was not the new Hofsinzer or the new Erdnase. He was Vernon--a fascinating and difficult man who made a huge contribution to the art of magic.

Like Prometheus, he brought us fire from the gods--magic that would not be still here with us today had Vernon not existed. Much of it was original, much was learned from the masters of the Golden Age, and everything had his thought, touch, and imprint on it.

Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson and the others mentioned here are giants in their own right, and not just "the closest thing to Vernon."

They have made their own unique contributions to the art of magic.

It is impertinent and presumptuous to use such language, and I sincerely doubt that any of the people mentioned so far would appreciate being nominated for such a "title."
Message: Posted by: DNshade (Aug 1, 2005 02:08AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 20:43, love2laugh wrote:
I'm sorry everyone for being critical on your choices. I just have a very strong opinion that Michael Ammar is a modern day Dai Vernon.

Can anyone provide any evidence against my selection of Michael Ammar? He has been the most prolific publisher of magic videos and was even on Dai Vernon's Revelations videos. Dai Vernon said himself how amazing a magician Michael Ammar was on his tapes. I think Dai Vernon even thought of Michael Ammar as his predecessor.


So, who do you think surpasses Michael Ammar? Who is a modern day Dai Vernon? Please provide some evidence for your claims.

Thank you,
L2L
[/quote]
You have got to be kidding me...These statements alone reflect how little you know about the history and field you are talking about. How Ammar has usurped this position is beyond me. You do realize that Michael was not even supposed to be on the Revelation videotape series right? He was a last minute replacement for Earl Nelson when Earl had to step aside becuase of an actual paying gig (that's right - the Professor never got paid anything for those tapes...) And Ammar was brought in by the "producers". And it is a shame that the full - unedited tapes are not availible. The many, many minutes of footage from the original tapes that has been mysteriously edited out where the Professor chastises and corrects Michael many times - are filled with very good insights and information that all should see.

You want to talk about people who carry on the spirit of the Professor, John Carney, Earl Nelson, Steve Freeman, Johnny Thompson, Ricky Jay etc.. are the names we should be talking about.

And I am quite sure that the Professor never thought of Ammar as his "predecessor" as you put it - for many reasons, but mainly because I'm sure Vernon knew what the definition of the word "predecessor" meant.
Message: Posted by: Steranko (Aug 1, 2005 02:23AM)
I personally think Mr. Chosse could be a good candidate, but we really don't need a replacement!
Message: Posted by: Vraagaard (Aug 1, 2005 03:14AM)
I agree - we don't need a replacement. Dai Vernon is a stand out - Holy Grail. He invented loads of small natural looking moves to enhance routines to perfection. He contributed a lot in terms of routining. I never saw him really perform except in his old days (on DVD), so I can’t tell if he was charismatic to a lay audience – but I believe he was a gentleman and a charming character. He is surely the professor.

However - we need to separate between how people perform and if people invent and contributes great effects. That’s why I think people are laughing of the Ammar suggestion – but honestly hardly anyone perform their magic with such flowing motions and grace. You might not like his verbal presentation and the fact that he didn’t invent a bunch of stuff – but he surely handles his magic gracefully and I would be proud to have Ammar’s skills and have made his contributions. I think most of you would too.

A magician that comes close in terms of natural moves, ingenuity, simplicity and who has great drama and acting skills is to me: Tommy Wonder - surely charismatic, gracefull and a gentleman performer - he is among the greatest. If more lay audiences experienced Tommy Wonder then our proffession would be looked at with very different eyes by the public - to the benefit of all of us.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Aug 1, 2005 03:40AM)
Magicians can not be compared by what and how they perform. I believe Dai Vernon established the foundation of Clode-up Magic of today. Nobody can compete in this regard.

You are not understanding how Dai Vernon is great!

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: tommy (Aug 1, 2005 04:02AM)
I think one of the great gifts Dai Vernon had was a great imagination, incidentally, I have just noticed the word Magi in that word. Imagination is above all other things what makes a magician great, in fact I think it is what makes all great men great. In that respect Lennart Green springs to my mind.

Regards

Tommy
Message: Posted by: magicalec (Aug 1, 2005 04:23AM)
I don't think you can comment unless you,ve seen these guys live...here in the uk, the best sleight of hand magic I've seen is gerry sadowitz...regards
Message: Posted by: Vraagaard (Aug 1, 2005 04:26AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 04:40, Hideo Kato wrote:
Magicians can not be compared by what and how they perform. I believe Dai Vernon established the foundation of Clode-up Magic of today. Nobody can compete in this regard.

You are not understanding how Dai Vernon is great!

Hideo Kato
[/quote]

Hi Hideo,

We would sure love to understand then. Maybe you could throw in your take on what made Dai Vernon great(est).
Message: Posted by: Euangelion (Aug 1, 2005 04:39AM)
The new Professor its hard to say when no definition is provided. Depending on the approach it is like ten blind men with an elephant. Other the other hand we know who the new Soapy Smith is and he is an abolute scoundrel.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Aug 1, 2005 09:35AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 21:42, Paul Chosse wrote:
Jamie Ian Swiss has some of the Vernon qualities. He can be cantankerous, argumentative, opinionated. But he knows his magic. He can do "the work". He's a likeable, charismatic fellow. He polarizes people. Not particularly inventive, but he has good taste. Is HE the next "Professor"? [/quote]

[/lurk]

Best. Wind up. Ever.

[lurk]
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Aug 1, 2005 10:03AM)
Wow, I must say I have learned a lot from reading your replies. I wanted to include a quote from some of the good replies but there were too many. Hmmmmmmm.... I am now thinking I was incorrect in stating Michael Ammar is a modern day Dai Vernon. I got caught up in the fact that Ammar has been sooooo prolific in publishing magic videos and I have taken his appearances on these videos in too high of a regard. It seemed that Ammar was collaborating in almost every video and I thought it was only due to the amount of respect given by the community. I was totally unaware that Earle Nelson was the first choice for the Revelations video series. Earle Nelson is amazing! I guess I got caught up in the contribution aspect of Michael Ammar and Vernon. I looked at Vernon as a man who contributed greatly to our craft. This was why I naturally thought Ammar fit the bill. However, I am now thinking about originality and someone who takes our craft to the next level. I don't know of many effects which are novel with Ammar. He does seem to collaborate and get other magicians to agree to letting him show their creations, as on the ETMCM videos. I also got taken in on Michael Ammar's Cups and Balls book and videos where he talks often of Vernon and provides one of the best resources for Cups and Balls ever. His book in incredible. Anyway, I think this thread contains a lot of excellent information and it is nice to put Vernon in such high regard and keep his name in the spotlight. I think we can all learn more about Vernon and it is fun debating if another Vernon will come along. There have been some excellent names discussed in this thread and it is good for us to give them the accolades they deserve. I was originally very confident that Ammar was a modern day Vernon and I must admit your replies have helped me to see things differently and become more open minded and objective.

