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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Clark "The Senator" Crandall (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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foolsnobody
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I'd like to start a thread about this wonderful comedy magician. When I first visited the Magic Castle in the late 1960's or early 1970's (my memory for dates in that time period is bad because I was living in the Eternal Now), I met Vernon and Cervon and Francis Carlyle and many others. Saw Goshman perform. But the Senator stands out in my mind because he was the kindest to me. Quite in contrast to his sardonic persona. I wonder if any of you old-timers have some Senator Crandall anecdotes?

By the way, his X-rated show at the Castle was hilarious. I just remember a card stab with a rapier and a paper bag. And laughing a lot. It wasn't the tricks, it was the performer in that case. Just great!
Werner G. Seitz
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Unfortunatelty I never saw Clark *The Senator* Crandall working, but I've one or 2 of his published works, one on Dice-stacking IIRC, but I know, apart from he was very funny, he also was a 'good' magician.

His version of Dr. Daleys Last trick, the 2 red/black ace transposition was even used by Fred Kaps as the handling is incredible natural compared to Dr. Daleys version.
Somehow I think Stevens has a video on the Senator..I think I should have a look at Stevens site..
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Pete Biro
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Crandall was a great personality. He should have been a character actor in the movies. His humor was so good, he would start doing a cut/restored rope and just talk about some obscure farm humor, nothing related to the trick at all, while just snipping away at the rope.

He "Scimitar" card stab was a classic. I have a photo of him doing it hanging on my office wall - autographed. There was no gimmick, just a curved, long knife that he held behind his back and stuck the card onto it.

But his handling, timing, etc., we such that he FOOLED you with it.

His funny 'BENT' cigars were a trademark.

He would place his briefcase onto the Magic Castle close up table and use the surface to do his dice stacking. Classic.

He made custom dice cups and put peoples names on them. He made on for Fred Kaps, and Fred left it to me when he died. It is one of my prized possessions. It has a caricature line drawing of Crandall in the inside top.

A book of his Tops Columns exists, I think it is titles, "It's only my opinion, but."

If you are into magic history THAT BOOK IS A MUST. One of the funniest you will ever read.

He was dead honest and pulled no punches on his reviews of magic acts.

He is missed... Smile
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bishthemagish
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I never met or saw Clark *The Senator* Crandall perform but my Father knew him quite well. Much of what I know about him is from both my Father Billy Bishop and one of my mentors - Marshall Brodien...

Marshall Brodien performed magic with Clark *The Senator* Crandall in one of the Chicago Johnny Paul's Bars in Cicero IL. He also worked out with Clark *The Senator* Crandall a great routine for the card on ceiling. His stories and that routine was written up in a genii mag some years back.

My Dad was living in Wisconsin and he used to do shows in Chicago before we moved to Chicago and when he would visit he would drop by Clark *The Senator* Crandall home. He used to buy some of his sponge products and he put my Dad on his newsletter of jokes and tricks... When it just started...

And here is the story...

After doing the news letters for about a year Clark *The Senator* Crandall printed an add that there were magicians that wanted to collect all the issues of the newsletter. One of them is offering $50.00 for issue 1 Vol 1... If you have it and want to part with it call this phone number...

My Dad dug them out to see what the gag was...

After looking over the newsletters he found that Clark *The Senator* Crandall started the newsletter with issue 2. number 2 and issue 1 number one never existed... I can imagine magicians looking for issue one number one because fifty bucks back in those days was quite a sum...

Clark *The Senator* Crandall really knew how to set up a joke!!!

My Dad remembered that he was great with the dice stack and did a lot of television after he moved to the west coast. Including regular spots on Steve Allan on the tonight show and the Gary Moore show...
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foolsnobody
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I own two different publications by the Senator. One is called Now You Can Get the Best of 'Senator' Crandall and was published by Abbott's. The other is Crandall's Comments #1-7. They are in an old manilla envelope with "Lloyd E. Jones" printed in the upper left corner but they *look* like they were self-published by Crandall himself after he had moved to Hollywood. They were *distributed* by Lloyd E. Jones I see now. "Issued whenever I can at 50 cents an issue." Hmmm I notice my computer keyboard doesn't have a "cents" sign. Hmph!
John Pezzullo
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Bruce Cervon, who was very close to Clarke 'The Senator' Crandall, has had a book about him 'in the works' for a number of years.

Hopefully this book will be published in the not too distant future.
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Whit Haydn
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I was about fourteen at Abbott's Get Together in the early Sixties when I first met the Senator.

