Mac King has been doing shows at the same hotel and casino for 18 years. I honestly can’t explain how impressive that is to me. I don’t think I’ve held a job for 18 weeks, never mind literally the minimum length of time it takes a person to go from being born to legally buying cigarettes. For 18 years, King has been performing The Mac King Comedy Magic Show on afternoons, Tuesday to Saturday, at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
Not only is King a magic machine, as we noted when we ran a feature on him late last year, he’s apparently some kind of plaid-clad terminator when it comes to raw professionalism. During one show at The Comedy Club, North Carolina, King accidentally cut off the tip of his own thumb during his signature “Cut and Restored” rope trick. He tried to stop the bleeding with tape, as one does during a medical emergency, but quickly realized all the claret he was spraying everywhere was making card tricks difficult. King briefly stopped the show to ask for help with, you know, his severed freakin’ thumb tip, until a nurse in the audience managed to stop the bleeding and sanitize the wound with vodka. Satisfied that he was no longer bleeding quite as much, King went on to finish the show, perform another show, then go to the hospital.
King didn’t mention the thumb incident in his recent, lengthy Q&A with showtickets.com, but he did talk about his beginnings in the industry, the acts that inspired him, his ongoing friendship with Penn & Teller, how to work with Guinea Pigs and Goldfish, and the secret to his success, frugality.
“I’m cheap! Seriously, I do think a big factor is the price point. Because what I’m selling is really me and my personality, I’ve been able to keep the price low compared to other shows. Over the years I’ve been able to add a bit more production value – music, live animals and a couple of bigger-scale tricks – but it’s still basically a one-man show, so I’ve been able to keep my costs low and still fill the stage with magic.”
The interview is mammoth and I’m too lazy to transcribe it all here (18 weeks, remember), but it ends with some recommendations for dinner and shows if you ever find yourself in the City of lights.
Give it a read.
The Mac King Comedy Magic Show runs from 1:00pm to 3:00pm every Tuesday to Saturday at Harrah’s Las Vegas. It’s well-reviewed, kid-friendly and tickets start at $36.95 (plus tax & fees).