The Magic Café is certainly a wonderful place to have a coffee and debate. :)

Thank you,
~L2L
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 1, 2005 10:10AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 04:40, Hideo Kato wrote:
Magicians can not be compared by what and how they perform. I believe Dai Vernon established the foundation of Clode-up Magic of today. Nobody can compete in this regard....
[/quote]
The worship of card moves from a book most cannot read much less understand? The emphasis on nerdy fussing as opposed to magic? Half routines started in the middle? Fooling Houdini with a trivial card trick?

Yes, the guy had an impact. Pretty much right between the eyes for most magicians. For those who can get past the glamour and find the guy who had great taste in magic and made a life's goal of seeking the best in closeup sleight of hand magic... good. It takes a while to enjoy Vernon's work, especially in context of what else was going on in his time. He connected with Ganson and made sure the works of Leipzig, Malini, Ramsay and others were made accessible. He also helped a generation of magicians get over the "don't forget to point" problem that followed our art from the age of silent movies.

With any luck there are enough who learned from Vernon. As to the next long term progressive person in our culture of magic? Perhaps Paul Harris or (if he chooses to go public) Michael Weber. Tommy Wonder comes to mind in a different context. His do-it-yourself problem solving attitude is a different lesson we could all do to learn. He probably already has his place in our history and sets a great example.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 1, 2005 11:26AM)
Great post Jonathan Townsend Dai Vernon gave a lot to magic in both great routines but he also gave much more. He gave himself and a lot of great philosophy about how to perform magic is written up in his genii column and other places.

Vernon talks about the magical effect being more important than the moves.

Vernon talks about being natural and not putting in movement or body language that isn't needed.

With that in mind I answer this question "Which magician alive today best emulates Dai Vernon? The answer is NO ONE!

And yet perhaps Everyone!

Who can feel Vernon's magical spirit. In the writings and in the little video footage that can be seen and give us a glimpse as to how really great Dai Vernon the legend was. And how he inspires and teaches the young and old of today’s magic world through his published works.
Message: Posted by: Nik_Mikas (Aug 1, 2005 12:11PM)
So, everyone here realizes that "Vernon's" theories and philosophies are usually other peoples, right?
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 1, 2005 01:03PM)
Excellent replies Johnathan Townsend and Glenn Bishop! :)

I don't think I can add anything new to this thread but I'd like to put in some support for Tommy Wonder. His name has been mentioned in this thread and I do think he holds a special place in magic. He is a man of amazing creativity and dedication. A true genius.

This post is very interesting and I love the replies.

Take care,
Rich
Message: Posted by: Count Lustig (Aug 1, 2005 01:17PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 11:03, love2laugh wrote:
Michael Ammar's Cups and Balls book and videos where he talks often of Vernon...
[/quote]
Ammar talks often of Vernon but Vernon did not talk often of Ammar.
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 1, 2005 01:26PM)
If we came up with a top 10 list of performers which are closest to emulating Dai Vernon would Michael Ammar be in this list? I'm not familiar enough with Michael Ammar's work to comment but I'd be interested to learn more about him.
Message: Posted by: Dean Noakes (Aug 1, 2005 02:03PM)
Modern day Vernon?

Ali Bongo? Maybe Joe Pasquale?

No, just kidding. Never got the opportunity to see Vernon perform, but - in terms of presence, grace and skill - is Rene Levand a contender for the title?
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 1, 2005 02:10PM)
Who is today's Al Jolson? Who is the new Louis Armstrong? Is Springsteen still the new Bob Dylan?

Vernon was one of a kind. What he did does not need to be done again. He was not the new Hofsinzer or the new Erdnase. He was Vernon--a fascinating and difficult man who made a huge contribution to the art of magic.

Like Prometheus, he brought us fire from the gods--magic that would not be still here with us today had Vernon not existed. Much of it was original, much was learned from the masters of the Golden Age, and some was stolen, but everything had his thought, touch, and imprint on it.

Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson and the others mentioned here are giants in their own right, and not just "the closest thing to Vernon."

They have made their own unique and significant contributions to the art of magic.

It is impertinent and presumptuous to use such language, and I know that none of the people mentioned so far would appreciate being nominated for such a "title."
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Aug 1, 2005 04:52PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 00:53, Whit Haydn wrote:
That's a coincidence--I was Shirley Maclaine in a past life...

Asking who the modern day Vernon or the current Houdini is--is, well, silly... Is Springsteen still the new Bob Dylan?

Vernon was one of a kind. What he did does not need to be done again. He was not the new Hofsinzer or the new Erdnase. He was Vernon--a fascinating and difficult man who made a huge contribution to the art of magic.

It is impertinent and presumptuous to use such language, and I sincerely doubt that any of the people mentioned so far would appreciate being nominated for such a "title."
[/quote]

Maybe silly to ask, but I have the answer. If you were Shirley Maclaine in a past life, Whit, then I AM THE CURRENT HOUDINI ! ;)
Bruce Springsteen does remind me of Bob Dylan. But it's just a superficial similarity. No one is the new someone else. Impossible. And who wants to be, anyway? I agree with you once again, Mr. Haydn. The question is dismissive of the original Mr. Vernon and those who have been nominated to fill his shoes. We're talking about real people, real lives. They deserve more than a superficial comparison to someone else.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 1, 2005 09:13PM)
Y'know, it's amazing when I hear someone say something like "everyone knows that Vernon's theories are always someone else's, right?" or other dis statements. Most of the people who say that either only saw The Professor when he ws in his 90's and unable to perform or never saw him perform at all, other than maybe on the Videonics tapes.

I was AT the $1,000 lecture in Chicago on a very hot summer's night and watched the Professor blow away the best posted, most educated magicians in the country with some of the FINEST sleight of hand material I have EVER witnessed, anywhere.

Period.

He sat there for a good 20 minutes, talking about history, theories and people he knew. He then stood up and did the 3 Coins to Champaign Glass and blew EVERYBODY away with it. I was sitting next to Terry Vekey, one of the best close up magicians I know. Terry looked at me on the break and said, in awe, "Where did he get the coins? I never saw him load up!"

I knew the answer, as I had re-read Vernon's Book the night before and said, simply, "He had them in his hand before he ever walked on stage. You have to learn to hide and hold."

From behind me, I heard that patented chuckle and a hand landed on my shoulder. "Here's a boy who actually READ what I wrote!" and the Professor was standing there, grinning at me. I was never more flattered.

His lecture contained NOTHING but PURE GOLD. And no one left unhappy. In fact, I will go on record, right now, as saying that the Vernon lecture, out of all the lectures I have been to in over 36 years in this business, was THE best lecture that I have ever attended.

Those who did not see him back in the 70's, when I did, missed a True Master at his craft. No question about it.

