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Peter Marucci
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Glad to see Carl Ballantine -- probably the funniest magician of all time -- was mentioned at least once.

(Yes, and Topper Marty; but what about Tommy Cooper?)

There is a definite trend here: The vast majority of those mentioned are contemporary and have been on TV in the past two or three years.

That would indicate that those posting are too young to have seen a whole lot of live magicians.

No mention of:

David Devant, Tommy Downs, Sid Lorraine even Blackstone Sr.

All these "greats" used comedy in their acts.

Remember: There is a vast universe out there and it isn’t all confined to what or who is around today!


Peter Marucci
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Wow! I keep forgetting that Carl Ballantine is an excellent and funny magician. And I am old enough to remember seeing his magic on Ed Sullivan and other shows (which is probably also the reason I keep forgetting him).

I guess most people remember him more for his character of Gruber on McHale’s Navy.

Oh, well. Everyone have a nice weekend



Ray Banks
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Ray Banks
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Seems like all, the comedy magicians are covered more or less, well sort of...

but what about...

Jerry Sadowitz,
(very opinionated Scottish magician)

Simon Lovell,
ex pat crazy man now living in the States

Ricky Jay,

and of course

Fred Kaps.

Not immediately thought of as comedians but very, very, very funny.

Paul S
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I was wondering if anybody would mention Sadowitz. The humour might be a bit risque (or just plain offensive to some) but he combines a steady stream of banter with world class sleight of hand. If you get the chance to see this performer then grab it!

If he would clean up his act he could have owned half the world by now. Sadowitz pokes fun at anybody and anything, including himself. Brilliant magic too.

Paul S
Steve Brooks
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I remember reading a very insightful interview in Magic some years back regarding Carl Ballantine. He said something to the effect of; "What I do isn’t magic, it’s burlesque"

I always got a kick out of watching him, he always made me laugh. Smile


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Just to upset you all, I have tried and failed to find anything funny about Tom Mullica.

When he was on the TV over here once, my dad switched it off saying; "I cannot stand stupidity" and I find myself agreeing with him. I just cannot find him funny. But there we go, I suppose you cannot please them all!

phillip Smile

MY favorite of recent has been David Acer

phillip Smile
Peter Marucci
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Remember Carl Ballantine started out doing a straight manipulative act, very similar to Cardini, who was the tops at the time.

But everyone else was doing the same thing (wow! it’s deja vu, all over again!).

So Carl carved out a niche of his own.

And very much his own it is! Smile


Peter Marucci
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I cannot believe that I didn't add Jay Sankey on my list before now. I'm ashamed of myself Smile

Well no better time then the present I guess. Smile
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1. Harry Anderson Live

2. Paul Daniels Live
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oops I forgot Harry too. Smile

That is my top 3 and that’s final! Smile

I think.... Smile


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The Amazing Jonathon, Penn and Teller and Harry Anderson
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I have to say that comedy and magic seem to be un-easy bedfellows. I know a lot of funny people and I know a lot of good magicians but seldom are they one and the same!

My list would include Greg Wilson and the outrageously funny Jerry Sadowitz...

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One of the funniest I've seen, is Presto!
It was awhile back but his name comes up now and again.
I agree with most of the names posted and this past summer I caught GAZZO twice and there, is a man who will put you in stitches!!! Smile
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Just got to mention THE Carl Ballantine story because maybe there is one person in the Forum who hasn't heard it.
When he first tried out his comedy act, a true classic, he was cancelled, the booker said something to the efect."This @#$%$# couldn't get even one trick right!"
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My vote goes to Harry Anderson and The Amazing Jonathon. These are contemporaries. Anyone who's been to Colon certainly remembers Ab ***son and Tim Wright. Both very funny Smile
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Billy Joel
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Everyone mentioned above and Mac King. Dang, he's funny.
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Damion Corbett
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Jerry Sadowitz is a genius; the funniest magician I've ever seen and one of the best sleight of hand guys in the U.K.

There is also a Spanish magician named Mago Migue who is extremely funny.
Geoff Williams
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Favorite of all time: Tom Mullica.

Favorite comedy magic close-up duo: David Acer and Jay Sankey. They gave a duo-lecture here in the Twin Cities and I almost wet myself.

(Of course, that was a medical condition that seems to have cleared up nicely, thank you.)

Favorite stage comedy magic duo: Johnny & Pam Thompson. Very strong magic with very strong comedy. A great combo.

It's good to see Carl Ballantine back onstage again! What a great routine!
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My vote:

1. Mac King
2. The Amazing Johnathan
3. Jay Sankey
4. Penn & Teller
Dr. JK
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From what I've seen of them on the WGM specials, I think The Amazing Jonathan, Mac King, and David Williamson are all very funny. However, I haven't seen too many live magicians.

Oops! I meant I haven't gone to too many live performances. I have seen a few live magicians! lol Smile
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