I was watching him perform for some guys, and I crowded in behind him from his left side to see if I could get a good shot at his "pass." I didn't think he noticed me at his elbow, he was so into his card trick and entertaining the handful of magicians standing around.

As he was about to do his pass, he reached over to the cane hanging off his left elbow and gave it a slight adjustment. It came up right between my legs and lightly bumped my crotch. As I jumped back, he turned his head toward me and glanced at me, and said, "Watch your peter, son." He then finished the trick without missing a beat, and turned and gave me a wink before walking on to another group.

I learned a lot about crowd control, misdirection, and magic manners all at the same time.
Bill Palmer
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One of my favorite Crandallisms was his reference to a fellow who had "joined the local magic club to find out how the breakaway wand worked."
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Pete Biro
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Someone asked, "Why do you call yourself Senator?" He replied, "I don't, you did."
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Brad Jeffers
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You can see the Senator perform on the Don Alan Magic Ranch videos.
coupcoupdaddy
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Sen. Crandall's column in The New Tops magazine had a lifelong impact on me...still does. IHis writings plus the work of Jung and Cambell were responsible for the formulation of my BA in mythogenics. He kindly corresponded with me and sent me oodles of his hilarious promo. I got to meet him at an early 1960's Abbott's Get-Together. I was quite small for my age and I went up to him and introduced myself saying my name and "I wrote you some letters.." "So you're the one!" he boomed back intimidatingly and delightfully. Neil Foster's collection of his columns, Now You Can Get the BEST OF 'SENATOR CRANDALL, still brings great joy and inspiration. He was and is an original thinker in our art and craft with a heart matching his stature in spite of his crusty and cynical persona.
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Chatterbox41
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I saw Senator Crandall several times at the Abbott's get togethers back in the early 80's. What I always remember is how he could hold the audience captive with the simplest trick from Tarbell I and blow everybody away. I was always laughing so hard I never did see the move! Great misdirection and a lesson in entertainment each time I saw him. I all the guys from that period, Crandall, Neil Foster, Duke Stern, etc. Really entertaining!
Rimbaud
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I had no idea that the Senator's Tops columns were collected. Does anyone know if the collection is still in print and where I could find it?

I loved those columns! They where the main reason I collected the old '60's issues when I was a teen (back in the early 1980's.) I loved the fact that Crandall just seemed dead honest about what he believed in. I especially remember the column he wrote a few hours after RFK's funeral. It didn't have anything to do with magic at all, and was the most honest thing I'd ever read in a magic magazine.

I'd love to have seen him work behind the bar. I bet he was hysterical.

A local magician named Mike O'Dowd told me back then that he knew Crandall, and that the Senator never wore socks because "A fettered toe is the sign of a fettered mind!"
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Marshall Thornside
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Omy that name goes way back to when I was just a baby.

I have almost an entire collection of TOPS magazines
that would have the senator's columns in there.

I have extra copies I could probably sell.
you will remember my name

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gfajuri
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The book "Now You can Get the Best of Senator Crandall" is still in print and available at http://www.abbottmagic.com - and it's on sale!

Best,

Gabe Fajuri
Rimbaud
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Thanks Gabe!
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nadur
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Does anybody know why Clarke Crandall was called "The Senator" ?
Thanks
gadfly3d
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He claimed he was called Senator because he talked too much and seldom passed anything particularly at the dinner table.

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Bill Palmer
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The true story of how he got his name is actually funnier than that. A young lady once said he was a "Centaur," referring to his capabilities. He altered the pronunciation. At least this is what he told MarcoM.
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jhard
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At the IBM convention in Houston, TX in the early '60s I was fortunate enough to be in the company of Clark Crandall and Johnny Sissom during a lunch break. The Senator asked John and I to come along on a serious shopping trip to a local Wolsworth store just down the street from the convention hotel. Arriving at the store, the Senator immediately made his way to the "notions" counter and began seriously looking over the store's collection of thimbles. Clark would pick up a thimble, place it on his finger and then put it in his ear. This went on about three times, each time looking in the mirror, shaking his head and trying another. The saleslady behind the counter arrived and asked if she could help him with something. "Yes", he replied while picking up another thimble and placing it in his ear, "I'm trying to find a thimble that will fit in my ear." The puzzled look on her face as she said, "Oh" was priceless. She left and never returned. The Senator did not find the thimble he was looking for, so we all returned to the hotel. He never said what he was going to do with the thimble if he found it.
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