But now, today, the fashion is to deconstruct the "greats." To put them "in their place," and to make them less than they really were. Well, folks, I was there. If you weren't, then you can't really speak to how good he really was.

I can. He was.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Nik_Mikas (Aug 1, 2005 10:58PM)
Lee:

Since that was clearly directed at me, I shall respond.

Where did I say Vernon was not good at sleight-of-hand? I would never say such a thing (and that is clearly the underlying point of your post). But I still stand with the mentality I have. That is: repeating what others have said and putting them to good use does not make you their inventor. It makes you a wonderful exponent of previous teachings, but not the creator of them.

People saying things like "Vernon says to be natural" and "Vernon says the effect matters, not the means" clearly do not realize that Vernon learned all that from other sources. He was no doubt the most influential magician of the last century, and although I never got to see him, I do not find it hard to believe that he was the greatest exponent of sleight-of-hand ever. But he did not invent the notion of being natural, or of using you head, or the numerous other thoughts and sayings he is credited for. That is all.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 1, 2005 11:22PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 23:58, Nik_Mikas wrote:
People saying things like "Vernon says to be natural" and "Vernon says the effect matters, not the means" clearly do not realize that Vernon learned all that from other sources.
[/quote]
Since this is clearly directed toward me I will respond. I saw Dai Vernon lecture in Davenport Iowa. It was a three hour lecture after he spent the entire day at the convention, telling stories, helping young magicians with moves, signing autographs etc.

Statements like "clearly do not realize" are a little out there from someone that perhaps may not have met or seen Dai Vernon lecture or perform. When any performer does a show or a lecture on magic what they are giving us is their ideas. The ideas may have been inspired by "those who have come before us" but certainly Dai Vernon gave magic a real treat in his writings - video - performing - lecturing of his magic point of view about magic.

I agree with Lee and feel Dai Vernon IS THE LEGEND!
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 2, 2005 12:06AM)
I wish I would have had the opportunity to see Vernon perform. It is fascinating to hear all of the wonderful stories about the man. It must have been amazing to see him perform live when he was in his prime. I would have loved to have gone to one of his lectures. Thank you for sharing.

Sincerely,
Rich
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Aug 2, 2005 12:49AM)
O.k., based off the replies to this post I think we can say with confidence that there will NEVER be another Dai Vernon. I am getting the feeling that he was a one of a kind who came into magic at a time that is much different than today.

[b]However, is there any magician alive today who we hold in as high a regard as was Vernon in his day?[/b]

This is a different question than I originally posted since my views have changed after reading your replies.

What do you think? Is this a more appropriate question? Can any magician today be as highly regarded as Vernon or have our times changed soo greatly with media and internet exposure that magicians can never achieve this status within our community?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

~L2L
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 2, 2005 01:09AM)
I think just about any brilliant, totally dedicated performer around today, who has had more than 75 years experience in magic and knew Houdini, Malini, Cardini, Leipzig, Paul Le Paul, Faucett Ross, Russell Swan, Thurston, and every other great magician in this country and around the world, and who studied and read just about everything ever written on card magic and sought out and met with many gamblers and card cheats all over the country and was friend and confident of just about every magician who lived in the entire last century, and who created and refined both new methods and approaches to classic magic and card tricks, and invented many, many tricks still in use by others would be a good candidate.

Love2laugh: It is still an inappropriate question. You are making a comparison where none should exist, and making a title or position where none exists or can exist.

Who is the modern Shakespeare? Who is the contemporary Einstein?

You act as if Vernon lived a long time ago. There are many, many people on this board who knew him well. To try to make false comparisons between the work of one great performer to another is just wrong.

Vernon was not the greatest magician who ever lived, nor the most important. But he was certainly one of the greats. He lived a very long time, and had a very powerful and lasting influence that has marked every magician who has come along since.

You can easily ask who are some of the most important writers, creators and performers of magic alive today.

So, why must you turn it into a comparison? You can not compare contributions that are so different in breadth and scope and subject. It is a case of apples and oranges.
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Aug 2, 2005 01:17AM)
Whit, I must admit you completely changed my mind! I am embarrassed to admit that your reply uncovers my ignorance on this topic. I completely agree with you and think the last question I posed is really irrelevant. I must admit that it is wonderful discussing Vernon and I really do see this topic in a completely different light. I have not seen many magicians here on the Café admit they were wrong about something but I'd like to go on the record to say I was wrong in posting such a question since I really thought an answer did exhist. I am glad I did post this question since I was sincere in my intent and I did end up learning a lot. For this I am thankful and quite humbled.

~L2L
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Aug 2, 2005 01:23AM)
Wow, fantastic reply Whit!!! You hit the nail on the head.

It is alright love2laugh, I also learned a lot from the replies within your post. The debate has been very interesting and I like hearing about Vernon.

Take care,
Rich
Message: Posted by: Steranko (Aug 2, 2005 08:50AM)
I guess that's put that one to bed!

PS - I've heard a lot or rumours about Persi Diaconis, how does he rate on the "Be-Like-Vernon" meter? :D
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Aug 2, 2005 09:21AM)
Doesn't Diaconis relate a story about Vernon egging him on to drink?


A.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 2, 2005 10:44AM)
Diaconis is a huge talent, and he would despise anyone who tried to make such a stupid comparison. I think this has been a good topic, not because I like the question, but because it does offer a chance to discuss these issues.

Let's look at people's individual contributions rather than trying to fit them into some kind of ranking or comparison of their value to magic.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Aug 2, 2005 10:51AM)
Well, uh, Diaconis IS a professor :kermit: And... he lived and travelled with Vernon for quite some time. He also created most of Himber's effects, most notably the linking finger rings, and he was heavily into the gambling side and as far as my personal experience, I have never seen anyone as good as he with the cards.
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Aug 2, 2005 12:19PM)
Me.

;)
Message: Posted by: saxmangeoff (Aug 2, 2005 01:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 15:10, Whit Haydn wrote:
Who is today's Al Jolson? Who is the new Louis Armstrong? Is Springsteen still the new Bob Dylan?
[/quote]

Absolutely right!

There's a country song, by George Jones, called "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?" It asks, essentially, who will fill the shoes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, etc. The chorus goes:

[quote]
Who's gonna fill their shoes
Who's gonna stand that tall
Who's gonna play the Opry
And the Wabash Cannonball
Who's gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you
Lord I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes
[/quote]

The answer is, well, let's see, Trace Adkins, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride...... Dierks Bently has a lot of potential. I think Buddy Jewell is "the real deal." Ultimately, time will tell who the "greats" are. Another line in the song is "there'll never be another red-headed stranger" (Willie Nelson). That's true, but there WILL be other musicians with the ability to stand out from the crowd over the course of a long career.

So, there'll never be another Dai Vernon, but that's ok, because there will be a Tamariz, or Wonder, or Roth, or.....

