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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Copperfield Rare Illusions (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Illusion77
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Hey - does anyone have any stories of Copperfield performing routines in his live show, that never made it to the specials? For example, the Assistant's Revenge he performed on talk shows in the 70's, but never did live.

I'm not talking about the current years, because, obviously, there hasn't been a special for a while. I'm wondering more about the 80's and 90's.

Any good stories out there?
AmazingEARL
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I recall seeing Copperfield do an anti-smoking public service announcement many years ago...back when he was still wearing the black velvet dinner jacket with the rose in his lapel, which should tell you how long ago it was.

In it, he presented a sort of mirror-based version of the Zig Zag and removed the center of (if memory serves) Morgan Fairchild. Due to the method, that one could never have been done live. Although not a camera trick, the angle and camera position had to be just right to film it.
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Christopher Starr
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I believe that you can view that here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XCzIvA3-jU

And why are you bagging on black velvet dinner jackets Dan? Smile

I can remember DC doing the cigarette through quarter trick on the Tom Snyder Tomorrow show. When he would take a puff off of the cigarette, he would say, "You have relatives in zee old country?"

I don't know why I remember that...
Illusion77
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Thanks guys - I remember those!

I remember seeing him perform Cig Through Quarter in Terror Train also.

I'm sure there were some illusions that were tested out in live shows, but ultimately dropped. I wonder what those were.
Blair Marshall
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Cig. through coin did appear on one of his specials.

Not sure about this one, but on his first live tour he did the standard invisible deck, did he ever do this on a special??

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nola
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This is a bit off topic but I remember seeing him live in Houston when he was still doing Harrary's (sp) Nine-Slicer. At the end of the routine as he tilted the box back into the vertical position a few of the sections began to fall down the track and the assistant (Spina?) was not in place yet so it was obvious that the box was empty. I don't think that the "lay audience" noticed any thing at all, but I would have loved to hear what D.C. was shouting to his off stage assistants! Luckily the mic was off! He looked pretty mad.
If I could read lips...

Peace,
nola
Illusion77
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Blair - I do remember hearing that DC did the Invisible Deck - it wasn't on any of the specials, but there is a write up of it in one of the articles on him.

Nola - interesting story about the Cutting in Nine - you're right, it would have been interesting to hear his thoughts about that mistake, which sounds more like a case of prop malfunction than crew error.

Any others?
Eyes of Darkness
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Did anyone ever see the vanishing and reappearing necklace? It appeared briefly in his Beyond Imagination tour.
just_larry
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Live numerous time I have seen him do the "spectator cut ropes trick/ no cut scissors/etc.".
One time the girl from the audiences' garter must have popped because her thigh-highs fell/drooped down, and he spend 20 minutes on the trick because she kept pulling them up ( he also was having a field day with this joke wise)
Larry
Ps.Online (google video) you can see some of his old specials.
But one, Alcatraz, is not available and it has 2 tricks that I only remember seeing on the special (and would like to see again-hint hint nudge nudge).
One was the duck cannon!
Eyes of Darkness
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I've gotten some PM's about the vanishing necklace. Here is what I remember. A girl is invited on stage. He removes her necklace and makes it disappear (via a TT). Then DC and the girl both hold up a cloth in front of her neck and instantly the necklace reappears around her neck. Both DC and the girls hands were far away from her neck.
Illusion77
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Wonder why this was taken out of the show?
RSD
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I recall reading in an interview that DC always had an invisible deck in the wings ready to go just in case something went wrong and he had to fill time.
Starrpower
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I also saw him do the Dot Card (What's Next) and T&R Traffic Ticket to fill time in a live show. He was buying time for the Buzz Saw, and when they finally did the trick the timer was not working. He did the "filler" tricks poorly, I might add -- at least, not what I would consider up to Copperfield standards.

Does anyone remember him doing a rather tasteless bit on stage with a pig? I saw him around 1990 in Iowa. He had a pig wander on stage for no apparent reason, deficated, and left. He called the pig "Elvis." He did not do a trick with the pig. I always thought that the pig would turn up later in a TV bit, but it never resurfaced. Weird ... anyone recall this?
Illusion77
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Hi Starrpower,

I heard that the pig was originally used at the end of the Big Black Box illusion (before the 3 dogs were put in the show). Maybe he was testing out bits with the pig, before the Black Box was officially in the show.

In regards to the Dot Card and T&R, did he do these back to back? How could the audience see the T&R - it sounds like a piece of close-up?
Starrpower
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Well, they WERE filler. Obviously, there was a problem with the timer, and he decided that it wasn't a big enough glitch to scrap the effect.

The T&R was visual enough -- I seem to remember long strips, but time alters our perception and memory -- but he turned his back to the audience and walked upstage during the bundle switch. I thought it was terrible showmanship, but I give him a pass 'cause he probably rarely did the thing. And, yes, he did them back-to-back to fill time (and I think it may have even been on the same show as the pig. He did not have the Black Box in the show.)
Eyes of Darkness
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Quote:
On 2007-01-28 12:35, Illusion77 wrote:
Wonder why this was taken out of the show?


It only got a so so reaction. Plus it took David almost a minute to take the girls necklace off. He kept saying what is the combination for this thing." I'm not sure what method he was using. It was definately a fooler.
Starrpower
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I also saw a "Jail Escape" that David did onstage around the time of his Alcatraz special. I was one of those invited onstage to examine the "jail." It was a cage that used the same method of passing through the barred jail door that he used in the special (at least, it appeared to be the same. I know the stage method, and I'm guessing it was the same as on the special .)
Illusion77
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Hi Starrpower,

I remember seeing this also, but have very vague recollections of it. Can you share more about your experience onstage?

Also - do you remember which vanish DC used at the end of that routine?
Starrpower
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I don't know what vanish you mean. He placed his arms through the bars, lifted a cloth ala "Spirit Seance," and stepped forward through the barred jail doors.

As far as being onstage, David's assistant was quite adept at guiding precisely where I should test the bars. I purposely reached where I thought a "gimmick" would be, but I was quickly redirected toward other bars. Of course, I don't know how it looked to the audience, but I felt quite rushed and was on and off the stage in short order. All in all, the assistants were very well trained and I was impressed with the way they were able to control my every move while I "checked" the cage.

I also have been onstage with Kreskin, and my wife was selected by Copperfield for the "Mind Reading Duck" bit back in the early-to-mid-80's (what I consider to be the height of Copperfield's career.) I always think it's a great experience for a magician to be on the other side -- the audience volunteer.
Illusion77
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The vanish at the end of the Alcatraz illusion, which mimicked the segment from the special where he vanished from a box on a table, and reappeared in the audience.

Ok - here's a question that's a memory tester. In the show from the mid-80's - do you remember if Copperfield closed the show with the Tower illusion - the illusion that opened the 1979 special?

Did you ever see him open with the Smoke Chamber live?

(as you can tell, I'm a fan of live show histories)
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