Geoff
Message: Posted by: Uggla (Sep 8, 2005 11:37AM)
Wasnt richard turner and vernon pretty close???
What I can remeber from turners dvd is a vernon interview , were vernon say that "Richard turner can do things whith cards that no one else can do , it doesn't mather if he comes from china or france no body can do things like him"
Message: Posted by: Lukas (Sep 8, 2005 12:55PM)
I agree with Whit Haydn everyone has there own style of magic and everyone is good at magic in there own way.

Lukas
Message: Posted by: Magicmaven (Sep 8, 2005 02:46PM)
Not everyone is good at magic.
Message: Posted by: OiNutter (Sep 9, 2005 03:47AM)
I would like to say thank you to love2laugh for asking this question, however wrong it was as due to the replies given I have learnt much more about Dai Vernon. Being fairly new to magic I only knew of Vernon by reputation and from the sleights of his in Bobo's book. Listening to what many of you has said about him leads me to my next question. Which of Vernon's books would you recommend as a good place to start for anyone interested in learning some (although I would hope I could learn all) of his techniques?
Message: Posted by: rawdawg (Sep 9, 2005 03:19PM)
Dai Vernon "Book of Magic" specifically the section on Naturalness
Dai Vernon's "Inner Card Trilogy" or "Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic"
Stars of Magic
20 dollar manuscript

just off the top of my head...
Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Sep 9, 2005 05:15PM)
Perhaps you guys missed my earlier post. I set the record straight. The answer is; Me. I am the best. Best ever magician. Me. That's who. So there. End of story.

Now can we just get back to talking about the pros and cons of Black Tiger Decks?
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Sep 9, 2005 07:16PM)
IF you are interested in Vernon's approach to magic then the best book to start with is Ganson's "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic". This will give you a "feel" for Vernon's general approach to magic. If you are interested in card magic particularly, then you want the "Inner Secrets" series. And "The Stars of Magic", though not entirely Vernon, contains so much seminal work of Vernon's that to ignore it would be foolhardy. Consider the following:; "Spellbound", "The Travellers", "Kangaroo Coins", "Cups and Balls", "Triumph", and of course, Vernon's take on Malini and on Liepzig. That's a post-graduate course in fine close-up magic! Give it a shot, you won't regret any of this material...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: OiNutter (Sep 10, 2005 03:43AM)
Thanks! And it would appear my local magic shop has the Dai Vernon book in! So the saving begins!
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 10, 2005 12:02PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 17:52, magicalaurie wrote:
Bruce Springsteen does remind me of Bob Dylan. But it's just a superficial similarity. No one is the new someone else.
[/quote]

When John Cougar Mellencamp came out, he was compared to Springsteen. Springsteen's first records were compared to Bob Dylan. Dylan was compared to Muddy Waters and Arlo Guthrie early on. And so on, and so on. All great art is created by standing on the shoulders of giants (and Vernon was no exception). Having direct influences is incredibly important, something that would not have been at all been controversial in any art form a hundred years ago. But with the advent of 20th century modernism, "innovation" has been fetishized at the expense of all other artistic values. Now people like to pretend that they didn't learn their craft from other sources. Rubbish! If we invent stuff on our own, we have to pretend like it's 100% our own. But REAL artists know better, and don't mind crediting their sources and wearing their influences on their sleeves.

Vernon was important because he was important on lots of different levels. An innovator, a creator, a performer, an advocate, a writer, and of course as a teacher. Paul Harris is an important inventor and innovator, but is lacking in the other areas. Michael Ammar is an important teacher, especially to amateurs, but is (let's be honest) a fairly wooden performer, nothing to write home about. Giobbi certainly has earned consideration for his publishing and teaching, but as a performer he is not well known. Tamariz? Now there's a possibility, but he hasn't published enough to be compared to Vernon.

Like the Beatles and Beethoven, Vernon was a unique force who rose to the occasion at a particular time. I don't think it would be right to expect something like him again.
Message: Posted by: Joe Russell (Oct 1, 2005 09:27PM)
Which magician alive today best emulates Dai Vernon?
My good friend Alex Linian.
He has an impromptu version of the invisible deck and he bends forks and spoons better than anyone in the business.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Oct 1, 2005 09:34PM)
I disagree Joe, but thanks.
Actually, the most amazing thing I've seen is your arm illusion (where you twist and BREAK your arm in half). And your finesse on the top change still fools me.
If anyone emulates Dai Vernon today, it's you.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 1, 2005 10:25PM)
Emulate: Strive to equal or match, especially by imitating.

If you want to be great you have got to be original not an imitation.
Message: Posted by: SamChak (Oct 8, 2005 06:07AM)
Dai Vernon is already a Legend. No one can replace him. But there are still many great & honorable magicians, mentalists and entertainers, who perform miracles beyond our imaginations like...

David Copperfield, Michael Ammar, Steve Banachek, Richard Osterlind, James Freedman, Bruce Bernstein, Apollo Robbins, Barrie Richardson, Finn Jon, Jon Racherbaumer, Lee Earle, Larry Becker, Robert Allen, Henry Evans, Danny Archer, Allan Ackerman, Criss Angel, Stan Allen, Peter Eggink, Simon Aronson, Lee Asher, Lennart Green, Steve Bedwell, John Cornelius, Arian Black, Morgan Strebler & Mikala, Michael Mode, Gaetan Bloom, Jeff McBride, Doug Brewer, Corey Burke, Dan and Dave Buck, Eugene Burger, Dan Harlan, Joey Burton, Johnny Thompson, Mike Close and Lisa Moore, Gared Crawfords, Yves Doumergue, Peter Cassford, Daniel Cros, Nigel Harrison, Gary Darwin, Daryl and Alison, John Guastaferro, Dean Dill, Eric James, Bill Malone, Dan Sylvester, Jim Pace, Jeff Edmunds, Darwin Ortiz, Jeff Wessmiller, Richard Turner, Cellini, Aaron Fisher, Bob Fitch, David Stone, Tom Frank, Michael Forbes, Brad Christian, Bill Goodwin, Paul Harris, Carl Andrews, Brad Henderson, Simon Lovell, Scott Hitchcock, Penn Jillette, Al Schneider, Curtis Kam, John Kennedy, Chris Kenner, Chappy Brazil, Scott F. Guinn, Mac King, Paul Green, Borid Wild, Roger Klause, Bob Kohler, Nathan Kranzo, Chris Korn, Todd Lassen, John Lovick, Geoff Latta, Whit Haydn, Homer Liwag, Oz Pearlman, Doug Malloy, Quentin Reynolds, Mike Michaels, Greg Wilson, Eric Mead, Aldo Colombini, Jason Dean and John Born, John Moehring, Martin Nash, Steve Draun, Gary Norsigian, David Regal, Shoot Ogawa, Chris Randall, Peter Reveen, David Forrests, David Roth, Guy Bavli, Andrew Mayne, Adam Rubin, Michael Close, Alan Rorrison, Scott Alexander, Looy Simonoff, Jay Sankey, Steve Fearson, Peter Studebaker, Karl Hein, Howie Schwartzman, Patrick Kuffs, Jamy Ian Swiss, Bob White, Roberto Giobbi, Garrett Thomas, Daniel Garcia, Tim Trono, Dan Watkins, Thomas Wayne, Paul Wilson, Geoff Williams, Phil Varricchio, Bob Cassidy, Rick Wilcox, Dennis Loomis, Richard Sanders, Sal Piacente, Frank Zak, Tomas Medina, Brian Tudor, Tommy Wonder, Jimmy Molinari, Etienne Pradier, Kif Chan, Guy Hollingworth and The Flicking Fingers.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Oct 8, 2005 08:07AM)
I am a bit bothered by all of this.
I will not vote for who is the modern day Vernon.
I think that most after reading this thread will agree that this would be unwise.
I am troubled by the way most make comparisons of some to Vernon.
I will not worship the man but I respect his magic greatly.
I have seen him perform several times.
Mind you, I have not seen everyone perform on planet earth today.
However, I have not seen anyone that can produce a magical effect as well as Vernon.
Unfortuneately you can not get this from his books. He presents things well. His theories are farily straight forward and are actually standard now. Probably due to his efforts.

It is the Vernon Touch. When he did it looked like magic. I have not seen anyone that can do that. There have been a few that take my breath away. But it is not the same as what Vernon did.

The last time I saw him he was quite old. He dropped the glass for his well known routine and it broke. He was not doing well. When he finished he got a standing ovation. However, I heard many around me say, "Why is this guy so great?"

This is the effects of time. And, unfortuneately, time is preventing us from seeing the Vernon Touch.

I would enjoy seeing someone that could do what he did. I actually am hungary to see it. But I have not. All to often individuals in this forum rave about someone that I have seen and will say, "OK, he does a good job." But please, please do not compare them to Vernon. It bothers me intensly.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: theEpiphany (Oct 8, 2005 08:27AM)
I believe that the writings and poetic words of Whit Haydn have already put this topic to rest...

-D
Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Oct 8, 2005 10:15AM)
Chak?????? your list ain't worth JACK.LOL..............
with out the godfather of magic of on that list....
vinny
Message: Posted by: Tielie (Oct 9, 2005 03:40AM)
Don't you think others should mention these things?
Message: Posted by: BobGreaves (Oct 9, 2005 06:12AM)
Half the problem here is that "emulate" is not defined.
The other problem is that the focus is not defined: are we talking about the man or his work. I have found that many heroes in real life have had feet of clay, or been downright unpleasant people although they may have done some great things (JFK, Churchill for example).
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Oct 9, 2005 10:54AM)
Only a clone of the Professor could emulate him...it's like asking who could emulate the late great Bruce Lee. Uniqueness is what separates us as humans and I thank the Creator for that...& because of His grace we are what we are.

<<<KRaZy4kardz>>>
Message: Posted by: gdw (Oct 12, 2005 04:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 20:43, love2laugh wrote:
I'm sorry everyone for being critical on your choices. I just have a very strong opinion that Michael Ammar is a modern day Dai Vernon.

Can anyone provide any evidence against my selection of Michael Ammar? He has been the most prolific publisher of magic videos and was even on Dai Vernon's Revelations videos. Dai Vernon said himself how amazing a magician Michael Ammar was on his tapes. I think Dai Vernon even thought of Michael Ammar as his predecessor.

I have seen Johnny Thompson's cups and balls routine and yes he does impersonate Dai Vernon's mannerisms and voice almost perfectly.

So, who do you think surpasses Michael Ammar? Who is a modern day Dai Vernon? Please provide some evidence for your claims.

Thank you,
L2L
[/quote]

Can you provide evidence against thier choices? A rather pointless tactic you know. "here is my OPINION, now prove me wrong."
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Oct 12, 2005 04:15PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-10 13:02, scorch wrote:
When John Cougar Mellencamp came out, he was compared to Springsteen. Springsteen's first records were compared to Bob Dylan. Dylan was compared to Muddy Waters and Arlo Guthrie early on.

[/quote]

I can't let this stand. Bob Dylan was never compared to Arlo Guthrie. He was compared to WOODY Guthrie. I'm sure it was just a slip of the fingers but it's heresy just the same. LOL
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Oct 13, 2005 04:30PM)
I wish I could have met Dai Vernon!

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Sincerely,
L2L
Message: Posted by: Review King (Oct 13, 2005 04:51PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 19:59, Paul Chosse wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 19:49, love2laugh wrote:
Patrick Page, Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson!?!?!?

These old guys are not nearly as talented as Michael Ammar!

I cannot think of an effect Patrick, Billy, or Johnny can perform which is better than Ammar. Michael Ammar is probably of the the most influential magicians in the last 20 years.

~L2L
[/quote]

Har, Har, Har! Thanks for the best laugh I've had in weeks!

Best, PSC
[/quote]

I'm dying here. Too funny!!! Ya, that Thompson fellow has a lot to learn!!
Message: Posted by: Fishsticks (Oct 13, 2005 09:16PM)
Who is Dai Vernon?
Message: Posted by: allanmania (Oct 13, 2005 10:11PM)
Haha I hope that's a joke
Message: Posted by: aka (Oct 14, 2005 12:06AM)
^
^
^

ditto. Mind you, I'm no experton on magic history, but I've atleast heard of the man.
Message: Posted by: Alan Rorrison (Oct 17, 2005 09:08AM)
Thank you. Ver honerd to be considered never mind to be in the list man!

Alan
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Oct 17, 2005 12:34PM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-08 11:15, vinsmagic wrote:
Chak?????? your list ain't worth JACK.LOL..............
with out the godfather of magic of on that list....
vinny
[/quote]
I think you should be in the list Vinny! You are very helpful to all of us here on the Café. You are awesome! I VOTE THAT VINNY IS THE DAI VERNON OF THE MAGIC Café!!!! :)
Message: Posted by: scorch (Oct 17, 2005 01:32PM)
[quote]
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Michael Ammar.

What do you think?
[/quote]

Not even close.

Through his excellent video series, magic journals, lectures, and such, Ammar has proven himself to be an important disseminator of instructional information in the field. This is without doubt. But even in these areas his primary focus has been for the beginner/amateur market. For professionals his accomplishments here are dwarfed by not only Vernon, but many others in the field.

Further, Ammar is not a particular inventive magician, with most of his published material coming from others. So on that score he is certainly not even in the top 20 of magical inventors today.

And lastly, Ammar is nobody's idea of a great performer. He is certainly good, and at times quite good. But he's not great. He's no Juan Tamariz or Bill Malone! He has a fairly "wooden" (shades of Al Gore) personality onstage, with an exaggerated, manufactured sincerity, at least to my sensibilities. He can come off as quite personable, but rarely with a lot of charisma. The performances on the Early Ammar videos seem like he is about to fall asleep! As a performer he is quite competent, but certainly lacks "the Vernon touch."

Vernon excelled in virtually every facet of the magical arts: as a performer, inventor, teacher, writer, mentor, advocate. No one person alive today who comes even close to his accomplishments in all of these areas, though I suppose it's interesting subject for conversation.
Message: Posted by: love2laugh (Oct 20, 2005 02:33PM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-17 14:32, scorch wrote:
Further, Ammar is not a particular inventive magician, with most of his published material coming from others. So on that score he is certainly not even in the top 20 of magical inventors today.
[/quote]
Scorch, I agree with everything you said except the comment about Ammar not being even in the top 20 of magical inventors today.

Do others feel this way?

Maybe I'm too impressed with Ammar's talents.
I'd love to hear your replies.

L2L
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Oct 21, 2005 12:15AM)
I'm curious as to what Ammar invented?

If it's the "dumb ass smile", I think that was here long before him.;)


A.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Oct 21, 2005 08:53AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-20 15:33, love2laugh wrote:
Scorch, I agree with everything you said except the comment about Ammar not being even in the top 20 of magical inventors today.
[/quote]

Name three effects or sleights that he invented that are in the common performance repertoire of magicians.

I can't even think of one. All of the effects that I have seen on his videos and lecture notes are from other people.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Oct 22, 2005 02:51AM)
In some ways, Ammar stands for all that is wrong with magic today.


A.
Message: Posted by: asper (Oct 22, 2005 08:38AM)
The correct answer to the question is Jay Sankey.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Oct 22, 2005 11:54AM)
Jay Sankey!
Why didn't I think of him, it's so obvious!
Good work asper!


A.
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Oct 22, 2005 05:24PM)
Well considering that I never had the pleasure and honor to meet Dai- I couldn't possibly compare him truly with any other magi. HOWEVER I do know of his skill and dedication to the art. And with that- I make this claim and cast my vote.

John Calvert.

A man who loves the art and still to this DAY performs it. Lives it. Has known nothing else but magic conjuring, acting, and you can't forget the airplanes:) I had the distinct honor of spending more time with this man than I deserved. He gave me some of the greatest advice, but was also brutally honest about the business. Much like Dai Vernon was. He (Dai) would; fact based on rumor; tell you if your doing 'it' wrong. 'It' being the move. Calvert did the same for me. He taught me what I should learn. Not what was popular, but what gave him the success he came to know. He was a USO performer also as I am. He gave me the best advice yet pertaining to performing large scale shows for the troops. And for that- I thank him. He will always be in my mind- considered one of the greatest. Most influential. I know that I probably won't get to see him for a while. And that does sadden me. But anyway: I cast my vote for John Calvert!

Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: asper (Oct 22, 2005 06:30PM)
Nope, it's not Calvert. You're wrong. And if you really understood Vernon, you wouldn't mention Calvert. Calvert's an interesting chap, but I wouldn't say he's the current Professor. (Based on his boat stories, he sounds more like a Gilligan).

Jay Sankey is the answer. If you mentioned David Neighbors, I'd give you an honorable mention, as he's the next in line after Sankey.

In the words of Richard Kaufman, "Period. End of Discussion. Topic Closed."
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Oct 22, 2005 06:37PM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-22 09:38, asper wrote:
The correct answer to the question is Jay Sankey.
[/quote]

[b]l[/b]aught
[b]o[/b]ut
[b]l[/b]oud

That [b]was[/b] a joke right? I mean, I like some of his stuff but, come on!
Message: Posted by: MattWayne (Oct 22, 2005 08:05PM)
I know Jay and have met him on several occasions. With all due respect to him- he's not the answer. He creates fast little effects. His book is just that as well- fast little impromptu tricks. No real skill needed. Some of it's good- some well... good quick stuff?----> yes! Good guy-----> yes! The next Vernon?----> negative. You earn that respect, and Jay needs to stay in it like 50 more years!

Showmanship, and respect to the art- Calvert. I was comparing Calvert and Dai with showmanship, charm, and compassion for magic as a whole. Not how many effects he has come up with or what he puts out to the magic fraternity just to make a few extra bucks. *cough---> Penguin Magic.... Anywho moving right along..

Plus- you're saying I'm wrong; when it was clearly an opinionated question. And if you REALLY understood my comment and it's relevance- then you would see that I wasn't claiming anything. Merely stating my opinion. Why don't you just name and hail Blaine as the next in line after Sankey???? Seems that that's your line of thinking.

Personally I may see this all wrong, but to me your comment implied that you were punning against Calvert. Of which I totally RESPECT you for your opinion and all. But until you personally meet, greet, and spend time (actual time) with him- your perception of him is wrong. He is a living walking legend. Who deserves much credit.

Alex Linan- you are correct in your reply! It is a laugh out loud manner. Give credit when credit is due. Calvert is 93- he's already earned it in my opinion.
I personally found his yacht- not boat stories interesting. Read his biography for more of them!!! Denny Haney has a whole bunch of them! DennyMagic.com Best biography on a magician.

Wow this is a first- I've actually gotten 'heated' over a mere post on the Internet. Ha- keep in touch, and sorry if this seemed controversial in any way. It's not like your going to receive a reward from the Magic Castle for best debater.

As Jeff Sheridan would say, "Simple, easy.... done."

Matt Tomasko
Message: Posted by: Samuel (Oct 22, 2005 08:47PM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-17 13:34, love2laugh wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-10-08 11:15, vinsmagic wrote:
Chak?????? your list ain't worth JACK.LOL..............
with out the godfather of magic of on that list....
vinny
[/quote]
I think you should be in the list Vinny! You are very helpful to all of us here on the Café. You are awesome! I VOTE THAT VINNY IS THE DAI VERNON OF THE MAGIC Café!!!! :)
[/quote]

We all respect The Godfather and what he has done here on the cafè. We all care for
The Godfather, and love what he do.

But that, dear [b]L2L[/b], is a sorry attempt of [b]ass-kissing[/b]. No-one can
live up to Dai Vernon's name, and you disrespect his name by making such a
comparison.

Vinny is a creative and helpful man, and I respect him as the friend he is to me.
But to compare him to Dai Vernon would be as to compare me with Bill Gates. Dai
Vernon was a master of his art, he lived for the magic. He became Magic.

I truly believe that nobody will ever be able to live up to Dai Vernon's name... We
should all respect him, and leave it with that.
Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Oct 22, 2005 09:47PM)
And with that being said ... this post should be closed.....
There will never be another Dai Vernon......
L2L was just making a joke,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Hey if I should live well into my 90s who knows LOL..................


the GODFATHER
Message: Posted by: foolsnobody (Oct 22, 2005 10:55PM)
I met Dai Vernon but I never saw him perform except on a video. I know that later in his life he "used" his age in his presentation "Well I'm an old man now, my fingers don't work like they used to, I don't really do magic any more." And then perform a rings or cups routine that anyone else would be proud of.

What I was wondering was, back when he was relatively "young," when he first started performing in the Close Up Gallery at the Castle, what was his presentation? I notice that in writeups by Ganson and so on, or his Cups and Balls, or later the Chronicles, his presentation contained lines like "Put the card anywhere you like; it makes no difference to me," or the well known "They say that the quickness of the hand deceives the eye but I propose to perform slowly and deliberately so you can see exactly how the trick is done." So there was always the subtext that what he was doing was no big deal. As a presentational device. Quite different from the admonition we often get to make our magic important. Am I interpretating what I read correctly, that he made his magic more magical by downplaying his own abilities and the importance of magic in general, so that his mastery of the craft, the "attention to detail that shows no detail" was more powerful by comparison?

If so, or if not, is there any magician working today who emulates Vernon in his prime *presentationally*?
Message: Posted by: ImpromptuBoy (Oct 22, 2005 11:24PM)
Quite honestly, there was and there is no one like Dai! He was truly one of a kind!

Michael
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Oct 23, 2005 11:22PM)
TomaskoMagic

Most of us don't have the time or opportunity to meet, and greet, and spend time, sorry, make that, spend "actual" time with the various contenders for Dia's crown.

But really.

I mean the whole thing about meeting the guy, and the guy giving you business advice, and you being a uso performer like him, and you're not even worthy of his attention, and then you're steamed because a guy says you're wrong, and then you're dumping on Sankey cause he likes the money, and Sankey better be in magic for 50 years so he can earn some respect, and they you go off on Blaine?

Did you let the guy give you a haircut too?

You gotta show a little objectivity, eh.

Here's what I found on the internet (whatever that is):

Calvert: In our show we opened with a very fast routine of magic. I've had magicians come back and say " Hello John. You do in the first three minutes in your show (what) I could do in an hour." I said, "where are you working?" (Laughs) So we do a lot of fast magic we call magic variety in the first three minutes. Then we shoot a girl out of a cannon into a space capsule. We cut a man's head of with a buzz saw and put it back on. Out in Hollywood many years ago, Danny Kaye, was in my show and came out and impersonated Hitler. Then the marines would come out and grabbed him, put him in the buzz saw and we'd cut his head off, put his head in a sausage grinder, and out came German Wieners (Laughs). Now we still carry the buzz saw, cutting a man's head off I've done for years. As a matter of fact I originated it. Another thing that is my own and no one else does the flying organ. Tammy, who's my wife, plays the console or the pipe organ, it floats about the stage and then it floats over the heads of the audience.

Yes, the famous Vernon Touch: German Wieners!

So why is everyone so down on Sankey?

He's Canadian like Dia and he does have the 'touch' for making to-the-point effects that are simpllified and that look magical.

You can call them quick. Quick like what? Like shooting a girl out of a canon and cutting Hitlers head off, and putting it through a sausage grinder, and doing more in the first three minutes of a show than some do in an hour?

The king is dead, long live king Sankey.

A.

Yacht!

That's the sound of my cat coughing up a hair-ball. I don't want to hear 'yacht' stories, ick!

I'm sorry for posting back-to-back, but I'm a little heated ( not "heated") about the disrespect dirrected towards Sankey.

Does he own a boat?

Does he own a plane?

What does that have to do about what we're talking about?

Was Dia Vernon a constant 93 years of age? How do you earn it?

Sankey!

A.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Oct 31, 2005 10:14PM)
Just for me, there will never be another Dai Vernon.
Peace,
Parson
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Nov 2, 2005 10:14AM)
Michael Ammar
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 11, 2005 04:20PM)
[quote]
I think Dai Vernon even thought of Michael Ammar as his predecessor.
[/quote]

Successor, maybe. Predecessor, impossible. Ammar would have had to have been performing prior to Vernon to be his predecessor.

Looking for a modern day Dai Vernon is like looking for a modern day D.D. Hume. There was only one. That was enough.
Message: Posted by: RJ Hunt (Feb 13, 2006 07:15PM)
David Plain...LOL!!! J/K (Plain is a better name)

There will never be another Vernon. I think he is a part of all of use who have studied his magic and those of us who have had the pleasure of seeing Vernon perform. I think if one wants to seek out more of Vernon's magic we could look to the likes of; B. Cervon, E. Nelson, M. Ammar, B. McComb, these are some men that knew him best and all were mentored by Vernon.

that's my 2cents.

Later & Out
RJ

Almost to 50 posts!!!
Message: Posted by: omk (Feb 14, 2006 08:50AM)
[quote]

So why is everyone so down on Sankey?

[/quote]

Mr. Foul-Mouth himself......
Message: Posted by: Clay Shevlin (Feb 15, 2006 05:08AM)
So far as idle conversation goes, love2laugh’s question is fun to discuss and can, if done thoughtfully, knowledgably and intelligently, help to flesh out certain qualities that make the greats great. I thought Paul C.’s initial comment was a good attempt to steer the conversation that way, when he wrote:
“If you are looking for the new "Professor" you would do well to list the qualities that make him someone to emulate.... Do we look for the good AND the bad?”

As someone else suggested, Vernon isn’t ancient history, like Fawkes, Hofzinser or Robert-Houdin are. So there are people still living who knew Vernon fairly well. But unfortunately for us, nearly 100% of the people best qualified to address the original question aren’t participating in this thread.

Clay
Message: Posted by: Mogwai II (Mar 1, 2006 01:26PM)
I think as far as elegance goes, Cellini is still wonderful to watch. I enjoy being his student right now. I would never compare the two, but Cellini has also that kind of knowledge of every aspect of magic. And he is still inventing great stuff. Wait for FISM 06, he will present some wonderful things.

In my opinion, Ammar might be great in Slight of Hand, and knowledge in MAgic, but I never thought much of him as an entertainer, or a great personality. To be honest, to me, he's just not soo magical.
Not even close as magical as vernon was to come back to the original discussion.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Mar 2, 2006 09:39PM)
Unfortunately... or fortunately... The person was human and is likely best remembered by his family. Then again... that takes us away from the fantasy land of supposed magic where clever is king and family values ( and social graces sometimes ) have no bearing.

Please don't cast a golden calf in Dai Vernon's image. It's much more useful to actually learn from the magic he left us. We can also learn much about the times as we find reference to wetbacks, peons and such in his presentations.

Where would the idolaters go were their icon smashed and found most human?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 10, 2006 09:27AM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-01 14:26, Mogwai wrote:
I think as far as elegance goes, Cellini is still wonderful to watch. I enjoy being his student right now. I would never compare the two, but Cellini has also that kind of knowledge of every aspect of magic. [/quote]

Jim Cellini is magic. You are incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful teacher. Please tell him I said hello.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Mogwai II (Mar 13, 2006 04:07PM)
Hi Dan

ok, I tell him you said hello. You were a student of his also?
Message: Posted by: NeoMagic (Mar 16, 2006 11:08AM)
Paul Daniels... but no one even comes close!
Message: Posted by: Red Von (Mar 27, 2006 12:21AM)
No One!

There will never be another like him!!

:spoon:
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 27, 2006 02:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-31 19:49, love2laugh wrote:
Patrick Page, Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson!?!?!?

These old guys are not nearly as talented as Michael Ammar!

I cannot think of an effect Patrick, Billy, or Johnny can perform which is better than Ammar. Michael Ammar is probably of the the most influential magicians in the last 20 years.

~L2L
[/quote] Are you kidding?
[quote]
On 2006-03-16 12:08, NeoMagic wrote:
Paul Daniels... but no one even comes close!
[/quote]
Great pick, Neo.
Message: Posted by: Nat (Apr 9, 2006 07:33PM)
I have been involved with magic for over 45 years. And the most memorable magical experiences were the performances of Slydini and Vernon!!

Nathan

[quote]
On 2006-03-27 15:21, magicfish wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-03-16 12:08, NeoMagic wrote:
Paul Daniels... but no one even comes close!
[/quote]
Great pick, Neo.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 11, 2006 05:58PM)
When Vernon did his $1000.00 lecture tour, I attended the one he did in Arlington, Texas. This one was particularly historic, because it was the first of what later became the Desert Magic Seminar, and later, the WMS.

I had seen Vernon perform and lecture before. But this one was special. We had a chance to really talk to him. You have to consider the vast amount of knowledge he had, not just in magic, but in other subjects as well.

He explained a lot of material that few had ever seen him perform, such as the Ball, Cone and Handkerchief, which were very poorly explained in the Ganson book.

Vernon had a very strong influence on my way of thinking about and doing magic. All told, I probably spent no more than a week, total, in his presence. But that week, which was spread out over several different magic conventions, about a dozen or so years apart, did me more good than any video or other lecture I have ever attended.

Vernon had a way of putting your head on straight for you. He got you to focus on what was important and what you were doing to give away the store.

Maybe in 30 years Sankey or Ammar or one of the other likely suspects that someone or another has mentioned will be capable of filling these shoes, but I really don't think so. And it has nothing to do with Sankey or Ammar. It has to do with something that Vernon said at the $1000.00 lecture. I'll paraphrase it.

It's wrong to try to be another Doug Henning, or Mark Wilson, or another Channing Pollock. No matter how good you get at being another Doug Henning, you will never actually BE Doug Henning. You will only be a copy of him and nothing more. You will never be as good at being Doug Henning as Doug is. But he could never be YOU, either! So be the best magician you can be. And be yourself. Don't be Doug Henning or Mark Wilson or Channing Pollock. You will never be successful at that. Be yourself.
Message: Posted by: Hayre (Sep 28, 2006 11:24AM)
This was not a practical question, or even a satisfactorily answerable one, but it sure was a fun one. You might just as well ask....who is the next Marlo, Slydini, or Don Alan, for that matter. Marlo and Slydini also had tremendous impact, made huge contributions, and had many followers, even during Vernon's tenure. You might make a case that Don Alan had even more followers, at least based on how many people use his material in their acts.
Message: Posted by: Vinnie Laraway (Oct 22, 2006 05:24PM)
I'd say Michael Ammar or Eugene Burger...

-Vinnie
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Dec 26, 2006 01:31PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-01 00:53, Whit Haydn wrote:
That's a coincidence--I was Shirley Maclaine in a past life...

Asking who the modern day Vernon or the current Houdini is--is, well, silly. It is the kind of question only asked by those who knew none of the names in question.

Who is today's Al Jolson? Who is the new Louis Armstrong? Is Springsteen still the new Bob Dylan?

Vernon was one of a kind. What he did does not need to be done again. He was not the new Hofsinzer or the new Erdnase. He was Vernon--a fascinating and difficult man who made a huge contribution to the art of magic.

Like Prometheus, he brought us fire from the gods--magic that would not be still here with us today had Vernon not existed. Much of it was original, much was learned from the masters of the Golden Age, and everything had his thought, touch, and imprint on it.

Billy McComb, Johnny Thompson and the others mentioned here are giants in their own right, and not just "the closest thing to Vernon."

They have made their own unique contributions to the art of magic.

It is impertinent and presumptuous to use such language, and I sincerely doubt that any of the people mentioned so far would appreciate being nominated for such a "title."
[/quote]
I couldn't agree more. All the magicians named here brought something unique to the table. All have made their contributions. Vernon was Vernon. He wrote his tributes to Liepzig and Malini, but that didn't make hin "the new Liepzig" or "the new Malini", and he never claimed to be.
Has anyone else had the influence on close-up magic that Vernon did? I doubt it. Micheal Ammar is a great teacher of magic, and Johnny Thompson has passed along a lot of what he learned directly from Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller, but niether one would claim to be "the new Vernon".
This is like those lists that come out every now and then of the greatest boxers or the greatest ballplayers of all time. It's fun to argue about it and everyone has their favorites, but let's agree that all of them are unique and deserve creit in their own right.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Dec 26, 2006 01:36PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-11 18:58, Bill Palmer wrote:

It's wrong to try to be another Doug Henning, or Mark Wilson, or another Channing Pollock. No matter how good you get at being another Doug Henning, you will never actually BE Doug Henning. You will only be a copy of him and nothing more. You will never be as good at being Doug Henning as Doug is. But he could never be YOU, either! So be the best magician you can be. And be yourself. Don't be Doug Henning or Mark Wilson or Channing Pollock. You will never be successful at that. Be yourself.

[/quote]

I agree 100%. This is something we all ought to know already. Doc Tarbell said it over and over in every volume of the Tarbell Course, but the reason he said it so much was because it can never be said too many times! Thanks for the reminder!
Message: Posted by: Richard Shippy (Apr 21, 2007 12:24AM)
We are all unique. There will never be another Dai Vernon.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 29, 2007 01:48AM)
Something akin to a cult has sprung up around Vernon. This is understandable. He was a charismatic, skilled performer. He also left an impression on lay people. I remember doing strolling gigs in Houston back in the 1970's and 1980's. From time to time, someone would ask me if I had ever met the old fellow they called The Professor at the magic castle. It takes a lot for the lay public to remember one of us, especially if he isn't involved in Broadway or television. This was during the time when people remembered Blackstone, Doug Henning, "Those guys with the tigers in Las Vegas," and David Copperfield.

The Professor taught me a lot.

A similar thing exists in Austria with Hofzinser.